“Elegant Grunge” WordPress theme

“Elegant Grunge” is an unwashed yet crisp WordPress theme inspired by It features:

  • Layouts options
  • Support for custom background and header
  • Widget-ready footer
  • Optional full-width page template that removes the sidebar


Get Elegant Grunge

If you like Elegant Grunge, please consider buying one of my products.

Version 1.1 has been updated to the version.

This version no longer contains automatic image framing, or a photoblog template, so if you wish to continue using these features, please use version 1.0.3.


  • Layout updates and fixes
  • Fixed deprecated function calls and PHP errors
  • Code cleanup to match WordPress theme style guide: spacing, syntax, comments, package description
  • Added author comment highlighting
  • Added support for empty post title and styles for all heading sizes
  • Fixed bugs with theme options menus
  • Simplified custom functions and removed unneeded theme options
  • Remove custom header image support and use default WP header image functionality instead
  • Added image.php template
  • Added RTL language support
  • Changed post timestamp to use the WordPress global date format
  • Remove unused template files
  • Implement WordPress 3.0 features: Custom Menu, comment_form()
  • Added default WP style support: body_class(), post_class(), comment_class() and remove unneeded definition for EG_BODY_CLASS
  • Removed unneeded function_exists() calls
  • Simplified image display: no frames or photoblog page
  • Nicer typography and updated grunge images for sticky posts, trackbacks, and new date format
  • Styles for sticky posts
  • Added newer/older single post navigation links
  • Better class attributes to avoid collision with WP default classes (author, post, date, etc)
  • Remove sidebar logic check in every template (once in sidebar.php instead)

Note: If you have problems with this theme, please post your question at the WordPress forums. Please don’t contact me directly, as I don’t have the resources to help you.

Language Packs

Many thanks to contributors!

Casual German/Deutsch – by Markus Bischof

Formal/polite German/Deutsch – by André Heil

Italian/Italiano – by Paolo Lucciola

French/Français – by Arnaud Ball

Romanian – by Adrian Nitescu

Arabic/العربية – by Mena

Finnish/Suomi – by Antti

Turkish/Türkçe – by Mehmet

Brazilian Portuguese – by Jandeilson S. Barbosa

Spanish/Español – by José Vergara

Norwegian/Norsk – by Vipblogg

Russian/русский язык – by Sergey aka Cepxuo

Czech – by Bengo

Lithuanian – by Valentinas Bakaitis

Belorussian – by Marcis G./Galina Miklosic

Polish – by Grzegorz ‘ixcesal’ Lasecki

Dutch – by Rene (WPwebshop)

Indonesian/Bahasa Indonesia – by Kelayang

Filipino – by Mikael Riec

Danish/Dansk – by Morten Elm

Latvian – by Johannes Rau

To use these language packs, you must download the WordPress language pack first, copy it into wp-content/languages, then edit wp-config.php and set the WPLANG value to the appropriate language abbreviation (eg ‘fr_FR’). Then unzip the Elegant Grunge language pack into the wp-content/themes/elegant-grunge folder, and you’re set.


WordPress Theme Elegant Grunge Template Addon for built-in WordPress GallerySebastian Graß

Paul Kaiser has written a great article on how to add navigation menus to older WordPress themes, using Elegant Grunge as an example.

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  1. Posted December 20, 2008 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Michael thank you very much for this theme, it fits me, I think I’ll keep it for very long on my blog. a big thank you for your work, and good continuation to you. best regards Franck

  2. Posted December 24, 2008 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to let you know I’ve added your theme to my list to the Best WP Themes from around the web. Check it out at

    Great work!

    (It also made my list of the best WP themes of 2008!)

  3. Posted December 27, 2008 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    This is almost an exact copy of the “Function blog” –

    With an exception of Function having two sidebars, it is virtually the exact same design – though Function’s design is better. (sorry) Looking at many of the details of the site are already done on Function’s site. The only major difference is the footer.

    I hope I’m not missing any facts, but I don’t think I am.

    Michael, if you want a good design – come up with your own.

  4. Posted December 27, 2008 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your comments Brian; You’ll notice that this is no secret – it’s stated explicitly at the top of this page. Unless Function have a specific problem, I don’t see an issue.

    This theme doesn’t profess to be particularly original. Deal with it ;)

  5. Posted December 30, 2008 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Hi Michael, great theme, thanks for providing it. Quick Question: Is it possible to add the nice photo frame in the sidebar? I haven’t been able to figure that out.

    I’ve kind of made a mess of things, but plan to roll back to your version and start modifying again.


    • Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Hi Jan; I’m afraid the photo frames really are only for the main content area currently, due to the background colour of the frames. If there’s enough demand I can add a sidebar version, though.

  6. Adam
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Love the design Mike… thanks.

    On the write page there is a header Elegant Grunge Theme Options but no options. I feel that this is where I should be able to turn off the image frame for individual posts. Any ideas as to why I am not seeing any options?

    • Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Hi Adam; That’s a bit confusing. Are you sure the box is expanded (by clicking on the ‘Elegant Grunge’ heading)? It appears to be fine on all my installations. Do you see any errors? If it’s definitely not right, what WP/PHP versions are you using?

  7. Tyler
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Great to see you’ve released a new version of this theme. I think it’s dynamite.

    Have you considered releasing a version where the header and footer colors are more readily customized?

    • Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Cheers Tyler! I can’t say I have – if there’s enough demand I’ll add it in =)

  8. Posted January 1, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve upgraded to the new version (1.0) hoping it would fix the problem I’m having getting the Photoblog widget to display. No such luck, it must be something I’m doing!

    When I add the Photoblog widget to my footer, it just doesn’t show up. When I add it to my sidebar, it doesn’t show up and neither does anything else in the sidebar.

    Any ideas what I could be doing wrong?

    • Posted January 8, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Hmm, it’s hard to say from here, Ubi; are you getting any errors? Anything in your error log? What PHP version are you using?

  9. andryonline
    Posted January 3, 2009 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Hello and congratulations for this very beautiful theme!

    How can I remove the time of publication of the article single post (single.php)?

    Thank you.

    Translated by Google Translator.

    • andryonline
      Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      Michael, you can help me please? :(

      Thank you.

      Translated by Google Translator.

      • Posted January 8, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Sorry andry; Just open up single.php, find the code that prints the date, and remove it (that’s the line containing ‘This entry was posted on..’, obviously)

        • andryonline
          Posted January 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, but I just have to take away the time, not the date. I tried, but generates an error. Can you be more specific?

          Translated by Google Translator.

  10. Todd
    Posted January 3, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Michael, I’ve been trying for a day now to implement the music player on my site… I’ve been able to get the single player to work but when I try to use the other version with the slim player all i get is a coding error:

    tried to post the error but it says it’s to spammy!

    I have no idea what I’m doing wrong! :(

  11. Todd
    Posted January 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi again Michael! I finally got it worked out… love it! I didn’t realize that you need to create a folder “music” and upload it to the wp-content folder in order for it to work. I was poking around the musicplayer.php and figured it out. I have a question thought, what I have albums of music that I write and I put them in different posts but only want the songs for that album to play? Is there a way to separate them out? Thanks Michael!

    • Posted January 8, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Todd; probably best to discuss the mini wordpress plugins in the comments for the mini wordpress plugins; this is the Elegant Grunge theme, so it’s a bit confusing

  12. Posted January 4, 2009 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    this theme is the best i have ever seen. thank u michael.

  13. Posted January 4, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Very nice design, i will use it for my private blog of photographie ;)

    You have a little bug in comments.php Logout Link: “‘.get_option(‘siteurl’).’/wp-login.php?action=logout” will not submit your current userID I fixed it with “‘.wp_logout_url(get_permalink()).'”

    so you’re on the last site you have visit and your are logged out ;)

    • Posted January 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Cheers Pajopath – I’ve applied your fix for the next version

  14. Posted January 4, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    great theme!!!

  15. Posted January 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi, that’s a really great theme, featuring even language packs ! I just miss one little thing : a PSD file (even partial) in order to translate some of the graphics elements. Would it be possible to release one ?

    Thanks !

  16. Posted January 7, 2009 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    How do I add ‘previous post’ and ‘next post’ links preferably displaying their title in the single post pages.

    • Posted January 7, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I’m not 100% sure, Kishore; I suggest asking on the WP forum about this one, or if you’re confident, take a look at a theme that has this feature and mimic it. You’ll probably want to be editing single.php

  17. Nick
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Michael, In the past i got an answer from you on the location within style.css on the font color of the # of comments line and you said it was the .metadata but i have found that this only changes the color of the vertical line between comments and “posted in”. Is there anywhere else that comes to mind?

    • Posted January 7, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      You probably need to edit the ‘a’ element for that block too, Nick (.metadata a)

  18. Nick
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Don’t spend any time on my previous post Mike. I figured it out and for other users you can change the text color and size of these elements using the .metadata a { class within the style.css

  19. Posted January 7, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Hello Michael,

    I wanna give you my congratulations. You really done a great job with this theme!

  20. Ryan
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink


    Above you say:

    Q: There are huge image frames surrounding my Sociable (or other similar plugin) icons. A: As described in the last answer, add the image class name to the ‘Don’t frame images with class’ option in Elegant Grunge admin. For Sociable, this is ’sociable-hovers’. Elegant Grunge determines whether to frame images by looking at the image sizes. Sociable doesn’t add dimensions to its image tags, so Elegant Grunge doesn’t know how large the images are. However, we can ignore these by identifying their class name.

    However, when I had sociable-hovers to the “Do Not Frame” list, it still does it. I have looked in the .css file, played with countless variations of sociable-hovers to no avail.

    I noticed within the Sociable CSS that the images are defined as 16×16, I would have thought that – if all else failed – the theme would have recognized this to be smaller than it’s own check (25×25).

    I have toggled between using the CSS included with Sociable’s and the theme’s, but it seems to make no difference. The awesome frame (that I love on other images) makes the Sociable’s buttons look like poo.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?


  21. Ryan
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink


    I updated the theme to 1.0.1 manually and it seems to have solved the problem.

  22. Posted January 8, 2009 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    How can you say Michael did a great job when it is not even his design?

    This is straight from WeFunction. No respect from my side on this.

    • JeniQ
      Posted January 8, 2009 at 3:35 am | Permalink

      The first sentence says “‘Elegant Grunge’ is an unwashed yet crisp WordPress theme inspired by”

  23. Ryan
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I’m back – this time I am being plagued with tiny tracking images (from a feed). The issue seems to be from FeedBurner because they have no size or name for their span class.

    The div class is “feedflare”, and the only identifiable span class is “frame-outer “.

    The problem is a giant 25×25 shadowed frame around what appears to be nothing.

    Thanks again for your help and suggestions!

    • Posted January 8, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Sounds tricky, Ryan; if the images themselves don’t actually have a class, then probably the only solution is to either turn off frames altogether, or go in and edit the plugin to either provide image sizes (which they should’ve done in the first place), or add a class name (‘noframe’ would do). Feel free to leave a URL so I can take a peek.

  24. Posted January 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Hey thank for your nice theme. One thing is there… I am having problems with the image frames in internet explorer. The image is bigger then the frame so it lays over ( check it here ). I also have one problem with the lightbox. I installed the the one u mentioned above but it doesn’t work. Why?

    • Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Hi Kevin, This is confusing – I tried your link in IE6 and it looked fine to me (well, as fine as Internet Explorer ever looks). Can you perhaps give more details on how you replicate the problem? I couldn’t find any linked images on your blog that use Lightbox, so I could test it, I’m afraid.

  25. Kevin
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Why did you delete my comment?

    • Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Hi Kevin – I’m sorry, I actually don’t remember the comment! What was it? All I can remember was a comment I deleted the other day which was a request to remove someone from the notification list, but I figured that was fine cos it was off-topic.

      • Posted January 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Sorry for the “Why did you delete…” i just didn’t see it that was the problem.

        Check here: i made a screenshot. And that is my problem that there are no lightbox images. I made everything like in your FAQ but it dont’t actually work.

  26. Posted January 9, 2009 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Hy Michael, great theme, but I have a question. How do I install a language pack?

    Thank you in advance.

  27. Posted January 9, 2009 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    @Lucian : just drop the files (.mo and .po) in the theme folder where you should already have some “default.po” and “”.

  28. Posted January 9, 2009 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    OK. and how do I “activate” the language. where should i modify for the language pack to work. thank you.

  29. Posted January 9, 2009 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    @Lucian, in fact, I do use the french language pack and did not configure anything else than the main WP language (WP_LANG constant in wp-config.php file).

    Just when I uploaded the french pack files, the english terms changed to french. No other work needed for me.

  30. Posted January 9, 2009 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Hi, your theme shows great promise for what I’d like to use but I have a small problem which I’ve yet to figure out and hope it’s something simple. The theme installed ok, but on displaying the site the ‘dirty page edges effect’ can not be seen. I’ve deleted it and re-installed but no luck.

    elegant grunge 1.0.1 Wordpress 2.7 firefox 3.0.5

    Anything close to a suggestion gratefully appreciated.

    • Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Hi Tomskus, I’m afraid that’s my fault – I uploaded version 1.0.1 incorrectly somehow, and the ‘images’ directory wasn’t included. 1.0.2 should fix the problem!

      • Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

        The more I look at it the more I like it. When might you have the fixed 1.0.2? Alternatively could you provide a link to get the ‘image’ directory? Pretty please and all the usual gratuities… thanks, and up the maggies.

      • Posted January 10, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Hi , I got 1.0.2 but still points to 1.0.1. I changed the file name in the location to and it downloaded. Installed now and looking a dream. Thanks, great theme.