Skimmed Milk

The WordPress theme (software) that creates the look and feel of this site is called Skimmed Milk. I developed it by recoding White As Milk by Azeem Azeez and he should take the credit for its elegantly simple design. If you’re not a WordPress blogger then what follows is unlikely to be of much interest to you, but if you are one and this minimal theme appeals then you’re very welcome to pick up a copy of the latest version here:

This theme requires that your WordPress installation is at least at version 2.3. If you’re running an older version of WordPress then you should use one of the previous two releases of Skimmed Milk available below. And if you’d like a version in Danish or Dutch then read on.

[Note this theme previews blank in WP2.6 although it works fine. Until WordPress come up with a fix a workaround is available below.]

Installing themes is easy: WordPress provide full instructions, but basically just open up the zip file and put the resulting folder (with its contents, of course) into the wp-content/themes folder of your site and turn it on in the presentation/themes page of your admin panel. You can then configure widgets for your sidebar using the presentation/widgets panel if you like. The widgets with names starting with Skimmed are specially designed to fit in with this theme.

Feel free to modify the code if and as you wish: I only request that you leave the link to Skimmed Milk in the footer, or at least politely reference the heritage of your theme somewhere if it’s heavily altered. And, of course, do continue do let me know if any of this is either appreciated or requires repair.


What’s new in 1.2?

Skimmed Milk 1.2 (which requires WordPress version 2.3 or later) is a minor update to 1.1. The look is identical except for the sidebar (and therefore the whole page) being a touch wider. The biggest news is that the theme now displays tags with posts, tag support having been integrated into wp2.3. A Skimmed tag cloud widget is also included that offers a little more control over sizes than the default one.

The other major change is that the internationalisation (which I thought I’d done in 1.1) is now fixed and tested. Many thanks to Guy Sie in the Netherlands for pointing out how I’d screwed this up in 1.1. If you wish to localise the theme (translate it into your own language) you don’t have to alter any of the files; instead you use the arcane ways of gettext to create a .mo file for your language or dialect. A template file (skimmed.pot) is provided to start you on your journey. Only left-to-right languages are catered for by my style sheet, though.

Going Dutch

Guy Sie has made his Dutch language translation available here. First obtain and install SM1.2 as normal, then download the files linked from Guy’s page and place these in the skimmedmilk1.2 folder. Actually, only the .mo file is really necessary; the .po file is a text file you could use to create a variant Dutch version. To switch on the translation you need to edit your wp-config.php file to alter your WPLANG definition line to read:
define ('WPLANG', 'nl_NL');

Great Danes

And now (in March ’08) a new Danish translation is kindly being made available by Mads, and my Danish isn’t so good but I get the impression that another Danish version is ready for the taking here. Seems Danish translations are like busses; you wait for ages then two come along at once!

What about 1.1?

Skimmed Milk 1.1 (requiring WordPress 2.1 or later) is a fairly extensive reworking of 1.0 but the look of pages rendered with it should be little changed from the previous version other than the columns being a fraction wider in order to accommodate embedded YouTube videos (or any other 425-pixel-wide objects for that matter). Download it from here:

The most exciting change is that you can now use Widgets (integrated into WordPress in version 2.2) to place items such as a calendar or a recent comments list into your sidebar. Three Skimmed Milk variants of standard widgets are supplied for enhanced compatibility: Skimmed archives, Skimmed calendar and Skimmed search. The archives widget can show yearly archives as well as an optionally limited number of months. There are hundreds of third-party widgets to choose from too.

Pages print better, especially from IE and Firefox, and they print without the sidebar and other interactive clutter that is of little use on paper.

Some “attachments”, such as large images or video or audio files should now be presented more appropriately, although I think WordPress’s support for these is a little confusing and half-hearted as yet.

The code has been fully internationalised [er.. actually not, see 1.2 above], so that anyone wishing to create a non-English version (or just a differently phrased one) should be able to do so without hacking a single one of my files. Repeated chunks of code have been abstracted into functions in the new functions.php file so easing further customisation. Finally, in the interests of modernity I’ve tried to seek out and update calls to deprecated functions (hence the requirement for WordPress 2.1+).

And the original, 1.0?

If you like living in the past, the 1.0 version and the story of its creation are both available here.

82 responses

  1. thortz comments:

    Thanks for letting me know, Mark. I’ll try to find time to tackle 2.6 tomorrow. I can’t imagine that switching in the theme will damage anything though – the admin system always uses its own look, so you won’t lose control to switch back even if everything seems to disappear.

  2. Mark comments:

    Thortz, Took your advise and gave it a try. It seems to work just fine (only the preview didn’t). I’ll test out the features and let you know if I find anything.

  3. thortz comments:

    OK, I’ve upgraded here to 2.6 and can see the blank preview problem. If anyone knows of any other issues that need fixing, now, while I’m tinkering, is a good time to let me know. Ta

  4. thortz comments:

    Jeepers, that was seriously confusing! I set up a copy of SM on my local machine and made a few small changes to try to fix the preview problem. Amazingly it worked first time. So I started undoing the changes to find the individual culprit, but I was able to undo ALL the changes and it still worked.

    So I ended up with two identical folders, one, called skimmedtest which reliably previewed & one called skimmedmilk1.2 which showed blank! Of course I checked and rechecked the contents and file permissions and invisible/hidden files to find a difference.

    Finally I realised that it’s the folder name itself. Seems there’a a bug in WP2.6 so that it can’t cope with a dot in the theme directory name.

    So if you want to fix the previewing problem just change the folder name to skimmedmilk12 or skimmedmilk or whatever you like. But be sure to reselect the theme in the wordpress admin system or your site might be left blank (due to the theme folder failing to be found under its old name).

  5. SebM Blog » Theme wechsel dich pings back:

    […] Projekt zusammenzufassen, gibt’s heute mal ein neues Theme. Noch simpler als vorher kommt das Skimmed Milk Theme von, eine Adaption des White as Milk Themes von Azeem […]

  6. ???????wordpress?? | Vane Talk pings back:

    […] 1.skimmed milk ???????+????? skimmed milk??|???? 2.Aquarium ???????????????? […]

  7. emil comments:

    Hi there,

    great theme, any plans to make it work with 2.7 (not that I know if it doesnt, but just in case)?

    – Emil

  8. thortz comments:

    I doubt that WordPress would do anything so drastic so as to stop this simple theme working, but I’m happy to do a few tweaks if required.

  9. Evangeline Than » A new look for pings back:

    […] Thortz’s Skimmed Milk theme is gloriously minimal, and what I like most is that the code is well-documented and elegantly written so that it’s easy to make your own changes. […]

  10. In search for the perfect template : 2 Degrees pings back:

    […] Skimmed Milk by Thortz […]

  11. » zurück in neuem gewand pings back:

    […] habe ich es geschafft mein neues design fertig zu stellen. Thanks to Thortz who developed this theme!!! viel habe ich nicht geändert, aber für einen nicht-ITler dauert das eben…und zeit is ja […]

  12. shai comments:

    thank you for this theme. i’m using it happily with just one mysterious problem though . all visited links are getting their own blue color here. not sure why. im far from being a coder, but i looked at the stylesheet and found only one line that referred to “visited links” and changed it to orange. no avail .
    any idea?
    thank you so much

  13. thortz comments:

    Hi Shai

    On a quick scan it seems that your Vimeo widget is the culprit, setting the colour to 3A75C4. Search the source of your front page for this string or for Vimeo. Try changing the line that starts

    .vimeoBadge a:link, a:visited, a:active…

    to start

    .vimeoBadge a:link, .vimeoBadge a:visited, .vimeoBadge a:active…

    In other words I think its currently overriding the general a.visited setting, not just the one for the .vimeoBadge chunks. This alteration should keep it in its place.


  14. shai comments:

    genius! thank you

  15. redesign | Style over Substance pings back:

    […] design (Aangepast en vertaald Skimmed Milk […]

  16. Loz comments:

    I tried installing Skimmed Milk 1.2 on my site, to replace (a modified version of) White As Milk, but I seem to be having trouble… First of all I couldn’t seem to log out (!), then when I tried another machine I noticed there was no link to a page to log in (!!). I’m new to CSS / PHP so I’m not sure what to do to correct this, can you help?
    Cheers, Loz

  17. Loz comments:

    Ah I found it! Hadn’t thought to look under “widgets”…
    Thanks for the theme 🙂

  18. thortz comments:

    I’ve updated this site to WordPress 2.7.1 & the theme seems to work with it fine so far.

    Loz – there’s a log out button in the extra line of the footer (at the bottom of the page) that appears only when you’re logged in.


  19. Chris Nizzi comments:

    Hello thortz

    Congratulations on a great theme. I have adapted it to our needs but kept the essence of skimmedmilk and it works really well. I’ve just upgraded this evening to wp 2.7.1 without any issues, everything works as it should.

    A credit to you. A really nice job!

    Kind regards Chris.

  20. New theme - Skimmed Milk | Battlecream pings back:

    […] so far has felt satisfying. However, this new look is an enhanced version of White As Milk called Skimmed Milk. I thank both developers for their unselfish […]

  21. nippy comments:

    Thanks for this. With so many wordpress themes overloading on the eye candy it’s good to find this one – class!

  22. Steve Vosloo comments:

    Hi Thortz,

    I love the theme and am busy using it to build my personal site. One issue I’m having is the order of the PAGES on the left sidebar. The order is defaulting to alphabetical and I can’t change it to order on “menu_order”. I tried updating sidebar.php with:

    … php wp_list_pages(‘sort_column=menu_order …

    But no luck. It looks like my changes only get run if dynamic_sidebar() can’t build widgets.

    Please help 🙂


    The file

  23. Steve Vosloo comments:

    I found it — it’s a setting in the widgets page. Thanks 🙂

  24. Christian comments:

    Hi Thortz,

    just installed Skimmed Milk 1.2 on a brand new install of WordPress 2.7.1

    The calendar widget(s) is causing a vertical scrollbar to appear at the bottom of the sidebar. The text displaying the current month is way off to the right. It seems I was able to fix this by removing ‘width: 100%;’ from ‘#wp-calendar caption’

    Feel free to have a look at it. At least the scrollbar went poof when I removed the 100% width from the CSS.

    By the way, great looking theme. Cheers!

  25. Neues Design - Endlich etwas Struktur!? | Martin Riedel pings back:

    […] ein Jahr an meinem Blog. Erst auf englisch, dann auf deutsch. Erst mit dem Mandigo Theme, dann mit Skimmed Milk. Seit neusten im Neoclassical […]

  26. Updated Wordpress Theme | Kristina Lim pings back:

    […] theme used by this blog is a version of Skimmed Milk by Thortz that has been modified to use the color scheme in the original theme White as Milk by […]

  27. shai comments:

    hi again!
    i wonder , how to avoid scroll bar on a page. i guess i have exceeded the length and not sure what should be tweaked to allow it be longer.
    this is where it occurs
    thanks a lot for keeping the support on this theme!

  28. thortz comments:

    Hi Shai

    These inner scroll bars shouldn’t be appearing – there’s no length limit (though there is one for width) so I suspect there’s something odd in the markup.

    I think the problem might possibly be because the links around the images are all unclosed; they each have an opening a href=.. tag but no closing one.


  29. thortz comments:

    Oops – ignore that last para. Am somewhat hungover. Not sure why you’re getting the scrolls.

  30. rauchmelder comments:

    Hi thortz,

    found your nice and clear whiteasmilk adaption and this is all what i need.

    Thx for that.

    But i have some Questions:

    What is with the Scrollbar in IE? I have this too only in IE.

    How I can integrate WP-PageNavi? Where in the Code comes the Snippet?

    At Last:

    Plan you a new Version of this very nice Theme?

  31. rauchmelder comments:

    please give little anwsers.

    How can see the Author in the Metadatabar under the Posts?

  32. Patrick D. comments:

    I’m thinking of switching to this theme. I love White As Milk, but it hasn’t updated in years and it makes me worry about its freshness.

Leave a comment