Monotone: WordPress Photoblog Theme

Monotone is a pretty cool photoblog theme for WordPress that’s been around for a few months now. Unfortunately it was only available on, and through the Automattic Subversion repository as reported by Jeff on Weblog Tools Collection.

Noel Jackson, the author of the theme, recently revealed that Monotone is now available as a .zip download on the Monotone demo page above. Now it’s easier for self hosted WordPress blogs to try it!

What’s so great about Monotone? It displays a large image in each post like Pixelpost and other photoblog themes, but it does it in a neat way. WordPress allows the blog author to upload and attach images to their posts. It’s then up to the author to insert the image into the post and tidy up the html. Monotone takes this one step further. There’s no need to insert the image into the post at all. The theme takes the first attachment and displays it at the top of the post, with the post content below.

I’d love to use it, but unfortunately I have several years worth of posts that would need to be modified because I used Flickr to host my images until recently. Then I used my own site, but inserted the right html into each post, so they’d all have to be modified unless I hacked the theme to ignore old posts.

RSS feeds display the image too, although I discovered that the feed for the demo site includes some huge images. Probably just an oversight when Noel was uploading images.

Judging by Noel’s comment here, it probably isn’t completely straight forward to install. You probably need the GD library and a hefty server with enough RAM to load and manipulate your images. Anyone tried it? Use my theme tester plugin if you want to test it on your blog without upsetting your visitors!




  1. Reply
    Alex Leonard June 12, 2008

    Thanks for posting up about that. It looks really good. I’ll definitely be checking it out 🙂

  2. Reply
    Phil June 12, 2008

    I’ve always loved that idea of having the colours around the image matching the image, and been amazed at how it’s done. However, I do like my current blog theme at (though maybe a few more changes soon).

    The only thing I want and cannot for the life of me figure out if it’s possible is to click on the image to go to the previous image…

  3. Reply
    Donncha June 12, 2008

    Phil – monotone does that, so might be worth downloading just to find out how it does that.

  4. Reply
    Darren June 12, 2008

    I have it running on one of my test sites and I’m impressed. Just lashed it up today in work but will have a more detailed look this evening.

    Phil – there is a way of doing that but it’s not great. I’ll send on details later this evening when I get home.

  5. Reply
    Noel Jackson June 14, 2008

    Hey guys, feel free to send me any questions regarding the theme (or post them as a comment over at I’d be happy to help out with what I can.

  6. Reply
    Donal June 15, 2008

    So what’s the difference between an attachment on a post and inserting an image? If you started attaching images from now and then decided to change themes you’d have to go back and change all posts with attachments wouldn’t you?

    Anyway, see ya later on in Fitzgerald’s Park.

  7. Reply
    Timothy West August 9, 2008

    Please check out my awesome monoton photo blog its a great example with good photos me thinks….

    let me know if you like my photos… by commenting…

  8. Reply
    The Web Life mobile edition August 16, 2008

    […] Monotone is a photo theme that finds colors in the photos and changes the colors of the design to match the photo. Prologue is like an internal Twitter that we are using. […]

  9. Reply
    zaarco January 28, 2009

    The principe is good but colors are not always compatibles

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