Another 3-Column WordPress Theme

Whilst I’m in the mood, here is another three-column theme for wordpress. This one is ‘Journalized Sand’ and is almost the same layout as Journalized Blue.

Clicking the thumbnail below will show you a full size screen shot of the theme in action.
screenshot of journalized sand theme
You can download the files from here: journalized-sand-theme-1.0.2.tar.gz (tar ball for unix or similar users) or (zip file for Windows users).

To install simply expand the archive on your local machine. You should have a directory called ‘journalized-sand’. Upload the directory and the files within it to your wp-content/themes folder on your server. Login to your blog’s administration pages and go to the Presentation page. The new theme should be listed there ready for you to select. If not check the permissions on your uploaded files.

You will need to tweak it a little. Not least to change the link categories in the calls to wp_get_links().
Enjoy! The theme is licensed under the GPL. So you may modify it and distribute it. Please let me know if you use it, modify it, etc. If you have any questions leave a comment on this post with your question. Comments are moderated so you won’t see your comment immediately.

Update: The permanent home of this theme is now

95 thoughts on “Another 3-Column WordPress Theme

  1. Simply dropping a note here to say that I like the look of the new 3 colum theme. There’s something about the simplicity and colors that I appreciate. My first impression was a positive one.

    After looking about a bit the second impression is, “Where are the Pages?”. It doesn’t look like there’s an area in the menus for it, but, the design seems to support enough room for simple changes.


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  3. Great theme, Mike. I just installed the sand version on a new, and experimental, WordPress, blog that’s not pubic yet and may never be. I’m using the Blogger and Movable Type blog engines on the family Blue Heron site. Since the philosophy and attitude of the Word Press folks appealed to me, I put it up in a folder on the web server. The experience of installing it was slick and clear. And I’m also impressed by the ease of changing themes. If I ever get around to re-organizing the website, I think I’ll use WordPress to run it.

  4. Nice! Looks like you basically made the very theme I was looking for. Good three column design, low on graphics, readable.

    I installed it five minutes ago, and the one thing I noticed on the negative side is that you forgot to call the wp_footer stuff. (I keep some important links there.) I just added the <?php do_action('wp_footer'); ?> to index.php to get it right.

  5. Hi Johan,
    I’m glad you like the theme. It was originally a pre-1.5 theme (in fact it came from my b2 days), so it didn’t have that call in there. I’ll update it the next time I get a chance.

  6. hi, mike, great theme, im new to the blog world. anyways, i decided to use yours. my question is this, in FireFox it looks great, but in IE the center boxes overlapp all the righ column boxes, how do i correct this?

    thanks for your time.


  7. Nice design! Mike, how long did you design for it?
    I feel it’s also difficult to design the page that includes much information on the page.
    Really nice!

  8. Jimmy,
    I’ve discovered what is wrong. You site meter image is forcing the right hand column to be too wide. If you remove or reduce the width of that image the problem goes away.


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  11. Hi! I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks for Journalized Sand! I make my living as a typesetter and pre-press production person, and I wanted a layout that was “newspaperish” in keeping with my print publishing bent. Sand was just right and it was also in colors that I liked, so I loaded it up. I made a few moves of items but basically I’ll keep it just the same–it’s the blogging I’m interested in doing and not messing around with the layout and such. Of course now that I’ve been tweaking at it, I haven’t actually written anything yet. :/ Keep up the good work and thanks for making exactly what I was looking for.

  12. Hey Mike,
    Thanks so much for the hard work that I’m guessing went into designing these themes. They’re unique, clean, and they look great!

    I’m a kind of a dummy and was at a loss as to how to create more space between paragraphs in the content area. Any advice would be greatl appreciated.


  13. How do you insert space between the columnns for your three-column theme? Is it with the “Rap” in the CSSS? Or somewhere else? Thanks for your response.

  14. JS was my first and only choice when I swtiched from blogger to wordpress. I’ve made a greenish gray theme out of it and my views like it MUCH better.

    I do have an issue with photos though. The blocks in the center don’t seem “smart” enough to size themselves for photos. In other words if there is a bunch of text in the block it works fine, but if there is just a photo the photo extends to outside of the block and is cut off. Is there a fix for this?

  15. Still tweaking my JS.

    1) I got the header to display a masthead graphic but the graphic doesn’t appear on the individual post (comment) pages.

    2) MSIE messes up “img src align=” commands which I like to use to wrap text around images in my posts. It briefly displays the image but then hides the image behind the grey of the post body. Works fine in FF. I’ve tried style=”float: left;” stuff and that doesn’t work, either.

  16. Aaron,
    Another user, Kevin, solved that problem (which only happens in IE) here.

    Basically add

    .storyContent img {
    position: relative;

    to the style sheet.


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  19. I need some help please.
    I have been trying to use some css to have text wrap arround images, then in IE, the images do not show at all. Does anybody else have those problems? What can I do to get this to work?


  20. Hi Steve,
    This is a bug in IE, but there is a solution: add

    .storyContent img {
    position: relative;

    to the style sheet.

    I’m very close to releasing updated version of all my themes with this fix and several others. Look out for them over the next couple of days.


  21. I love your Journalized Sand, and am trying to modify it, but am having problems. Basically I would like to remove the left column, expanding the content to cover both areas, and then adding the former left column to the right of the current right column, such that the viewer has to scroll right to access that column.

    Is that possible, and if so can you give me some pointers? I have gone through UrbanGiraffe’s procedure for modifying a theme ( but he uses float:left or right, and you use position:relative and position:absolute.

    I dont understand how relative/absolute work. When I try making the columns float, they drop to the bottom underneath the content

  22. Hi Don,
    I’m glad you like the theme.

    The positoning of the three journalized themes is done with absolute positioning for vertical location and mostly left/right margins for horizontal positioning.
    I know it’s not ideal, but at the time I think it was the only way. The original was created when IE5.0 and NN4 were current!

    Anyway, I had a quick play and it’s pretty easy to do what you want. Starting with the latest Journalized Sand make the following changes to style.css

    line 264, rule #leftside
    left: 20px
    to be
    right: -178px

    Then change all the 190px to be 10px in the margin settings:
    line 38, rule h2
    line 121, rule #headerblock
    line155, rule .centereblock, .navigation
    line 169, rule .navigation (hmmm… duplication here)
    line 215, rule .navigation (more duplication!)

    Hope this helps,

  23. If you are interested, is the current work in process. I still have a lot more to do on it. One thing that currently has me stumped is that I can’t seem to change the size of type for the title of a post. I don’t know whether case is significant or not. One place it seems to be storyTitle and in another case storytitle, but I have tried making it consistent, and it still does not change.

  24. Hi Don,
    There isn’t a specific rule for story titles, so they are inheriting the generic setting for links.

    Rather than change that setting, I think it would be better to create a new set of rules for these. Try these:

    h3 a:link { font-size:16px; }
    h3 a:visited { font-size:16px; }
    h3 a:hover { font-size:16px; }
    h3 a:active { font-size:16px; }


  25. What is
    .storytitle {
    font: bold 28px verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;
    margin: 0px 0px 5px 0px;
    padding: 0px;
    .storyCategory {
    font-weight: 400;
    margin: 0px 0px 5px 0px;
    padding: 0px;
    .storyAuthor {
    font-weight: 600;
    margin: 0px 0px 5px 0px;
    padding: 0px;

    Notice I increased your 14 pt in storytitle to 28, but it did nothing

  26. Don,
    .storytitle (it should be lowercased) is applied to the h3 in which the story title sits. However for font sizing, the fact that it is an anchor brings in the anchor rule.
    So the rule for ‘h3 a’ will override font settings for h3 with class storytitle. But the margins, for example, of the whole heading are still dictated by the .storytitle rule.
    This ambiguity stems from the fact that the title of the post didn’t used to be a link in my original theme. I changed this to be more WP standard after 1.2, but didn’t follow everything through.

    .storyCategory is no longer used in the theme and can be removed.

    .storyAuthor is still used by the span surrounding the author name.

    I’ll have to fix all these issue in all three themes and re-issue them soon.


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  29. I am not a very smart programmer, but i would like to add family links and favorite links on the right side. Could you help me get started? I think the theme is awesome!

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  31. Hi!

    I have been using you theme for a while now, but I made some modifications (some are a little but stupid…) and wanted to know where can I change the “(more) tag when using <!–more–>

    Other thing, in the “archives” part, the points before each mnth are outside the column (mine is in the left) BUT in only happens in FireFox :S is there anything I can do?

    Thanks for the theme 🙂

    PS: If you dont aprove the changes in your theme, let me know I will undo them 🙂

  32. Hi Alejandro,
    To change the wording of the more link you need to change the call to the_content() in index.php. You can use something like:

    <?php the_content(‘read more of this article…’); ?>

    Your site is down at the moment, I can’t diagnose your archives problem.

    As for changes you are welcome to make changes, as long as you keep to the terms of the GPL. See the licence.txt file for details.


  33. Hi Mike,

    I added the following to my stylesheet, but am still having issues seeing images in my posts when viewing with MSIE…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    .storyContent img {
    position: relative;

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  35. Hi Brian,
    As far as I know, my themes are compatible with 2.0, at least they were with an earlier beta I tested.
    The next version of the themes will incorporate some new functionality based on 2.0. I’m working on those now.


  36. Hi Dan,
    It’ll probably be another week before the new themes are ready for release. Remember though that the current ones do work in version 2.0.

  37. Download, installed. Looks good. BTW, any advice regarding editing, placement of tags, code, javascript, html, or any thing of that sort. Or do you have general guidelines applicable to most any Word Press theme.

    Warning. My new edition of Mythusmage Opines is going through playtesting, so it may have problems from time to time.

  38. OK–I deleted the post that screwed it up and have reposted it without any problems. If you have any more suggestions, I’ll take them as I am new to all of this. Right now, I’m all right. Thanks

  39. Now they are back again. I’ve determined that one post screws it up and it’s not the same post. It is about the same subject, but I don’t know what I am doing to force this to occur. Even if I straighten it out this time, I need to be reassured, it won’t happen again.

  40. Hi Jacques,
    The problem is in the “enron trial” post. Part of the way through is there is the paragraph which starts
    Berky eventually “passes the witness”
    Just after that there is some really weird HTML which starts a script tag and then an open comment tag.
    Just before that there is, I think, an extra div tag which messes up the rest of the page.
    Also in Firefox the content appears twice in the post.

    I presume you are using copy and paste to paste your stories into the blog from somewhere. Basically the HTML your are copying is pretty poor, and if you copy just the wrong bit, e.g. missing a closing tag or something, you get the problems you are seeing.

  41. Mike
    I wish I could clone you and have you move in. Thanks loads. As you can see, not knowing html is the pits.

    By the way, I think your layout is the best.


  42. Hi, Mike.

    I found your journalized-sand theme via alex king’s site a few months ago. Since I started using it, I’ve received many compliments on the layout.

    I thought you’d appreciate knowing there’s another satisfied journalized-sand blogger so I found my way here to say ‘thank you.’

    That’s when I discovered that I’ve been using v1.00 and you’ve had a v1.0.2 out for sometime! I downloaded the more recent version and have started porting my older version over to the newer one.

    Not many things to do, really, but I was concerned because I’ve moved some of the left- and right-column elements around a bit. I’ve also added just a bit of color to the h2 and h4 backgrounds; not enough to lose the essence of the ‘sand’ theme but enough to give it a certain eye-appeal.

    Expect to be finished with my port before daybreak tomorrow and have already realized the benefit of your navigation tweak to distinguish between single-post navigation and regular navigation.

    Thanks again for all the time and energy you’ve invested in this theme!

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