Early Theme Adopters: Syntax

We release beautiful new themes every week. In our Early Theme Adopters series, we focus on bloggers who are using the most recent additions to our Theme Showcase. Today, let’s visit some of the first blogs to have made Syntax, a striking, minimalist theme, their own.

With large, highly readable type and striking featured images, content creators have been enjoying Syntax since its release a few weeks ago. The theme’s responsive design, which ensures that users’ content looks sharp across devices, is yet another reason for its popularity. If you’re looking for inspiration, or have been considering a theme change, here are a few examples of how it’s being used in the wild.

Purely Photography

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Navaneeth, the camera-loving blogger behind Purely Photography, writes about the craft and technique of taking great pictures. Syntax‘s default, out-of-the-box look fit the blog’s focus perfectly — all that was needed to create a beautiful site was some excellent content. The clear, high-contrast text jumps out of the screen, while the splashy featured images take Navaneeth’s points from theory to practice.

Florals for Spring

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Syntax might be a text-focused theme, but its versatile minimalism can equally work for visuals-heavy blogs. Nicole, the blogger behind Florals for Spring, is a great case in point. The theme’s crisp white background provides the perfect backdrop for her colorful photos from her travels. A custom header, styled with black-on-white handwriting, completes her site’s clean look.


Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.15.18 PM

Stephen Labit has chosen Syntax to create a beautiful, inviting site where he collects his writing and photography. He opted to create a site with a static homepage, using striking images to link to his blog, as well as to pages dedicated to specific topics, like travel.

His site feels particularly fresh thanks to his clever use of the theme’s custom header option: he’s uploaded six different header images, which he then set to show randomly on his posts and pages. (To achieve the same effect, go to the Customizer‘s Header panel, and check the “Randomize uploaded headers box.”)

Stay tuned for more examples of sites using recently-added themes — and if there are any particular themes you’d like to see featured, feel free to leave us a comment.

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  1. Jack Flacco

    I enjoy playing with new themes all the time. Although I don’t implement them as much as I should, I appreciate the creative minds behind many of these state of the art interfaces. Even casual bloggers have the opportunity to make their sites look professional with a few clicks, and a push of the Publish button!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nish

    They all look lovely. I used the Syntax theme to set up my daughter’s blog, and I am going to pick a few customization ideas from these blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine Goodnough

    It’s amazing what all can be done with some themes to give them unique looks! Often when I look at new themes, I look for a nice title font, something a bit italic or curvy to go with my poetry. I see Nicole has come up with her own title font for “Florals for Spring.” How is that done?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ben Huberman

      If you’re looking for ways to create a creative custom header quickly (and for free), we recently published a post on this topic on The Daily Post. As for Nicole’s header image, I’m not sure if she used a photo editor or not, but you could either use a free handwriting font on a service like PicMonkey, or even write your own title (or use someone whose handwriting you like), then scan and upload the image to your blog.


  4. timethief

    I adored this theme the minute I saw it. I even used it for a day or two on my personal blog at http://thistimethisspace.com but then I became all nervous about the hidden menu and the footer widgets. Today, due to this article I conquered my fear and activated it again. Now I have some image resizing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. timethief

    Here’s an update. I now recall why I don’t use Syntax. There are no Categories. There are only Tags.


    • Ben Huberman

      Thanks for pointing this out, timethief.

      Just to clarify for others, though, you can add categories to your posts in Syntax (and use them for menus, etc.), it’s just that the theme, by default, doesn’t show categories under each post the way it does tags.


  6. Yurixy

    Wow. The Syntax theme looks awesome!
    Just a question: To obtain the same effect as the ‘stephenlabit’ website (big header + last posts below) do I need to buy the Custom Design Upgrade? Or can I have a similar approach for free?

    Thanks very much for the post and your time!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Josephine Corcoran

    Like timethief I activated this theme for my poetry blog (www.andotherpoems.wordpress.com) in the early days but I’ve switched back to TwentyThirteen. Feedback from users included comments about confusion in locating the menu (we all now that there are differing degrees of familiarity with icons on the internet). And it bugged me that this theme doesn’t support a tagline (I realise that regardless of this, the tagline shows up in search engines but I was concerned that anyone arriving at the site via a link would not see the tagline.) I got around this by including the tagline in the name of the blog but this looked a little clumsy. The third thing I didn’t like were the swirls at the end of each post which I think look dated and not in keeping with the sleek design of this theme. I loved the ability to add simple social media icons in the header although they did look pale and I think were missed by users. Nevertheless, I still think this is an exciting freemium theme (as demonstrated here) and it heartens me to know that new ideas are coming our way all the time. Thanks for a great feature and congrats to tjhe super creative bloggers included here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ben Huberman

      Thanks for the comment, Josephine, as well as for the detailed feedback!


  8. Michael Meiser

    Syntax is a beautiful theme, but I don’t associate serif fonts and “swirls” with modern photography. I wouldn’t even use it for blogging in the classical sense, unless I had a blog about literature or writing in general. I see Syntax as a theme for writers who use “pages” rather than “posts”…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RV Cheaper!

    Syntax is a great looking theme as well as 2014 and several others. I really like trying out the latest themes each week. It’s so easy to experiment, that alone made me learn about widgets, featured images and other tweaks I wouldn’t have tried otherwise (hats off to the Automattic team). My favorite [this month] has been Expound.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TheLastWord

    I do use Syntax – changed to it the day it came out. I agree with Josephine Corcoran about the menu. I use a static page and got around it by putting a link to the blog on line 1, which is a bit clumsy. I probably will convert the menu into a pic-driven menu soon.

    I also agree about the swirls. I would have liked a Widget area on the side. But I can sort of live with that, I think.

    I do like the font and the overall feel, so I’m keeping it for now until something better comes along… nudge, nudge! I’m a confirmed theme changer, restlessly looking for the one perfect theme while being too cheap to buy an upgrade. Maybe, when the blog gets me a paying writing gig I will.


  11. KaSonndra Leigh

    Thanks for the custom header tip. I would never have thought about randomized ones if I hadn’t seen this article. Heading over to LWBF right now so I can take advantage of this feature. 🙂


  12. zirvechat

    Good I also agree about the swirls. I would have liked a Widget area on the side. But I can sort of live with that, I think.


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