Panelby Automattic


Panel is a sleek, modern theme that makes publishing a serial webcomic effortless. With large featured images, bold typography, and a responsive layout, it’s a stylish way to publish your latest strip.


Note: These settings are in the WP Admin dashboard, which will look a little different from the rest of your menus. You can leave WP Admin at any time by clicking on My Site.

In addition to standard blog posts, Panel has a new type of post just for comics. You’ll find Comics in your Dashboard, just below Pages:

Comics dashboard

Once you click on Comics, you will be taken to the Comics page of your WP Admin dashboard, where you can start adding new comics to your site.

Comics Menu Item

Creating a new Comics post is as easy as drag-and-drop: simply open the public side of your site and drag your image file into the browser window (or go to Comics → Add New in your WP Admin Dashboard), then add a title, tags, categories, or an optional description – and you’re done!

To add new comics, drag and drop the image file to the front end of your site:

Comics upload1

The image will upload itself as a featured image as well as an image in the content area of the comic.

Comics upload2

Publish the comic and it will appear on your site like this:

Comics upload3

Comics will display with custom navigation beneath, so users can easily browse your strip’s archives:

Comics navigation

If you have several posts with comic content, you can convert them to Comics in bulk, using the Convert to Comic feature:

Convert Posts to Comics

Learn more about importing existing comics in our guide to using the Comics feature in Panel.

Featured Content

Featured Content in Panel

You can feature specific posts on Panel‘s home page following these steps:

  1. Tag any posts you want to feature with a specific Tag of your choosing (i.e., “Featured”).
  2. Navigate to Customize → Featured Content and type in the Tag name you chose in Step 1.
  3. Save your settings, and your selected posts now appear on the home page.

If no Featured Content is selected, your latest posts will be displayed in this area.

Custom Header & Featured Header Images

If you want a bolder look for your blog, set a Custom Header under Customize → Header Image. Your selected image will display as a full-width banner across the top of your posts and pages, with the content overlaid on top. If a Featured Image is set for a post or page, it will display in place of your Custom Header as a Featured Header Image.

Custom Headers & Featured Header Image Example

You can add links to your Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts to your site’s footer. First, connect these services to Publicize, by going to Sharing from your site dashboard. Once connected, navigate to the Customizer, where you’ll find a new Connect panel. Select the account(s) you want to link to, and their respective icons will appear in your site’s footer, like so:

Social Links

Widget Areas

Panel has a Primary Sidebar that appears on posts and pages (except when using the full-width page template), but not on Comics. The theme also has three optional Footer Sidebars that display across the whole site. These can be configured by going to Customize → Widgets.

Full-Width Page Template

If you would like to remove the sidebar from a Page, assign it the Full Width, No Sidebar template under Page Options.

Custom Menu

Panel has a single, primary custom menu area in the header, that can be set up by going to Menus from the site dashboard.

Custom Menu

You can add a Comics archive link to your menu using a Custom Link, like:

Users can also access your Comics via an RSS feed at:

(Don’t forget to replace “” with your own URL!)

Custom Backgrounds

The background color or image can be customized under Customize → Colors & Backgrounds.

Quick Specs (all measurements in pixels)

  1. The main column width is 750 except in the full-width layout where it’s 1019.
  2. The Comic content column width is 940.
  3. The Primary sidebar width is 200.
  4. The Footer Sidebar widths are 300.
  5. Featured Header Images are 1500 wide and 400 tall, cropped.
  6. Comic Featured Images are 940 wide with unlimited height.
  7. Featured Images on the front page are 300 pixels square, cropped.

This theme is available for download to be used on your WordPress self-hosted installation.

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