Themes for Longform Writers


Many of the themes in our Theme Showcase are great for writing and reading longer articles and stories, from our classic default themes — including Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Twelve — to popular personal blogging themes like Ryu and Manifest. 

Last week, we shared ten of our favorite longreads across WordPress, and we hope you’ve taken some time to sit back and savor these longer pieces. Below, we’ve gathered some themes that work well with longform writing and offer a clean, enjoyable experience for your readers.


On Otium, Yale PhD student Sarah Constantin writes about mathematics, cognitive science, philosophy, and more. Aside from a colorful graphic header image, Sarah keeps her blog simple. You can click on the button on the left to open the menu and access her About page, but the site is minimal, which keeps the focus on her prose.

On Syntax, you’ll find large, easy-to-read typography, and some nice touches for writers, like elegant displays of pullquotes:

As you can see on Sarah’s site, Syntax puts your writing in the spotlight.

Book Lite

Daniel Kay Hertz, a Chicago-based writer, discusses public policy and urban studies at City Notes. His site features a wide header image, fonts that are easy on the eyes, and a clutter-free, single-column look. He balances his text with visuals, and creates a pleasing reading experience.

Inspired by old-fashioned typography, Book Lite is clean and sophisticated, no matter how you customize it. Your widgets appear in your footer, keeping all of your extras in one place and allowing your writing to take center stage.


A notable feature of Duet, a premium theme, is its two-column layout, inspired by traditional print magazines. The design transforms your longer posts into professional pieces, which you can sample on The Squeaky Robot. Here, the Hanoi-based writer and traveler mixes images and text beautifully, seen on posts like “The Great Divide” as well as “A Single Story of Soviet Russia,” an archived favorite.

Another plus about Duet? It’s a solid theme for longform writers who produce as many photographs as they do words — you can set image and gallery post formats as well, which feature photographs proudly, as seen in these festival snapshots in Ba Vì National Park.

Other themes to consider:

  • With Manifest, you’ve got a number of post formats to display different types of content, from status to gallery formats. But its standard post format is as clean as can be — perfect to tell your stories and publish commentaries, with no distractions. See it on blogs like Voiced Over and Idiot Joy Showland.
  • Hemingway Rewritten, launched earlier this year, has quickly become a favorite among bloggers, with its parallax-scrolling header and bold yet sophisticated font choices. See it in action on Blog of the Courtier. The theme’s full-width page template offers even more real estate, in case you’d like to feature your best writing on static pages.
  • A very stylized theme, Esquire might not be appropriate for everyone, but for those who do activate it, it’s often a perfect fit. Esquire‘s out-of-the-box accents — from the red drop cap to the yellow menu box on the left — look great on Jessica Lee’s blog, Road Essays, where she publishes travel nonfiction narrative.

Filed under: Themes,, Writing

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