Introducing Pico, A Magazine Style WordPress Theme

Immediately after wondering why there aren’t more modded premium themes, I set out to mod a theme myself. There were plenty of available themes to choose, but somehow I kept reconsidering this one theme by Darren Hoyt: Mimbo.

If there’s one thing I can tell you about modding a theme, it’s that it is very, very fun to do. Once you understand the coding style of the original author (which in my case was very easy to do thanks to Darren’s clean codes), you’re free to dream up what useful features you want to add to this already awesome theme. I immediately found myself looking into other great themes for ideas (took Widget areas from Thematic and Page Templates from Hybrid, for example) and eventually implemented them.

And this is why modding is such a nice idea: you can immediately go thinking about useful features to add instead of worrying about visual design, building the HTML/CSS from scratch, and so on.

Anyways, enough rambling.

This is where you can read about and download Pico WordPress theme. I intentionally include no screenshot or feature lists here, for everything you need to know about Pico is there, so do check it out.

That landing page does not have a comment area, though. So if you’d like to share your thoughts or have a question you can do it here. Thanks!

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41 Responses

  1. Dian says:

    Love the grid and the widget setting, cool use of the_post_thumbnail too :)
    i was creating a gallery with it but still thinking about the query that it use.
    Do you submit Pico to WordPress extend?

  2. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Hi there. Yeah, I have submitted it a few days ago but as usual it will probably take some time before being approved.

  3. famecog2 says:

    I love the way this looks, but wanted to know, can you also place videos in this theme. I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere and am new to WordPress.
    Thanks for your hard work.

  4. Hafiz Rahman says:


    Yes, you can place videos in this theme. If you want to display it in a post you can do it directly in the post editor, anywhere else (like on sidebar area) you can find plenty of WordPress plugins that will help you with that.

  5. gentlos says:

    Thanks Hafiz! People like you (and Darren, Justin, i mean…) are the reason why WP rules! I’ll give it a try!

  6. Alberto says:

    Trying your theme out and it seem that the read more link doesn’t point to the article. Same with your demo. Also, is there a way to remove the left sidebar? Thanks for offering this theme.

  7. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Hey Alberto,
    thanks for the information! The read more issue has been fixed now (just re-download the theme).

    As for now there’s no simple way to remove the left sidebar, but in the next update I can offer that layout as a new Page Template to be used as homepage. Thanks for the idea.

  8. Alberto says:

    Thanks, looking forward to your next update with more layout choice. By the way, I didn’t see this theme in the wordpress directory.

  9. Hafiz Rahman says:

    The theme is already accepted in the official SVN: but for when it will show up on the Directory is completely up to the moderators there. There are lots of themes in the queue, I assume.

  10. gadgetzonia says:


    I try pico on my blog
    but unfortunately I can’t make the thumbnail to appear.

    need your help.

  11. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Hi, have you tried using the Post Thumbnail feature instead? If you’re using WordPress 2.9 or above, I’d recommend using it. Here’s how:

    I see that you already have an image in your post but nothing show up, so this is probably a TimThumb issue (TimThumb is the script used by Pico to show thumbnail). Please read here: for more details.

  12. @sparun says:

    Trying out your theme on my site… a very good theme… have some suggestions…
    1. How about a widget area in the top right header ? .looks plain.
    2. In my opinion, the text “the comments are closed” on pages where comments are closed are NOT needed.
    3. the background color for the left and right sidebars can be little different from the content area.
    4. “Index insert” sidebar can start from the left most end rather than starting from content area

  13. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Hi sparun, thanks for the suggestions.

    What kind of content will you put on top right header? I was actually planning to have that, but I could only thought about placing advertisement there, which seems to be an overkill for a full widget area.

    As for Index insert, I’m thinking about adding an After Lead Post area that start from the left.

    For the rest I think it will be easier (and faster) if you go into the source and modify the PHP/CSS for it.

    Thank you for taking the time writing those suggestions, I appreciate it.

  14. Elisabeth says:

    Hi Hafiz,
    thanx for the fine Pico theme!
    I’m trying it out, and I have a minor problem with the single post.
    It should show related posts in the different categories, but no luck so far. I would prefer to leave the category widget off the sidebar as I have a ton of categories. But even if the category widget is used there aren’t any ‘More in’… Any help will be much appreciated :-)
    On a slightly different note – because I have all these categories – the single page gets excessively long because of the drop down of categories… I will be looking into removing that little detail…
    And I think a print style sheet is nice to have too…

    Kind regards

  15. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Hi Elisabeth,
    by default the sidebar will show related posts from the same categories with the current post.

    Also, did you put any Widget on the Pico Right Sidebar area? If you put something there, its initial contents (Search box, Categories and Meta) will be replaced. You can then put any Widgets you want there.

    Frankly this is indeed the limitation of Pico, things tend to go funky when there are a lot of categories and/or when the Category names/descriptions gets longer than the allowed width..

    In your case, I unfortunately have no idea how to let the dropdown show that many contents without the page being excessively long. This I guess is the limitation of the menu. Do you have any suggestion?

  16. Elisabeth says:

    Hi Hafiz,
    thanx for your answer – I realized that putting the “featured category” in spotlight might be the cause of problems, so I rearranged. The Pico featured category must go in the widget area Pico Right Sidebar.
    Then I added to h3 in the sidebar.php which gives it the proper heading-look…
    I thought I could fix the excessively long page by excluding the children to one of the categories – hasn’t worked yet…
    / Elisabeth

  17. Hafiz Rahman says:

    I’ve checked your site and I found out that the easiest way is to hide the child of the Label category is this:

    Open up Pico’s style.css and add

    .cat-item-15 ul { display: none; }

    at the very end of that file.

    You can use any .cat-item-n where n is the ID number of a category, and that will hide its children.

  18. Elisabeth says:

    Hi again,
    your suggestion works like a breeze :-)
    Thanks a lot for your help and for this beautiful theme!
    / Elisabeth

  19. Boni says:

    This is a clear themes, I like it…but i want to ask some questions..
    How to make a logo instead of a text in the header?
    Why there is no link to older post and newer post in the homepage?
    I found that the older posts, in the bottom not listing all my old posts, just the next one…
    Why not make some button there, like subscribe to my RSS, Follow me on twitter, be fans on facebook… I think it is needed on a blog, to get more visitors, not just good looking but also a way the visitor get us.

    I think it is better if you make a control panel for the theme customization, like for following links, for facebook, twitter, etc. For some ads links customization(like as you said want to make some ads in header), for customize the main collor, to insert the logo, to insert a favicon, etc…

    That’s my suggestions… I’m a new in wordpress, so i don’t know how to customize it so much… hope you can help me =) ….
    This is a great theme thanks..

  20. salam

    very very nice and great theme, may allah give you success in all field great i am going to use let me see will mail you

    great work


  21. Hobrecht says:

    Awesome work. Putting everthing good together with a clean look. Like it.
    But I have already a question. How can I exclude certain categories from the mainnavigation?
    Is there any good plugin for that kind of problem for WP 2.9.1?


  22. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Hi, thank you for the suggestions. A lot of the functionalities you mentioned are covered with plugins (Twitter, Facebook sharing, and so on) and what I provide with Pico is the flexibility of where you want to put those with the various Widget areas.

    thank you for the kind words!

    you can open Pico’s functions.php and around line 340-ish you can find:
    $base = wp_list_categories('title_li=&echo=0');

    You can change that to
    $base = wp_list_categories('title_li=&echo=0&exclude=x,y,z');

    Where x,y,z is the comma separated list of the ID numbers of the categories you want to exclude. You can read more about wp_list_categories here:

  23. Merrilee Brimley says:

    Great article. I appreciate you for posting it. Keep up the good work.

  24. hi i used in my site i made rtl website but my suggestion is please made rtl and language also and categories page should in 2 column it will look nice and cleans and feature widget should use thumbnail also

  25. James says:

    I am new to WordPress, and am just starting to design the site on the template Pico. But seemingly intuitive processes do not seem to bear fruit: Applying new categories puts them somewhere, but not on the page. I’ll add a new category, then check it, then click Apply. And nothing happens on the category bar, which shows only Uncategorized.

  26. AAA says:

    How can i make the font of pico-spotlight bigger?

  27. jonathan says:

    I’m having trouble the the thumbnail image being posted beside the image. I have the blog on a page with the blog-style front page template being used. On the homepage it is fine, but on this dedicated page they both are showing up. Am I not doing something right or do I need to edit it. I’m new the the post-thumbnail declaration–I’m not sure how it exactly works.

  28. knulp says:

    thanks for the great theme.
    I am having a fatal error message

    Class ‘WP_Widget’ not found in /wp-content/themes/pico/functions.php on line 528

    does anyone understand why?


  29. BC says:

    This theme is simple and straightforward – for my first ever WP website, this is the best looking theme I ran across…kudos Hafiz!

    How can I add a logo up by the Blog Name and Tagline?

    Also – how can I display more lines of the Lead Post (now it displays 5 I think, then (… read more …). In that area I’m posting something once per week and I’d like it to be featured most prominently, showing the first 10 or so lines would be better.

    Thanks again, and nice work!


  30. geert baven says:

    @Hafiz excellent work this theme, thanks and I have a question: can you tell me how to display thumbnails in the category overview and recent posts on the frontpage?

    @BC you can change that in the file functions.php read more about that in the link

  31. Sooraj says:

    Hi Hafiz – will this theme be updated in the near future for WordPress 3.0 to use the newer features such as navigation menu, custom header etc.?

  32. Same Q here, will it be updated soon for WP 3? Also, any chance of a more full-featured magazine style soon? Also, any chance it will be able to handle BuddyPress, especially in multi-site mode? And how about more page templates, such as a sales page, etc? I’d gladly pay for a Pro version if it meant more power, more support, tuturials, etc.

  33. BC says:

    I have a blog using the Pico theme – which I love by the way!! – However, I just don’t understand how to best manage my feeds. I signed up for a FeedBurner account, and they gave me a feed URL. I have downloaded a plugin that claims to redirect all feeds to FeedBurner.

    In the “Meta” section of my Pico webpage, is an “Entries RSS”, a “Comments RSS”, and so on. These are links to my website ( When you click them it just shows the messy code. Is this what visitors of my website see as well? Or does it prompt them to sign up with an email to get the feeds, or what? I’m new to the WP blog game, and I just don’t understand the Subsrcibe and RSS feed action.

    Please help!


  34. BC says:

    I was playing around with some different widgets and plug-ins from my work computer (a PC), then came home to finish up on my mac, and my page is all screwed up!

    None of the hyperlinks on the main page work (except some near the bottom…weird?). For example, the Categories are no longer links, the Meta options (site admin, etc) are no longer working links, the titles of the Lead Post and other Posts are no longer links. I don’t know where to go to fix this code.

    Please help!

  35. Weird Cats says:

    You have a Bathroom Buddy. Dogs and Cats are just being sociable. You get used to it after a while. It’s not weird , They like you and they are happy to have a chance to be with you..

  36. Dear Hafiz,

    first at all to congratulate you for designing such a nice theme like this one. I use it from yesterday and I have experienced some strange problems. When I get into the widget area, I can not drag and drop content I desire to use. My site is:

    Is there any option to solve this?

    Best regards,

    Srecko Bradic, Serbia

  37. AlwaysMe3 says:

    Looking for a way to put a picture behind the header. I am SO new at this, but would like to put a semi transparent pic between top nav to under cat nav. Between the blue lines! Any help? Thanks!!

  38. andrew says:

    great theme, thanks. i have two questions on this that I can’t figure out: 1) how to increase the # of posts shown below the featured one. i changed 5 to 16 here: “elseif( $postcount > 0 && $postcount <= 16 )" but that didn't do it.

    also wondering if there's a way to integrate a flash-based featured story rotator, like featuriffic on the home page?

    thanks a bunch!

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