Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is a lightweight, super-optimized WordPress theme packed with features. It uses 3 column layout for maximum accessibility and small digital footprint for minimum bandwidth usage and loading times. Now updated for WordPress 3.0 support!

Download Amazing Grace


  1. Modern styled, SEO Optimized, Clean, 3 columns, Photo-friendly, Widget ready
  2. Valid XHTML/CSS document
  3. WordPress 3.0+ support (threaded comments, menu navigation system)
  4. Optimized for speed and loading time
  5. Out of box full SEO optimization including titles and page headings
  6. Out of box Social networking support
  7. Customized 404 page
  8. Adsense ready
  9. Plus much more..

Few words on the theme

The name comes from a popular tune called Amazing Grace. It is my favorite tune and it exactly describes how I feel about this theme. Find more about this beautiful song in Amazing Grace Lyrics, Chords and Movie.

When a theme is in question, I prefer ease of use and speed above everything else. That is why Amazing Grace uses optimized images, excerpts on home page (it helps generate more page views too), no javascript and "you can't miss 'em" navigation menus.

Additionally, I have fully optimized the theme for SEO so you do not have to worry about it. Just write your best stuff and the theme will take care of everything else.

Built in social bookmarking include Digg and

Regarding design, I have hired a very talented designer called Magnus Jepson who did the initial design. I have taken it from there and after few months the theme came to it's final representation.


Images used in the themes are provided as example only and have been obtained through Internet wallpaper sites without any known copyright information. They may be copyrighted by their respectful owners.

Installation & Usage

  1. Unpack this archive in your wp-content/themes/ directory.
  2. Go to Admin WordPress and select presentation.
  3. Select Amazing Grace
  4. You can also use Theme Test Drive plugin to see how the theme looks with your content before going live with it


Everyone has a different taste and there are couple of easy customization changes you can do to change Amazing Grace to suit your needs.

If you did not find what you need you can check out my WordPress Forums.

  1. Create images you want to rotate and put them in your images/folder under the names bg-portait1.jpg, bg-portait2.jpg and so on.
  2. Open your style.css and remove background reference from #portrait-bg section
  3. Enter this code in your header.php just below the stylesheet line (one beginning with link rel="stylesheet")
  4. <style type="text/css">
    #portrait-bg { background: url(<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/bg-portrait<?php echo (rand()%69); ?>.jpg); }
  5. Replace "69" with your maximum picture number
  • Preparing rotating images - You can read this tutorial. Alternately you can download the instructions by Sven Niemetz for a more flexible solution.
  • Show Full Entries/Excerpts on index page - If you want full entries replace the_excerpt() with the_content() and vice versa. Changes should be applied to index.php and archives.php
  • Display categories - Theme will display four categories by default. If you have more then this, you need to edit file header.php, and find wp_list_categories (at the bottom). This function controls how your categories are shown. You can include or exclude certain categories. Full description of the command is available here.
  • Display pages - Pages are displayed also in header.php. You need to find a line with wp_list_pages. This command also allows you to include and exclude pages to show and you can read full description here. Alternatively, you can remove the command and just list pages manually one by one in the same way the Home page is listed in the line above.
  • Change archives and categories excerpts to full posts - Edit archive.php and change "the_excerpt" with "the_content"
  • Add AdSense (or any other) ads - You can add your AdSense code to ad_middle.php. Easiest way to insert ads into sidebar is to create a text widget, paste the adsense code into it and palce it anywhere on your sidebar
  • Display Social bookmark buttons - If you want to display social bookmarks buttons, edit function.php, and remove 'return;' at the beginning of the file.
  • Different Social bookmark sites - It is little trickier but generally can be done by changes in functions.php. You will need some icons too.
  • Download Plugins - Find out about all the plugins I use to help you customize the theme further.

Change log

  • Aug 02nd, 2008, v2.4 - Compatibility with 2.6 (mostly CSS changes).
  • Jul 06th, 2008 v2.0: Added many visual tweaks and gravatar support.
  • Feb 19th, 2008 V1.2: Fixed search issue, changed stylesheet to reflect recent changes on the blog
  • Jan 18th, 2008 v1.1: Added hover background for entry links; fixed footer link colors; maximum of five categories displayed by default; category drop down boxes styled
  • Jan 13th, 2008 v1.0: Initial release


Amazing Grace theme is released under GPL License.

You may freely remove footer links if they bother you.



See my WordPress Consulting Services page for more information and rates.


  1. Dec 2nd, 2009 8:05 PM


    Just trawling through the posts to see if anyone came up with the method to show child pages dropping down from the header parent pages?

    Seems to really limit the theme, well for me anyways!

    Love the theme otherwise and I am busy 'tweaking' it! Will donate once making a dollar or two for sure!
    Many thanks

  2. Nov 28th, 2009 7:47 AM

    I use this theme and I love it! I am having trouble placing my Aweber opt-in box in the right sidebar. Since there are two right-sidebars, my opt-in box is too wide. How can I install my opt-in box at the top of the left right-sidebar and push everything else down below the opt-in box?

    I would also like to know how to adjust my tagline. I would the tagline text to start closer to the left margin so I can see all of my text.


  3. Nov 25th, 2009 10:38 PM

    I love this theme! It has been easy to work with and is just so lovely! I upgraded to 2.86 (I think) and when I try to login I get a blank screen. Could this be an incompatibility issue? I'd rather downgrade than lose this theme!

  4. Nov 14th, 2009 8:54 PM
  5. Nov 12th, 2009 2:56 PM

    thank you very much for the awesome theme!
    I love it!

  6. Oct 30th, 2009 10:28 PM

    I have been trying to change the rotating photos without success. I have followed the above instructions because I want my photos to sit within the original frame however when I paste my own photos to the template, all I see is my photo and no frame regardless of what size I make my photos. What am I missing here? Thanks. It's a great theme.

    • Oct 30th, 2009 10:35 PM

      Hey Marcus,

      If and when you find a resolution to your image issue, pass along the note would ya? I also would like to change the default images to mirror my blog's social media focus, but haven't been able to get the code right.


      J. Neil Ferree

      • Oct 31st, 2009 3:16 AM

        Hi Neil,

        I managed to make it work!! I used the alternative method. Go to "Preparing rotating images" above and download the instructions by Sven Niemetz. Just follow exactly what he says to do. Hope it works for you. Shout if I can be of any more help. If a "code idiot" like me can get it right, you will too!


  7. Oct 21st, 2009 9:39 PM

    I only can say - this theme is great. I use it on one hobby-blog of mine, it's about trucks and truckers driving into the orient (I'm not sure if I can place a link here, so I won't).

    the slideshow in the header is an awesome idea.

    Thanks for that outstanding theme,


  8. Oct 18th, 2009 5:54 AM

    I'm in love with this design. I wanna used this in one of my blog. I'm downloading it now! Thanks for sharing this free design. Cheers!

  9. Sep 22nd, 2009 7:56 AM

    Amazing theme you have there. I've used it before and it was one of the best ones to customize around with. Highly recommend to everyone!

  10. Sep 15th, 2009 6:29 PM

    Hey Vladimir,

    It would be excellent if you were to make the COMMENTS element in the AG theme become more prominent so that I could engage my readers more.

    The current "comment" link seems to be more down played in this theme than in some others I've been looking at.

    Any plans to do this in the near future?


    Neil Ferree

  11. Aug 29th, 2009 1:31 PM

    Is there going to be an update to the theme soon?

  12. Aug 19th, 2009 7:02 AM

    Absolutely awesome theme for travel blogs. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Aug 11th, 2009 4:42 PM

    i like this theme..soon i will try it..thx a lot^^

  14. Dave T
    Aug 7th, 2009 8:19 PM


    Thanks for this excellent theme!!
    I am having the same problem as Ekios (2 Jan 09) with a horixonal line showing in Firefox.

    Has anyone worked out why this is happening or how to fix it?


  15. Jul 27th, 2009 8:34 AM

    The best free theme that suits my purposes that I have found.
    Readily accepts plugins and widgets are extensive.


    Has comprehensive documentation.

  16. Chris
    Jul 27th, 2009 4:59 AM

    Hi Walentine, The same problem with you ,but ravel out . In the file: style.css change width=153px; to width=149px; OK....

  17. Walentine
    Jul 20th, 2009 12:47 AM


    I love this theme but when you watch the page in Internet Explorer you can only see one collum. in chrome and firefox there are two sidebars to the left, but only one in IE, whats the problem?
    To bad, beacouse other this theme is awesome

  18. Jul 18th, 2009 2:00 AM


    I use this theme for my family blog. It's great! However, since I've updated to WordPress 2.8.1 things have started breaking, starting with not being able to use Settings=>Media tool to resize the "fullsize" option for my images. Any chance of making an update anytime soon?


  19. Jul 17th, 2009 10:34 PM

    Great job !
    Thanks again for the free template.

  20. Jul 15th, 2009 4:44 AM

    I just stumbled across a blog that looked interesting, and I noticed the theme looked awesome and had a lot of features. She had the name of the theme/creator, but no link to the theme, so I had to search to find it. Going to use it now, thanks for making it!

  21. Jul 10th, 2009 8:30 AM

    koxp indir download thnx.

  22. Jul 8th, 2009 10:35 AM

    Solid theme, I absolutely love it. It also loads incredibly fast and is simple / straight forward. I'm using it on one of my smaller blogs.

  23. Jul 4th, 2009 2:55 PM

    I have this theme on one of my blogs. The load time is extremely wonderful. I recommend it.

  24. myter
    Jul 4th, 2009 3:09 AM
  25. May
    Jul 3rd, 2009 1:55 PM

    Hello Vladimir

    I absolutely love your theme, and I want to use it for my blog, but I realize that the pictures do not show up when I browse on opera,safari and chrome.

    Does it mean that Amazing theme is not compatible with any of the above stated browsers or I need to adjust my settings.


    Anxiously waiting for you reply

Have your say

You must be logged in to post a comment.