Harder Better Faster Stronger

Harder Better Faster Stronger (or HBFS to its friends) is a grid-based theme designed to give prominence to content from external sources (such as del.icio.us, flickr, etc) on the front page.

This theme is inspired by Khoi Vinh’s Subtraction 7.0 and Derek Powazek’s DePo Clean, but is an original work, apart from random code snippets cribbed from the WordPress website.

This theme is free, and contains no link-farming bullshit. It does contain a link back to this download page. If you use it, drop me a line and let me know.

Download “Harder Better Faster Stronger”


8 Jul 08: I have released a significant update to this theme. Major visible changes are a switch to the Helvetica typeface, a calendrical monthly archive view, gravatar support, and (I hope) a little more consistency and harmony.

Under the hood, quite a bit has changed. I have re-coded the CSS following the Blueprint CSS framework, but using custom metrics. I’ve added a number of custom functions to support this, as well as the calendrical monthly archive. It’s possible that there will be some bugs with this, although I haven’t encountered any yet.

07 Feb 08: This theme was originally written to take advantage of Ultimate Tag Warrior tags. UTW has been superseded by a native tagging feature introduced in WP 2.3. I’ve got support for native tagging working now, and need to insert those changes into this file.


Locate the directory themes/harder-better-faster-stronger/ in this distribution, and upload it to the directory wp-content/themes/ on your WordPress installation. Activate it from the Presentation tab in WordPress.

Optionally, you can install my customized del.icio.us widget: this is in plugins/widgets/ in this distribution, and should be uploaded to wp-content/plugins/widgets/ on your WordPress installation. Activate this from the Plugins tab in WordPress and then drag the widget into one of the theme’s sidebars (the theme is customized for this widget to be in Sidebar #1).


The theme has two sidebars for installing widgets: the fat bottom and the actual on-the-side sidebar. The fat bottom is sidebar #1. I am distributing a slightly hacked-up version of the del.icio.us widget (see in plugins/widgets/), and the stylesheet includes a few custom styles to make the flickrss, last.fm, and del.icio.us widgets look nice.


The theme includes Dan Benjamin’s image rotator script. I am including a few banners, extracted from photos I have taken myself. You are welcome to use them, but I encourage everyone to customize this theme by using their own images. Images should be cropped and scaled to 800 x 200 pixels.


The file “header.php” contains a list that is rendered as a navigation bar. You can enter hard-coded links to a few specific entries here. Out of the box, it includes a link to your blog’s root URL, the blog administrator’s e-mail. You are free to alter the list. The list should contain no more than six items.

If you want to show more entries in full on the front page, open the file “home.php” and edit the line
$posts = get_posts("numberposts=1");
You will also want to edit the line
$posts = get_posts("numberposts=5&offset=1");


HBFS is widget-ready (in fact, it is widget-oriented): if you are using the latest version of WordPress, widgets are already active. If you are running an older version, you may need to install the Widgets plugin.

See also

3 thoughts on “Harder Better Faster Stronger”

  1. Fascinating. I’m at a loss, I confess. The code that’s showing your posts backwards is exactly the same as what I’m running, which shows them going forwards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *