I thought I will never be doing this, but looking at the popularity of this Neoclassical Theme mod, I think I owe it to those who are using it to have it upgraded a little with WordPress 2.9 features. Frankly, in my opinion, the 2 visible features added to the latest version of WordPress do not serve a hell lot of purpose, but since it is part of the deal, well….

For those using the old version you can just download the new copy and upload in the usual way. I have given it a new name so it won’t overwrite any of your old files, just in case you prefer your old copy. The old copy has been discontinued, so for new users, only the new version is available.


Though it can be still considered 2 column, this new version has 3 widgetized sidebars as I have split the right sidebar into 2.

Sidebar1 is the top rectangular box which you can use to insert the popular 125px block Ads, use it with a text widget as your About or Profile summary or in any way you see fit. If you are using it as text you have to include html tags for breaks and paragraphs. It can accommodate anything up to the size of 300px wide.

Sidebar2 is the narrow sidebar on the left of the main sidebar. It has a width of 130px and can be used for horizontal banner ads of 120 pixels or whatever you deem fit. You can also use it for a single column 125 Ads block.

Sidebar3 is the similar one on the right.

Post Thumbnails

The new version includes the latest WP 2.9 feature which allows you to have thumbnail images for your homepage. Thumbnails are best if you use post excerpts in your front page. I have said that this feature is not very versatile if you prefer different image sizes for your Homepage like what you see here as the parameters of the thumbnails are fixed and cannot be changed for individual post. In this version, I have fixed the thumbnail images at 100 x 100 pixels with frames and aligned permanently to the left.

To use this feature, instead of using the “Insert Image” in your post editor, use the “Set Thumbnail” located at the bottom right of your “Add new Post” page. Clicking on that will bring up the same window which you use for inserting images. After uploading your image, choose the use as thumbnail option. The front page will display the thumbnail and your single post will display the default image size. Some days this feature does not work. Please don’t ask me why as I do not use it anyway. :-)

No Sidebars page

I have added a page template that has no sidebars. It is to be used for your About page, Your Privacy Policy Page or whatever pages you want that has no need for displaying the sidebar to distract readers from the contents.

To use the template. After writing your page (not post) , choose the “No-Sidebars” Template under Attributes in your right hand sidebar.

Image Frames

You can frame your image by adding the word, ‘frame’ to the class alignment after you have uploaded your image. Like this:

class="aligncenter frame

Customizing the Theme.

All customizations should be done in the custom css file. This way, you will not screw up the original file and should anything go wrong, you can delete whatever you have added in the customs css file and everything will revert back to the original.

To use the custom css file all you need to add is dot custom followed by the div and attributes you want to change. For those whose server does not automatically set your files to writable, log in to your server and set the customs css file permissions to 666.

Some mods that you might want to do, All these codes can be copied and pasted into your custom css file:

To Replace Header Image

Make your new header image to the size of 820px wide by 180px wide. Save it as “header.jpg”. Log in to your server, open the images folder for the Theme, then upload the new image. It will overwrite the old one.

Changing the Content fonts and font sizes : This will change the fonts to Verdana

.custom #content {font-family : Verdana; font-size: 10px;}

Sidebar colors: This will set the sidebar colors to grey

.custom #content_box {background : #ddd}
.custom #content {background: #fff}

Content background: This will change the color of your contents background:

.custom #content_inner {background: #eee;}

Titles and Post titles: This will change the looks and size of all your titles. If you want to keep the original looks of any H tags, just remove the said tags.

h1, h2, h3, h4 .custom {font-family: Verdana; font-weight: normal; font-size: 20px;}

Sidebar Titles: This will change the background colors of the sidebar titles

.custom .sidebar h2 {background: #eee;}

Top Navigation: This will change the background colors and remove borders of the the top navigation bar

.custom ul#nav li {background: #fff; border: none;}

Some special classes

To have text with a blue background, use the ‘blue’ class:

<p class="blue"> All your text here </p>

Also available are yellow background. Use the word ‘yellow’ as the class attribute.

Better looking Nested Comments

This new version has better looking nested comments with child comments neatly boxed up insode the parent comment. Comments by authors also have a different color tone.

To enable this feature, you must have ‘Enable threaded (nested) comments’ checked in your Settings- Discussions page.


The header image size for this new version is 820px wide by 180 pixel high. The width cannot be changed. The height can vary.

To replace the header image, just replace the header image in the images folder with one of the suitable width. If your image is higher than 180 pixels, change the height accordingly in the custom css file.

Using the WP125 Plugin for the top sidebox.

Download the WP125 plugin in your Admin panel by going to Plugins – Add New. Type in “WP125″ in the search form . Install directly then activate the plugin.

After activation, scroll down the left sidebar of your Admin page and locate Ads.

Settings –

Ad Orientation – 2 columns
Number of Ad Slots – Up to your own preference.
Fill in other options or leave the default settings.
Save Changes.

Add/Edit –

Name – Name your Ad for your own reference
Slot – Start with 1 and go from there. Each Ad should have a different slot number. If you have 10 Ads then it will be from 1 to 10
Target URL – The url where the click will lead to. Normally this will be your Affiliate link.
Ad Image – The image source. For banner Ads, it’s the url after the “img src” tag
Click Save Ad

Manage Ads –

Where you manage your Ads.

To display your Ads in the Sidebox, just drag the WP125 widget into Sidebar1.

Homepage Excerpts

This Theme comes with excerpts in the homepage. The default WordPress settings strips all images and html tags for the excerpts. To improve this, use the “Fancy Excerpt” plugin.

Same as above, use the Plugins – Add new function in your Admin panel to have it directly installed. Remember to activate after installation.

If you prefer to display Full Contents in your front page. After activating the Theme, Go – Appearance – Editor – Main Index Template (index.php) Look for this line:

<?php the_excerpt('[Read more &rarr;]'); ?>

Replace with this:

<?php the_content('[Read more &rarr;]'); ?>

I hope I did not leave out anything. If you find anything funny or buggy, please let me know. By the way, I have tested the theme in Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, Chrome and Safari. All works fine.

Sorry I do not have a working demo at present but if anyone who have used the Theme and would like to showcase your modified design, do drop me a comment and I will link your blog here. Good way to get a link from a PR4 blog, no?


Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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