Ahimsa for WordPress
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Ahren Code’s Ahimsa is a set of styles/themes which started out as a WordPress theme. This page relates to the WordPress theme. You can also download:

This WordPress theme doesn’t need screenshots, since it’s the very theme you see on this site! It’s an extremely amateur effort (especially in the sense of the principles of UI design) but I am putting it out into the world anyway, in the unlikely case that someone might find it interesting.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with this theme subscribe to this blog, or follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also click on the Bug Tracker link to file bugs or feature requests against this theme.



Ahimsa supports skins — CSS stylesheets that can be created and modified using the Ahimsa Options page of the Admin section of your blog. Skins can be used to customise the colour scheme of the theme to your liking.

You can even share your skin with other users. Upload the skin file (it can be found in the directory skins under the theme directory) to a site of your liking (I recommend Dropbox) and send me a link, or contact me via email and I can host the file for you. I will then provide download links in this page for each of these skins. If you plan to use such a user contributed skin, please note that I do not provide any sort of assurance on their contents, nor can I support them (sorry).

Custom Styling

If a skin doesn’t go far enough for you, and you are a CSS ninja who wants more control and detail, all you need to do is create a file called custom.css in the theme directory, in which you can add any styles you desire. And when you upgrade Ahimsa, this file is left alone, so your customisations are safe.

Custom Footer

Those little snippets of JavaScript and other code that sites like Google Analytics wants you to add to your site — typically you add them to your footer (though for Google Analytics there is a great plugin) and then when you upgrade/update your theme you lose them. To avoid that, you can create a file called footer-custom.php and put all such code in there. This file is automatically included in the footer by Ahimsa and is never touched by it. Just make sure your update process doesn’t nuke this file, if you have added customisations to it!


This theme is released under the latest version of the GPL (currently v3), whichever that may be at the time of your use. For the GPL, see: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html.You are free to use this theme for any purpose you choose, in a manner that conforms to the GPL. I would like you to leave the attribution at the bottom of the theme, but you are not required to do so.


Visit the WordPress site for detailed and authoritative instructions on installing themes. For the impatient: it is usually as simple as extracting the archive and copying the directory (“ahimsa”) into your WordPress installation directory under wp-contents/themes.


This is by no means a “best practices”, complete or feature-rich theme. At some point, I hope it will be. In particular, you may wish to note the below:

  • The theme is intended to be bold yet pleasing. YMMV! ;-) It was built, like many other themes, by hacking the default. A cursory look at the contents will demonstrate the rather shallow understanding of the CSS and PHP involved. I hope to clean up most of that in future releases, if there is interest in this theme.
  • The theme uses rounded-borders using Mozilla/Gecko and WebKit/KHTML/Safari/Chrome specific CSS attributes. I could use the CSS3 border-radius attribute, and I probably will, but it won’t help much since IE does not support it anyway.
  • Ahimsa can be taken to mean “non-violence”.

If you like this theme, or especially if you decide to use it, please consider rating it at WordPress.org.


Some links to translations of Ahimsa into other languages:

PLEASE NOTE: these translations are not created or tested by me, but are the work of other Ahimsa users in the spirit of extending free software. I am grateful that they found Ahimsa worth the trouble of translating.


371 Responses  
  • Ahren Code » Blog Archive » Download: Ahimsa 0.4 writes:

    […] Ahimsa is the WordPress theme that adorns this site. If you would like a copy of it, click below! […]

    • Zoe writes:

      I would just like to compliment and thank the author of this theme. Yours is the ONLY one that suits my needs as a novice web developer, who has yet to delve into the world of CSS. And even if I could design my own site from scratch, I really can’t imagine executing anything much better than this! It’s very flexible and customizable, even for a noobie like me ^_^ I will be sure to give it a high rating, and please, keep making new ones…

      Oh, and you should stop by my site, http://specieshanginthebalance.com! The animals need all the PR they can get ;)

      • ravi writes:

        Zoe, thank you very much for your comments. I couldn’t agree more on animals needing help. Or at least less hindrance from us!

  • Ahimsa - Free 1/2 column fluid WP theme | WPStart.org - WordPress themes, plugins and news writes:

    […] Ahimsa — basic colours, low graphics, minimal distractions, with rounded corners in Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome. Lots of changes for version 2.0 such as a collapsible sidebar. See all features here […]

    • mobi writes:

      Hi Ravi,

      Could you tell me, what kind of plugin do you have for reply button in comment that suitable with your theme? What other plugins can you recommend? Thank you.

      • ravi writes:

        Hello mobi, I do not use a plugin for the reply button. Are you looking for one with some specific features? Can you elaborate? Also are you asking me for recommendations on any other plugins, or specifically for Reply? Apologies for my confusion.

        • Chameleon writes:

          Hi Ravi;
          I don’t know about mobi, but one the reasons I love the layout [of the more or less 50-65 total reasons] is because of the reply being obviously accessible. The people I’m [re]doing a blog for, need the simplest and most obvious possible navigation, and this certainly suits this situation. I saw another plugin for a reply, but yours is quite sophisticated and very cool. They keep asking me to simplify the blog I’d put up [basic WP layout, a couple of simple plugins], then took off the menu [at their request to take the blog down, I knew they’d change their minds]and now they want it up again. I looked at both the theme code and your code and can see you have it very personalised so that the ‘Leave a Reply’ box appears under the related comment/reply, whereas, for instance, the ‘Comment Toolbar’ plugin moves [anchors] you to the normal “leave a Reply’. Yours is FAR Superior.

          I may be able to actualize it if it’s possible for you to tell me what the inclusions are in the ‘href=’ of the ‘postmetadata replybuttonbox’ div. If that’s not possible, could you recommend any plugin that does about the same thing? If you can’t, I’ll use the ‘Comment Toolbar’and play around with it on my own test site.

          Thanks for all your Great work and kind generosity.

          • ravi writes:

            Chameleon, apologies this one slipped my notice. Are you still looking for help? Sorry.

            • Chameleon writes:

              Thanks Ravi for responding, but I must have fixed it, because I don’t even know now what the problem was that I was talking about then. Following whatever it is I’d done to fix it..I’d then become obsessed with skinning the layout in various combinations.

              Thanks for this whole wonderful theme, but most of all for the acceptance and incorporation of ‘ahisma’ into the top of the list in my mental dictionary of “First Thoughts To Use on Any Occasion”. Without you being there I wouldn’t have this effective minute by minute reminder.


              • ravi writes:

                Chameleon, glad to hear it is resolved. And I am happy to have had a small part in adding the idea of “ahimsa” to your thoughts.

    • Anonymous writes:

      basic colours, low graphics, minimal distractions, with rounded corners in Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome.

      Very nice job, Ravi, but I don’t see rounded corners in Opera 10 (Linux/Ubuntu).

      • ravi writes:

        Sorry about the Opera claim. I removed it in Ahimsa 2.2. Opera unfortunately does not support any version of border-radius, even in the latest version.

    • Hans writes:

      basic colours, low graphics, minimal distractions, with rounded corners in Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome.

      Nice job, Ravi, but I don’t see rounded corners in Opera 10 (Linux/Ubuntu)

  • CivicSurf » Cllr James Cousins on blogging writes:

    […] Azyan is conducting some research into Local Government and Social Media.  On her beautifully themed blog she has just posted an interview with Cllr James Cousins about his blog.  It is well worth a […]

  • Ahimsa WordPress Theme | Themelicious writes:

    […] Ahimsa Theme is unique in the way the sidebar is displayed – it is able to collapse by clicking on the […]

  • Ahimsa | Wordpress Themes writes:

    […] Author: ravisarma […]

  • A Red and orange wordpress theme by ravisarma-Free WordPress Themes | Wordpress Themes Database writes:

    […] Name: Ahimsa Theme URI: http://ahren.org/code/ahimsa Description: Ahimsa — basic colours, low graphics, minimal distractions, collapsible sidebar, […]

  • This is a new text « LA Style - Los Angeles Dance Style ??????? ????? writes:

    […] Nice video. ????? ????????? – ?????????? […]

  • nesnomis.org » Blog Archive » Hemsidans utseende!? writes:

    […] from the theme authors hemsida: The theme uses rounded-borders using Mozilla/Gecko and WebKit/KHTML/Safari/Chrome specific CSS […]

  • Matt Mullenweg writes:

    WOW wonderfull,magnificent and absolutely majestic

  • imran writes:

    thanks for this. it has helped me alot.

  • My Programming Journal » Blog Archive » A Dream Come True For Code Bloggers writes:

    […] The way to get WordPress ready for Code Blogging: Download Code Snippet addon Use Ahimsa theme […]

  • Kieran writes:

    I love the theme and am trying it out for my new website. However, I really want a 3 column site and see that your site using Ahimsa looks like a 3 column version. Is it possible to add that flexibility? Or do you have that coming? If so, I’d REALLY love to have it.

    • ravi writes:

      Kieran, no my site is two-column, not three. And I am afraid no 3-column in the near future. I will investigate it around version 3.0 timeframe (at least 4-5 months from now).

      • dustdevil writes:

        In reference to the 3 column theme post.
        I would not be interested in 3 columns but and I think I am right here why not move the sidebar to the right column or at least give an option to do that. My reasoning on this thought is I believe that search engine spiders start reading a page on the left and if you are blogging with this theme you want those spiders to find your posts easy.
        Moving beyond that the theme rocks and the colors offer the user a little eye candy and the load time is actually very fast as the eye candy is done by code and not images.
        Keep up the good work on this great theme!

        • ravi writes:

          Dustdevil, apologies for the late response. I see your reasoning and I had actually hoped to get multiple sidebar support in this release — the changes are well known at this point — but I just didn’t have the time. They will be out in a month or so. Regarding just moving the sidebar to the right: it’s not a totally trivial change since the sidebar tab has to be moved and styled as well, and that’s a bit tricky. There is an issue/bug filed for this (http://github.com/ahrencode/Ahimsa-for-WP/issues#issue/18) and I would appreciate any comments/thoughts. You can use this bug to track the status as well.

  • Nik writes:

    Wow, Ahren, I feel in love with Ahimsa at first sight! Fresh, spacious, original — many thanks for sharing.

    Love from Germany!

  • Patrick writes:

    Hi Ahren – I think this is an excellent theme. In the past the themes I have used have been very minimalist and generally I do not like the heavily designed themes, but this is the first design I really like.

    I love the fact that it is flexible and loads very fast with good CSS.

    Thank you!

  • Ahimsa - rig på farver og tilpasningsmuligheder « WP - tips, temaer og plugins writes:

    […] Download dansk Ahimsa her: Ahimsa (0) Websteder: Engelsk udgave på WordPress.org og på udviklerens hjemmeside. […]

  • El Libro Maquero » Blog Archive » Ahimsa 2.2 en español writes:

    […] Substancia: WordPress   »  Estilo: Ahren Ahimsa © Mario A. […]

  • JYO writes:


    I saw your templates..look great! I wonder if it possible to edit the top header by putting my own logo in it? and how? Thanks.


  • ravi writes:

    Imran, Nik, Patrick, thank you for your comments.

    JYO, you will have to go to your Admin section and choose Appearance -> Theme Editor to edit “header.php” and add the HTML code to insert your logo image. If you need further help, please contact me (http://ahren.org/code/contact).

  • David writes:

    I went searching for a new theme and I Love this one! It’s simple and doesnt distract from the content, while being nice to look at. I’m going to tweak it a bit to match my style, but overall nice look.

  • Geek Fu » Blog Archive » Web Nerds PLS HALP writes:

    […] this webby stuff is totally not the form of nerd I speak. See the theme I have on this blog? Ahisma. I LOVE it — BUT. Well, not the colors, but I can change colors. What I hate is that bar on […]

  • Die unsichtbare Bibliothek » Blog Archive » Schöner, bunter, besser! writes:

    […] unsichtbare Bibliothek hat einen neuen Look. Das neue Theme heißt “Ahimsa” und ersetzt das bisher verwendete Theme “Round and Round“. Ahimsa greift die […]

  • Robert writes:

    #comment-number not work?

    Example: http://ahren.org/code/ahimsa#comment-1974

    • ravi writes:

      Robert, I think this may be fixed now — the above link works. Can you let me know? Thank you. (apologies for delayed response).

  • Rudra writes:

    The tempalate is great! I use it on my blog,now. Is there anyway that I can show the pages?
    Thanks a lot, Ravi!

    • ravi writes:

      Rudra, you can use the widget system to add a Pages widget to your sidebar. Is that what you are looking for? Thank you for the comments.

  • David writes:

    ok, la verdad este es el theme mas espectacular que he podido enconttrar ya que combina muy bien los colores y ademas que no se desvia la atencion del contenido principal, sobre todo que es muy llamativo

  • Tomi » Blog Archive » Wordpress templates writes:

    […] Tove Michaelsen 2008 »  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa […]

  • Axman6 writes:

    Hi there, I found this theme on the wordpress theme site, and was very impressed, and I’ve decided to use it for my blog. I’m also considering using it as the home page for my website as well, so I’ve got a consistent theme, and because I like it so much.

    Thanks for the great work.

    — Axman

  • Jay writes:

    Hi Ahren,

    Great template, it’s perfect for a new client. The 1st character of any post or page content is markedly different than the rest of the text, and I couldn’t readily understand how to identify it in CSS params (at least in stylesheet.css) to tweak it. Even in FireBug… ;-(

    How/where do I control the first character?



    • ravi writes:


      look at the style sheet (style.css) in the Theme Editor and edit this section:

        .entry > P:first-child:first-letter                                                                                           
            color: #662222;
            font-size: larger;

      You can either remove it or modify it to your preference.

  • Gallery / Blog: Harrison Wheeler « heuristicmedia.com writes:

    […] chose a WordPress installation that uses the Ahimsa theme by Ravi Sarma and the NextGEN Gallery plug-in by Alex […]

  • Don Epi writes:

    I know it´s a dumb question, but I can´t resolve it (I´m a rookie about this):

    How can I change the font size? I mean, the size of the posts characters, the main font, you know… I´ve been trying a lot but I can´t.

    Sorry and thanks for all.

    • ravi writes:

      Don, the font-size is inherited from the BODY element. You can edit the stylesheet (Admin section -> Appearance -> Editor and choose “Stylesheet” (style.css)) and change the part for BODY { }, or you can add a new entry like this:

          font-size: medium;
  • Annik Rubens writes:

    Hi there, I also use the template for my blog for learners of the German language. Today I installed a phpBB-Forum and now there is the big question on how to implement the forum into the layout – or rather the other way around. If anybody else solved the problem (I know how to do it, but it is soooo much work) – let me know! Thanks for your work, the design is great and really something different!

    • ravi writes:

      Annik, do you mean that you want to Ahimsa styling for phpBB? Sorry for my confusion and also for the late response.

  • Kadoma writes:

    I really like your funny and clear theme :-)

    One sidebar its a good option for me. But I have to manage 10 and more pages. So do u plane to add drop menu at the top of your theme? If this happens I could use space of the side bar to put useful widgets.

    Thanks for your great work.

    • ravi writes:

      Hello, unfortunately I do not have plans for a top menu. But perhaps you can find a plugin that provides that feature? Thank you for your comment.

  • » Blog Archive » 7 8 9…… 10! writes:

    […] team for the site framework. Not to mention, (Ravi Sarma) for our blogs original template (Ahren Code’s). We’re pretty sure there are many more people to thank in our future.  Hope to meet you all […]

  • » Blog Archive » 7 8 9 … 10! writes:

    […] team for the site framework. Not to mention, (Ravi Sarma) for our blogs original template (Ahren Code’s). We’re pretty sure there are many more people to thank in our future.  Hope to meet you all […]

  • guido waldenmeier writes:

    perfect ;)
    as an artist i love this colorfull theme
    real good job done

  • Paul writes:

    Hi Ravi,
    Nice theme. I am testing it for a new project and love the simplicity but stonrg impact. You did a great job.
    Anyway I can get the corners rounded in IE? Any simple fix for that??
    Thanks a bunch!!

    • ravi writes:

      Thank you Paul. As for rounded corners in IE, I made a lot of effort trying out as many as five different JavaScript plugins or tools to make it happen but the behaviour was erratic, especially with my DHTML elements. There is some support for rounded corners in some boxes/bubbles in the 3.0 version of my theme, but I am not sure how much further I can push this without resorting to the old trick of using images (which I really would like to avoid).

  • Winslow writes:

    I would like to thank you for this beautiful theme. I’m working with it right now (http://leetunderground.patricklucas.com/blog) and it is a pleasure to do so. The code is clear, effective, and modern, leaving plenty of room for modification and customization. The default is, to say the least, clean and usable. It has been some time since I have been truly impressed, nay, floored, by a WordPress theme, but yours is deserving. Thank you, and keep up the good work!

  • Robert Wetzlmayr writes:

    May I drag your attention to the fact that the site once hosting the German translation, http://www.kickasslog.com/, is now held by a domain squatter?

  • Josh Betz writes:

    I love this theme.

  • Mankato PC Solutions Website Design writes:

    Love the colorful theme. I am installing this right now…

  • subnoto::indico » Blog Archive » New blog theme…a work in progress writes:

    […] experimenting with a new theme. I like this one quite a bit. (You can find information on it here.) I’m working on customizing it. There also seems to be a stylesheet problem for comments in […]

  • thebackground.org » Blog Archive » Podcast #16 writes:

    […] up to record again real soon. And the blog is finally looking pretty and functional, thanks to Ahren Code’s Ahisma WordPress […]

  • Ahren Code » Blog Archive » At long last: Ahimsa 3.0 for WP writes:

    […] Ahimsa for WordPress […]

  • El Libro Maquero » Ahimsa 3.0 en español writes:

    […] La versión original de Ahimsa se consigue en la página de Ahren Code. […]

  • Thomas writes:

    I love the colors etc, but what about a search results page with the list and just a few lines for each article instead of the whole article?

  • Paul writes:

    Thanks Ravi, for a very impressive theme. I think rounded boxes look very professional. I have installed this on a test site, but would like to several mods. I can’t seem to figure out how to do them.

    Remove collapsible side bar
    remove search box
    remove site and comments feeds
    Place my own logo in upper part of rounded box extending all the way across.

    any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • ravi writes:

      Paul, in case I did not respond to your email to me on the above, apologies, and here are some suggestions:

      * You can turn off the collapsible sidebar using the Ahimsa Options in your dashboard.

      * To remove the search box, edit the theme (Dashboard -> Appearance -> Editor) and edit header.php and remove the table cell (TD) including the enclosed HTML for the search box. A simpler alternative is to edit the stylesheet (or create a custom.css stylesheet) and add:

      display: none;

      By “site and comment feeds” do you mean the links in the black semi-transparent bar at the top?

      For placing an image/logo in the header please see this blog post:

  • Mikele writes:

    Thanks Ravi for your wonderful theme!
    Sorry but I m not able to change font size in the post field. I have already edit Body and .entry in the css file but anything is changed…

    • ravi writes:

      Hello Mikele, thank you for your comment. You can create a file called
      \”custom.css\” in the ahimsa theme directory and add your customisations
      there. For changing post content font size, your use of class \”.entry\”
      is correct and should work. Can you contact me via email (code @
      ah….org) so I can figure out why its not working for you? Actually,
      I just checked your site. It seems that you changed the properties for
      \”.entry\”, but the font settings for it are further below in the
      style.css CSS file in the selector \”.entry, .commenttext\”, and that
      later setting is over-riding your change. However, if you add your
      change to custom.css that will over-ride any setting in style.css.

  • Paul writes:

    Thanks Ravi, for a very impressive theme. I think rounded boxes look very professional. I have installed this on a test site, but would like to several mods. I can’t seem to figure out how to do them.

    Remove collapsible side bar
    remove search box
    remove site and comments feeds
    Place my own logo in upper part of rounded box extending all the way across.

    any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • ravi writes:

      Paul, thank you for your comment. I can certainly help you with all of
      these. Placing a header logo is covered in this blog post: http://ahren.org/code/bit/how-to-add-an-image-in-
      . I assume you want to remove the ability to collapse i.e., get rid of
      the tab? Let me know. All the others are easy to do as well and can be
      done using custom.css. Please contact me via email. Thank you.

  • Mojtaba Cazi writes:

    Hi, Good Theme you created!
    I really need some button in header for page navigation, I create some for my own blog (http://cazisoft.com). I think it must be added to your theme! ;)

    • ravi writes:

      Hello Mojtaba,

      Thank you for your note. I do keep thinking of the page links but I am
      still unsure on how to design it… see my response to Khalid. I
      notice that you followed the \”bubble\” format I use which is definitely
      one interesting option. If you wish you can file a request at http://github.com/ahrencode/Ahimsa-for-WP/issues
      and I will update my progress there.

  • Khalid writes:

    Hello. Thank you for the great theme, I’ve used it for my website. Although I have two suggestions and notices:
    1. In each page there’s a box for the “Comments & RSS”, I think its place is wrong, and ’cause the lines to be messed up, it should be below the page or to have a feature to be able to hide it.
    2. I suggest adding pages to the top on the header, it’ll be so much better,

    Thank you

    • ravi writes:

      Hello Khalid,

      Thank you for your comment. I will consider an option to hide the top
      bar in future releases (if you wish, you can file a request at: http://github.com/ahrencode/Ahimsa-for-WP/issues)
      . I tested this layout on multiple browsers and did not notice any
      issues, but if you do have a screenshot I would love to see it so I
      can fix the problem.

      I do get requests to add pages at the top somewhere in the header… I
      am hesitant to do so for two reasons: (1) from a UI/design perspective
      I am not sure how to add such a block — I am not happy with doing it
      the way most sites do, but I cannot think of an alternative that would
      match my style, (2) what happens when a user has lots of pages?
      Wraparound of the page links would look quite bad, I think. But this
      is a feature that is requested not infrequently, so I will keep
      thinking of what might be possible here.

  • Sam writes:


    Im using your theme on one of my sites, and it is very good. I have just upgraded my wordpress to the latest version, and the sidebar has gone smaller, and wraps the links, instead of being fluid and being the correct size.

    Do you know what is causing this? And if there is a solution?


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