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Mortar – Binding your website together

Written by Mark Forrester on August 6, 2009 Blog.

Some theme launches here at WooThemes are hyped for weeks and weeks on Twitter and in our blog, others we silently and secretly work on and launch for our community as a nice little surprise. Mortar is one of those that I’ve been working on for a few weeks.

Built on an awesomely flexible grid structure that enables you to select how many columns you want on your home page and archives page and then arranges your posts according to their height and width using the JS Masonry layout plugin built by David DeSandro (Source code available here). The rest of the design is governed by the fabulous Grid 960 framework for easy modifications.

Default Style - 3 column layout selected
Default Style - 3 column layout selected

As is noticeable in the screenshots no space is left unused between post boxes and the posts don’t need to be equal heights like other WooThemes, making for a much more fluid, fun, collage-like layout. With an optional Twitter, Ad Banner and About module the home page can take any form you so desire.

City Life Style - With 'About' module enabled and 4 column layout
City Life Style - With 'About' module enabled and 4 column layout

The ‘City Life’ theme style is one of my favourite styles with a background image of a London city skyline I snapped a few months ago, with a layered semi-transparent grid over it highlighting its sharp edges and urban feel.

Pink Texture Style - 2 column layout selected
Pink Texture Style - 2 column layout selected

Enjoy building onto this theme’s flexible layout and we look forward to seeing some creative showcase submissions. As can be seen in the screenshots its usage could be limitless, a photographer’s portfolio/diary, a web designer’s showcase gallery or an online magazine for a publishing company.

As with all our themes we welcome your constructive feedback, but make sure you’ve had a good look around the demo and seen the sub-page layout of the blog posts, single pages and full-width content before judging this theme 🙂

The Challenge

mortar_wallpaper_1920x1200A special prize for those who have read to the bottom of this post. I’ve made a Mortar wallpaper for the release of this theme, it is a polished version of a photo I took here in London – which is a place filled with bricks and mortar!

The first 5 people that leave a comment with a link to a picture of them sitting in front of their computer, with the Mortar wallpaper apparent on their desktop, will each win a free standard package of this theme. Easy hey? Competition closed- winners announced below.

The wallpaper is available in 5 different sizes:

The winners are - Adam Kayce, Javier Zuloaga, WP Themes, Joe Botha, Prashant and Iain Broome.
Thanks for all the great entries. We had 6 quick submissions so we have rewarded one extra. The winners are - Adam Kayce, Javier Zuloaga, WP Themes, Joe Botha, Prashant and Iain Broome. Well done! Please email us with your account details, or desired username and password if you are not already a member, so that we can link you up with the Mortar theme.


47 Responses

  1. Adam Kayce
    August 6, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    Here ya go!

    • Mark Forrester
      August 6, 2009 at 9:49 am #

      Quick moving there Adam. Well done, I’ll link up the Mortar theme to your account asap.

      4 to go…

      • Adam Kayce
        August 6, 2009 at 10:08 am #

        Cool – I already have a Club subscription – but I did this hoping I could do some kind of giveaway or contest for my readers… is that cool?

        • Adii Rockstar
          August 6, 2009 at 10:18 am #

          Yep, go for it! 🙂

          Just send us the winner’s name & e-mail addy and we’ll hook them up!

  2. Javier Zuloaga
    August 6, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Here’s mine. Webcam broken , took me some extra time…

    Very nice theme! I’m sure it’s worth the 70 bucks, and not just the picture…

  3. Michael
    August 6, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    I’ve already got a subscrip. so I’ll let someone else snag the theme, but this is EXACTLY what I’d been looking for. Great theme! So excited!

  4. WP Themes
    August 6, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    Here’s the Wallpaper uploaded to my site.

    • Mark Forrester
      August 6, 2009 at 10:04 am #

      We want to see our users in front of their computers sporting the wallpaper. Not just a copy of the wallpaper. You still have time so act fast! 🙂

      • WP Themes
        August 6, 2009 at 11:19 am #

        Sorry.. I have updated it.

        In defense.. the instruction was clear on having wallpaper displayed.


  5. Joe
    August 6, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I have some interesting things to try with this one.

  6. Prashant
    August 6, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    • Adii Rockstar
      August 6, 2009 at 10:31 am #

      You use your PC much!? 🙂 Look at all them dust…

    • Magnus Jepson
      August 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

      Get the dustbuster out Prashant! 🙂

      • Prashant
        August 6, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

        Sigh…well, I shall be posting a pic again with a cleaner workplace!

  7. Prashant
    August 6, 2009 at 10:33 am #


    • Adii Rockstar
      August 6, 2009 at 10:40 am #

      Hehe, that’s cryptic.

      And btw… Mark will contact you to get your copy of Mortar when he’s back! 🙂

      • Prashant
        August 6, 2009 at 10:42 am #

        Ok, cool..thank you.

  8. Iain Broome
    August 6, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Here I am:

  9. Marc
    August 6, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    Me here 🙂

  10. JohnONolan
    August 6, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    DAMN. Too slow.

  11. Schaeffer Somers
    August 6, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    Love the theme–had been looking at Grid-A-Licious as an aggregator for a network of blogs. Infinite Scroll could be an interesting option to paginated views. A little disappointed I don’t have a home page widgets to configure.

    A quick try out with Twitter option on seems to make for a really long load. Your own demo page seems a little slow as well.

    A great starting point all things considered.

  12. Martin
    August 6, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Very nice theme, well done Woo!

  13. Bob Dunn
    August 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    Shoot, missed it. Twitter being sporadic and my timing was off!

  14. Magnus Jepson
    August 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm #


    • Mark Forrester
      August 7, 2009 at 5:41 am #

      Sorry your too late mate 🙂

  15. ithemesdotnet
    August 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Very cool theme and concept! Good job, Woo!

  16. Schaeffer Somers
    August 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    spent the day exploring the new theme. i think it needs widget fields on the home page. it’s very cool though.

    • Adii Rockstar
      August 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

      Widgets for?

      • Schaeffer Somers
        August 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

        It seems like there’s an opportunity to use the grid-based containers for both posts and ads. Ad fields might be fixed and aligned to the right for example, but might occupy similar widgetized containers as the posts.

        You are really close to creating a Buddypress type home page, but because you don’t have an widget real estate, there’s no way to install Site Wide Activity, Site Wide Posts, and Members widgets from the Buddypress plugins list to make it brutally easy.

        As an aside one of the interesting things about grid-a-licious implementations (like is the number of columns, so you might want to offer the option to go really wide. These sites often have the Infinite Scroll js installed.

  17. Sarah Gooding
    August 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    Sorry it’s blurry!

    • Mark Forrester
      August 7, 2009 at 4:52 am #

      Hi Sarah, can’t see the image I’m afraid – it says we need to logged in to view it 🙁

  18. Premium Theme Info
    August 7, 2009 at 1:36 am #

    Nice and amazing, love it too much!!

  19. Iain Broome
    August 7, 2009 at 4:57 am #

    This is all very exciting. It looks like I’m in the first five (huzzah!) – when will the winners be announced?

  20. Mark Forrester
    August 7, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    Thanks for all the submissions guys. The winners have been announced above –

    Stay tuned to the blog for more fun giveaways!

    • Prashant
      August 7, 2009 at 5:37 am #

      Hey Mark,

      to which email ID should I email to?

      • Mark Forrester
        August 7, 2009 at 5:39 am #

        info at woothemes dot com 🙂

        • Prashant Karandikar
          August 7, 2009 at 5:45 am #


  21. Prashant
    August 7, 2009 at 5:33 am #


  22. Joe Botha
    August 7, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    Awesome! Thanks Guys.

  23. Michael Wincott
    August 8, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    I love this theme. As soon as Antisocial is available too I’ll pay my $70!

    • Adii Rockstar
      August 10, 2009 at 1:46 am #

      Awesome stuff! 🙂 Antisocial should be available next month.

  24. Željan
    August 9, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    @Mark – You’re a genious man, thumbs up.

  25. fas
    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    This theme rocks, but could have had more options.

    • Magnus Jepson
      October 1, 2009 at 11:17 am #

      Care to tell us what options you’d like?