Soleil Theme for WordPress

Soleil screenshot

The Soleil theme for WordPress was based on the original creation and colors by designer Carrie Petri for other blog systems. I just mixed the PHP code and some technical ideas thowards what a blog system should be.

Althought it looks really good, Soleil is way more than eye candy. It is unique due to this main features:

  1. Localized on demand
    The blog generic control strings will appear in visitor’s language that he set on his browser. Also, all blog-specific strings as category names, post titles and personal links may have hooks for personal localizations. See bellow how to activate this feature.
  2. Widgetized sidebar
    Soleil provides all its sidebar content as widgets. If you use the WordPress Widget Plugin, you’ll be able to visually rearrange the sidebar and also visually use more widgets from a vast network of developers.
  3. Very friendly to feed readers
    Every aspect of a Soleil blog provides clear and intuitive links and icons to its feed version. Categories archive pages, comments, list of categories on the sidebar, etc. Browse my blog to see what I’m talking about.

All artwork was completely redrawed in CAD systems and in Draw to improve images quality. The vector files are included.

Other benefits of this theme are:

  1. Shiny and vibrant colors, thanks to Carrie.
  2. Certified to work on Firefox 2, IE 6 and Konqueror. This gives a clue it will look good in any other browser.
  3. Efficient, yet well balanced use of the entire screen.
  4. Intuitive icons for reply, trackback, blog, post and category feeds, etc.
  5. Clear visual separtion between each post, each comment, etc.
  6. Shows number of comments in evidence.
  7. Direct links to post and comment editing (for administrator only).
  8. Includes a style for printing that hides parts of the page irrelevant to this media.
  9. Provide list of links with icons to popular feed readers.

Download the theme archive, unzip it in your [WORDPRESS_ROOT]/wp-content/themes directory, and select it in the Presentation tab of your WordPress admin interface. Organize the sidebar widgets (if you use the recomended Widgets Plugin) on the admin interface, Presentation -> Sidebar Widgets.

Soleil Predefined Style Classes

Soleil provides some CSS classes that I heavily use in my posts:

To be used on image tags. Add margins, padding and a slim border. Use it like this:

<img class="photo" style="float right" …
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a computer command in evidence. Use it like this:

<span class="command">ls -al</span>
programlisting and screen
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a box with special fixed size font as a computer output or programlisting. Adds scrollbars if content is too wide, to not breake your layout. Usage:

<pre class="programlisting"> 
	// sourcecode of a program 
	code { 
		Some code 


<pre class="screen"> 
	bash$ ls -al 
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a filename in evidence. Use it like this:

<span class="filename">/bin/kdb</span>
An XML button maker, the one very popular on blogs etc. To get a button like My XML button, use as:

<a class="xmlbutton" href="http://someplace">My XML button</a>
Creates a nice may-be-floating box for you to show some information about the post. The box will appear in evidence but outside the stream of the text. See an example on this post. Usage:

<div class="articleinfo" style="float: right">Some info about this article.<div>

You should also use <h4> as the header for subtitles inside posts.

Displaying Links Correctly on Sidebar

Many blogs that use Soleil have their links looking bad on their sidebar. To fix this, you should go to your blog admin interface, select Links->Link Categories and edit each link category’s properties in a way that each item will be wrapped into an HTML <li> tag.

For example, my blog categories have Before Link: <li> and After Link: </li>

Soleil Localization and Internationalization

Soleil’s default language is english, and is currently localized to portuguese.
To localize Soleil to you language, go to soleil/languages and copy the theme-pt.po (portuguese language) file to theme-YOURLANGUAGECODE.po and edit it to fit your language needs. The file format is very intuitive and it contains all generic messages the theme uses.

You can also localize your blog specific strings as your category names, blog name, blog description, and even some posts titles. For this you have to edit personal-YOURLANGUAGECODE.po in the same way.

To compile a .po file, on Linux do this:

bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o theme-YOURLANGUAGE.po 
bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o personal-YOURLANGUAGE.po

The .mo files must be located under soleil/languages/ while the .po don’t have to be under your blog installation, live them in your PC only.

To activate on demand localization based on visitor’s prefered language, ensure your wp-config.php file contains this:

define ('WPLANG', substr($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE'], 0, 2));


105 thoughts on “Soleil Theme for WordPress”

  1. You maybe can help me. One day when I go to Themes, I found this message: “Broken Themes, the following themes are installed but incomplete. Themes must have a stylesheet and a template. Stylesheet is missing”.
    I googled this problem, but I cannot find the right answer, the theme file is in the right path, and the file of style.css is there, WP just cannot find it.
    So what can I do to fix this problem? Since I am using your theme, it is alos on the “missing list”.

  2. Any chance to have a 3 columns Soleil in the near future? Even better, content on the left and the 2 columns on the far right?



  3. Qingfang, I never saw or heard about this problem.

    I can’t reproduce it, so I can’t find the problem.

  4. I localized the po file to german (switzerland), but have no Linux box available to compile it.
    Can you do that for the german speaking fans of your theme and make it available in the next version? Thanks in advance!

    # GermanSWISS(de) translation for WordPress.
    # Copyright (C) 2007 ubu, for the Soleil Theme by Avi Alkalay.
    # This file is distributed under the same license as the Soleil Theme for WordPress.
    # ubu
    # To compile this file on Linux:
    # bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o theme-pt.po
    msgid “”
    msgstr “”
    “Project-Id-Version: WordPress 2.1.2\n”
    “Report-Msgid-Bugs-To: \n”
    “POT-Creation-Date: 2007-03-09 18:11-0600\n”
    “Last-Translator: ubu \n”
    “MIME-Version: 1.0\n”
    “Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8\n”
    “Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n”
    “X-Poedit-Language: German\n”
    “X-Poedit-Country: Switzerland\n”

    ## archive.php

    msgid “Page Not Found”
    msgstr “Seite nicht gefunden”

    msgid “Search results for”
    msgstr “Suchergebnisse für”

    msgid “No posts matched your criteria.”
    msgstr “Keine Beiträge entsprechen deinen Kriterien.”

    msgid “The page you are looking for cannot be found on this site. You can use the search box to the right, or go to the ”
    msgstr “Die Seite die du suchst kann hier nicht gefunden werden. Du kannst die Suchfunktion benutzen oder du gehst zur ”

    msgid “home page”
    msgstr “Startseite”

    msgid “Search Results”
    msgstr “Suchergebnisse”

    msgid “Author Archive”
    msgstr “AutorInnen”

    msgid “Blog Archives”
    msgstr “Archiv”

    msgid “%s category”
    msgstr “Kategorie %s”

    msgid “« Previous Entries”
    msgstr “« Frühere Einträge”

    msgid “Next Entries »”
    msgstr “Neuere Einträge »”

    msgid “Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.”
    msgstr “Äxgüsi, du suchst etwas, das es hier nicht gibt.”

    msgid “Subscribe to this category”
    msgstr “Kategorie abonnieren”

    ## comments.php

    msgid “This post is password protected. Enter the password to view comments.”
    msgstr “Dieser Beitrag ist passwortgeschützt. Gib das Passwort ein, um die Kommentare zu sehen.”

    msgid “Leave a Reply”
    msgstr “Schreib einen Kommentar”

    msgid “You must be”
    msgstr “Du musst”

    msgid “logged in”
    msgstr “angemeldet sein”

    msgid “to post a comment.”
    msgstr “um einen Kommentar zu veröffentlichen.”

    msgid “Logged in as”
    msgstr “Angemeldet als”

    msgid “Log out of this account”
    msgstr “Abmelden”

    msgid “Logout »”
    msgstr “Abmelden »”

    msgid “Name”
    msgstr “Name”

    msgid “(required)”
    msgstr “(erforderlich)”

    msgid “E-mail (will not be published)”
    msgstr “E-mail (wird nicht veröffentlicht)”

    msgid “Website”
    msgstr “Homepage”

    msgid “You can use these tags:”
    msgstr “Du kannst folgende Tags benützen:”

    msgid “Submit Comment”
    msgstr “Kommentar abschicken”

    msgid “Enter your password to view comments.”
    msgstr “Gib dein Passwort ein, um die Kommentare zu lesen.”

    msgid “No Responses”
    msgstr “Keine Kommentare”

    msgid “One Response”
    msgstr “Ein Kommentar”

    msgid “Responses”
    msgstr “Kommentare”

    msgid “to”
    msgstr “an”

    msgid “Comments:”
    msgstr “Kommentare:”

    msgid “References on the Web (trackbacks and pingbacks):”
    msgstr “Webreferenzen (Trackbacks und Pingbacks):”

    msgid “Trackback from”
    msgstr “Trackback von”

    msgid “Pingback from”
    msgstr “Pingback von”

    msgid “says”
    msgstr “hat gesagt”

    msgid “comment permalink”
    msgstr “Permalink”

    msgid “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”
    msgstr “Dein Kommentar wartet auf die Moderation.”

    msgid “There are no comments yet. Be the first to post.”
    msgstr “Es gibt bisher keine Kommentare. Mach du den Anfang.”

    msgid “Comments are closed.”
    msgstr “Kommentare zur Zeit nicht möglich.”

    ## functions.php

    msgid “Categories”
    msgstr “Kategorien”

    msgid “Search”
    msgstr “Suche”

    msgid “Archives”
    msgstr “Archiv”

    msgid “Select Month”
    msgstr “Monat auswählen”

    msgid “Admin Geek Stuff”
    msgstr “Meta”

    msgid “Subscription”
    msgstr “Abonnieren”

    msgid “Uncategorized”
    msgstr “Nicht kategorisiert”

    ## post.php

    msgid “Comments to: %s”
    msgstr “Kommentar zu: %s”

    msgid “comment”
    msgstr “kommentiert”

    msgid “comments”
    msgstr “kommentieren”

    msgid “Permanent Link: %s”
    msgstr “Permanenter Link: %s”

    msgid “Read and write comments to this post”
    msgstr “Lies und schreib Kommentare zu diesem Beitrag”

    msgid “Trackback URL: use this to comment on your own blog”
    msgstr “Trackback URL: Benütz diesen Link um auf deinem eigenen Blog zu kommentieren”

    msgid “About”
    msgstr “Über”

    msgid “%s: read full post”
    msgstr “%s: lies den ganzen Beitrag”

    msgid “Read more . . .”
    msgstr “Weiter . . .”

    ## search.php

    msgid “Search Results for”
    msgstr “Suchresultate für”

    msgid “Not Found”
    msgstr “Nichts gefunden”

    msgid “Sorry, no posts were found contaning”
    msgstr “Äxgüsi, keine Beiträge gefunden”

    ## Others

    msgid “Related Posts”
    msgstr “Verwandte Beiträge”

    msgid “Recent Posts”
    msgstr “Neuste Beiträge”

    msgid “View all posts in”
    msgstr “Lies alle Beiträge in der Kategorie”

    msgid “Subscribe feed for”
    msgstr “Abonnier den Feed für”

    msgid “Subscribe comments to this post”
    msgstr “Abonnier die Kommentare zu diesem Beitrag”

    msgid “Subscribe comments to this page”
    msgstr “Abonnier die Kommentare zu dieser Seite”

    msgid “View all posts filed under %s”
    msgstr “Lies alle Beiträge unter %s”

  5. New version released. Changes:

    • Changed how bullets (<li> and <dt>) are show switching from background to a list-style-image strategy
    • Changed the title for category archives: only the category name is shown
    • Included german translation, by Ubu
  6. Pingback: 誰的部
  7. Pingback: 誰的部
  8. AVI, I need some help to get the Soleil Theme to work. I am not experienced in using WordPress Themes and found i am getting confusing with all the different commands but I just created a Free Report at .. This seems to be answering some of my concerns.

    Thanks for having this resource so that I can see what it should look like and to answer some of my qestionss.

  9. Avi, thanks for this theme.

    Could you please explain how I can implement a new page to this theme?
    If I try to create a new page, lets say “Test” I got a error message after I published it:
    “The requested URL /test/ was not found on this server”
    It doesn’t make any difference which page template I use, I always got the error.
    Any hints?

  10. New version of Soleil released.

    These are the changes:

    – Updated the comment balloon image
    – Included a new blogicons.svg (made with inkscape) file containing a scalable vector version of the feed, trackback and permalink icons
    – Updated post.php to make appear a new permalink icon on each post’s metainfo section

  11. Soleil updated today. Changes:

    – Blog Icons ( incorporated in theme. Signature in the end.
    – Post and page header transformed into table-less
    – Included a clock icons in post/page header
    – Post/page header now shows also the time
    – Inverted the page header to PAGE TITLE – BLOG NAME

  12. New version released. Changes:

    – Fixed alignment of post admin icons for pages and posts
    – Fixed comments’ feed URL for pages and posts
    – Included the clock icon on header of pages

  13. Beautiful theme, but i hit a snag. After selecting the theme in WordPress 2.2, my admin screens go dead. I get a fatal error on and /wp-admin pages: “Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_admin_page_title() in /var/www/com/marstonstudio/wp-admin/admin-header.php on line 12”

    In order to get my admin screens back, I have to delete the Soleil theme directory.

    Any suggestions?

  14. I’m having the EXACT problem as the previous poster. I also haven’t slept in 5 days so I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fix either. How do we get rid of this error?? I can’t access my dashboard or anything.

  15. Released version 20070902. Changes:

    – SEO: Removed the <link>s to archives
    – Converted the trackbacks section into a list of expandable links
    – Added appropriate images for trackbacks section

  16. Avi, just wanted to thank you again for the great theme and your continued work on it. I had some problem back in July with the wordpress upgrade but your fixes worked great. Thanks for continuing to support this theme.

  17. Great Post! Thanks…This is exactly what I’ve been looking for since I got wordpress. BOOKMARK & STUMBLEUPON FOR YOU.:)

  18. Here are a few wordpress themes I designed alot better than whats out there for wordpress now, and I want to share them with you guys. please enjoy these

    Preview my themes



  19. Muito bom este template, sinceramente não me agrado muito no quesito design, o que me agrada nele são as funções e as mudanças em relação Índice-Post e afins.

  20. Any chance to have a 3 columns Soleil in the near future? Even better, content on the left and the 2 columns on the far right?


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