you're reading:
Archive pages, Attachment pages, Category pages, Color changes, Galleries, Header tabs, Images, Links, Page tabs, Pages (static), Posts per page, Previous/next tabs, Themes, Top navigation, Videos

Some remarks on Monotone and Duotone

Monotone is a very unusual theme, designed to be primarily used as a photo album, with one image in each post.

Unique features:

• Image showcased above post title, rest of post content (if any) below title.

• Images inserted in full size – resizing options/tools don’t work.

• One post per page (with previous/next navigation arrows).

• Each page in a different size and color (automatically adapting to each photo).

• Only two default static pages displayed (Archive and About). [**]

• The Archives (by month or by category) only show a thumbnail for each post (no title, no nothing). If you have a post without a picture, you only get a useless grey bar.

No sidebar or bottombar for adding widgets. [**]

Because of these limitations, there can be misunderstandings re what is really possible with this theme.

1. It is sometimes claimed that you cannot add static pages. That’s not correct: you can very well create new pages – you just don’t get tabs for them next to the built-in ones (that’s what would happen in any other theme with header page tabs). So you can create a page to be used as a static front, and another one to be used as your posts page (these two usually go together – see here); then you can create other pages, get their URL and write links to them in the static front page (including a link to the posts page).

2. The static front can also be used for adding items that would normally require widgets, for instance links to other blogs or sites.

3. It is often claimed that you cannot have more than one photos in a post. That’s only true when you upload and insert independent images: you can very well have more than one images in a post if you upload and insert them as a gallery. You can even have an independent image and a gallery: [*]

monotone gallery

(The above is just a quick test: all the images could have been large-size ones.)

4. Sometimes it’s also claimed that you cannot have videos. That’s not correct either:

monotone video

[*] Note: for the most comprehensive info on galleries, see this excellent post by our fellow forum volunteer justjennifer.

[**] Update Dec. 2009: A new version of Monotone, called Dutotone, was just made available. Static pages displayed normally, rudimentary bottombar included (three columns, one widget each), plus you can set the outer background color. In all other respects identical to Monotone.

[**] Update Nov. 2011: Monotone now supports the same rudimentary bottombar.


42 thoughts on “Some remarks on Monotone and Duotone

  1. “Thinking outside the box” is difficult. Even when the outside of the box is defined, and how to do it—get outside—is explained.
    The information is useful.
    This calls for a haiku!

    Posted by Tess | April 1, 2009, 00:00
  2. Or a koan…

    Posted by Panos | April 1, 2009, 08:10
  3. >blush! Thank you for the mention and the links. Now that I have more free time on my hands, maybe I can finally sit down to write that update the FAQ so sorely needs.

    Posted by Jennifer | April 2, 2009, 18:55
  4. No need to thank me – it’s you who’s done a great job with that post, and you know I always link to that instead of the wp FAQ; so yes please update it to make it perfect again!

    Posted by Panos | April 2, 2009, 20:00
  5. Thank you for this! I bookmarked it and will be back to help with my blog
    [blog URL removed – P.]
    Again, thanks! :D

    Posted by Bella | April 7, 2009, 01:26
  6. Will this code require me paying for the playing bandwidth or will youtube be paying for the bandwidth transfer volume?

    Posted by heifler | May 29, 2009, 21:20
  7. @heifler: Youtube; embedding a video means you are using their bandwidth.

    Posted by Panos | May 30, 2009, 00:23
  8. thank you for this :)

    but with monotone, i dont get the previous and next arrow when a post is made private. is there any way to solve this?

    Posted by asri | June 27, 2009, 18:16
  9. @asri: You’re welcome.

    Could you give me a link to a post of yours with the problem? I can’t reproduce what you’re saying: I tried it in my test blog, and I do get previous and next arrows, both when logged-in and when logged-out. The only unusual thing I got is that the private post should show up for me when I’m logged-in, but in Monotone it’s skipped.

    Posted by Panos | June 27, 2009, 21:31
  10. @Panos

    My private post would also skip when i’m logged in. to view the private posts, i have to click the archive link.

    I think the next / previous arrows would only appear when the next / previous post is public. For example, if my previous post is public and my next post is private, i will only get a previous arrow on my current post.

    Posted by asri | June 28, 2009, 13:22
  11. Many thanks – some really useful stuff here :)

    Posted by beulah | July 10, 2009, 18:38
  12. You’re welcome.

    Posted by Panos | July 10, 2009, 20:40
  13. Thanks, very useful information!

    Posted by nuvem ruim | September 11, 2009, 13:40
  14. You’re welcome!

    Posted by Panos | September 13, 2009, 14:58
  15. So, I gather there’s no way to have BOTH a video and a non-gallery, full-sized image in a Monotone post?

    Posted by raincoaster | November 23, 2009, 07:51
  16. Oh, welcome!

    No video plus full-sized image? Why not? Check the two snapshots: cat above post title, gallery and video below post title (in the text area). The text area will accomodate almost anything you could have with a normal theme. To make sure, I just made a post with an image plus some text, a left-aligned video, two downsized videos side by side, an audio player, a poll, and ratings. The only thing you can’t have is a second full-sized image (unless you insert it as a gallery).

    Posted by Panos | November 23, 2009, 10:32
  17. I cant a password protected post.
    The photo is showing.
    Any ideas?

    Posted by roro | January 28, 2010, 21:59
  18. @roro: If you’re talking about , then I don’t think I can help because I’m experienced in and I offer advice on blogs while yours is a self-hosted one. For what it’s worth, what’s the URL of the post in question?

    Posted by Panos | January 28, 2010, 23:06
  19. I tried it on my blog and there it works fine.

    Here is the post:

    p: password

    Posted by roro | January 29, 2010, 01:07
  20. Works fine on my tests blog too. See? That’s the problem: wp.ORG software is different. Sorry, I can’t help…

    Posted by Panos | January 29, 2010, 01:51
  21. FYI on the independently-hosted version, there’s no way to get the YouTube to work, it seems.

    Posted by raincoaster | February 11, 2010, 07:45
  22. @rain: Strange… the lower part of each post is supposed to work like a normal blog. What happens exactly (shortcode is stripped out, shortcode stays but video doesn’t show up, video shows up but doesn’t play)? Could you give me a link so I can check the source code?

    Posted by Panos | February 11, 2010, 12:40
  23. You can’t use the shortcode with the external version of WP as far as I know. The code stays in place, but nothing whatsoever is visible in the front of the blog, even if you include a picture first.

    Here’s a link:

    There’s an image, two lines of text, and the YouTube, then the GetSocial buttons.

    Posted by raincoaster | February 12, 2010, 01:58
  24. Thanks! My Firefox agrees with you (and so does Flock); Safari, Opera and Explorer (!) have a different opinion:

    Posted by Panos | February 12, 2010, 03:32
  25. Oh, man, that is BIZARRE. Why do themes have to be such pains in the butt? Oh well, I’m going to try to hack Duotone so it’ll work on that blog, will keep that post on ice until it works. Thanks gor giving it a look.

    Posted by raincoaster | February 12, 2010, 07:22
  26. Yeah, it’s no coincidence I chose that frame for the screenshot! Sorry I could do no more than give it a look… I don’t have a self-hosted blog, so I can’t test the thing or make any suggestions after looking at the source code. I can’t seem to find anything in the org forum either.

    Posted by Panos | February 12, 2010, 12:05
  27. Hello,
    everything is working all right in my blog excepted the body color which doesn’t adapt to the picture. All the website is public.
    Do you have an idea of what’s going on?

    Posted by amapic | July 7, 2010, 14:22
  28. @amapic: I’m not sure I can help, because your blog is self-hosted while I’m experienced in blogs, but anyway I’m not seeing images at all on your blog, I’m only seeing questionmarks (or the like, depending on the browser). Did you delete the images in the meantime?

    Posted by Panos | July 7, 2010, 20:10
  29. Sorry if I’ve missed this answer. Can you put a Youtube video into the sidebar of, say, the Structure theme or any theme for that matter on a hosted site? I’m obviously doing something wrong.

    I’m trying out Vodpod but having just the video feels more elegant.

    Posted by Geoffrey Williams | November 25, 2010, 16:05
  30. @Geoffrey: Yes you can. The standard YouTube shortcode doesn’t work, but gigya does – see here:

    PS See point 2 here:

    Posted by Panos | November 25, 2010, 16:15
  31. Thanks Panos, done like a dinner as they say in Australia!

    Posted by Geoffrey Williams | November 25, 2010, 16:22
  32. Many thanks for this exploration of Monotone. Arie your tips valid for Duotone? A friend of mine would like to publish her photos.

    Posted by libre fan | February 16, 2011, 11:37
  33. Monotone is very similar to Duotone, with the differences I note in the post (which mean that points “1” and “2” are of no significance in Duotone).

    For more details on image size for both of these themes, see here:

    Posted by Panos | February 16, 2011, 20:57
  34. Many thanks to you Panos for the information and the link :-)

    Posted by libre fan | February 16, 2011, 23:26
  35. You’re welcome!

    Truth is I’m not a fan of these quirky themes and their restrictions. One can very well use a more “normal” theme for photo-blogging.

    Posted by Panos | February 17, 2011, 01:18
  36. Hi there and thank you for the tips on how to post multiple images using duotone in response to a comment I left on another blog (
    Much appreciated! I hope to try it out soon, as I am nearing my 100th post, and it would be nice to provide something a bit more extravagant as a thank you to guests who stop by.

    Thanks again and have a great day.

    Posted by pix & kardz | July 24, 2011, 03:39
  37. You’re welcome, and sorry I didn’t reply in Lisa’s blog: didn’t want to flood her post with more comments of mine.

    Posted by Panos | July 24, 2011, 14:35
  38. hi again Panos – just want to say a big thank you for your help with multiple images using duotone. it works wonderfully! however, today i noticed that in addition to the images posted, it repeats the gallery so that now each image appears twice. do you possibly have a remedy. just as a friendly reminder, i still very much an html novice, and am not at all offended of instructions are detailed and spelled out in full :)

    thanks much. a link to an example post is included for reference – you can see it when you click on my name below.

    Posted by pix & kardz | December 20, 2011, 09:19
  39. You’re welcome.

    “It” doesn’t repeat anything unless you tell it to! You have inserted the images both as a gallery and as a series of independent images. Assuming you prefer the gallery images that link to the carousel slideshow, not the independent ones:

    When you upload a set of images for a gallery, you don’t upload each one then insert it in the post: you upload all of them at once then click Save All Changes to get to the Gallery settings and the Insert Gallery button. And even if they’re not in the same place in your computer and you have to upload them one by one, again you don’t insert them: you close the popup after uploading each one, continue with the next, and so on; after uploading the last one, click Save All Changes and you’ll get the Gallery settings again; or close the popup after uploading the last image, switch the editor to HTML and write this:

    [gallery columns="1" size="full"]

    Now, for your already published post, click on each independent image in the Visual editor and click the delete icon. Click Update (post) when you’re done with all the images.

    By the way, what does your note about the titles mean? If you want a title below each gallery image, add captions.

    Posted by Panos | December 20, 2011, 10:04
  40. thanks Panos, that seems to have done the trick – although quite honestly i don’t remember doing anything differently than for all my other posts with multiple images in the past. and yet they only showed up with one image originally, however since yesterday all my multiple-post images have them in duplicate. so my way of uploading them (one at a time, as you mentioned) must have been overridden previously.
    i guess my use of ‘titles’ is a misnomer. i didn’t want a caption under each image for the gallery, so i left that field blank – and used the title field only, which appears when hovering over an image with the cursor. maybe not the best way to do it, so i will have to see about that in future.
    anyhow, thank you again – i am bookmarking this post. i certainly have lots to learn :)

    Posted by pix & kardz | December 21, 2011, 05:15
  41. You’re welcome. No, your use of “titles” wasn’t a misnomer: “title” in HTML is precisely the info that shows up upon hover. I just didn’t expect you really meant that, and I don’t find it as useful to a viewer as a caption.

    Posted by Panos | December 21, 2011, 20:30


  1. Pingback: colours of summer :: Gold « pix & kardz - January 24, 2012


author's avatar panos (justpi)

 Subject Index

Announcement 22/03/2012: After WP's latest move, this blog will no longer offer active support and assistance. The blog will remain online but commenting on older posts has been disabled.
✶ All theme-related posts are updated up to and including theme 189 in this list, but will not continue to be updated.


  • Views per month:
Safari Icon Firefox - Never Internet Explorer
Note: if you see ads on this site, they are placed by WordPress, not me.
Mostly on themes, formatting, coding, tweaks and workarounds.
Based on or springing from my contributing in the forum.
Theme-related posts constantly updated
Premium themes and Annotum not included
%d bloggers like this: