Tom MacWright

You can now buy this theme

I recently released the theme for for sale on Ko-fi. Today I’m adding the /photos section to that theme (something I’ve written about before), and giving a little background information.

This site’s brutalist design is the result of about a decade of refinement and tweaking. For specific goals - minimalism, optimization, adaptability, clarity - I think it has achieved a certain balance.

I get an email about which theme I’m using every month or two. The answer is, well, this one. I started from a blank HTML page a decade ago, and have tried to make it better ever since. Better in a few ways:

  • Clean bill of health from Google Lighthouse: 100 in performance, accessibility, and SEO.
  • Real accessibility, based on real feedback from folks with reduced vision.
  • Pages are tiny and exceptionally bandwidth-cheap: As across the board on webpagetest.
  • Tiny pages mean tiny bandwidth: this site has been hackernews’ed many times, never incurring extra fees from Netlify.

When I started blogging, the repo was open on GitHub. I made it private during the era when I was writing about some legally-sensitive stuff in DC, and then kept it to myself for years. It wasn’t open source, wasn’t for sale, was just the theme for this blog.

But I write and talk about how the web should be, how blogs should be lightweight and simple rather than JavaScript-laden and complex. Keeping this theme private made that “an exercise for the reader.” To make something simple and fast requires understanding all of those nitpicky details of HTML, CSS, accessibility, design, and optimization.


The theme costs $100. I’ve been iterating on this design for about a decade now, so that’s a sweet deal of less than $10/year.

Iterations of the theme

That said: I’ve usually responded to emails about the theme by saying that it’s not available but people are free to take inspiration from it. That still applies - if you want to DIY something like it, please do, and don’t worry about me! But if you want the theme and some documentation so that you can get started fast, now you can.


The site includes quite a lot of documentation, and I’m adding more all the time. For the new /photos feature, I’m including a 15-minute-ish YouTube video demonstrating how to set it up, including setting up an Amazon S3 bucket, CloudFront, etc.

That’s it! If you’re interested in a truly minimal theme that rocks, this theme is now an option!