Cutline Theme for WordPress

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Use this Simple Plug and Play Sitemap for Cutline!

December 7th, 2006 · 88 Comments · How To

Download the sitemap add-on for CutlineOver on my home site, I’ve been covering simple SEO tips that just about anyone can incorporate into their Web site.

Recently, I addressed both XML and XHTML sitemaps. In the case of the XHTML sitemap, I even released a special WordPress theme Page that can be incorporated into any existing site without additional modification.

The only bummer, though, is the fact that the resulting sitemap page won’t assume the styling of your current WordPress theme. This is something that really has to be addressed on a per-theme basis, so there is simply nothing I can do to accommodate everyone (at least not beyond what I’ve already done).

But you know what? I’m not worried about everyone.

I’m worried about you, my savvy and excellent community of Cutline users.

So in order to show my appreciation, I’ve formatted my XHTML Sitemap specifically for you guys.

Download it now and follow my activation instructions to get it working!

If you do everything right, it’ll end up looking like this.

Note — all future downloads of the theme will come equipped with the sitemap.php file. So, if you download the entire theme now, you won’t have to deal with my special add-on here, ’cause you’ll already have the goods!

Update — The sitemap file linked above is only suitable for Cutline 1.03 or older, and it is not intended for use with Cutline 1.1 or WordPress 2.1. If you have Cutline 1.1 or higher, you already have the correct sitemap file, so no worries!


88 Comments so far ↓

  • Rich Harlos

    Hi, Chris. Am loving the Cutline theme and was excited to see the new Sitemap feature.

    Instead of downloading the plugin I took your advice and downloaded the whole theme again and it worked like a charm.

    I do have a separate issue, however, with my Link Categories display. Wonder if you’ve got a few minutes to have a look?

    I can see what’s wrong, but I don’t want to presume to know the best way to fix it in light of having read of your perfectionism 🙂

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  • Chris


    Your situation is a classic case of one of WordPress 2.0.5’s shortcomings.

    The two link category items that are displaying incorrectly have ID numbers 10 and 11. Unfortunately, the automatic styling can only handle link categories 1–9, so that’s why 10 and 11 don’t play nice.

    I suppose there are two viable ways to fix this problem (aside from waiting for the next release of WordPress):

    1. Apply new definitions for link categories 10 and 11 in style.css. If you poke through the code, you’ll notice that I actually complain about the lack of standardized link category styling, and that’s where you’ll want to add support for higher-order categories. It should be clear which format you need to follow based on what’s already there.
    2. You may be able to fiddle with your link categories and eliminate all those with IDs greater than 9. That way, all of the categories that do get displayed will receive the proper styling treatments.

    This is absolutely my biggest beef against WordPress at the moment. As a developer, there is nothing I can do to combat it until WordPress releases a new version that puts a bandage on this gaping wound.

  • Rich Harlos

    Thanks, Chris. Your suggestion re: style.css were just the ticket I needed. While I could fiddle with the link ID’s, I’d rather not limit my choices in this way, just in case I do end up needing 10 or more Categories sometime soon.

    I do understand what you’re saying about it being a WordPress issue; I’m hoping along with you that they do something about this in their next release.

    Meanwhile, at least I know what to do should my Categories grow in number.

    Thanks again for your help!

  • Sridhar

    Hi Chris,

    I had a look at your sitemap page and see that the posts’ list doesn’t show the categories to which posts belong. I think that would be a good thing to have.

    To see an example of what am talking about, pls have a look at generated by


  • Chris


    Your situation is merely personal preference.

    Before I created my simple XHTML sitemap for WordPress, I knew about the Dagon Design sitemap generator. Based on its architecture, I decided that it was not the best choice for the masses because it adds fluff on top of function.

    Besides that, what if you don’t want categories to show in that manner? Sure, you want categories, but to me, you are nothing more than a statistic.

    If statistics proved that this was the best architectural choice, then I wouldn’t bother to fight it.

    That said, I also believe that categories are used incorrectly by most folks. In my opinion, categories are for controlling display options, and tags are for organizing and sorting content.

    In fact, the new MovableType (v. 3.3) incorporated this idea, and it’s something that will inevitably move to WordPress as well.

    It was a heck of a lot more work to put my XHTML sitemap together than it would’ve been to simply link to the Dagon Design Sitemap Generator, but I saw the need to devise a solution that was more all-encompassing and ubiquitous.

  • Mike


    I followed your instructions closely for the sitemap update, but I keep getting the Error 404 page. I added the sitemap.php to my Cutline theme directory, created the sitemap page like your instructions indicated ( sitemap template, sitemap slug, and no messing with the page content)…but still no love. Any ideas?

  • Mike


    I could only get the sitemap to work when I chose someting other than “main page (no parent)” in the Page Parent list. And, then it doesn’t have the Cutline theme associated with it. Just a page of link s.

  • Chris


    Did you enter anything into the text field when you created the sitemap page? If so, it won’t work.

    Also, did you create your slug in all lowercase letters so that it read “sitemap” (without the quotes)? If not, it won’t work based on the link architecture in the header.

    Finally, yes, you must choose to have it be a main page in the Page Parent list (this is the default setting).

    Again, if you follow the instructions on Pearsonified to a “T,” without adding anything on your own or making any site-specific changes, then everything ought to work out as specified here.

  • Mike


    Thanks for your patience. I think I got it. I had to create two sitemap pages. The first one would not work (error 404,) but the 2nd one was automatically changing the slug from “sitemap” to “sitemap-2.” It works, so I just deleted the first one, and I left the sulg as “sitemap-2” on the 2nd. Maybe the Sitemap plugin you suggested on Pearsonified has a file named “sitemap” that was causing the error. In any event, it looks great! Thanks for your help.

  • Nathaniel

    Hey Chris,

    I recently setup Cutline, and it’s incredible. Thanks for all of the work you’ve done on this.

    Right now, I only have one blog post on the site I’m using Cutline with, so I there are no navigation links such as view previous entry. Navigation.php, however, was throwing in the three navigation divs above an individual post anyway, which made a large margin above the post’s title. The fix was simple, but I wanted to point it out so you could consider adding it to the default installation:
    && ( previous_post_link() != ” || next_post_link() != ” ) // after “if (is_single()”

    And replace “” with:


  • Sridhar


    Some of your code came missing. You might want to paste that at and provide the link here.

  • Nathaniel

    Ah, thank you Sridhar. Here is the entire file as I use it:

  • Chris


    That’s an excellent suggestion and an absolute lock for the next release.

    I really need to start tracking all the people who make these killer suggestions.

    Thanks again!

  • Sridhar

    Chris: May be you could research on a wiki that integrates with WordPress and quickly jot down these suggestions to be worked upon for next release.

  • Chris


    I probably should, but time is somewhat of an issue at the moment.

    I’ll get it sometime after the holidays.

  • Kellie

    hey chris!

    am trying out your cutline theme. like it’s “clean-ness.”

    i seem to be having an issue with this “sitemap” though. it’s all installed and the page exists BUT i cannot get it to be listed in the top “page” navigation. any clue???

    thanks in advance. take care!


  • Nathaniel

    You’re welcome, Chris, I’m glad I was of help. 🙂

  • Chris


    Simply activating the sitemap will not include it in your navigation links. You have to follow these steps in order to make that happen.

  • Kellie

    ah! sheesh. thanks for that ‘how to’ link.

    got it. most excellent! you’re the best.

  • wendy

    I’m using Cutline for my website and have two questions for you.

    1. How do I add meta tags to my blog pages? Do I modify the header.php file? If so, how?

    2. Do you have recommendations on how to create different header images? I tried to put one together but it went all pixelated when I posted it. I’ll understand if you can’t help 🙂

    Thanks for making such a great theme!

  • Fine tuning | BrT

    […] I’ve been making some more small changes to the look of my site. I really like the Cutline theme, and there is a lot of useful information at its web site. The latest two changes I have made are the Google ads in the header image and the site map, both of which you can see at the top. I still have to replace the header pictures with some of my own, maybe with some randomization thrown in. […]

  • Chris


    Ironically, I am the author of the PressRow Theme for WordPress. I developed it back in May, and it was both the precursor to and inspiration for Cutline.

  • Chris


    I spoke too soon with regard to your solution. There are myriad styling issues that arise as a result of its use, and it’s not fit for public consumption at this point.

    The primary reason for this is because the previous_post_link, next_post_link, etc. functions cannot be stored in variables. Whenever they are called, they produce output, thus rendering the true navigation code useless.

  • Markus

    Easy to use and good working. I’m new to cutline and missed a feature in the theme: the edit link!

    I did following:

    <h2><?php the_title(); ?><?php edit_post_link('^'); ?></h2>

    works fine and is not too big.

  • Rob

    Hi Chris,

    The Sitemap works great. I was just wondering if you could tell me how to get the number of posts in each archive and category to show up in brackets after each one in the sidebar?


  • V

    this is great, but could you have a built in asides thing? i’m totally lost when it comes to PHP and even with the tutorial over at, it doesn’t work. if the next version of cutline has inline asides all coded, it’d be awesome.

  • Kris Karkoski

    I have tried to install widgets with cutline but they will not show up in the plugins or presentation section. Could someone provide some insight into how to correct this and what directory each file should be installed into.


  • Drake

    Scratch that..just upload your header image as header_1.jpg and change all the other Header_#.jpg files in your header.php file to header_1.jpg. That should do the trick.

  • Jordan

    Chris, I’m wanting to make my posts have a different background color dependent on which category they’re in. Is this the best place to leave the question? I’ve tried a few different things, like creating “#content-cat1” tags in my stylesheet, and then doing an if, elseif on my index page. But the problem is that instead of just wrapping around the particular post, it wraps the entire line of posts on the main page in one color.

    Any ideas?

  • Nathaniel

    Hehe Chris, I finally wrote a second blog post and discovered that. Oh well. 🙂

  • Chris


    By default, the posts are constructed using block-level XHTML tags, and because of that, there is no element that “wraps” all the items of a particular post.

    If you want to modify the background of a particular post, then you’ll need to create a wrapper div to encompass the post. Once you’ve done that, you can apply special class names to control the background colors.

  • Jordan

    Thanks Chris. Sounds pretty complicated — guess I’ll just have to use a category icon or something 🙂

  • Timen

    Hey Chris,

    I’m using Cutline as a base for my forthcoming awesome amazing super project. That said, I need to figure a few things out.

    I’m working through your CSS and there is about a page of lines you describe as necessary to “make widget link categories work.” Can you elaborate on that? I just don’t get it.

    Towards the beginning of the CSS file, you having something called “pre”. I can’t figure out what this is for.

    Next, do you know how to get the “keep reading” link on the right side? I’ve tried the natural solution, divs, but alas WP doesn’t seem to like it and throws in some extra stuff here and there.

    Great work on an amazing product. Thank you.

    Take care,

  • Timen

    Sorry for leaving you another question, but I was wondering: why do you do so many “overboard” things in your CSS? e.g. stating the body background as white. Is it considered good form? If there is a reason for this, I’d really like to know so I can adapt my style to be a little more like yours.


  • Chris


    Some older versions of Opera have a gray background by default, so if you don’t declare the body background as white, you may not see consistent results across all browsers.

    With that said, declaring backgrounds as white on all box elements would certainly be overkill.

  • Shane

    Here is a wierd problem that seems no one else has had. If you go to my sitemaps page the only internal blog post listed is the sitemap page itself. Now I am not crazy there are over 600 posts. I looked at the code it should list the last 1000 posts right? Do you have any ideas on this one?

  • NickZee

    Hey Chris,
    How can I integrate WP-Forum into Cutline without the content of blog posts disappearing

  • Chris


    I don’t have any experience with the WP-Forum plugin, so I’m afraid I can’t really be of much help there.

    If WP-Forum requires a separate database, though, then you’d need to have a WordPress installation specifically dedicated to that. I don’t know if that’s the case here; I’m only surmising as to what your problem might be.

  • Timen

    Hey Chris,

    Sorry, I think you missed my previous questions. Meanwhile, I’m loving Cutline.

  • Chris


    I saw your comment, but it requires a more extensive explanation, and I haven’t had time to address it.

    Regarding link categories and all that CSS:

    That code is necessary because WordPress does not “widgetize” the display of link categories. Instead, each link category receives a unique ID (instead of a common class name), and as a result, designers are forced to provide code for each individual ID.

    The workaround here is to provide an additional div wrap, but that’s something I wanted to avoid because it shouldn’t be necessary.

    A fix for this problem is planned in a future WordPress release (it’s on the Trac now).

    Regarding the pre element:

    This element is most commonly used in conjunction with <code> tags. Essentially, use of the <pre> tag ensures that each and every space, tab, and line break will be represented exactly as-is, without the need for additional XHTML.

    I provide support for the tag in this theme, but it is not something that most users will ever need. Basically, it’s only there for the sake of completeness.

    Regarding the “keep reading” link:

    If you like, you can wrap the “keep reading” text inside the index.php file with tags, like so:

    <p class="more_link">keep reading →<p>

    Then, you can style the new more_link class to be aligned to the right.

  • Kevin


    Thanks for the sitemap for Cutline. Keep the good stuff coming. I like the uberreview design! How’s work on the 3 column Cutline coming? I’ve learned so much with Cutline, WordPress, and Tubetorial in the last few months. Can’t thank you enough. Please check out my podcast if you get a chance.

  • Sucharith

    I updated the WordPress to the 2.06 version after which my contact page is not working… Can you let me know if you know of a fix?

  • Sucharith


    Please ignore my previous comment. I meant the Site map ain’t working… Please suggest!!

  • Sucharith

    Hi Chris,

    Solved……. Sorry to flood mate!

  • Kris Karkoski

    I would love to see a three column or a design similar to that of b5 media’s blogs. Once I get some more experience I hope to make a cutline variant like this.

  • Hannes Johnson

    Is there a good place to submit suggestions for Cutline?

    Well, I just set up my new blog with the Cutline theme – it looks great by the way – and I think it would be cool if Cutline would support the code tag (you know, the thing where you can press a <code> button to mark a part of your text as code). So you could for example put HTML code examples into your blog post and they would have a special CSS class.

  • Hannes Johnson

    OK, it looks like Cutline supports the code tag to some degree… But you can’t put < directly into the editor – you have to use “& l t ;” instead.

    Isn’t the code tag supposed to handle this? …not converting HTML tags and just display them as normal text?

  • Chris


    As far as I know, you have to encode the characters using the method you specified in your second comment.

    However, I’d like to buffer my response by saying that I never use the rich visual text editor, so I can’t say for sure whether or not it handles automatic encoding for you.

    Based on your comment, though, it would appear that this is not the case. Either way, Cutline does include support for the <code> tag, and the fact that WordPress is not converting characters is a product of WordPress, not of the theme.

  • Hannes Johnson

    OK, thanks Chris. I’m actually not using the rich visual text editor…

    Another thought – I think it would be cool if Cutline would have a special CSS style for when the author is commenting – different background on the comment, an extra image/icon or something…

    Often when I’m reading other blogs I have much more interest in reading the author’s comments rather than the dozens of ramblings from other readers.

  • Alex G

    hey chris,
    maybe you might be able to help me out. When looking at my site ( through firefox all font seems the same. But, once I look at it through internet explorer, the font sizes seem to change. Anyway to fix this.
    thanks in advance,


    p.s. im total nooB when it comes to coding

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