Free 2 Column WordPress Theme – A Dream to Host (Legacy Page)

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“A Dream to Host” is Art of Blog’s First Free WordPress Theme. It is inspired by Dreamhost’s 10 year anniversary (Dreamhost is where we host many of our sites).

Live Demo | Download A Dream to Host v3.0 (13702)

I spent a while coding and testing this theme to make sure it’s everything you might want. I have worked with a lot of themes in the past and have modified many to our own needs. I’ve come across a lot of themes that were a pain to work with or modify. Others did not have clean or SEO-friendly code. So I coded this one from scratch to be the kind of theme I would like to work with and that would also be a good all-around theme out of the box.

Here are some features of this theme:

  • Extremely Fast loading: A site running this theme loads in less than 1 second in our test. CSS is only 4Kb. The entire page with background images is only about 10Kb.
  • Widget aware: Comes with the ability to add and customize widgets.
  • Easy to read: The design uses easy to read font sizes for your visitors, while maintaining a professional look.
  • CSS/XHTML valid: The pages validate CSS / XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • Clean Code: Page code is clean – no CSS hacks are used, classes are easy to understand
  • Easy to modify: Built with simplicity and customization in mind.
  • SEO Optimized: The theme comes with optimal page title tags and content presentation that’s search engine friendly.
  • Built for WordPress 2.8+: You can be sure it will run under WordPress versions 2.8 and up.
  • Threaded Comments Ready – Easily Create Conversation with your users.
  • Photoblogging Ready – Great for Photographers. Uses built in [ gallery ] functionality.
  • Threaded Comments
  • Gravatars
  • Photoblogging
  • Paged Posts
  • Paged Pages
  • Comments on Pages

Download it, feel free to use it any way you see fit. If you like it, we always appreciate links.

We tested the theme in Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 6 & 7, Opera 8, and Safari so it should work well across all the modern browsers. If you find any bugs, let us know. Enjoy!

Download A Dream to Host v3.0 (13702)

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Written by Nick Reese

Nick Reese is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who believes anyone can transform their business and life they they've got guts and hustle. He's also the co-founder of Broadband Now which aims to simplify the broadband shopping process.



  • Ben says:

    Thanks for your theme! I’m using it on my blog and it really look awesome! I’ve searched a lot for a clean and simple WP theme and it’s by far the best I’ve found. Good job.

  • Sun Tzu says:

    Thanks, Ben. Glad you like it.

  • rap poulin says:

    Hello – very nice and neat theme. One question so far: how to put some marging or padding around images aligned to left or right? Thank.

  • Sun Tzu says:

    To pad the images you can go into code view and put in the following code within the img tag:

    for left aligned images:
    style=”padding:0 10px 10px 0;border:0″

    for right aligned images:
    style=”padding: 0 0 10px 10px;border:0″

    That’s one way to add padding

  • Frank says:

    After running a very slow template for a while, I decided to go on the hunt for a fast, clean, SEO, and easily customizable template that I could use.

    After sifting through a bunch of rubbish, I’m convinced this one is by far the best! I’m yet to have a good go at playing with it, but have loaded it and love it. The coding is stripped right back to the bare essentials meaning it’s going to clearly be a breeze to play with.

    Thanks for your efforts and this offering to the world of blogging. I appreciate it.

  • jeff says:

    LOVE the simple layout, thanks. How do you get the SUBSCRIBe widget to appear? I don’t see it listed, please advise. thx, Jeff

  • Sun Tzu says:

    The Subscribe block is there if you don’t have widgets in your sidebar, but disappears if you don’t (in case people don’t want it there). You can grab the code from the sidebar file and place it in a text widget manually.

  • jeff says:

    Thanks Sun Tzu, much appreciated. One last question:

    On my Categories page:

    the teaser text shows up first, followed by the entire post. I just want the teaser text (like a normal wordpress presentation), not the entire post.

    How do I fix that? Again, I love this theme. Thanks!

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @Jeff: Thanks for the heads up. I fixed it in the version and updated the download.

    To fix it on your end, go to archive.php and delete line 31 or line 33 – either of these 2:

    < ?php the_excerpt() ?>

    < ?php the_content("» Continue reading " . the_title('"','"',false), 0); ?>

    If you delete the first one (excerpt), your “more” tag will cut off the post (if you use more tags in your posts). If you delete the 2nd one (content), your excerpts will show.

  • jeff lyons says:

    Thanks Sun Tzu, worked like a charm.

    Last question… each excerpt ends with […]. Is there any way to make this a link to the full post or replace with READ MORE>

    I ask this because I do a lot of usability work, and a good majority of new wordpress users don’t realize they have to click on the top header Post Link to read the whole story. Some think the except is the whole story.

    Especially for this style where the Header Post is not underlined as a link… the user should really have somewhere to click to proceed.

    Again, thanks for your help!

  • Sun Tzu says:

    find this line “And add a line similar to the following underneath that line” on this post:
    it gives you the code to add a read more line in your template

  • Jesper Hultqvist says:

    Great looking theme! One question though. Is is just on my computer the left column pushes the right column out of whack and in below the left column?


  • Sun Tzu says:

    Add clear:left; to the main ID in your CSS file.

    Replace it with:
    #main {margin : 0 auto;padding:10px 0px 0px 0px;clear:left;}

    I might add this to the official theme release since others might run into the same problem.

  • Hussein says:

    Such a great theme. I’ll use it now in my blog. Hope will not get some error since i’m using wp2.5

  • Sun Tzu says:

    Thanks Hussein, glad you like it. I’ve tested it with WP 2.5 and it works just as well as with previous versions.

  • Hussein says:

    Take a look at my blog.. The theme is now up with my blog.. Thanks for giving this cool theme. I really love it..

  • Jesper says:

    Hi again! It seems the theme is not validating. Go to a specific post page and let W3C validate it. Your demo and my site both get “ID “respond” already defined.” Is this something you can fix?


  • Gary says:

    I’m trying out your theme and it is fast. I am wondering if I can make the header’s length shorter and how would I change the globe that appears in a browser tab?

    The globe is very cool but the pic I have is more with my theme of the site.


  • Gary says:

    After looking at the code more I think my question is how does one make the blue horizontal navigation bar shorter in length or be able to bring the right column up higher in the fold.


  • Gary says:

    Is there a way to keep the page info from showing in the top blue bar? Or a way to make the blue bar smaller in length?


  • Gary says:

    Sorry, I just noticed that my other questions were still awaiting moderation. I figured out how to change the globe.
    But still interested in the other questions. I was playing with the css and header files to get it to do what I want. I was able to shorten the length in the blue bar but it added a lot to the file size.

    I love the way you streamlined these files, it’s a work of art.


  • pfctdayelise says:

    This is a nice theme indeed. My dad chose it and I did a bit of tweaking for him on his new travel blog.

    The CSS file could do with some newlines though. I also added this (adjusted from the edit side of WordPress) to make the image frames and captions look the same in preview as when published:

    .wp-caption {
    border: 1px solid #ddd;
    text-align: center;
    background-color: #f3f3f3;
    padding-top: 4px;
    margin: 10px;
    -moz-border-radius: 3px;
    -khtml-border-radius: 3px;
    -webkit-border-radius: 3px;
    border-radius: 3px;

    .wp-caption img {
    margin: 0;
    padding: 0;
    border: 0 none;

    .wp-caption-text {
    font-size: 11px;
    line-height: 17px;
    padding: 0 4px 5px;
    margin: 0;

  • Richard.H says:

    Just upgraded my blog and using your theme now. Very nice, good work!

  • Laurence James says:

    Hi There

    Brilliant clean and crisp theme. I’ve just got one question please:

    How would I put a banner image right across the top, under the blue horizontal menu (where the globe is and blog name/tagline). I know which code to delete so the blog name doesn’t show in the header, but I want to replace this and the globe with a banner image. I’ve succeeded in putting one in, but it’s mispositioned to the right too far by about 20 pixels. I want it to sit right across the 860 pixel width snugly. I can’t code the CSS to make this happen. it keeps pushing it out to the right.

    I hope this makes sense, it’s a great theme and I’d appreciate your help. Thanks!

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @Laurence. Emailed you. Change the #logo div to have 0 padding.

  • Afraz says:

    I have sought many themes that I could customize. I could find none till I came across this one. Its truly been a dream to be able to finally customize a theme to my liking. I have done extensive rehashing to make it look different. Truly a great theme for beginners to work with!

  • nad775 says:

    How can i replace the globe, blog name & tagline with my own banner image? I don’t know html, php & css.

    Please email me as soon as possible. Thank you very much for a wonderful theme.

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @nad775: replace the contents of div=”logo” in the header.php file with your image (just make sure it’s wide enough) and take out div=”slogan” and its contents altogether.

  • Bob says:

    Great theme. How do I change the font size of the titles of the widgets in the sidebar?

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @Bob: in CSS file, for #sidebar h2 add the font-size attribute.

    #sidebar h2 { whatever is there ; font-size:10px;}

  • Bob says:

    perfect, thanks!

  • Bob says:

    Sorry, one more – how do I move the date so that it is up with the title of an entry, rather than at the end of an entry?

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @Bob: swap class=”postfeedback” and its contents with the class=”postentry” div and its contents in the main index template.

  • Isti says:

    Thanx for the nice theme mate. I will use it in some of my blogs.

  • Kathleen says:

    Love this theme – thank you!
    One issue I’m having is that in IE even though the CSS indicates “list-style-type:none” for ULs in the sidebar, I am still getting bullets that I don’t want. Also, in IE the sidebar
    is slipping down below the posts, whereas in Firefox it’s
    properly placed. Can you advise?

  • Sun Tzu says:

    Thanks, Kathleen – glad you like it. Which version of IE are you using?

  • Hosting says:

    Love the simple layout, thanks. How do you get the subscribe widget to appear? I don’t see it listed, please advise. thx

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @Hosting: go to Design > Theme Editor > Sidebar and move this block of code:

    < ?php if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar() ) : ?>

    between the subscribe and categories li sets (between < / li > and < li >) around line 16 or so

  • Tom says:

    right column is appearing below the left column in both firefox and IE..please advise on how to correct this. thanks!

  • Sun Tzu says:

    Can you send me an example, Tom? You probably have something in either the left or right column that is wider than the column’s width. You can try setting overflow:none; to the containing div or show me an example of what you mean.

  • Tema de WordPress para el décimo aniversario de DreamHost says:

    […] Art of Blog han creado un tema de WordPress para celebrar el décimo aniversario de DreamHost. El tema se llama A Dream to […]

  • Kranjcarz says:

    Thanks for it… Great Design… :D

  • cuocthiseo says:

    Nice theme, I’m installed it today,

  • Hi there,

    What’s the latest WordPress this is compatible with?

    Many thanks,

  • This is fantastic. Very easy to use.

  • Ell says:

    I also would like to have a banner image across the top.

    I have it, but I would like to delete what is now blank white spacing at the top of my page.

    Take a look at my page and you can see what I mean. I would like the banner to rise up a little more tightly to the top of the page.

    Thank you for your help.

  • Steven says:

    Perhaps I’ve missed something, but I was wondering why this blog theme doesn’t include “Tags” with each post, for further SEO, as most other themes do.

    Is there a simple way of including the code manually?

  • Edwin says:

    Great theme. Just downloaded it and will install it soon. I found this page by typing best 2 column wordpress theme in Google and found just that.

  • spencer says:

    I want to change the header link “About” and add a different page…having difficulty finding the page edit or css code locations…

    Help! :)

    thank you


  • Scott says:

    Love this theme, having one problem though. I want to change the font size of the post to 8em, when I do, it looks fine in firefox, but breaks and pushes the sidebar under the post area. I can’t see to figure out why, any ideas?
    body {font: normal .9em/1.6em Arial
    want to change that to body {font: normal .8em/1.6em Arial

  • Scott says:

    Sorry, ment to say, works fine in Firefox, but breaks in internet explorer when I change the font size.

  • Harvey says:

    Newbie here – thanks for the theme.

    One question: I have a Link Category which appears
    in the default theme but fails to show in this one.

    Can you advise please


  • alan adı says:

    hi there..thx for wp theme. i tried it out..and loved it.

  • sam says:

    thanxs for making such a great design and avaible fo free download.

  • Melissa says:

    I’ve been pleased so far with the theme. I have been trying to figure out how I can add a background image to the post/sidebar (it’s a repeating image so that I can make the entire page look like a rounded rectangle). I cannot figure out how to change the background of the main content area and sidebar to include my image. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Much obliged!

  • I am using the theme and am enjoying it very much. I am having a problem activating the “subscribe to comments” plug in. Do you have any ideas? Thanks!

  • Reorienting online says:

    […] I would use my own theme, but for now I am going with A Dream to Host because it looks beautiful and blue is my favorite […]

  • Greg says:

    I’m using your nice theme to have “static” pages. But I’d like one page to be full width without a sidebar. I can eliminate the sidebar, but not clear how to make it full width. Looks as if one would have to get deeper into WP.

    Can a full width page be created? The page is the Stills page.

  • Greg says:

    I’m using your nice theme to have just pages. But I’d like one page to be full width without a sidebar. I can eliminate the sidebar, but not clear how to make it full width. Looks as if one would have to get deeper into WP.

    Can a full width page be created? The page is the Stills page.

  • Greg says:

    Sorry for the double post. Page worked a bit differently than I expected. The second post has an edit, therefore is the one to us. Don’t bother to post this one either.


  • Greg says:

    I may be answering my own question. I’ve found main-content in the header.php, so that should get me there I hope. An if and maybe a main-content-single should do it. I guess I’ll need to remove the sidebar too.

  • Greg says:

    Here’s what I did to get page “stills” one-column full-width

    #left-column-single {width : 800px;float : left;padding-left:40px;}
    #right-column-no {visibility:hidden}


    if (is_page(“stills”)) {
    echo “”;
    } else {
    echo “”;


    if (is_page(“stills”)) {
    echo “”;
    } else {
    echo “”;

  • David says:

    Hi there – thanks for a great theme.

    I have a nested page structure, but the page menui shows only the top level page. Is there any way that you can show the subpages a bit like the Atahualpa theme?

    Also – once I added some widgets, the login details have dissapeared – do you have any suggestions on where this could have gone to?

    Many thanks!

  • David says:

    I have found the Meta tag now ,,, hiding!!!

  • Nice looking theme – I’ve been looking for a clean 2 column one – I think I’ll give this a shot.


  • nick says:


    How can I switch columns so that the sidebar appears on the left?



  • Serena says:

    I just installed it, but it seems like something is wrong. The entire right column starts after the post (left column) is done. They do not run parallel to each other from the top.

    I tested it on FF, IE and Chrome with the very same results in each one of them.

    Is this a known issue?

  • Craig says:

    Is there an easy way to add drop down menu functionality? Awesome theme.


  • adanali says:

    this is the best 2 column wordpress i have ever seen

  • steve says:

    I love this theme, but I am having a problem with one issue. Does the theme allow text to wrapped around an image. I have tried, but it doesn’t seem to work. Any solution to this would be helpful.

  • ega says:

    nice 2 column wordpress theme…..thanks….

  • Steve says:

    I’ve been using A dream to Host for over a year now. It’s great!

  • Thesis Theme Review: A Wordpress Premium Theme — The Musings of Nicholas Reese says:

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  • […] past week we spent some time to update our popular 2 Column WordPress Theme “A Dream to Host” to work with all the new features WordPress has been rolling out […]

  • Olan Pays says:

    I’ve just downloaded this simple but nice theme. I really love the layout!

  • Lisa Moraeus says:

    I’ve downloaded the theme and when I activate it I see…. nothing! My whole blog disapears and all I see is grey. Any idea what I did wrong? Thanks!

  • […] installed, tested, hacked, and played with a lot of WordPress themes (and have even created a few). The Thesis WordPress Theme has definitely impressed me. It’s beautiful, very easy to […]

  • Brian says:

    Thanks for a great theme.

    It works well on my ordinary WordPress site but breaks the admin on a wordpressmu site.
    Looks fine when first installed, but as soon as you try to add or edit a page then it goes pear shaped.

    Has it been tested on wordpressmu & if so did you do any mods to get it going ?


  • says:

    […] came up with the look and feel of the main page layout and I used the ADreamToHost template as a base for all of the sub […]

  • Richard Knudson says:

    Hi —

    I know I’ve seen this before — sorry if it’s an old question. I’m using 2.3 and drag/drop doesn’t work for widgets. Is there a line of code I can change somewhere to make drag and drop work again? Thanks in advance!

  • Arnold Varona says:

    I tried to add a widget to the sidebar, but it’s not working. Any tips on how to get this working?

    I love the simplistic layout and feel of this theme, but need to add customized sidebar widgets to continue to use this one.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • Handoko Tantra says:

    This theme so elegant and simple.

    I will try for my new blog next time. Thanks for share this theme. :)

  • Katie says:

    Hi there, we use this theme for our blog and its awesome. I’ve run into a layout problem, can you help?

  • Marcos says:

    From the installed themes that came with my WP installation at Dreamhost, this was the best looking. I liked it for the clean look and organization, and the “world” icon helped me up a bit with the actual name of my site, so it stayed for a while until I can start customizing things up a little bit.

    A suggestion: despite a lot of people can tweak the theme(s) a little easily (I never tried WP, but I can do it with phpBB for example), it would be interesting to have a post with some basic tips about where to start or where to go when customizing this one. You don’t need to teach how to customize things in details (but it might be needed sometimes to talk about some of the basics), just things like “do you want to change the main logo? Do this, the current image is named X and located at Y and it has a Z size” or “do you want to add a banner at the top? Do this, use this size” and so on. Sometimes it’s not easy to figure immediately not exactly what to change, but where the things that will be changed are located, even with clean CSS codes and descriptions, and it would be quite helpful to have sort of a guide like this.

  • Perry Gamsby says:

    Love the theme, I work with dozens of them daily (I am the content end of a partnership) and for my own eWriter site I wanted… exactly this look! Except the Globe is wrong, I’m in Australia! How to I change that graphic? Remember I am a techno-idiot (aren’t all the best content writers?). Any help would be appreciated and thanks again for the theme.

  • 10 Awesome Free 2 Column Wordpress Themes says:

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  • Perry Gamsby says:

    Nick, by ‘drop a link’ exactly what do you mean? I have the globe image file on my desktop. Now what? Should I upload the image to the website and keep it in the gallery there (and thus get a url for it) or wait for your reply? Thanks for your valuable time. Perry

  • Don says:

    Just added this theme. How do I add a logo to the upper left corner?

  • Toni says:

    I have been using your A Dream to Host theme since April with a few added widgets. Thank you so much – it really does load fast.
    Now, I’m wondering if you will be updating A Dream to Host to incorporate the new WP 3.0 features. It would be cool to easily customize the header and use the new menu features.

  • Eduard says:

    I might use this for my next educational website, Great theme keep developing!


  • hgh says:

    Yes this is a very appealing theme. Picking the right theme has a lot to do with the bounce rate of your website. I wonder how it works?

  • Tara says:

    I just installed this theme on a WP blog and
    ‘; $output .= ‘
    displays at the top of all screens (including admin screens). I’ve used this theme before on other blogs and not had this problem – any idea what it might be?

  • I think I like the Thesis theme better for wordpress. I have a friend here in Tampa using it, and he really shot up in SEO results. I like the idea that it loads fast!

  • jenson says:

    After sifting through a bunch of rubbish, I’m convinced this one is by far the best! I’m yet to have a good go at playing with it, but have loaded it and love it. The coding is stripped right back to the bare essentials meaning it’s going to clearly be a breeze to play with.

  • Dave says:

    I’m looking for something that looks good and has two columns. I like what I see and I am going to give it a go right now. Thanks!

  • mixed martial arts says:

    Thesis is a great theme, I’ve been using it for a while now with great results and feedback.

  • gutielua says:

    I try to use this theme under WP 3.0.4 but has a bug. When I log-in/out the screen goes blank and I nothing to do to works.

    Did you know why?


  • I’m using the theme “A Dream to Host” on this blog and I think it looks great, it’s a great theme, but I have a problem with it, the RSS feed does not seem to work, in fact I’m not even sure that it has one as there is no RSS icon

    this does not work

    can anyone help me with this?


  • menj says:

    Its a great theme but it breaks the Admin Dashboard when I tried using it for the latest WP version 3.0.4. You need to get that fixed before I will consider using it again.

  • zammax says:

    I am looking for 2 columns theme for my blog. I have used another two column and will change it to another good theme. This theme seems great..

  • Elkay says:

    I always love to use two column theme for my wordpress blog. I also use A Dream to Host as it’s nice but simple theme.

  • Brian says:

    I love this theme SO MUCH and it has literally EVERYTHING I need, but I am having one MAJOR error. I am getting the “Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at…” error on almost every admin page, including the login, logout, every time I update a page/post, every time I activate a plugin, etc. I tried all the fixes and support forums that said it was just that there was extra space in the PHP files but it’s not that…if I use a different theme (same WP install) it does not happen. I don’t want to not use this theme, as it has everything I need. Can you please help me!? I’m desparate. Been doing WordPress for a while and been able to solve most any issue but this one is really stumping me. Thank you so much, I await a reply. -Brian (briangecko at gmail dot com) Thanks again.

    • Steve says:

      Hi have you had any luck in fixing this problem ? – i have it working on one host but it wont work on a different one

  • Tom Peerless says:

    I love the two column theme also for my wordpress.
    We need to display pictures, what do you think about streamline?

  • Larry says:

    I have a problem. my last post seems to have pushed the sidebar way over to the right. The post before that did the same thing but I found some DIV tags in the post that I removed and the layout went back to normal. However this last post doesn’t have any div tags, and I can’t seem to find out why it’s doing this. I set the post to draft and the lay out is fine, I publish the post and it pushed the sidebar to the right.
    Anyone please, I would appreciate the help. thanks.
    Haven’t seen Sun Tze on here in a while. love the theme, need some help.

  • Non Rx Pills says:

    I remembering using this template on one of my sites a few years back. It actually came in handy as I did not have much to invest in web designers services.

  • this theme is so simple, i love this kind of style, thank you im going to download this rite away

  • Nice looking theme. Just wonder can the size be adjustable?

  • technupower says:

    awesome theme, it’s clean and simple,. I like it so much. Wanna try it on my new blog :)

  • Hosting says:

    Thanks for share this theme. Very nice, good work.

  • This is a very clean, beautiful theme. I about hit the roof in excitement when I saw how fast it t loaded, and how clean it was!
    I am considering installing it for my roof cleaning business here in tampa.
    I like the clean, and elegant simplicity.
    Great Job Guys!

  • Apna Blog says:

    i love simple themes

  • Kulwant Nagi says:

    I am on this blog from last 3 Hours. I am stick with it.. the contents are so nice that I am not able to leave it… :-)

  • Naresh says:

    thanks for the theme….
    how should i change the menu so that the subpages are shown in drop down list. here all the menu and submenus are combined help me with it..

  • Baron Lane says:

    Greetings, great theme. thanks!

    I activated the social media features bit ther not appearing at the ned of my posts.

    Can you help, or is there an FAQ you can let me know about?


  • Maria says:

    wow ! very nice theme. I am gonna use it on my site.

  • thanks for the theme….

  • Rogers says:


    I have recently developed a site using wordpress.
    Though I am very happy with the theme thats active right now, can someone suggest me a different theme that would be better and vibrant.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Rogers,

      You should check out our Premium Theme Showdown to get a comparison of several premium themes.

      • Rogers says:

        Thanks a lot Eric!

        I for sure will check it out.

        Eric, though my site comes in the first page in google search, I would also like to know how get more traffic to my site.

        Just for your information…I am also developing a world directory of cooking classes on my site. Do let your friends who are in the business of Cookery Class to post their details on my site….Yes it free.