Not long ago, I came across a beautiful WordPress theme called Serene. It’s designed for large screens, but it’s also responsive, so it looks good on small screens, too. I decided to switch out my current theme, Twenty Thirteen, in favor of Serene.

There are many things I like about Serene. But in my opinion, there are some things missing. So I set out to create a child theme for Serene, in order to add those things.

A new post format

Serene has an awesome implementation of the gallery post format: it displays the first gallery in the header above the post content. I thought that was awesome, but thought it would be nice if there was a similar treatment for a single image. So I added the image post format.

Breakpoints are dumb

Serene is responsive, but it doesn’t play too nicely with narrower screens. Instead of a fluid width for everything below a certain threshold, it still enforces specific widths based on breakpoints, making the single column of content extremely narrow on some devices (for example, my phone). I have remedied that.

Small tweaks

I’ve also made some changes that I prefer, such as the treatment of the excerpt in different post formats and some style tweaks here and there.

Husband. Daddy. Programmer. Artist. I'm not an expert, I just play one in real life.
  • Dear Paul,

    Could you help me with my serene child theme ? I have an issue with the icon of the magnifying glass. You can see it on my website :

    Did you had this issue as well ?

    Also, could you share some of your tricks on your serene-child theme ? :)

    Thank you very much for your time.

    Best regards,


  • Benjamin,

    It looks like the font used for the icon, ElegantIcons, is not being included in your theme. Make sure the stylesheet elegant-font.css is being included; you should find it inside Serene’s css directory.

  • Paul,

    You were right but it was not enough. I had enqueue several stylesheet without changing the name. So elegant-font.css was loaded with the wrong URL.

    BTW, I really like what you have done to the theme, you manage to deal with the big picture (that can confuse the user) in a very nice way :)

    ciao ciao