Ankur, a WordPress block theme for everyone

Introducing a new WordPress block theme with support for color variations and custom patterns.

Ankur is a block theme for WordPress. It’s named after a Sanskrit word which means “flower” or “blossom,” imagery often used to depict a new beginning. At the same time, an anchor (because I love wordplay) symbolizes stability and confidence. With Ankur as the fully customizable starting point, whether as a brand new site or revamping an existing one, you can tell your story with clean typography and bold colors.

Ankur differs from my previous WordPress themes — Cover and its rewrite Cover2 — in that it is a block theme, also known as a full site editing theme (sometimes shortened to “FSE”). Simply put, everything in the theme is a block and therefore editable. (Check out this helpful site for more information.)

A starting point

Most WordPress themes, whether FSE or classic, come with a default look. For example, take a look at these block themes featured on

Ankur, by contrast, comes with no such default look. The post listing is a simple list, not a grid with images. There are no background images behind headers, nor any modern design influences. Think of it as a starting point for your creative soul: it has sensible defaults, but I wanted to make a theme that served as a blank slate for users to make their own. (This would also avoid what I think of as the “Bootstrap effect,” where most sites based on a framework look similar to each other.)

By way of example, the very site you’re looking at is running a child theme of Ankur. It’s highly customized, from custom page templates to extra plugin support. The defaults, however, are all inherited from the base theme. I only override the things I want to change.

Theme style variants

Ankur comes bundled with multiple style variants: light, dark, and three nature-themed alternates.

To apply one of these styles, open the new Site Editor and select the Styles menu item. In the Styles sidebar, you’ll be able to pick your theme’s style.

Choose the one that speaks to you, and click Save to apply it to your site.

Default patterns and customization

Ankur also comes bundled with several patterns to give you a head start in making your site your own. A little bit of everything is included: headers and footers, featured content areas, post previews, and even a custom large blockquote.

Remember that you don’t just have to use what Ankur provides, either. Click the three-dot menu ( ) on any pattern and select “Copy to My patterns” to customize it to your liking.

Goodbye child themes, probably

The WordPress site editor removes, in large part, the necessity to create a child theme. For style or design changes, it’s no longer a requirement; simply make your changes and save right in the editor.

Eiche Fam (this site) is, however, running a child theme of Ankur. The reason for this is — beyond simply because “Paul is a programmer” — I have custom functionality not needed for a general-purpose theme. For example, I have a color theme switcher in the site footer. The custom JavaScript for this functionality is not included in the base theme. (In fact, no custom JavaScript is included with Ankur.) Therefore, child theme.

I also use a custom plugin and service to handle the search functionality. The service is a cloud search called Algolia (and I highly recommend them, I don’t get paid to say it but they’re awesome). The templates I use for displaying the search results are custom. So again, a child theme is necessary for that.

But if you don’t need to do anything super custom, then you probably don’t need a child theme. (If you do, though, let’s talk. )

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