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Adventure Journal WordPress Theme

Share your adventures with the world!

Adventure Journal is a free, fun, highly customizable theme design that takes full advantage of all of WordPress’s newest features. Adventure Journal allows you to select header art, backgrounds, and a one, two, or three column layout from the comfort of your Dashboard – no coding required!


  • Customizable layout – choose between 1 column, 2 column sidebar right and 2  column sidebar left
  • Custom header graphic – easily upload your own images for the header
  • Custom background graphic
  • Visual editor
  • WordPress  3.0 custom menus
  • Separate sidebars for Pages and Blog Posts
  • Custom font – Volkorn Regular

Works with:

  • IE7,  IE8 & IE9
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari

Designed for WordPress 3.0+


This theme is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).


Download Adventure Journal from WordPress.org >>

Frequently Asked Questions


> How do I get featured images to replace the site header?

First, go to Appearance > Adventure Journal and ensure the option for Use featured images as custom site header, if available is checked.

Next, navigate to the page or post you would like to set a featured image for. Remove any existing featured image, and click “Set Featured Image”.

Now, upload a new image from your computer to use as the featured image (it must be at least 940px wide). Set the new image as your featured image and everything should work.

Note: If you already have featured images uploaded and they are at least 940px wide but aren’t showing in your header, we’ve heard from numerous users that the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin can miraculously make your featured header images work. Give it a shot!


> Can I disable the Browser Update Helper?

Absolutely. We understand that some people are forced to browse the internet via carrier pigeon and stone tablet, usually by overworked, underpaid corporate IT people… so we’ve included an option for easily disabling this feature. Here’s how:

  1. From your admin, go to Appearance > Adventure Journal
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and uncheck the option Make the web a better, safer place
  3. Click “Save Changes”

That’s it!


> How can I use a different layout on specific pages?

Yes. As of 1.6, several page templates are included for changing the layout of specific pages. Simply edit the page you want to change, and select a new Template item from the Page Attributes box. When you save the page, it will have the layout you specified.

Please keep in mind that not all page templates are compatible with all layouts. If you select page template that contains more columns than your selected Site Layout, the extra sidebars in your page template will be empty.


> How do I remove or delete the paperclipped site title from header graphic?

As of 1.4 this can easily be changed from your site’s admin. Simply navigate to Appearance > Adventure Journal to choose this option.


> How can I make the crinkled paper background show up for ALL the posts not just the stickied posts?

As of 1.5 this can be easily set from your site’s admin. Simply navigate to Appearance > Adventure Journal and choose this option.


> My website seems to be running slowly after I installed the theme, what can I do?

Adventure Journal has been tested extensively on low end and shared web hosts so it’s likely another reason that your site is running slowly. We recommend you read this excellent page on troubleshooting or improving WordPress performance issues.


> How do I adjust the size of the header graphic?

As of 1.4 this can easily be changed from your site’s admin. Simply navigate to Appearance > Adventure Journal and choose this option.


> My category listings are showing &hellip at the end!

This was a bug in AJ 1.4. Please update to AJ 1.5 and this issue should be fixed.

A Note on “Adventure Journal 2.0-wpcom”:

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2012

We’ve been getting a LOT of support emails about “Adventure Journal 2.0” recently, and would like to help clear things up…

There is no official 2.0 version of Adventure Journal at this time.

“Adventure Journal 2.0-wpcom by Contexture” is not an official release! This is a specially customized version of Adventure Journal that has been tweaked by the awesome WordPress.com team to work with WordPress.com’s free blog hosting (some of Adventure Journal’s advanced features are not compatible with the WordPress.com service). As a result, “2.0-wpcom” has fewer features than the current, official 1.7.2 release.

The official 1.7.2 version is still available and includes all the features you love and rely on. If you have your own web hosting, you can easily install the official version of Adventure Journal from your WordPress admin (see further down for directions).

You may also have acquired the 2.0-wpcom version if you used DreamHost’s deluxe one-click WordPress installer (Dreamhost’s deluxe installer uses only the special, WordPress.com-friendly themes). If you fall into this category, you can easily install the official, full-featured version of Adventure Journal 1.7.2 by visiting your WordPress website’s admin and doing the following:

  1. From your WordPress Dashboard, choose Appearance > Themes
  2. Select “Install Themes”
  3. Type “adventure journal” in the search box, and press Enter on your keyboard
  4. Click the “Install” link under the Adventure Journal image.
  5. In the popup box that appears, click “Install Now”
  6. Click the “Activate” link on the page that appears
  7. You’re all done!

The trick is simply making sure that you are using 1.7.2 if you are hosting your own WordPress website. Although “2.0-wpcom” seems “newer” at first glance, it’s actually a completely different version with fewer features.

Finally, we ARE working on a new version of Adventure Journal, and it is a MAJOR update… so major, that we might release it as a completely new theme called Adventure Journal 2. Stay tuned :-)


Adventure Journal 2 Update!

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012

You didn’t think AJ was abandoned did you?

So here’s the skinny… we’ve been uhappy with the status quo for WordPress themes for quite a while. They’re messy, poorly coded, and far too reliant on obsolete technologies. To change all that, we’ve been working on a new, developer-oriented theme framework for WordPress. Our goal is to not only dramatically improve the quality of themes, but to fundamentally change the way themes are created.

The new framework, along with a whole accompanying website, is due out by the end of September. The new version of Adventure Journal will launch about the same time (afterward, we’ll be finishing that major overhaul of Page Security). So hang tight, great things are coming!

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857 Responses to Adventure Journal WordPress Theme

  1. Greg

    Hi Matt,

    I use a customized header picture, but I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to make it so if someone clicks on it, it will bring them back to the home page. Thanks!

    • Matt

      You will need to alter header.php for this to work. You’ll probably want to wrap the contents of #banner (line 81) in an <a> tag.

  2. jOHN

    I love the adventure journal theme. I am using it to design a webpage. I do not want anyone to leave a reply on the posts. How do I delete this option?

    • Matt

      You can disable your site’s comments from your admin (Settings > Discussion) or on a post-by-post basis (while editing).

  3. Dennis

    Matt After the update to 1.71 I noticed a darker bar at the bottom of every Page (its the same color as the widgets is there something I can dou to get this to disappear


    Thank you

    • Matt

      Hey Dennis,

      I can’t help you out while you have a right-click disabler installed.

  4. Rolf

    I asked earlier if it was possible to make the “paper” a little transparent so that you can see a little of the background throgh the paper and you explained how, but I get non transparent “boxes” around “categories” (under every blogtext)and wonder how I can get that “box” also transparent? (look at my website and you understand what i mean)
    Is that also a image or do I have to change any php-file?

    • Matt

      You need to change the background property for .entry-utility to use an rgba value.

      .entry-utility, .feedback {
      clear: both;
      background: rgba(239, 227, 216, 0.5); /*Make your background line match this one*/
      padding: 8px;
      border-radius: 3px;
      -moz-border-radius: 3px;
      -webkit-border-radius: 3px;

  5. Brad

    Matt, I love the theme, it’s perfect for what I’m doing. I’m having a problem with WP emoticons adding a return. I added the text you suggested in May of “.wp-smiley {display:inline;}” to AJ’s CSS. I also tried replacing that line with the line from Twenty-Ten’s theme to the CSS, and I tried every combination I could think of to modify the CSS, no luck. I just reinstalled with 1.7.1 and I’m still having problems, any thoughts? Thanks again for a wonderful theme.

    • Matt

      Try changing .wp-smiley {display:inline;} to .wp-smiley {display:inline !important;} and see if that makes a difference. The display:inline property might be getting overridden somewhere and the !important flag should prevent that.

  6. Matt

    Adventure Journal 1.7.1 Available

    I’ve finished AJ 1.7.1 and have submitted it to WordPress.org for approval. The approval process can take several days, so the download link is available below if you need the update ASAP. Here are the changes:

    * UPDATE: Added Brazilian Portugese translation (thanks Fernando)
    * FIX: 3-column layouts should now work correctly.
    * FIX: Custom sidebar widths are now automatically disabled when using 3-column layouts.
    * FIX: Updated the browser helper to accept Opera 10 (previously required Opera 11+)
    * FIX: Pages will now show correct sub-page pagination when comments are disabled.

    Download AJ 1.7.1 Now

  7. Matt

    WordPress Downloads Broken… Again (8/02/11)

    Aaand the 1.7 download has mysteriously broken again. I have posted 1.7.1 for download and submitted to WordPress.org for approval. Since the approval process can take several days, I recommend you download the update here if you need your site updated ASAP.

    Corrupt Downloads Fixed (7/29/11)

    As of right now, it appears that the WordPress.org team has fixed the 1.7 download. If you have one of the corrupt downloads, all you have to do to fix your theme is delete your corrupt copy of Adventure Journal, then simply reinstall it. Here’s how:

    1. From your admin, go to Appearance > Themes
    2. Activate any other theme (like TwentyEleven). This is temporary and we’ll switch back in a minute.
    3. Now DELETE Adventure Journal (click the Delete link under it). This will erase the corrupt copy of AJ.
    4. Now go to the “Install Themes” tab and search for “Adventure Journal”.
    5. Click install. When that finishes, click “Activate”.
    6. That’s it. You should now be running a working copy of AJ 1.7

    Note: 1.7 currently misbehaves with 3-column layouts. I already have this fixed and will be submitting another update (1.7.1) later today. If you have a 3-column layout and your site looks awful, please temporarily switch to a 2-column layout. I’ll post 1.7.1 here as soon as it’s ready so you won’t have to wait for the WordPress.org approval process.

  8. Matt


    It has come to my attention that somehow the file being served by WordPress.org is outright corrupt (the server seems to have simply thrown away half the required files). I’m working as quickly as I can to resolve the problem with WordPress.org. In the mean time, if you’ve found yourself with a totally screwed up theme, you can download a working version from this support page and simply overwrite the theme on your server. For the time being, don’t use the autoupdate feature, because the version being served by the WordPress server appears to be missing many important files.

  9. Patrick h. Lauke

    Hi there,

    my name is Patrick and I work in the Developer Relations team at Opera. Some of our users are reporting that blogs using the Adventure Journal template are displaying the “You are using an insecure version of Opera. Please update your browser!” warning, even when using the very latest versions. Could I please ask for the theme to be updated (to my knowledge, and from some initial testing, I don’t think there’s anything that doesn’t work with your theme when browsing with Opera)? Note that our most recent UA strings are in the format of: Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 6.0; U; en) Presto/2.9.168 Version/11.50 – the real version number is at the end, exactly because badly written UA sniffers initially got confused about Opera being the first browser to go into double-digit version numbers and were recognising Opera/10.0 as Opera/1 instead.

    Many thanks,


    • Matt

      Hey Patrick,

      I’ll change the browser detection for AJ 1.7.1 (to be released today) to detect Opera < 10 (currently it checks for < 11). Thanks for the heads up.

  10. sheila

    Ah, upon looking at the theme editing area in the dashboard, there is NO Header file! lol

    • Matt

      Yeah, it looks like the WordPress.org server destroyed the download again. I have no idea what’s going on, but I’ve had themes and plugins corrupted by the server more than a few times.

      1.7.1 is finished and I’m uploading it now.

  11. sheila

    and also for some reason the whole theme is off center?

  12. sheila

    Hmmmmmmmm any idea what happened to the header and the little note with the paperclip on it… with the new install? Ughhhh. I shouldn’t have deleted and reactivated.

  13. Dennis

    Again thank you for the great theme and the supportyou provide. I am using the your theme as to support the communication needs of a high school football site. I was asked if we could change the color of the text to match the teams colors. is this possible (and how?)

    • Matt

      Absolutely. All you need to do is upload a CSS override file. If you let me know what colors you want, and which text you’d like changed (headers?), I’d be glad to post the CSS you need.

  14. Karen

    Thank God!! I was thinking it was something I did, and I wanted to cry!! I’ve been trying to fix it myself for a week. But I still have the question about erasing all my updates if I delete AJ and re-install a new version? Then again, I guess that’s better than all my columns crammed up on one side or disappearing completely lol.

  15. John

    Hi Matt! I see you posted a new update for AJ today (1 Aug). Will thiss fix the 3 columns problem? I downloaded it, but I still only get 2 columns?

    • Matt


      1.7.1 fixes the column issue, and I’m uploading it right now. Keep your fingers crossed that WordPress.org doesn’t chew it up like it did 1.7.

  16. Jennifer

    Matt I read and understand your instructions to activate a different theme, delete AJ, then reinstall AJ and reactivate it. BUt my concern is that if I delete it all of my customizations will be erased and I’ll have to rebuild my site all over again. I’m scared to delete AJ. Will my customizations be erased? My site was working fine until yesterday and 4 of my pages vanished and simply said “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.” I’m assuming that’s because of the corrupt updates.?.

  17. carl


    First off, I’d like to thank you for your work on this wonderful theme!

    Secondly, I’d like to inquire on as to why I can’t seem to change the background :S

    I entered a color, the colour only flashes, I then made the color a png image, but the stock background remained.

    Any suggestions would be great!


  18. Meredith

    LOVE the theme! Thanks again!

    For now – Please explain to us ‘non-tech savy’ people how to overwrite the theme. I have installed the .zip file successfully, but on WordPress I don’t see how I can make that active. My website is still not functioning how it should look. http://www.bipolartourist.com

    Thanks for any help you can offer!

    • Matt

      The good news is that the WordPress.org staff fixed the download – so you don’t need to manually install the theme.

      This is all you have to do to fix it:
      1. From your admin, switch to another theme (this is temporary), then delete Adventure Journal.
      2. Go to the “Install Themes” tab and search for Adventure Journal. Install it, and activate it.
      3. You’re done!

      Also, if you ever need to install a theme manually. This is the process:
      1. Unzip the file to your desktop (or wherever)
      2. Using an FTP app, upload the entire theme FOLDER (e.g. “adventure-journal”) to your website’s /wp-content/themes/ folder. You should now have a folder on your server like this /wp-content/themes/adventure-journal/
      3. Log in to your WordPress admin to activate the theme.

      Please let me know if you’re back up and running after reinstalling the theme. :-)

  19. alex

    Downloaded the zip from your site – how do I do the “overwrite”??

    • Matt

      This is no longer necessary as the WordPress.org team fixed the download. You can now simply log into your admin, delete AJ, and reinstall it. I’ve stickied detailed directions at the top of these comments.

  20. John

    under theme options I choose 3 columns, but only 2 columns is showing? I tried to re install adventure journal, but is shows only the 2 columns? Any reason why?? It worked perfect before!

    • Matt

      The 3-column layout is buggy right now (the 1.7 update makes some miscalculations for 3-column layouts). I have a fix in place and plan on releasing an update this afternoon. The update will be available for download on this page immediately when it’s ready, as the WordPress.org approval process takes a few days.

  21. Hamin

    Thank you for uploading a working version of the theme here. Great job, it looks really nice :)

  22. Meralyn

    My blog is thru the AussieBlog site… I’ve downloaded your working link… it sits on my desktop as i figure out how I ‘overwrite AJ on my server’… searched everywhere on the dashboard, but my novice blogbrain can’t work it out…. does anyone have any hints/ideas… in the meantime, I shall be patient and wait til the AJ-WP Server prob is resolved. cheers, m

    • Matt

      Hey Marilyn. The WordPress.org download has been fixed. You can now simply log into your admin, delete AJ, and reinstall it. I’ve stickied detailed directions at the top of these comments.

  23. Barbara Kelley

    Thank you so much for your help, Matt. Installing the downloaded version worked out beautifully.


  24. michael

    there is a problem with the main menu drop down list- a gap shows when you try to click on a sup menu- it go a way so you can not get to them if you have more than one page in a list? works ok in FF

  25. Susan

    I’m using Adventure Journal for this “practice” website. One thing I would like to do is move the menu (navigation bar) from above the header to below the header. Is that possible? Can you explain how to do it please? Thanks.

    • Matt

      This would require modifying the theme’s header.php file, and I’m not sure off the top of my head what CSS tweaks you would need to make, either.

      If you do tweak the theme, don’t forget to make backups of the modified files, because any theme updates will erase those changes.

  26. sheila

    How can I remove the ability to leave comments on pages yet keep the comments on posts?

    • Matt

      I don’t believe WordPress includes a site-wide setting for this. You’ll have to disable the comments on a case-by-case basis.

  27. sheila

    Is there a way to change the color of the crinkled paper in the post… or not use it at all?

    • Matt

      The paper texture is an image, so you would have to replace it to change it’s look. If you want it disabled, you can do that from your admin under Appearance > Theme Options.

  28. маски для волос

    Thank you Matt! Update solve my problem!

  29. маски для волос

    1.7 break my site!

  30. Rob

    Auto-update to 1.7 said it was a success but it screwed up layout. It seems like it didn’t upload the new files (only changed files).

    I fixed by manually uploading images folder, languages folder and some files in root folder for AJ theme, especially the header.php which is what screws up the layout!

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