Ollie Block Theme Docs

Ollie is a modern WordPress block theme by Mike McAlister. Ollie is built to work seamlessly with the WordPress block editorBlock editor The WordPress block editor is editing interface where you create content and layouts with blocks (paragraphs, images, columns, etc.). and site editor, where you can create beautiful, fully-customizable websites with WordPress’s built-in page builder — no page builder or coding skills required.

Ollie ships with over 50 beautifully-designed patternsBlock patterns Block Patterns are a collection of pre-designed blocks that you can insert into pages and posts and then customize with your own content., page templatesTemplates Templates are designs for pages and can include one or more template parts., block styles, and style variationsStyle variations Style variations allow theme authors to create alternate variations of a block theme with different combinations of colors, fonts, typography, spacing, etc. so you can design stunning pages quickly with drag and drop instead of code. Ollie is also blazing fast, fully customizable via the WordPress UI, fully responsive out of the box, and scores 100% across the board on performance.

My goal with OllieWP.com and this theme is to help educate both long-time and new WordPress creators about the many powerful, new features WordPress has to offer. Please feel free to dig through the code and learn a bit more about how to make WordPress block themes. ✌️

Getting Started with Ollie

Ollie is built for modern WordPress features and requires WordPress 6.0 or later. To get started, download the theme and install it into your WordPress website by going to Appearance → Themes → Add New.

I’ve also included a blueprint of the Ollie demo site that can be imported into LocalWP. This will create a site exactly like you see on the demo, cutting out all the setup steps. Simply download the blueprint and drag the zip file onto the LocalWP app to create the site. Use the username ollie and password demo to log in to the blueprint.

Working with Block Themes

Once you activate Ollie, it will largely behave like any other traditional WordPress theme. You can create posts and pages just like you always have. However, as a block theme, Ollie also supports powerful new features like the site editor, patterns, global stylesGlobal styles Global styles is a collection of styles and settings that control the overall look and feel of your website. These settings can be adjusted with a user interface in the editor., and more.

A block theme is a WordPress theme with templates entirely composed of blocksBlocks Blocks are content elements that you add to the editor in posts and pages to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block. so that in addition to post and page content, the block editor can also be used to edit all areas of the site — headers, footers, templates, and more.

Site Editor

The WordPress site editor is the new way to build beautiful websites with WordPress. Using blocks, patterns, and a full suite of drag-and-drop design tools, you can build pages right inside WordPress without an extra page builder.

To edit your site via the site editor, go to Appearance → Editor. Here, you can create and edit templates, create menus, customize your website styles, color palette, typography, block styles, and much more. This interface is where you’ll design and build your site before exporting it later.


Patterns are pre-designed page elements that can be used to quickly design a page section or a full page layout. Instead of designing a page from scratch, WordPress creators can now lean on patterns to quickly design their full website in the WordPress Site Editor.

You can access Ollie’s patterns via the block inserter on posts, pages, or in the site editor.

Creating page designs with patterns

To create the pages you see on the Ollie theme demo, simply insert Ollie’s full-page patterns onto any page, and apply the No Page Title template via the editor sidebar. This template removes the default page title, which better accommodates the full-page patterns, so make sure you have an H1 in your design for SEO best practices.

Global Styles

Global styles is the user interface in the Site Editor where you can modify all the styles associated with your site. This could be typography, fonts, button colors, link colors, layout defaults, and more.

Global styles is powered by a theme.json in the root of the theme folder. This configuration file lets you define site-wide and block-specific styles to be used by the global styles interface.

Template PartsTemplate parts Template parts are used to organize a theme in smaller reusable structural parts. They are commonly used for site headers and site footers.

A template part is a part of your site that appears across most or all pages. The most common template parts are for the header, footer, and sidebar of a website. Template parts let you easily make global changes to the design or markup of global site elements.

Export Your Site

Once you’ve finished building and customizing your site with the site editor, you can export a zip to install on another site. While in the site editor, go to the Options menu (upper right hand corner), and select Export under the Tools heading. WordPress will write all of your changes to a theme zip file.

Developer Notes

The Ollie theme works out of the box, so no build steps are required. However, I have included a Composer file that is used for linting to PHP and WordPress core standards.

  • composer run lint
  • composer run wpcs:scan
  • composer run wpcs:fix


Ollie is licensed under the GPL-3.0 license.

Beta Feedback

Ollie is currently in beta and looking for any and all feedback. Please open a new issue for bug reports, feature requests, or general feedback.

About the Creator

Ollie was created by Mike McAlister, a code-slinging, pixel-pushing, team-building, award-winning creator from Planet Earth.