Frontity blog/portfolio theme: desert-jackalope

Howdy ya’ll,

I thought I’d drop a link to my custom Frontity theme here:

You can see it live here:

It’s still very much a work in progress but it’s stable right now.

It’s essentially built off the mars-theme, with my own custom styling added and some of the structure rearranged.

I’m still new to React and I’m primarily a designer (though I call myself a “design technologist” to hint at that), but I think there’s some nice stuff about it.


  • Modes: Can be set to either “Blog” (styling not fully complete yet), or defaults to Portfolio (case study focused).
  • Contains theming using css variables.
  • Page transitions (implemented with the help of Luis :slight_smile: )


  • improve the overall syntax and structure of things.

  • add lightboxes to post images.

  • add a footnotes feature probably using this plugin for the backend

  • add custom features using custom Gutenberg components

    • The main component I want to build is a multimedia gallery with lightbox built in. I built a php version for my old blog website using ACF, and I’d like to recreate that as a native Gutenberg component for the future. Essentially it’s a masonry style gallery that can show images, video, links, or sketchfab embeds.

      • Videos would mute autoplay with no visible controls. That way you could post a wall of motion graphics work on a portfolio, without having to rely on gifs which are much less compressed than mp4s.

      • Clicking on the gallery image or video would make it bigger in the lightbox.

      • Links would just look like image previews that when clicked would take the user to a new page (for showing off websites designs).

      • Sketchfab embeds would look like an image preview that when click would bring up an iframe with the sketchfab embed.

  • convert blog/portfolio mode stuff to being based on taxonomy allowing for a website to have BOTH a blog and case studies section.

    • add a “projects” page for completed projects. Would still appear in blog feed but would also have a separate part of the website for people to browse.
  • add a bunch of extra styling pizazz. Trying to keep things minimal and maintainable first and foremost though.

  • add an animated image transition effect for hero images. (similar to this, but without the gooey hover part)


Hey @thedonquixotic I love it, the design is really good! Thanks for sharing it with us :blush:

And really excited to read all the plans you have for this project, please keep us posted!


Thanks for sharing it, Aslan! It looks great! I love the design as well :slight_smile:


It looks really cool Aslan. Congratulations :smile:



It looks nice and minimal
One thing I wanted to point out is that if I click on Blog on this domain(, it takes me to the domain:
which is a duplicate of the same website, and on that, the blog link keeps us on the same domain. This shift in domain breaks the onepage app feel since we are travelling to another domain. I think it’s just a matter of changing the blog link on the domain. And I hope it’s not purposefully kept like this?

That’s just because I have a separate website at that is using the same database and version of this theme. I’m still working on the blog features and when I do I’ll switch’s theme settings to be set to blog mode and that way when you click it will take you to a clearly different website with different content.

I used to have my portfolio and blog on the same website but decided to separate them so as to better concentrate the purpose of my portfolio.