By The Theme Foundry

Watson banner

Bold and sophisticated.

Your content deserves the best.

Watson was influenced by the bold strokes and clean lines of classic newspapers and magazines. We obsessed about the typography, ensuring your words were clear and readable. We made strong choices — emphasizing your content, while cutting out the cruft. The sidebar disappears when viewing a individual post, maximizing and clarifying the reading experience. Give your posts that professional feel with ten built-in typographic styling options.

Watson style example

Add some style.

Make it your own.

Personalizing your new website should be fun. We’ve leveraged the built-in WordPress customizer, so adding your own background image or color is easy. On top of that, you can use the Custom Design upgrade to set your own primary color for links and buttons with the built in color picker. Combine these colors with a custom background to match your brand and give your website a truly unique look.

Watson screenshot

Get noticed.

Feature your articles.

We built a simple slider into the Watson front page to help your important articles get more attention and give your website that polished look. Check a box while writing a post and it will automatically show up in the slider. We’ve also included an optional row of thumbnails for any additional featured stories you want to mix in to the home page.

Help and additional information

If you need help with Basis be sure to read through the Watson documentation by clicking the Support button at the top of the sidebar on this page. You can also ask us questions in the WordPress.com Watson support forum.

Looking to buy Watson for a self hosted WordPress.org website? The Theme Foundry builds WordPress templates for WordPress.org and you can purchase the Watson theme for WordPress.org directly from their website.

Quick Specs (all measurements in pixels):

  1. Watson is a flexible-width, responsive design.
  2. Slider and featured images should be at least 608 by 400.
  3. On single posts and the default page template: The main column maximum width is 492.
  4. On the with-sidebar and sitemap page templates: The main column maximum width is 550.
  5. On the full-width page template: The main column maximum width is 900.
  6. All images and video will scale to fit the viewing screen.

Video walkthrough

Click here to watch a 20 minute video walkthrough on setting up the Watson demo site.

Please note: This video walkthrough was recorded using the Watson magazine theme for self hosted WordPress. The Primary color and Credit line text options are not available here on the WordPress.com version.

The featured slider is displayed above your post list, on your home page. To add a post to the featured slider:

  1. Go to the Edit Post screen for your post.
  2. Check the “Show in featured slider” box in the Watson Theme Post Options meta box:
  3. Set a featured image.
  4. Save your post.
Posts that are included in the featured slider will not appear in the default blog post listing. Since the posts in the featured slider are included at the top of this listing, they will not appear a second time in that same listing. Featured slider posts will, however, display in archives and RSS feeds.

The featured thumbnails are displayed after the second post in your post list, on your home page.

To add a post to the featured thumbnails:

  1. Go to the Edit Post screen for your post.
  2. Check the “Show in featured thumbnails” box in the Watson Theme Post Options meta box:
  3. Set a featured image.
  4. Save your post.
Posts in the featured thumbnails area will appear in the default blog listing. These posts will be displayed twice if included in the featured thumbnails area.

Theme options

Changes to your theme options can be previewed in real time. Your can preview changes by clicking “Customize” on the Appearance → Themes page of your admin panel.

From here, you can:

  • Set a logo and high-resolution logo (for Retina/Hi-res devices).
  • Autostart the featured slider.
  • Hide tags, categories, authors, dates, and featured images.
  • Set up Watson’s social icons.

Formatting with the editor

Watson has a set of pre-defined styles that you can use in your posts.

Stylistic elements include:

  • Horizontal rule
  • Alert boxes
  • Footnote and sidenote
  • Run-in
  • Excerpt
  • End

Examples of these elements can be viewed on Watson’s demo site.

To use these styles on your site, you can switch to the HTML mode of the post editor and use the following code:

Horizontal rule:


Alert boxes:

<div class="alert">Your text here.</div>
<div class="alert note">Your text here.</div>
<div class="alert success">Your text here.</div>
<div class="alert error">Your text here.</div>

Footnote sidenote:

<p class="footnote sidenote"> Footnote goes here </p>


<span class="run-in">You would write your run in here</span>


<p class="excerpt">You can add your excerpt paragraph here.</p>


<p class="end">Style your end paragraph this way.</p>

To add items to your sidebar or two footer areas, navigate to the Appearance → Widgets screen on your admin dashboard.

Watson’s sidebar cannot be disabled. If empty, the sidebar will display a message explaining how to add sidebar widgets.

Recently Discussed widget

The Watson Theme Recently Discussed widget is featured in the sidebar of the demo site. The widget was designed to be placed in the sidebar, and probably shouldn’t be placed in either footer simply because it won’t look as nice.

The widget displays the featured image, title, and date of last comment for your 3 most recently commented posts.

The Watson Theme Recently Discussed widget will not be carried over if you switch themes.

Slideshows in posts and pages

To add a slideshow on a post or page, add your gallery; then, paste the following shortcode into your page content, replacing the default [gallery] shortcode:

[gallery slider="true"]

To autostart a slideshow within a post or page, include autostart="true" into the shortcode, like so:

[gallery autostart="true" slider="true"]

Looking for the self hosted WordPress.org version?

Browse our self hosted WordPress themes at The Theme Foundry website.