Written by on

Just Released: Carter, a Builder Theme for Image-Based Blogs


Builder Theme Carter just arrived with a grid-based (masonry) layout for your blog and Exchange-powered store. With built-in Exchange styles, Carter also includes custom alternate modules and a mobile-responsive design.

View the Demo

What’s a Masonry Layout?

Masonry Layouts have become popular for image-driven blogs, portfolios, ecommerce stores and social media sites (like Pinterest).

For a basic definition:

A masonry layout is a grid layout based on columns. Unlike other grid layouts, it doesn’t have fixed height rows. Basically, a masonry layout optimizes the use of space inside the web page by reducing any unnecessary gaps.

— Understanding Masonry Layouts

Carter takes care of the complicated code and styling required by the design of masonry layouts, so you can focus more on adding the actual content of your site.

Carter’s Blog Styling

Carter’s blog uses featured images from standard blog posts, plus different post format styles for images, quotes and status posts — all rendered in a responsive masonry layout.


To apply formats to your posts, use the Format box on the right side of the WordPress post editor screen.


Check out the Carter Theme Demo to see the blog in action.

Carter’s Ecommerce Styling

Carter also uses featured images from your Exchange store products to render the same grid-based layout styling for your store.


Again, check out the Carter Theme Store Demo to see the store in action. To get your online shop up and running quickly, download Exchange, our free ecommerce plugin.

Build Your Own Page Layouts

All Builder themes include the ability to build your own page layouts. Using the Builder Layout Editor, you can add/arrange modules for the header, navigation, content, widgets, images and footer.


Carter also comes packaged with these pre-built page layouts:

  • Email Signup
  • Hero Banner
  • Landing Page
  • Full Width
  • Full Width – Narrow
  • Left Sidebar
  • Right Sidebar

Download and Purchase Info

Carter is available for purchase as part of the Builder Developer Pack, All Access Theme Pass and WordPress Web Designer’s Toolkit. Carter is also available as a stand-alone Builder theme.

All current Builder Developer Pack, All Access Theme Pass and Toolkit members will find Carter available now for immediate download from the iThemes Member Panel.

Get Carter now


  1. Hi – this one is great, nice and clean, and really functional. I have a client I want to use it for right away.

    Can you make some that give less screen real estate to the header so we don’t have to change them all. Most of the theme’s you make have this and if we are using them for selling, ecommerce, we don’t want to lose 25% of the above the fold area to a header.

    I know we can code it..but it would be nice if we didn’t have to.


  2. I agree 100% with Henk in that the huge headers make no sense. The logo can go to the left of the menu and save a lot of space. While I love itheme’s builder tools, I think the themes are dated and lacking. I’ll keep saying this until things hopefully change.

    • Hey Derek, we really appreciate your feedback. The header module just pulls the site title and tagline, but you can use other modules with sidebars (image, html, etc.) in different orders to customize the look. But thanks again — passing your input along to our dev team.

      • Thanks Kristen :) I know it’s possible to make the changes, I just think it would be easier to start with a theme that’s already configured with a more sensible and modern layout. I love ithemes, but wish the themes were more in line with what Squarespace offers for example. Quality over quantity. Love builder, just not the themes. Anyway, just my two cents.

        • Hi. I have to +1 @derek on this one. I really like the power and flexibility of Builder but the themes are beginning to feel awkward with their huge header and footer areas. Compared to the templates at Squarespace or even Wix, they are looking out of date. Because of this, I’ve started using Builder mainly for rapid prototyping and less for actual deployment. It would be great if the iThemes team could put out some slicker, more minimal themes that are also optimized for Bootstrap.

          • I’ve been asking for years Ted, even offering samples of more modern and professional themes. I don’t think it’s a top priority unfortunately.

          • Hey Derek, we met this morning to discuss some new design ideas based on your feedback. There are always going to be challenges for highly-stylized Builder themes, since Layouts and Modules have so many possible combinations. “Build your own layouts” is an important part of Builder functionality, so we have to make sure that we’re providing styles for that flexibility — and that they work well across all possible Layout/Module combinations. We’re working on some new experimental Module styles for the next theme, so we’ll keep you posted. Thanks again. Again, we appreciate your feedback.

  3. Thanks Kristen :) I understand the challenges and restrictions to offering certain things for a builder theme, yet I think many users would love some “ready out of the box” options. Something like these would be amazing:

    https://www.authenticthemes.com/theme/photopress/ http://demo.authenticthemes.com/folio/

    I think ithemes customers would eat those up. Anyway, thanks for your taking the time to discuss this with the team. I really appreciate it :)



Sale ends Nov. 30! Save 50% OFF our entire library of WordPress tools Get the coupon