Quick Tips for the WordPress Oxygen Theme


I love the Oxygen theme for WordPress, but parts of it can be confusing.  I recently moved my site hosting from wordpress.com to self-hosting wordpress.org, and suddenly I found my Oxygen theme not working!

Good news is, it just needs a few tweaks.  Since I figured most of it out (I think), I’m posting tips here:

Oxygen theme For WordPress.com

Featured Slider on front page

  • Make a new, blank page titled Showcase, and set its template to Showcase Page. (Right hand column under Page Attributes).
  • Make another new blank page, and title it Blog.  Default template is fine.  (You can name these two pages anything you want, just make sure you choose the corresponding pages in the next step).
  • Go to Settings > Reading, and under Front Page Displays, choose “static page”, and change the pages to Front Page: Showcase and Post Page: Blog (or whatever you decided to name them).

Make posts appear in the Featured Slider on the front page

  • Edit the post you want in the Slider.
  • Under Visibility (far right column, top, in the “publish” area), under “public”, checkmark “sticky”.
  • Make sure to add a Featured Image, at least 750 pixels wide.  This is done on the blog post, far right column, down near the bottom under “Featured Image”.
  • Click Publish button.

Other posts will automatically appear on the front page as well.  Make sure they each have an image of 470 pixels wide somewhere in the body, otherwise they will have a blank box above them.

For WordPress.org  / self-hosted sites

Featured slider on front page:

  • Make a new, blank page titled Home, and set it’s template to Front Page. (I wasn’t able to use my previous page I had titled “Showcase”, but that’s no big deal, I just made the new page named Home and deleted the old Showcase).
  • Edit posts you want to appear here.  While in edit mode, in the far right column, very bottom, under Featured Location, choose “featured”.
  • They should not be sticky posts, so if you are moving (like I did), go to Visibility, click edit, and uncheck the stick post box.
  • Add a featured image.  Recommended featured image size:  750 pixels wide x 380 pixels high.

Make other blog posts show up on front page

At first, my other blog posts weren’t showing up on the front page when using Oxygen theme.  Quick fix!

  • Edit the blog post, and choose either Primary or Secondary under “Feature Location” (very right column, bottom).  And image sizes of 470 wide x 140 tall work best for these.

I also found that there was nowhere to upload a header image in Oxygen theme when it’s self-hosted.  Another quick fix!  Edit your header.php file, and insert the image in the file.

  • Right under <div id=”header”;>, insert:  <img src=”http://locationofimage.com”;>.  It’s really easy if you upload the image through wordpress like any other media, then copy the URL that WordPress gives the image.
  • If you don’t want any of the header text showing (site title and description), delete these following four lines from the file:

<div id=”branding”>

<?php oxygen_site_title(); ?>

<?php hybrid_site_description(); ?>

</div><!– #branding –>

  • Save your header.php file.  Now your header image should show.

The other few fixes I had to make were re-selecting my top and side menus, and setting back up my widgets.  View my self-hosted site using the Oxygen theme at http://hitthegrounddancing.com

Hope this helps!

73 thoughts on “Quick Tips for the WordPress Oxygen Theme

    • Great! That’s exactly why I posted, it took me much longer than I thought it should have and I couldn’t find all of the documentation in one place, had to search multiple places on the internet and I hoped I would be able to keep others from wasting that much time!

      • Okay so a few months ago, I switched my dance website to one of the newer parallax scrolling themes because I thought they looked awesome. But after using it for a few months I realized I HATED how hard it was for people to navigate! Not to mention using it on a mobile device was challenging. I actually noticed my bounce rate increase and my conversions (students signing up for class) decrease! So I have switched BACK to my trusted Oxygen theme and am happy to have done so! Signups have increased again and I know it’s because the Oxygen theme is just cleaner looking and easier for my customers to navigate around.

  • Hi Vicky great post and sorely needed. Oxygen is an awesome theme. Just got it running myself. The only still annoying me about it is that the blog titles disappear off the homepage slideshow when viewed on a mobile device. Haven’t quite found a fix yet! Anyway! Great blog. I’ll keep subbed!



    • Make sure you’ve followed all the steps for the wordpress.com sites, especially these first few:

      Featured Slider on front page

        Make a new, blank page titled Showcase, and set its template to Showcase Page. (Right hand column under Page Attributes).
        Make another new blank page, and title it Blog.
        Go to Settings > Reading, and under Front Page Displays, choose “static page”, and change the pages to Front Page: Showcase and Post Page: Blog (or whatever you decided to name them).

      And of course all of the steps for setting up a featured post so that something will appear.

      The only other thing I can suggest if you’re comfortable, is to temporarily set me up as a user with admin access, and I can go in and check your settings.

      Good luck!

  • Thank you so much for writing up these instructions–they are the only thing that has worked for me!
    However, now that I have the slider in place, none of my posts show under the ‘Recent Posts’ or ‘More Articles’ headers. Perhaps it is because my blog is very new and I only have 2 posts, but is there a way to designate posts to show in the slider AND in the body of the page, just until I accumulate more posts and can pick 3-5 sticky ones to show in the slider and have the rest chronologically appear underneath. Otherwise the home page looks pretty odd.
    My blog is http://hotedeville.wordpress.com for reference.

    Thanks again!

  • Great and helpful advise. I was trying to figure out how to remove the titles on the slider as my images have better text which I don’t want covered up. I am sure it is easy to do but I have been searching for an hour and can’t find out where to remove these titles. Thanks.

  • It’s a great theme, did you have any luck setting up custom post templates, I tried the normal way and they dont seem to work.

        • here are the most common errors I find, in order. You might want to walk through them in order and make sure all of these steps are covered.

            Whichever page you use as your Showcase page, make sure its template is set to Showcase.
            Also, make sure this Showcase page is set as the static front page under Settings > Reading.
            For whatever posts you want featured in that slider, make sure the “Featured Image” is at least 750 pixels wide, and is uploaded to the post using “Featured Image” in the right-hand column of the page when you’re editing the post. 749 pixels or less and the post won’t appear in the slider.
            For whatever posts you want featured in the slider, also make sure that the visibility is set to “sticky”, in the top of the right-hand column when you’re editing the post. The box should be checkmarked.
  • Thank you for putting this together. I’ve been struggling trying to set up the featured page based on the template creator’s description. I finally have a slideshow now! I was going to self-host my blog but now I’m a little weary of doing that based on the problems you mentioned.

  • Is it possible to have the frontpage not show any posts? I just want the slider featured images but not the recent post underneath. I’m using it as a true home page and want the posts to show up elsewhere on the site not the home page. Im using a .com not .org oxygen theme. Currently not using hte slider until I can get the post problem above fixed. Any help you can provide is appreciated.

    • If you are hosted on wordpress.com, you won’t be able to make changes to the layout of the front page. That’s the one disadvantage of using their free service.

  • hey vicky, thanks for your description AND the explanation of the differences between wordpress.com/self-hosted usage of the oxygen theme.

    i managed to insert 5 featured posts to my frontpage-slider, but now the featured-box section in the edit-post site in my wordpress-admin-area isn’t there any more so i can’t mark a new post as ‘featured’. can you tell me why it’s gone?!

    it’s a self-hosted site – http://www.campgrizzly.at/wordpress

      • thanks for your reply but unfortunetaly it didn’t work. since i’m using wordpress in german i’m not quite shure how they translated ‘location’, but even when everything unter options is checkmarked i can’t find the option to mark the post as ‘featured’.

        this is so frustrating. could it be that there’s an wordpress-option for deactivating featured posts at all?

  • I don’t believe featured posts can be deactivated if you’re using this theme. I’ve uploaded a screenshot at http://hitthegrounddancing.com/vickywu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/screen-options.jpg in case that helps – I think the options would at least be in the same order. Also make sure it hasn’t defaulted back to one of the generic WordPress themes, perhaps with an update or something. Check that and I will look around in my notes to see if I have any other tips as well.

  • Hello Vicky Wu,

    We are trying to set up a publication as college club for journalism majors. I am a beg. wdpress user – I know the simple blog form but to get oxygen up and running as promoted in theme could really use some help. I have set up pages (menu 1) and (menu 2) nothing seems to work – here is our site thus far. msudfeatclub.wordpress.com Thanks Holly

    • You might have figured out some things in the couple days since you posted and my reply … I visited your site, and the front page slider is working, menus are working, and it seems like it’s coming along. Are you still having troubles?

      • Hello,

        Thank you for responding – yes I bunkered down and figured it out. Thank you again – now we are going to work on uploading a flip e-mag. We will save the cover page image and place a link o a full e-mag/pages. FUN. Thanks again!

  • I am new and it is a wordpress.com site…could you please help me to get the slider. I am willing to message you my sign in information because I followed all of your instructions and still nothing. Ive been at it for four hours now. Please help. 🙁

  • when i upload a new post it pushes the 7th featured post off but does not push it to primary, and primary does not get pushed to secondary. is there a fix to this? i am in current process of switching from .com to .org self hosted.

    • On the .org self hosted, you have to manually set each post that you want to appear on the front page as either featured, primary, secondary by going into the posts and editing that setting. However, if you want more than 7 to be featured, I believe there is a setting you can change – I haven’t done so myself yet (and don’t recommend either – too many choices can be a negative).

  • I have read many different tutorials and there are a few issues I encounter, I do not have the option to check off location, and don’t have the option to check off sticky page under visibility.

    This is the first time I am using WordPress so I don’t know if I missed a step. But I originally created this page and then learned about selecting Showcase Page. When I did that, I no longer see all the text I entered in my “home” page that I had created for the Showcase Page. I’m I using an older version that doesn’t allow me to do this?

    • When editing or writing a post, next to Visibility: Public, there is an “edit” link. Clicking the edit link will open up extra options. This is where it will have a checkbox for “Stick this post to the front page” to make it sticky. See the part circled in red here: http://wu4u.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/oxygen-sticky-post.jpg

      The front “showcase” page won’t show any text, only the posts in the slider (if you’ve followed all the steps for that properly), and then the posts under “recent articles” and “more articles”. It’s more like a “place holder” page for the theme to put the things it needs on that page, and it will ignore anything you’ve typed. So the text you had entered on your home page will need to be on a different page. You can only add things to show up on that page if you’re on a self-hosted site and know how to edit the theme files.

      • Hi Vicky, I don’t have that option, same with selecting Location. I can’t understand why I don’t have these options available, am I using the .com site. I would send you a screen shot but am embarrased to admit I don’t know how to provide you with a link or file.

        • Try this: when you are editing a page, there is a small grey button near the very top right of the screen that says “screen options”. Click it, and make sure next to number of columns it is checked for 2.

          If that doesn’t work, you might want to set me up as a temporary admin user so I can go in and look. Let me know if you need to do that. Nothing more frustrating than it being broken and not being able to find a fix anywhere!

  • Does anyone know how to get the slider to show up on a smartphone? It works great on a laptop but not on a iPhone or Droid. Nothing shows up on the front page at all…

    • It works on my iPhone, but the slider is under the Menu items. What is the web address you’re looking at?

  • hi there!
    thanks for your help!
    quick question..is there a way to change the post slider size?
    it covers some banners in forntpage that only show inside pages..
    thanks ina advance!

  • Hi Vicky- I’ve read your post on creating the slider and its the clearest Instructions I have found- so thankyou! However I can’t seem to get it to show up. I think it’s the pixel size- my photo for example is ‘470X351’ is this what your referring to? Any ideas how to change photo sizes to the right pixel size?
    Also not quite understanding the ‘self hosted/Wordpress’ business… I have the free version (is this why
    Finding it all so hard or am I just computer illiterate?! Because if its easier in the upgrading version I would definitley do that!! My link is ‘travellingtwinnies.wordpress.com
    Thanks! Bec 🙂

    • Yes, size is probably why the slider isn’t showing up. Your photo needs to be at least 750 pixels wide. The best way to edit an image is using some type of image editing software, such as GIMP (which I refer to and give a download link in another post), Photoshop, or sometimes whatever comes with your computer. Microsoft Office Picture Manager is able to resize photos, as is Windows Photo Gallery (which you should have on your computer if it’s a Windows PC).

      You are using the WordPress.com free version, so follow those directions at the very top of the article. After you’ve resized the photo to 750 pixels wide, make sure you’re doing everything listed step by step – missing one step will keep it from working. Let me know if you get stuck and I’ll try to help because I know there’s nothing more frustrating than only finding directions that are made for computer programmers lol.

  • Hello 🙂

    Wish I found this page a few weeks ago when I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out this “slider” feature 😛

    After some time I got it, though!

    My question now is how do I make a “cateogries” box like you have, and like what is shown in the oxygen demo page?
    I’m talking about the one at the top left of the screen right beside the lerge slider picture.

    Is it a wordpress.org feature, or can I still acquire it in the free wordpress.com version?



    • The one showing here with the black tabs, “How To”, “Social Media” and “Websites”, is a second navigation menu.

      Go to your WordPress dashboard > Appearance > Menus.
      There is a “create new menu” link. Add the pages or categories (this is pretty self-explanatory on the left side), give it a unique name, and save.
      Then click on the “Manage Locations” tab at the top of the menu page. Primary menu should show your top menu that is horizontal. Under secondary menu, choose the one you just saved. Then save changes.

  • Vicky, I’m a self-hosted site: www,renaissance-gal.com and yet another who can’t get the O2 theme slider to work. Just to prove I wasn’t insane I launched a companion blog: http://www.renaigal.wordpress.com to prove that I actually do know how to set up the image slider. My problem is that ‘SHOWCASE PAGE’ is not an option (with self-hosted .org) under page attributes… I only have default, archives, bookmarks, front page and full width.
    I’ve been working on this for 4 days… if you can help it will be a miracle. Thank you!!! Susan G

  • thank you for doing this. i’ve been searching online all morning and yours is easily the most comprehensible post on the subject. i’ve got my slideshow up now but can only seem to make it show one article at a time and haven’t been able to figure out how to make it a thumbnail yet. i love this theme but it’s a total pain in the ass.

  • Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for the tip on setting up the oxygen theme. I finally got the slider to work. But I’m having trouble with the recent posts and more articles section.

    Can you help me ?



  • Hi Vicky,
    I’m so grateful for your tutorial. I finally got my slider featured images to work on the front page.However, I’m still struggling with setting up recent posts and more articles on my front page.

    Can you help me with that?



  • Hi,

    I am currently working on this website. Whenever I click on a image on the slide show that shouldbe linked to a blog post, it does not direct me to the blog post.

    Can you shed any light on this?


    • Not sure off the top of my head. If you’re comfortable adding me as a temporary user to your blog, send me a login and password, and I can go in and check your settings.

  • Hi Vicky,

    You seem to be the only one around knowledgeable on Oxygen theme. Can you help advise how to remove the “more articles” and “Recent articles”? I like the slider and would like news to just appear underneath it, before I installed the slider. Happy to make you the temp admin as well.

    I am hosted on WordPress and did not purchase any CSS upgrades package. Looking forward to your reply.


    • I don’t believe on the WordPress.com hosted site you can make this change. I will test some of the settings on the test blog I have, or if you would like to set me up as a temporary admin on yours I can test it on yours, but most likely you need to be on the self-hosted version so you can actually edit the PHP files.

  • Hi Vicky,

    I am using the Oxygen theme, which I really like, but was wondering if it were possible to not show the left sidebar on mobile devices? I would rather have users see the page content before sidebars on mobile devices. do you know if this is possible?

    Many thanks,


    • It may be possible if you are on the self-hosted version and well-versed in PHP coding; but at this moment I do not have the code required to do that. If I find it, I will let you know.

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