Web Browser Wednesday

According to Alexa Wikipedia is the 7th most visited site in the world only to follow behind companies like Google and Yahoo. Seeing that they receive millions of visitors each day it should come as no surprise that people would use the tools at hand to make their own customized layouts and designs for the site.

Below we’ve listed out our top 10 Wikipedia themes that are specifically designed for Firefox users who have the Stylish extension installed. We’ve tested out each of the styles to make sure they work as advertised, and for each of the screenshots the Firefox Wikipedia page was used. That way you’re able to quickly compare one style to another in order to determine which one you like best. When all is said and done we’ll tell you what our three favorites are (one from each category).

Here’s a quick look at what the Wikipedia page looks like before any modifications have been made.

wikipedia original.jpg

Note: Click on any of the screenshots to see a larger version.

–Dark Themes–

If you like dark skins here are four Wikipedia themes that you’ll definitely want to consider.

  • DeepPurple – The skin doesn’t use an overwhelming amount of purple, but what I like about this is that the hyperlinks are still easy to read.
    wikipedia purple.jpg
  • Dark Grey – Instead of just having a solid black background this one has a smooth gradient that gives the interface a more streamlined feel. It’d be nice if it still used the standard Wikipedia icon, but if you know how to edit the script that can easily be changed.
    wikipedia dark grey.jpg
  • Dark Blue – If you’re looking for a dark theme but aren’t fond of the black/grey then this might be a better fit. You’ve just gotta love blue in order to like this skin.
    wikipedia blue.jpg
  • SKYY – This is almost like the purple skin mentioned above, but instead of using purple in some places it uses a greenish color.
    wikipedia sky.jpg

–Minimalist Themes–

The minimalist themes focus solely on displaying the content for reading purposes, and aren’t designed for editing Wikipedia articles. They ensure that you get the most out of the space available in your browser window.

  • Minimalist – This is about as simple as it gets. Everything is removed including the sidebar, tabs along the top, and even the big “summary” typically shown along the right side of the article.
    wikipedia minimalist.jpg
  • Simple Research – Hands down one of the best looking skins right here. It removes the sidebar, makes the content area fixed-width, throws in some nice rounded corners, and uses all the right colors to make it easy on the eyes. Plus it still includes a small search box in the upper-left corner
    wikipedia simple research.jpg
  • No Sidebar – All this pretty much does is remove the sidebar, and then place an oversized search box at the top. All other default Wikipedia color schemes and styles are kept in tact.
    wikipedia no sidebar.jpg
  • Clean & Compact – If you’re looking for a skin that makes the most of the space available this would surely be it. The sidebar is removed, but the search box is placed in the upper-right corner. You’ll also notice that the table of contents no longer pushes the content down further on the page, and it is instead aligned to the left of the first section.
    wikipedia clean compact.jpg

–Other Themes–

These remaining themes modify the appearance of Wikipedia while leaving all of its functionality in tact.

  • Modifications – For the most part this skin leaves the site untouched, but does a few things such as round the corners on tabs and also on the various sections in the sidebar.
    wikipedia modifications.jpg
  • Grey Lady – By far the most formal looking theme available for Wikipedia. Everything looks and feels as though you’re reading an article on a professionally written site.
    wikipedia grey lady.jpg


It’s definitely awesome the work some of these developers have put into modifying the appearance of Wikipedia. Here are my favorites from each of the categories:

  • Dark Themes: Dark Grey
  • Minimalist Themes: Simple Research
  • Other Themes: Grey Lady

Let us know in the comments which themes you like the best!