Category Archives: Themes

Nice New iPad Compatable Theme

This iPad-ready theme also looks great in regular browsers.  With 8 style options and smooth social media integration, this theme is forward compatible with the iPad revolution.

Built-in media galleries and lightbox feature helps the creative professional showcase their work.  Here’s a brief feature list:

  • 8 colored skin variations all available in the custom admin panel
  • Easy create multiple galleries of your work
  • lightbox driven portfolio sections to show your images full size
  • front page slider with custom upload area and can link to any page
  • ajax contact form – emails results direct to your WP admin email – zero setup!
  • super easy custom written admin panel
  • fully widget ready with a total of 6 widget areas for a total of 18 widget spots!
  • lots of templates to choose from including full width – 404 page error included and easy short codes for more creative layouts!
  • extensive, and gorgeous PDF documentation with screen shots / easy to follow instructions + 8 video screencasts to assist you

Check out the screenshots below and click any one of them to go get this sweet new theme.

Modern Business 3

Modern Business 3 Light

Modern Business 3 Light

Modern Business 3 Light

Review of Thesis Theme

Thesis makes some serious claims including having 25k + purchases. (At a minimum $87 license, assuming every purchase was through an affiliate, that’s $1.47 Million)  Here are some of them:

  • Separated HTML, CSS and PHP for superior SEO qualities
  • Robust theme options panel for style and layout customizations
  • A big time support network
  • A number of influential bloggers using Thesis such as Laughing Squid (Web Host endorsed by WordPress)
  • Child/Sub skins that can be applied with relative ease

After reviewing the claims made by others that used thesis (decreased bounce-rate, pagerank bump, etc.) I decided to give it a try.  I fronted the $87 and purchased the individual license.

As Thesis version 2.0 rounds the corner, here is what I found with version 1.7, the current stable release.

  1. Thesis installs fast, and is very small.  It uses minimal server resources because there is barely any images in the entire thing.  In addition, there was a noticeable loading time difference over most other themes I’ve used.
  2. Customization is pretty easy for the basics.  We’re talking changing navigation menu color, adding pages to the menu, and changing from 1, 2 and 3 columns.  However, this is where the simplicity stops.  Thesis was incredibly hard to customize as a non-coder.  Doing something as simple as finding where to add some custom code was incredibly tricky.  Granted, someone adept at coding PHP could probably fly through this.  But many people use WordPress because it is simple, easy and fast.
  3. The “skins” available for Thesis are quite lame.  I could find no skins that wowed me or offered any eye-pleasing design.  It seems that Thesis offered two possibilities: make my own boring design, or use someone else’s boring design.
  4. I liked the idea of using an premium SEO theme, one that would help me reach more people.  What I found was just that, a theme with major SEO muscles, but wasn’t much to look at or work with.  I spent two days trying to learn the inner workings of Thesis, and failed.

Regardless of your feelings on the matter, it is worth checking out Thesis Theme if you’re interested in converting your current theme to an SEO rockstar.  If you can code, try it out.  If you’re a novice at the coding side of things, you might want to check out Themeforest and get a shiny, out-of-the-box theme.

100 stunning professional portfolio WordPress themes

If you work with WordPress, you are a web developer of some kind. Whether it is your full time job or just a side gig, you may want to display your work. As WordPress themes become more and more specialized, portfolio themes have developed rapidly. From their beginnings as a simple blog built for displaying images… all the way to stunning sliders and interfaces, here are some of our favorite Portfolio themes for WordPress.

These themes are a mix of commercial and free. They are all stunningly impressive themes to display your work. This post was recently updated for October 2012.  We removed some old, dead or broken themes and we added some very cool new ones.  Enjoy and please leave your comments.  We love to hear from folks who read Pingable.

Just updated for new WordPress Portfolio Themes for March 2013, enjoy!

Consider one of the best premium theme providers out there:

Coco | Download | Demo

A nice, clean and professional business and portfolio theme with a responsive and progressive design.

coco portfolio theme

Bellezza | Download | Demo

bellezza portfolio theme

Sirens | Download | Demo

sirens portfolio theme

Photo Squares 2 | Download | Demo

With five color schemes at a price of $70, you can use this portfolio theme for displaying any kind of media.  A simple and fast theme that is open for customization.

Wordfolio | Download

This theme comes with fully layered PSD files and a very cool slider.  This portfolio theme falls into the “slick” category because of some pretty nifty features.

Display 3-in-1 | Download

A 3D and fading slider bring this portfolio theme up a notch.  Nice navigation is also hard to find with portfolio themes because designers spend all their time on the media display.

Twicet | Download

Five skins and jQuery integration make this a very solid portfolio theme option.  There are also lots of back end customization options so you won’t be left with a boring, common theme.

Smart Portfolio | Download

The Smart portfolio theme is minimalist, and done well.  A custom admin panel lets you make it your own, even changing the layout from 1-4 columns.

Folio Portfolio | Download

The Folio Portfolio Theme includes category sorting which is not common.  It also incorporates Google Analytics and a custom design-icon tagging system.

Levitation | Download

Full PSD access and a robust back end admin panel let you take this theme from boring to custom.  A nice jQuery slider complements the overall nice “feel” of this theme.

Cadmus | Download

The designers of this portfolio theme thought of almost everything.  Nested comments, AJAX under the hood, and 6 color schemes let you customize the crap out of this theme.

Pacifica | Download

Choose from three custom jQuery sliders and 8 custom skins to make Pacifica your own.  Full support of the WordPress 3.0 menu system is included as well.

Gridly | Download

Gridly is a personal favorite because it has the grungy feel without feeling dirty.  Using featured images and jQuery masonry, this portfolio theme becomes fully responsive.


10 recent trends in WordPress themes

WordPress themes have come a long way. As the exceptional WordPress team builds in more and more features, they give web designers tons of options for creativity and innovation in theme design. We hope that this post brings up trends in WordPress themes that you have noticed, but didn’t know you noticed.


People are really digging the simple, white background themes. Maybe we are all moving on from the flashy website phase and into the simple-is-better phase.


Social media is all the rage. Every blog now has a Twitter Bird and an orange RSS image somewhere above the fold. This is the bare minimum, there is typically many more options for sharing their content.


Contextual themes are becoming more popular. These are the themes that look like they belong somewhere like on someone's desk or in a notebook.


I know we just talked about white being popular, but so is tasteful use of color. Not just a colored background, but a range of popping, eye-catching colors.


Having various style sheets is quickly becoming a standard feature of premium/commercial WordPress themes. Not only does thi smean color options, but full dashboard settings pages to change how your theme behaves. A word of warning to the WordPress developers and theme creators: DON'T BECOME LIKE JOOMLA!


Rounded corners are popular recently. They do give a theme a nice, futuristic, smooth look. But they can easily be over-done.


Shadows or drop-shadows have started giving themes a nice 3-dimensional affect; giving the feeling that the content is sitting out from the page, drawing your attention to the meat of the blog.


Sliders are also growing in popularity. They offer a nice way to display content and the images that blogs are now starting to rely more and more on


Green is the new black. Or is it pink? Anyway, the green movement is sweeping the globe and WordPress is no exception. Eco themes are coming out everywhere, although this may been seen as greenwashing.


Glowing elements are a popular theme among themes. This is definitely a nice touch, but can destract from both content and other, more subtle, design elements.

Review of Artisteer theme generator

We downloaded the free trial version of Artisteer, a WordPress theme generator that also can export Joomla and HTML website themes.  We then dished out $49 to test the full version with all the features enabled.  It had a promising feature list and made some heady claims as to what was possible with this $49 chunk of coding.  The short version of this review: the software is not worth it.  The long version follows.

In their words:

Artisteer is the first and only Web design automation product that instantly creates fantastic looking, unique website templates and blog themes.

wordpress themes Design awesome blogs and cool web templates in minutes
wordpress themes Export to Blogger, Joomla, WordPress and other CMS products
wordpress themes No need to learn Photoshop, CSS, HTML or other technologies
wordpress themes Fun and easy to use!

With Artisteer YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web Design Templates, Joomla templates, Drupal themes, WordPress themes, DotNetNuke skins, and Blogger templates all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills.

These are impressive claims.  As a follow up, they offer these as the “Top 10 reasons to use Artisteer”:

  1. Generate cool Web design ideas.
  2. Adjust generated designs to create great looking Web and Blog templates.
  3. Create perfectly correct, validated HTML and CSS that conform to Web standards.
  4. You don’t need to learn Photoshop, CSS, HTML and other Web technologies to create great looking designs, including images and buttons.
  5. If you are a Web designer, generate ideas, prototypes and quick Websites for your clients and friends.
  6. Choose and use many included design elements, from backgrounds to photo objects and buttons.
  7. Automatically solve problems with image aliasing, Web browser compatibility and other details requiring time and knowledge.
  8. Learn how to create professional HTML and CSS code.
  9. Save money on WordPress Themes and Web design templates.
  10. If you don’t have the time, hire your kids to create great looking web design for you.

In our words:

Number 10 is probably the best reason to use Artisteer.  Why? because it can really only produce a theme worthy of a child’s blog.  Although there are some fancy and handy features which are outlined below, the end product is a well packaged piece of junk.

The Pros:

  • The interface is super easy to use.  Literally point and click to change the layout.
  • The “suggest a design” feature is very cool.  One click and the software will assemble a random set of parameters into a theme.
  • Exporting into a full theme package takes just a couple quick steps.  The Home version which we purchased for evaluation allows the exporting of WordPress, Blogger and HTML themes.  The Pro version allows the aforementioned formats plus Drupal and Joomla templates.

The Cons

  • As we mentioned, the quality of the themes is poor.  Unless you are a highly skilled graphic designer that can completely customize the theme after export.
  • The files exported clearly indicate that Artisteer was used in a Readme file.  Also, the CSS files have the “art-” prefix which hints at the generator of the theme.  This isn’t a big deal for personal use themes.  But if one wanted to sell these themes as their own design, Artisteer would give them away.
  • The layouts are limited to specific formats.
  • There are three built-in widget options with very limited placements in the themes.
  • Menus look amateur in quality.
  • Customizing the menus takes quite a long time to get the hang of.
  • You can’t pass off the themes as your own. (Read as both a pro and a con)
  • It is pretty expensive ($49 for the limited version, $129 for the expanded)
  • Their support was fast but snotty.

Our final opinion: The software is neat – but would be neater if it were free.  It produces quick themes if you don’t care about quality or aesthetics.  The support staff lacks interpersonal skills.  Overall, Artisteer is not worth the investment.  You’re better off dropping half as much on a professionally designed, well supported theme over at ThemeForest.com.

20 super helpful WordPress template tags

For anyone developing WordPress templates, these tags are the most commonly used and helpful to have handy. Many of these tags include parameter options which can be found in the WordPress Codex or this helpful tool.

<?php the_author_nickname(); ?>

Insert the author’s nickname.

<?php the_category('parents=multiple'); ?>

Insert the category of a post.

<?php comments_number('No Comments', 'one', 'more', 'number'); ?>

Insert the number of comments if there are none.

<?php comments_number('zero', '1 Comment', 'more', 'number'); ?>

Insert the number of comments if there is only one.

<?php comments_number('zero', 'one', '% Comments', 'number'); ?>

Insert the number of comments for more than one.

<?php the_date('n-j-Y', 'before', 'after', echo); ?>

Insert the comment date (uses the default format)

<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>

The name of your blog.

<?php bloginfo('description'); ?>

Your blog description.

<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>

Your blog URL, (helpful in structuring backlinks)

<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>

The link to your RSS feed.

<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>

The template directory (most useful for referencing images)

<?php get_posts('numberposts=10'); ?>

Display some posts, in this case, 10.

<?php get_posts('category=2'); ?>

Display posts from a specific category. Both this and the previous tag can be combined.

<?php wp_list_pages(); ?>

Lists pages with URLs.

<?php wp_list_pages('include=50'); ?>

Lists page with id 50

<?php wp_list_pages('exclude=50'); ?>

Lists all pages except those with id 50

<?php the_permalink(); ?>

The link to a post, (must be used within the loop)

<?php the_title(); ?>

The title of the post.

<?php the_content(); ?>

The content of a post.

<?php the_excerpt(); ?>

The excerpt of a post. A tag used a lot on this site. Limits content words and strips HTML tags.

20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes

If you are looking to pay for a magazine theme, the first place I would start is Elegant themes…for $39 you get access to 77+ professional themes that are constantly updated and added to.

List updated regularly

This article was originally created in 2008, however, a lot of the themes that were cool in 2008, are now relics, and because this page still receives a lot of traffic, I wanted to update it to keep it current. There are more than 20 WordPress Magazine themes in this article, however, I have added a few premium themes into the mix. Why have I put premium themes into a post titled: “20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes” – I am no longer a huge fan of free themes. Often the authors create free themes to build backlinks to their sites, and then take the theme offline, or turn it into a premium theme. With free themes you often have no support. With free themes you almost always have to leave a footer link on your site, which is bad for SEO. Of the 20 free themes that were in this original article that I wrote in 2008, only 2 of the theme links were still live, and freely available when I went to edit this article in April 2011…For me the $20-$40 you spend on a premium theme is the easiest decision you should have to make when creating a new site or upgrading your theme. Still, as the original article was about free themes, I have included 20 new free, and great themes in this article. All premium themes have been labelled as such, so don’t fill the comments form with complaints. Hope you find this a useful resource.

Backlight (Premium) | Demo or Buy

Backlight is a premium WordPress theme by Theme Junkie. It’s a professional looking theme ideal for a tech blog, or a technology aimed online magazine. It clean, crisp and light weight theme. For $39 you can pick up this theme + 2 other Theme Junkie Themes, or you could join their Theme club for just $49, and gain access to all their fantastic themes.It has some fantastic features such as:

  • Content slider
  • Ad management
  • Localization
  • Customized widgets

Minimosity (Premium) | Demo or Buy

Minimosity is a fantastic Magazine theme available Themeforest.  It is very versatile with light and dark styles. It is a responsive theme, so adapts to your screen size depending on what device you view it on. It has all the bells and whistles you expect from a premium theme such as a content slider, and a very useful and powerful admin customization section. A fantastic option. Features:

  • Responsive
  • Content Slider
  • Built in Reviews
  • Light or Dark Skin
  • Customizable 404 page
  • Retina Screen Support

The Source (Premium) | Demo or Buy

The source is probably my favorite of Elegant themes magazine themes. The full width content slider at the top looks stunning, and it’s simply an around looker in regards to design.  You of course get access to Elegant Themes entire collection for just $39 a year, so this is a very popular option. The Elegant Themes community is huge with over 140,000 customers. Features:

  • Perpetual Updates
  • Four Unique Colors
  • Localization
  • Shortcodes
  • Page Templates



The Morning After (Free)
| Demo and Download

The first of our free themes, the Morning After is a very clean light weight magazine theme. It’s now hosted by Woo Themes, who employed/bought out the original author.  As it’s supported by a large marketplace like Woo Themes you don’t have to worry about the usual free theme draw backs such as a lack of support or random links in the footer. However, as it’s free you do need to leave their homepage link intact in your footer if you use theme theme.

 

Arras (Free) | Get it | Demo

Arras really is an outstanding theme, that continues to be developed and supported, and somehow has managed to stay free. There is a support forum to help you with any issues, but this theme is truly fantastic, and a real steal for free.

 

Megazine (Premium) | Demo and Download

Megazine is yet another of the fantastic responsive magazine themes available on Themeforest. It comes with a drop and drag page builder which basically gives you endless customization options in a similar way that the very popular thesis theme does. This is an awesome theme.

  • Drag Drop Page Builder
  • Drag Drop Slider Manager
  • Unlimited Color
  • 6 Footer Layouts
  • 4 Blog styles
  • Shortcodes
  • 15 Pre-Defined Background Patterns

Megazine

Big Feature (Premium) | Buy & Demo

Big Feature is another Themeforest theme. It’s the most popular theme in the magazine category on Themeforest, and there is a good reason for this…it’s an awesome, clean, well coded minimalist magazine theme, few a huge feature at the top. This makes it ideal for product, or service based blogs or website. It’s been well supported with 7 updates since it’s original release.

  • Many page templates
  • Shortcodes
  • 4 Free Childthemes
  • Cufon font replacement enabled

 Mimbo (Free) | Demo and Download

Mimbo is one of a few surviving themes from the original article I wrote in 2007. It’s a free theme by Darren Hoyt. It’s has been updated 6 times since the original 2007 release, when it was of the first WordPress themes to make use of a non blog standard layout, using categories for layout rather than the standard, latest at the top design. It’s a really classy theme, particularly because it’s free. There is even a child theme option if you don’t like the standard design.

 

Newscast 4 in 1 (Premium) | Demo & Buy

Newscast is a flashy magazine theme, that makes great use jQuery. It’s loaded with street appeal, yet it’s very clean in design. A great option available on the Themeforest marketplace.

  • Sleek Image preloader
  • Contact Form and News Submission Form
  • Working ajax/php contact form
  • Custom Sidebar News Widget
  • Custom advertising Widget

Table Theme (Free ) | Download & Demo

Table is a awesome free theme by Theme Junkie. It comes with all the great features of their premium themes, such as an easy admin panel, ad management, and localization. A very good free options for the budget designers out there. ps…it looks nicer than the screenshot when it’s not loaded with Adsense ad blocks.

Big Foot (Premium) | Demo or Buy

Big Foot is another premium theme from Theme Junkie. It comes with all the great features of their other themes, and has a very slick design. A great option for a tech / design blogger.

  • Localization
  • AD Management