Tag Archives: Theme

Beautiful Free and Premium Responsive WordPress Themes

A new word is being used to describe some WordPress themes, “responsive WordPress themes”. This descriptor is used when a theme can fit any screen size without needing multiple versions of the design. For example, a theme that adjusts when the screen size changes without reloading or redirecting to a “mobile” version.

There is a simple test for whether or not a theme is responsive. Visit the theme, make sure the browser window is not maximized, and drag the corner of the window in and out, changing the size of the viewable window. If the theme gracefully adjusts without losing perspective, key features or dimensions, the theme is responsive. Think of it like the theme is responding to the window size.

Of course, there is some pretty tricky coding that goes into creating a truly responsive theme.  If you already know how to create a WordPress theme (not using Artisteer) and you have a basic knowledge of CSS, you can check out this tutorial on creating a responsive WordPress theme.

If you are a WordPress administrator that wants to use an ipod/ipad/iphone/tablet friendly design, check out any of these amazing responsive WordPress themes:

Alyeska | Download | Demo

Core Minimalist | Download | Demo

GoodLayers | Download | Demo

Reaction | Download | Demo

Shapeshifter 2 | Download | Demo

This is the second version of a popular theme we reviewed here.

Balita | Download | Demo

Angular | Download | Demo

Bones| Download | Demo

Flexible | Download | Demo

Mixfolio | Download | Demo

Chameleon | Download | Demo

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

Pro Blogger and John Chow Theme Upgrades

The last few weeks have seen some very high profile bloggers do some major redesigns on their blog themes. First we saw Darren from Pro Blogger completely revamping his blog. And today John Chow has finally ditched the “Misty Look” theme for a classy new professional theme.

What can beginning bloggers take from some of the design decisions that these pros have made?

Problogger.net logo

Overall Impression – I am a fan of the new Pro Blogger theme. I think it’s crisp and modern and makes use of some innovative features.

Landing Page – The new look Pro Blogger makes use of a landing page. What this means is that when you go to the home page of Pro Blogger you are taken to a page with all sort of links and information about his site instead of to the actual blog itself. The reason why this is great for Pro Blogger is that Darren has a huge archive with lots of great articles. It is a real resource for anyone interested in blogging, and using the homepage to promote all that archival content is a great way to get extra hits on not only new content, but all the content he has created over the last few years. So if you have a well established blog, using a landing page like Pro Blogger may be a great idea, however for a beginning blogger it’s probably not going to be the best idea.

Problogger.net Screenshot

Massive Footer – Pro blogger has a huge page footer, which has been a trend in blogging of late. The footer on pro blogger is so large that it fills the entire screen of my wide screen laptop. A footer is a great place to have content that is useful for your established readers. So I wouldn’t recommend advertisements. It is on the bottom of every page in your blog, so you want it to contain navigational content, categories, maybe some plugin content with various lists of recent comments or top commenter’s.

Featured Post – The landing page of Pro Blogger has in a key spot a section called featured post. I think this is a great way of promoting an article you are particularly proud of or think is very good or important. This article from Max Limpag will show you how to use categories, to manipulate your WordPress blogs layout so you can have a feature article, however it requires some expertise.

Color Scheme – The new color scheme on Pro Blogger is crisp and modern. It is consistent throughout the site, and I think it works very well.

Logo – The new Pro Blogger logo is a point of discussion. I think it is okay, but not great. It uses the color scheme of the blog and makes good use of fonts. Where I feel it is weak, is that it would look average without the color, or if it was very small. A classic logo should look good in black and white, and should also look good small or large. I don’t think the new logo quite pulls this off. It’s just a minor criticism, of what is overall a great new theme.  

John Chow Logo

Overall Impression – I think the designer of John Chow dot Com has done a great job. It is quite a different approach to Pro Blogger, however, it is still very good design.

Above the fold – The key space above the fold of the page when you load the site has no actual article content, instead it promotes subscriptions, his free Ebook, Popular articles and various money making programs. This is like an equivalent to Pro Blogger’s landing page, as it directs visitors of the site to key content.

John Chow Screenshot

Still with the Super Car – It wouldn’t be John Chow dot com if it didn’t have a ridiculous super car image filling key space in the header of the site. The Famous Pagani Zonda is still there, however this time the new photo is smaller. Why I think this is important is that it’s a trade mark of John’s Blog. You want users to remember your blog, and I think the super car is John’s way of reminding return users that they have been to his blog before.

Crisp Color Scheme – I think the site makes good use of color and is consistent throughout. It is very modern and I am a big fan of the overall look of the site.

Final Thoughts

I think it is a good idea to keep an eye on what these very successful bloggers are doing. Often they set trends which others follow. However, it is important to remember that what works for them isn’t always going to work for you. Both John Chow and Pro Blogger have huge readerships, and are well established, which not only gives them the budget for such great design work, it also gives them the authority to influence what is considered good and what isn’t.