Tag Archives: Wordpress Themes

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

3 Fresh WordPress Themes for October 2011

Those amazing theme creators are at it again, producing some special new products. Always pushing the limits of what we thought WordPress could do, creating new ways to use this amazing content publishing platform. WordPress can no longer be considered just a blogging platform, it’s now a full fledged content management system. Check out these new themes from well known designers.

Teamster WordPress Theme for Multi-author blogs

teamster wordpress theme

Teamster is a theme created for blogs that are run by multiple authors. As content is key, more blogs are converting to this collaborative model because the time demands of creating competitive content are increasing. Teamster WordPress theme is designed to meet the unique needs of multi-author blogs.  Check out Teamster Theme.

Features:

  • AJAX Powered author tabber
  • Minimalist design
  • Author content showcase
  • Custom typography

Photocrati 4.2 Update

photocrati wordpress theme

Pingable is a long time fan of the Photocrati WordPress theme. Why? Because it is 60 themes in one. When you buy Photocrati, you get 15 preset styles with tons of customization options. Although Photocrati has been around a while, they just released the latest version this month. What’s more, the sales of this theme go, in part, to the Photocrati fund which gives $5,000 scholarships to photographers working on environmental and humanitarian projects. Now that’s worth supporting.  Check out Photocrati Theme.

Features:

  • IPad and iPhone compatible
  • SEO optimized
  • Powerful options panel
  • Built in copyright protection
  • 30 day satisfaction guarantee

Sky Whimsical WordPress Theme

sky wordpress theme

Sky is truly whimsical. It floats your content in a nice sea of background texture. It is iPad compatible and utilizes a nice slider on the front page. Wow your clients with this professional theme.  Check out Sky theme.

Features:

  • Four color schemes
  • AJAX preloaded for fast page changes
  • Built in gallery feature
  • The famous ElegantThemes shortcode package
  • Powerful control panel

 

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50 Minimalist WordPress Themes

Minimalist WordPress themes are everywhere.  But high quality minimalist themes are surprisingly hard to find.  I have often said that creating an elegant, minimalist theme is just as tricky as creating a flashy, complex themes.  Lucky for you, Pingable is really good at pulling together some super high-quality themes.  We also threw in some html templates for good measure.  Enjoy!

Core Minimalist Photography Portfolio

DigiFoto – Minimalist Photography Theme

Protein Clean and Minimalist for Business

Minimal Blog – WordPress Minimalist Theme

Minimalist Portfolio

50 Ajax WordPress Themes for Fall 2011

You’ll find some really incredible AJAX WordPress Themes out there.  AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XHTML.  If you’re not familiar with AJAX, you may be familiar with some of the features it is responsible for on WordPress sites.  For example, almost any feature that allows you to stay on the page while updating the content is using AJAX.  Search results are a common use of AJAX in WordPress themes.  When you search and the results automatically appear without clicking search or pressing “enter”, this is AJAX.

The following are 50 of the best AJAX powered WordPress Themes for Fall of 2011.  We sincerely hope you enjoy.  If you liked this post, we would love to share more with you with Facebook.

Grace powerful HTML CSS AJAX template

Revoltz – Premium WordPress Theme – 3 in 1

Distinct – Portfolio and Business WordPress Theme

Style and Fashion

cleanTypo Website Template 6-1 for clean websites

web access Website Template web 2.0 look

RamInfo Clean Corporate Business Website Template

Integrity Website Template web 2.0 style

Carta – Minimalistic Html Template

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10 WordPress Theme Designers you may not have heard of

We all know Themeforest, ElegantThemes, Woothemes and the other major theme designers.  But there are hundreds if not thousands of other theme designers out there that are either obscure, new or quietly producing some of the best WordPress themes out there.

These theme designers offer high quality designs for a comparable price.  However there is one huge benefit to using these little-known designers: their themes are largely unique.  For example, some major providers sell thousands of themes each month.  That means if you deploy that theme on your WordPress site, several thousands other sites are using the same design.  On the contrary, choosing one of these designs means your site looks unique to a lot more people.

Check out some of these designers.  We think you will be pleasantly surprised, and hopefully you learn of a couple new designers you never knew about.

YooTheme

If you’re looking for a jazzy, creative and completely original theme, check out YooTheme.  Pingable’s design is actually a modification of a YooTheme product.  They started by creating Joomla templates, then realized Joomla is dumb, bloated and a sinking ship.  Now they make both, porting all of their previous Joomla templates onto the WordPress theme framework.

Design Disease

You may have seen their work over at SmashingMagazine.com, but they don’t tend to churn out a great deal of themes, just the occasional, high quality, funky looking design.  They also do custom work starting at $1,500.

Organic Themes

I have to admit, the name caught my eye.  Obviously themes can’t be organic, but I appreciate the sentiment.  I also appreciate their designs.  I’m going to go ahead and make up a word now, simplism.  That’s what comes to mind when I browse Organic Themes’ work.

SoloStream

Although their themes aren’t drop-dead gorgeous, they may be the right foundation for your custom work.  Every vision needs a starting point.  Every painter needs a canvas.  And so on.

RocketTheme

They also started with Joomla and just recently launched their WordPress membership package.  Unlike most designers, you can’t buy these themes individually, you must join their “club”.  This is a much more common model in the Joomla community.  By joining the club, you get access to all their themes, but can only use them on a specific number of sites depending on which license you purchase.  Similar to Elegant Themes.  RocketTheme has always led the pack with Joomla designs, now they are bringing their expertise to WordPress.

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes is one of the larger providers listed here.  They also produce Magento and Tumblr themes and have a really killer deal going on at press time to celebrate their anniversary: 14 premium items worth $442 for $25.  Similar to the themeforest bundles that occasionally come out.

Up Themes

I have seen their work elsewhere, but perhaps there has been a rebranding at some point.  EVO in particular is familiar looking.  Either way, there is some nice work and creativity displayed here.

Pagelines

If I hadn’t already invented the word “simplism”, I would invent it again to describe the work of Pagelines.  Their work is both elegant and minimal, which is a lot harder to pull off than one might think.  Kudos Pagelines.  They also feature a drag-n-drop feature which is really nice.  Although I haven’t personally tested it, it promises to be handy.

Graphpaper Press

I’ve always been a fan of graph paper.  The actual paper with the little squares on it.  So neat, confined, clear.  It really makes one feel secure.  Oh, and the design shop isn’t bad either.  Their stuff looks really classy.  You can never trust a design shop that uses someone else’s theme on their own site.  GraphpaperPress’ work is truly unique.

The WP Ninja

Your run of the mill, standard WordPress themes, with a little kick added in.  There is something for everyone over there, a good mix of functional, blog and professional themes.  Definitely worth checking out.

How to customize WordPress

WordPress comes feature-rich and smooth right out of the box, but have you ever wondered how to customize WordPress?  As in, really making it your own?  Want a blog? Done.  Want a static website? Done.  But are are lots of other ways you can use WordPress to meet your web needs.  Here is a list of helpful tools and tips for how to customize WordPress.

If you’re interested in how to customize WordPress, consider reading our past article on making your blog stand out, as well as this one about WordPress tutorials.

How to customize WordPress

wordpress-theme-from-scratch

If you’re skilled, you can create a theme from scratch.  This is by far the hardest way, even premium theme creators often use some of their previous themes as frameworks.  To start creating a custom WordPress theme, check out some of these resources.

Artisteer

artisteer

Artisteer is a finicky option.  It will not create a premium quality theme in terms of design.  But it will be valid XHTML and clean CSS.  The good news is you can use Artisteer to create lots of different kinds of themes.  I use it to create a framework for custom themes, then go back and customize them further.  Check out Artisteer here, or read this full review we wrote back .

Hybrid custom theme

themeforest

Search for a theme with a strong foundation, valid XHTML and clean CSS.  It should have many of the features you want but not all.  You can then take that theme and completely hack it up to meet your needs.  Think about adding new widget positions, changing the column structure or adding a new menu.

When choosing a foundation theme, go premium.  You’ll be glad you did.  They’re just better made, cleaner, with a solid code foundation.  Here are three of the best providers:

How to Customize WordPress’ Look and Feel

Custom Default Gravatars

gravatar customization

The Gravatar is an often underlooked (not a real word) feature of WordPress.  The Gravater was incidentally created by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress.  WordPress comes with a default Gravatar when commenters do not have one.  This is a nice, simple way to give your website a customized feel.

Custom Comment Styling

comment styling

Comments are the second easy way to add a custom feel to your design.  Nesting comments is a great way to encourage discussion on your blog.  Quality comments and good discussion are great ways to explode traffic.

Creating an effective “about” page

about

Your “about” page is the first step when a reader really likes what they see.  When you make the effort to write superb content, a reader will find it and seek more info about your site.  Next stop… conversion!  If they like what they read on your about page, they will sign up for updates and you’ve nailed it.

Revamping your footer space

how to customize wordpress footer

Footer spaces are now being used to show lots of information or tools.  It’s no longer just a silly copyright section.  The link below has some great examples of usable footers.  Customizing this section of your site really gives that extra customized feel.

Customize your WordPress 404 page

how to customize wordpress 404

Hopefully users aren’t encountering your 404 page often because your links are all current.  However, it does happen, sometimes out of your control because outside sites will link to your site incorrectly.  Customizing your 404 page says to your readers: “we went the extra mile to offer you a unique experience.”

Customizing the login page

how to customize wordpress login

If your site employs the user function of WordPress, creating a customized login page can be a nice touch.  Somehow branding the login to match your site but also be creative is a great touch.

Revolutionary thinking (put content before ads)

The instinct to make a few bucks for all the time you’ve spent on the content is sometimes overwhelming.  But if you listen to one piece of advice on this page, prioritize content over revenue.  You will reap the benefits.

Think of this as a design choice as well as a chronological choice.  When starting a new website, forego the advertising until you feel it is absolutely necessary and you have the traffic to make it worth it.  You choose which is better: little traffic with many ads to make a few dollars or few ads, making lots of money with lots of traffic.

Custom content archives

how to customize wordpress archives

Users need to be able to access your content.  If they come back to find some older content, the search form may not work.  Also, complete archives will help search engines know about all of your content.  You spend time writing it, should people be able to find it?

Custom Admin theme

how to customize wordpress dashboard

The admin theme will only be for your benefit or that of your writers and editors.  However, it can be nice to change things up, and some custom themes can add a whole new experience for the admin.  It can also save you time if you spend a lot of time in the dashboard.

Additional Resources

Check out these other resources and articles on customizing WordPress.

If you have your own tip for how to customize WordPress please share it below.

Hand coding

If you’re skilled, you can create a theme from scratch.  This is by far the hardest way, even premium theme creators often use some of their previous themes as frameworks.  To start creating a custom WordPress theme, check out some of these resources.

30+ Free Simple WordPress Theme Designs

If you are looking to pay for a WordPress 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.

Wordpress Magazine Themes

I was looking for a free minimalist theme for a site I was working on, and I found a whole heap of great options, so I decided to make it into a post. Most are pretty minimalist, others are just simple designs. Hope you find them useful.

First some Premium themes

Modest

Demo | Buy

SimplePress

Demo | Buy

OK….Here’s the 30 FREE Themes…

Equilibrium

Equilibrium

Demo | Download

Emptiness

Emptiness

Download

Fotofolio

fotofolio

Demo | Download

Enormous

enormous

Download Continue reading 30+ Free Simple WordPress Theme Designs

Book Review: WordPress Theme Design

Wordpress theme designerWordPress Theme Design – A complete guide to creating professional WordPress themes – By Tessa Blakeley Silver

WordPress is my favorite application. I love it. I use it both as a blogging platform, and as a CMS for sites. I love the ease in which I can create professional sites, and the options of I have in the way of free and premium themes. I also like that there are 1000’s of plugins to add functionality to my sites.

When it comes to WordPress themes, I consider myself an intermediate user. I can alter aspects of other people themes to my liking, and I know what the structure of a WordPress theme looks like: PHP files, what roughly to expect in each one + a CSS file.

However, I hadn’t ever considered that I would have the skill to create a WordPress theme from scratch. That is until I read this book. So if you are like me and you fancy yourself a bit of a part time designer / coder but need a little more guidance, then go for it, this book will really help your in your goal towards creating your own WordPress theme from scratch.

What’s in this book?

It serves both as a good reference material for someone learning theme design and a good cover to cover read for someone who wants to try creating a theme using the example provided.

What you will need to know?

A bit about WordPress, how to install themes and what theme files look like and some basic CSS. Essentially this book is for visual designers who are used to working with the common industry-standard tools like PhotoShop and Dreamweaver or other popular graphic, HTML, and text editors.

An Approach to Design – Rapid Design Comping

The author of this book Tessa Blakeley Silver, works through a design method referred to as “Rapid Design Comping”, which is a method of design where essentially you design visually in a graphic editor such as Photoshop. This is a professional design method, valid for any designer.

Step by Step approach

The guts of this book is a walk through giving the actual steps to make a professional theme. The author uses the creation of a professional newspaper type theme to illustrate her example. Along with a generic process that could be used to create a standard CSS based web template the author delves deeper into the specifics of designing for WordPress, with information about “The Loop” and how to separate your theme into template files for WordPress.

What I think about it

I am very happy to have this book in my collection. It gave me the resource I required to step away from other people themes, and design my own from scratch which really felt like a great achievement. The book is well written, organised and very relevant. I love this sort of thing, and this book will be kept as a resource material for some time to come.

Buy this book now from Packtpub

www.pingable.org

10 Beautiful WordPress Gallery Themes

Wordpress Magazine Themes

A gallery or portfolio theme for WordPress can be very useful for a whole range of different sites. Here are 10 beautiful themes for you. All the themes are high quality themes. I have included 5 completely free themes, and 5 themes are part of the Premium Elegant themes club….you can access all 5 of the premium themes for a one off cost of $39. Read more here about why we like Elegant themes so much.

ePhoto (Premium Theme Club)


Demo | Join Premium Theme Club

The Unstandard (Free)


Demo | Download

CSS Gallery Theme 2.0 (Free)


Demo | Download

Sky (Premium Theme Club)


Demo | Join Premium Theme Club

Portfolio Press (Free)


Demo | Download

Sharpfolio (Free)


Demo | Download

eVid (Premium Theme Club)


Demo | Join Premium Theme Club

Snapshot (Free)


Demo | Download

Infinity (Free)


Demo | Download

eGallery (Premium Theme Club)


Demo | Join Premium Theme Club