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2016's Best Wordpress Themes
Finding the web's best Wordpress themes just got a whole lot easier. This monthly-updated resource lists a hand-picked current selection based on usability, look & feel, customization and universality. Is it time for you to re-brand your personal or business website? Take your site further and re-vitalize it with a great new theme!
"Magazine" sites are picture and content-heavy news sources. They span topics from tech to politics and gossip. Any good magazine-style site has an intricate portal-like home page with many featured articles in a variety of layouts. Here are the best Wordpress themes to accomplish the "magazine" look:
(They're guaranteed to work on all browsers & devices)
"The Source" Theme
This stunning magazine theme gives your Wordpress site some serious credibility as an online magazine, news or review site. Its strength lies in highlighting your site's categories in a numerous amount of ways (see the demo). Custom thumbnails and "fold out" flags create big eye appeal!
Great layout, typography options and theme extras make this one of the most versatile magazine themes around. Easy to personalize and modify, Aggregate's individual pages, even beyond the home page, are beautifully laid out with tons of places for ads and related content.
Looking for a way to either build an informational magazine website, or re-purpose it into an affiliate storefront? This theme is one of the best re-purposed themes for affiliate sales around, and it makes an ideal online catalog site, too. Includes 10 color schemes, 6 layouts and multiple widget spots.
Transform Wordpress into a very legitimate online magazine, or even a well structured affiliate store, with Streamline Theme. A featured article box sifts through pages that you specify in the back-end, and there's plenty of room for your AdSense ads and affiliate banners.
An organized theme that will appeal to any minimalist. Magazine Theme is neat and orderly with a uniform right-hand column giving ample room for box ads, AdSense and other widgets. Each post provides tight design with AdSense integration and an author call-out box.
A clean-cut magazine layout Wordpress theme that was made for news sites, but can be modified for affiliate sites as well. Image thumbs make navigation super easy for your visitors...all images link to their own dedicated page with content that you can add. Plenty of white space!
A widget packed magazine theme with a lot of time (and plugin) saving features, like built in breadcrumb links, featured & popular post sliders, 3rd party video recognition, Fancybox image lightbox support and streamlined setup for theme modification.
Developed to create a compact magazine-style theme, Sleek is a great option for a tech or news blog with multiple thumbnail sizes. Its simplicity and layout makes this an amazing prospect for Wordpress webmasters looking to mass produce this theme for multiple sites, or for their clients.
Designed to showcase your small business, service or brand: an effective business site gives first-time visitors the gist of what your business is about, and gives returning visitors updated news and information about what your business has been up to. Get a new business site with these modern themes:
(They're guaranteed to work on all browsers & devices)
Great for freelancers: Chameleon Theme allows you to create a small business site quickly, with numerous fast options to customize background patterns (either preset or custom). Clean-cut with lots of white space, great for self-promotion.
"The Corporation" Theme
A beautiful mix of design and usability: The Corporation sets up an instant business website showcasing your products and services, all "within the fold" of a computer screen. You'll also be able to maintain a corporate blog, with updates prominent on your home page.
"The Professional" Theme
Simple yet stunning, this theme is most suitable for a small business website. A sliding call-out box on the front page features specific areas of your site, with three additional attention-grabbing boxes underneath. Pages look clean with plenty of white space. Great menu effects.
Structured and professional, Corporate theme sets up an instant business Wordpress site complete with drop-down menus, featured articles, a streamlined calendar of events and 6 different Wordpress Page layout types. It also features a threaded comment system and numerous widget areas.
Very clean, very structured: this is a great choice of a Wordpress theme for a firm in the technology realm, or any other business that needs something crisp and simple looking. Feature your company's CEO, contact information and latest news article. Tons of features, from widgets to layout!
A business theme made for showcasing products: It's a clean looking blog. It's a portfolio. This lightweight theme encourages you to maintain a minimalistic, effective small business website that is very easy to navigate and is extremely easy on the eyes and simple to navigate.
Simple and concise: Metric Theme presents a straightforward landing page, giving the general account of what your business is about. An ideal choice for a small business website that is advertised on business cards. Connect your email acquisition list, user profile & Twitter account.
Take Wordpress back to its blogging roots, and run an organized, eye-appealing blog. The whole point of a blog is for it to be readable and searchable, but that doesn't mean it has to look boring or cliché -- these beautiful, brand-able blog themes will spice up Wordpress and foster return visits:
A stunning blog layout that's minimalistic with beautiful typography. Memoir works for any personal blog, and comes with several page templates and a ton of shortcodes for the quick creation of buttons, tabs, call-out boxes, image sliders, text sliders & more.
"Pretty Young Thing" Theme
Clearly portraying the look and feel needed for a blog dealing with home décor, arts & crafts or shopping reviews -- this Wordpress theme is easy on the eyes with soft fonts and tones, with focus on the author (that's you), ample sidebar & article advertising spots.
A grungy, notebook-fashioned personal blog theme that comes available with 6 different color accents: Deviant is suited more for the individual blogger than for a business blog. It's organized to make your articles simple to find, with a clutter-free side bar.
Touting itself as "54 themes in 1 package," Anytime Theme comes with an unbelievable 54 color schemes, 22 XHTML pages, all original .PSD files for you Photoshoppers, and customizable backend coding. This premium Wordpress theme is for anyone who seeks a minimalist web 2.0 blog.
If you're looking for a cross between a newspaper and blog theme, take a closer look at Quattro: it has that "newspaper feel" with a blog layout. Blocky and structured, this grayscale theme can be used to pull attention toward full color images and icons.
"Notepad Chaos" Theme
Awesomely artistic theme! Notepad Chaos has tons of eye appeal.It's strictly a blog theme: use it for your personal website/blog only, since that's what it was built for. A plain and simple content layout includes recent posts highlighted for your viewers in this too-cool grunge blog theme.
For photographers, graphic or traditional artists or anyone looking to show off some visuals -- these gallery themes will make Wordpress function like a professional online portfolio. Built to look good and function well, these gallery themes feature great search capabilities, image sizing options and effects.
It's a gallery theme with a twist: your posts look like pieces of paper on a desktop. Expand or contract your browser window, and they "sift" back into a re-sized grid -- a cool effect. This is an ideal theme for a personal portfolio or project site. Lots of eye candy, and fun to use!
This gallery theme is lightbox-free for those in need of a plain and simple gallery without any kind of jQuery or Java. Each post displays a larger version of an image, with all of the standard space for content, followed by an author box.
Object Theme has a two-fold purpose: it can be either turn Wordpress into a video gallery or a photo gallery. As you'll see in the demo, whatever gallery you're presenting has center stage: the homepage has oversized thumbs of your videos or images. Includes 14 color schemes.
Dropshippers and wholesalers, you need an eCommerce website. Magento is hard, but Wordpress is easy -- especially with one of these eCommerce themes! Set up a beautiful looking, easy-to-navigate storefront site with tons of options:
Create a store that's not only total eye candy, but effective: includes product photos, user & editor ratings, a "related products" feature under each item, and a great shopping cart system. No clutter or mess - just beautiful design and usability.
This premium theme creates an elegant and fashionable storefront, presenting its items in a visually appealing way: its background "shifts" as you click featured items, and each item has a full details page with related items and a fully integrated shopping cart system.
"My Product" Theme
Sometimes, you'll need a website that just promotes one product -- and that's what My Product theme does. Showcase that one item you're selling in this attractive theme that funnels customers toward a "buy now" or "join today" page. Also great for AdWords landing pages.
Which Wordpress themes do you wish there were more of?
For the Total Beginner...You'll actually need Wordpress, first!
Wordpress has quickly become the most versatile blogging software platform. It's free, you can install it on your own server, and use your own URL. Best yet are the themes that transform it from a blog into anything that a CMS can do.
Wordpress.com is the site that hosts a Wordpress blog for you. Pros: Nothing to download, a server account isn't needed. Cons: restricted customization, very little expandability.
Wordpress.org is the site where you can download Wordpress software and run it on your server. You'll have total control over the look and feel of your blog using this method. Pros: 100% design/control over your blog, ability to use a URL for your blog. Cons: You need a hosting account and a domain name. Is that really a "con," anyway?
A Note About Free vs. 'Premium' Themes: This might already be obvious, but there's almost always a reason why free Wordpress themes are free: they are typically abandoned and tend to go un-supported within a year or two of their creation. Premium themes, however, are taken seriously by their developers. Their cost usually includes a lifetime of free theme upgrades. You'll NEED that, and that's why you'll have to pay for most of the best Wordpress themes out there.
5 Important Wordpress Theme Attributes
For website longevity...and peace of mind!
1) It's Responsive: The term means your theme is capable of auto-resizing or reformatting itself to conform to the dimensions of a tablet or smartphone, and this is one of the foremost attributes of today's best Wordpress themes. If your site isn't mobile, you're missing out on monumental opportunities. Ever notice how annoying it is to use a website that you have to constantly pinch-and-expand? Case in point. A theme that is smart-device ready will save you major headaches from having to script a separate "mobile" version of your site, too.
2) It Uses Shortcodes: A newer inclusion in Wordpress. Shortcodes are basically quick ways for you to insert common elements in a page that would normally take more time and effort to create in your style.css file. They usually include "warning" boxes, icon bullets, drop-caps and other things that take time to code. Thanks to shortcodes, all you'll have to do is type something like [warningbox] in a page, and the warning box will appear. The codes vary and depend on what your theme designer has included in your Wordpress theme.
3) It Has A Grid: Yet another new feature seen in today's Wordpress themes is a "grid" layout. This most likely refers to the 960 grid, which is becoming more commonly seen as integrated with today's themes. It allows you to create two, three, four (or way more) column layouts within the body area of a Wordpress post or page.
4) Widgets: You'll thank yourself for getting a fully widgetized Wordpress theme, because it's awfully annoying to have to code it yourself on a theme that doesn't have many widgets. In case you didn't know, widgets are areas reserved on your website (typically the sidebar(s) and footer) where you can drop in code, text or applets and have them appear instantly, rather than having to hard-code these things in by hand.
5) New WP "Menus": One of the newer features of this next-generation version of Wordpress are menus that finally work the way we all wanted them to. Now baked in to today's Wordpress version, you can custom tweak exactly what makes it into your top menu (and what doesn't), down to the page! You can even change the order with simple drag-and-drop. However, your theme must have been made to accommodate new menus. Generally, any theme supporting Wordpress 3.0+ has this feature already.
Don't Forget Support! Personally, I wouldn't buy a theme from a designer who never responds to comments or updates their theme. Everything about your theme should be about the future, and what happens to it when Wordpress gets upgraded! The worst case scenario is to have a broken theme and no support from the designer.
I've mentioned it before, but it's worth saying again: you'll really, really want your next Wordpress theme to be responsive: that is, it will be able to auto-adjust its own size when viewed on a smartphone or tablet. The amount of people making purchases or doing their primary browsing through these devices is climbing at a monumental rate, and it cannot be ignored.
All you'll have to look for is any mentioning of the word "responsive" in the description of any of today's best themes. The only other way to convert a WP theme to a responsive one is through a plugin, but it simply won't have the same elegance as a theme that can already perform this function from the get-go.