Searching for the right WordPress theme in the Internet could take you forever. There are tons of free and premium (which means you have to pay for them) WordPress themes out there. Top WordPress Themes, Best of the Best, 100 Excellent Free WordPress Themes, The Most Beautiful WordPress Themes. They had already thrown all sorts of imaginable commendation for their themes. How do you pick which WordPress theme is best for you? What do you need to consider? It all boils down to three things about you and your website or blog.
1. Your taste – After all, you’re the creator and owner of your site, so you decide according to your taste. Hopefully you have a good one. Most probably you already have some imaginary picture of how your website should look like, or if you haven’t got one, ask yourself what kind of sites do you like and try to incorporate not all but some elements you think your website should similarly have.
2. Your goals and objectives – As a designer, I would prefer effective designs to be more of goal and objective driven than personal taste or preference. But first, you should define clearly what those goals and objectives are before you could pick the right theme to accomplish them. What do you want your visitors to do with your blog or website? Do you just want them to read your blog and know what you have to say on certain issues or topics? Or do you want them to get glued to your site, convert them to loyal subscribers? Make a sale? Make money off your blog like serve Google Adsense ads or affiliate programs? Sign them up as members? Your theme should be structured towards answering your goals and objectives.
3. Your content and how it should be organized – What’s your blog all about? Now you can consider what types of content you want on your blog and what level of detail will be presented. What functions should people be able to perform on your blog? How should the information be structured and what navigational features are you going to have? Again, your theme should be able to address those concerns about content and structure.
Now you can pick your theme after considering all of the above. Remember, picking your first public theme is critical because it will represent the significant first impression when people visit your blog. And we all know how important “first impression” is. But you can always test a theme first thoroughly before you officially publish your blog. Once you’ve found a theme, test it thoroughly, either on the theme’s demo site or your own.
Now here are 5 GDFR (Graphic Design Free Resources) nominated best WordPress themes (in no particular order) that you can try. I’m only picking out 5 of the best themes I’ve seen so far. If these 5 doesn’t suit you, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick one out there that’s right for your taste and blog.
1. Notepad Chaos from Smashing Magazine
I was instantly attracted to this theme when I first saw it. This theme has 2 columns, beautifully designed with attractive background and perfectly layered multiple images such as handwritten headings, stick-it-notes, clips and pins. You may wish to edit the images with the included Photoshop psd file.
- Preview (0.4 Mb)
- Download the theme (.zip-package, 0.5 Mb)
- Download PSD-sources (.zip-package, 5 Mb)
2. Fervens from design disease
This is one of my finalist theme when I was choosing one for designfreebies.org. Fervens is a 3 column theme that has a base idea of “freshness”. It has a summer kind of look with bright colored green and orange sidebars. It has 3 versions that you can choose from. Fervens A (Sidebar 1, Central Column, Sidebar 2), Fervens B (Sidebar 1, Sidebar 2, Central Column) and Fervens C (Central Column, Sidebar 2, Sidebar 1).
Main features of the theme are:
- 3 columns of fixed width
- widget-ready — two sidebars (both sidebars are supporting widgets, but I recommend to use the smaler one.
- the theme is using 3 plugins; 2 of them are integrated into functions.php, so there is no need to install them. These plugins are Gravatar, Recent Comments and FlickrRSS. You can use the last one to present your Flickr images in a Flickr Photostream (see the demo).
3. Revolution Office from Revolution Team
Two column theme with a wide rolling image gallery. This WordPress theme is specially groomed for a Pro Blogger. Unique design and pleasing colors make this theme an eye candy. This theme is released under the GPL license. You can get extended theme support for a fee from the Revolution team by signing up for a specific theme package.
4. Pixeled Theme by Samk
Dark WordPress theme with 2-3 column layout, dropdown categories menu, multiple widget-ready placement and feedburner email form integrated, easy to customize.
5. Magazeen from Smashing Magazine
I could have used this one for my theme if I saw this earlier. This is a free advanced WordPress-theme in a magazine-look created by the talented WeFunction Design Agency for Smashing Magazine. This bold magazine 2-col-theme was designed with the main focus being on typography, grids and magazine-look.
- live demo
- large preview (.jpg, 1.7 Mb)
- download the theme (.zip, 0.3 Mb)
- download the PSD-sources (.zip, 4.5 Mb)
- release post on WeFunction.com