The Charlotte WP Theme has been released by Ignacio a Spanish designer & developer. His themes are showcased at wp.paragraphe.org and we recommend having a good look through his work.
Charlotte is free and has been designed for use as portfolio theme. The home page keeps its emphasis strongly on your work. Using a showcase style Charlotte keeps its looks as far away from the typical ‘WordPress blog’ as possible, displaying everything in a clean, easy to navigate style.
You posts / work are displayed in nice round cornered boxes on the home page in two columns, anyone familiar with wp portfolio themes or sites such as Notcot.org will know how successful this style of layout can be. Each posts main feature is the photo or image of your work, followed by the posts title, author, tags and the first paragraph of text (the excerpt) from the posts main page. We really like the way the tags have been implemented here. Portfolio themes are not always easy to navigate but by using this method of tagging the user can always find other similar posts easily and quickly. Ignacio has also used a similar navigation method for the categories which display in much smaller text at the top of each posts box, giving the visitor a more general search option for other similar items.
Free theme under the GPL license.
Valid Code as HTML 4.01 Strict.
Using the Blueprint CSS Framework.
5 Photoshopped Colorful Headers to choose from.
Rounded Corners all around.
Widgetized Sidebar, Footer & Header.
As you can see from the demo (link at the top of the page) each posts individual page is styled just as beautifully and Ignacio has built in a separate wigitized sidebar system which with a bit of thought could be used for anything from exif data if you are a photographer to sales links for your work / adverts if you run a gadget blog or similar.
Charlotte comes with five photoshopped headers to choose from but obviously you can restyle this theme very easily to suit your brand or personal style.
Overall we are very impressed with Ignacio’s work and we think that Charlotte WordPress Theme is a shining example of what he is capable of. Definitely one to bookmark and keep an eye on in the future!
Classifieds Theme is a complete classified ads system for WordPress. Meaning you do not need to adapt your current site using a wordpress classifieds plugin.
According to the publishers of the theme it ‘allows anyone to easily turn a standard wordpress blog into a powerful community driven classified ads serving platform’ its basically a piece of classifieds website software.
The look of the theme is very basic and if you are running a classified ads site or want to take your classifieds online then this is a very good thing indeed. You need the focus of your site to be your customers ads not the surrounding graphics and banners, this theme achieves this very well. The ads are nicely separated with alternating background colours, and can easily catagorised and tagged by the customer, making them easy to find by visitors.
The demo site which is viewable here charges its users $3 per 99 days for each advert. You can easily change this to any amount you want, we would recommend using a $1 / £1 per 14 days ratio for maximum profit and affordability. All payments are collected via paypal and there is no need for your customers to go through the annoying join / sign up process before they can place an ad. However if you are an avid mailing list collector then there is plenty of opportunity for your customers to sign up.
The scope for this theme is huge. For example coupon code and promo code sites are becoming big business in the current economic climate and this theme is perfect for that use, it already looks very similar to a lot of the major players sites.
Free classified websites like Gumtree, Freecycle and Craigslist are some of the biggest in the classifieds market and although they offer many of their postings for free they make up the rest of their income from on site advertising. Why not use this theme for a similar use? It has built in adsense and plenty of banner space.
The developers of Classifieds Theme have paid a lot of attention to how other similar sites work. More importantly they have picked out the most important ‘pros’ of these sites while avoiding their ‘cons’ like the plague! This theme has far too many features to go into detail here but here is a list of just some of them:
Lightbox style gallery for product images
Ad rotation (avoid banner blindness)
Category specific advertising ready
Advanced ads management
Email notifications for newly submitted ads
Email notifications for payments received
Contact seller form
Email a friend button
Print view button
Custom login bo
Theme options panel
Unlimited theme customization (open source)
RSS feed displays latest classifieds
All necessary plugins are included with the theme
See what we mean? This is a serious tool and it is very intuitive, for instance take a look at the individual ad page for an iPhone below.
See how the banners and Adsense have changed to be relevant to the product the seller is advertising without disturbing the look of the theme or becoming dominant over the sellers ad. The one thing we would change here is the positioning of the product images. They are too far down the page and need to be close to the top to become more of a feature. This is a big shame because when clicked the product images open full screen in a lightbox style gallery overlay with easy navigation to browse all the different angles and views the seller has uploaded. Note that this page also has an ‘ask the seller a question’ form as well as a comments form. Both very important when building a classifieds community.
If you do run a classifieds based business (or similar) then you really need to consider this theme if you want to maximise your profits and make usage easy for your customers. If you already have a website then this should be a big wake up call to upgrade if your existing site does not meet the full spec of this one.
Buying this theme reveals an interesting option. As well as the usual single license and multi user license (if you wish to install on more than one site). The developers also offer a reseller option. If you are a web developer, sell themes or simply have many clients who would be interested in this theme then you can pay a one off fee and then resell the classifieds theme for as much as you want and as many times as you want. You can also redevelop it and sell it with no comeback. Click here to see all the different options available.
If you are not a developer and simply need this theme installed for you then please click the ‘install’ link below.
After a playing around with $timator the cool new ‘whats my website worth’ tool we noticed that Google.com was topping the charts at an unbelievable (but not surprising) $938,550,265!
Which site did we automatically enter for a valuation? You guessed it WordPress.org
We hit the calculate button and sat back in amazement the numbers kept rolling, and rolling, and rolling… in fact they did not stop for a very long time, and as the estimator started to roll above $700,000,000 everyone suddenly got very excited. According to $timator the second highest site worth is Yahoo.com with $695,051,384 but WordPress.org was passing that with no sign of slowing down. Everyone crowded round the monitor shouting encouragement. Could WordPress do it and beat Google? The numbers just kept spinning like a crazy Vegas slot machine, and it somehow felt like a personal triumph for those of us that have worked with WordPress for so long. Finally the numbers started to slow, and WordPress’s total was:
$908,693,787 – WordPress
$938,550,265 – Google
That puts WordPress second in the running and closing in fast on Google. Not just on physical value, thats not what $timator is about, but web recognition and popularity. All we can say is ‘well done WordPress’ and ‘thank you’.
New kids on the block Gorilla Themes have released the monster wordpress theme Tribal. Mixing the dirty grunge theme feel with urban graff overtones this theme delivers in both looks and functionality.
Tribal has been developed to be used by anyone wanting to promote heavily within the music industry. It is intended to be used by artists, bands, record labels, radio stations, reviewers and industry news. With a little imagination though it could be used and developed for so much more.
Using the latest technology available the home page of this site presents your visitors with a nice and dynamic featured content section (jQuery) with full slide show of all your latest news / posts. This would look at home on any flash site but harnesses the power of wordpress and jQuery to be nice and SEO friendly, more importantly though it is simple to use with just a few options in the admin.
The first thing your visitors will notice however is the beautiful jukebox style music player, here you can really show off with album art, as many tracks as you want played and minimal controls making for very easy use. This is one of the best music players on the web at the moment and its built into your theme!
Jukebox music player with album art.
Flash titles system
Add your own Logo and Styles Easily
Featured Content Slideshow
No Custom Fields
Turn all-or-individual banners on/off
Full support and tutorials
Suitable for: artists, bands, press, promoters, labels, reviewers, magazines, industry and many more
This music wp theme also has a built in flash titles system which renders all your article headers in the themes grunge font keeping everything in style and looking one step ahead of your competitors (and still SEO friendly!).
Tribal also has a built in system for auto sizing your images and avoids the use of custom fields for ease of use.
With adsense built in (if you want it), feedburner, subscribe options (so you can quickly build a mailing list ), and search engine friendly design, this is a strong business orientated website masquerading as an urban graff street theme. Any hip-hop or similar label should be proud to have this as there front of house marketing portal. It can also be developed very easily to suit any branding.
We recommended Tribal very strongly if you are serious about expanding and promoting your business.
We are so excited about this!! Ladies and gentlemen we proudly present to you BlogKurus! Translated as Thin Blog this is the most innovative and fantastic use of design we have ever seen from a WordPress theme designer. That designer is of course Mohammad Mustamar Natsir.
BlogKurus is not just thin its THiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN. With very simple functionality and beautiful styling we can see a potential competition ahead between WordPress developers to see who can make the best use of this theme. But the bigger fight might be to see who can create the best background image to fit either side of the blog, (have a look at the promo shot below!) please please post links to your developments of BlogKurus in the comments below we are chomping at the bit to see them.
We still haven’t mentioned the very best thing about BlogKurus yet, it’s free!! That’s right, one of the best wp theme designs on the net is completely free to download and use straight away (download link at bottom of page).
We cannot believe just how much of what you would expect to find in a blog is right there in this streamlined theme, inline comments, menus, footer content, gravatars and search bars. Can you imagine this developed into a twitter like application or a ultra hi-tech portfolio (changing background images anyone?)
Obviously we recommend this theme! There’s a full demo below and a link to Mustamar’s website which is a must see. We love this one so much we are even offering installations of BlogKurus for £150 which is our lowest price so far, so if you are a non-tech WordPress newbie you can have this theme too!
Lastly a big thank you to Mustamar we hope you keep designing and we are looking forward to the next one!
Don’t be fooled by the name, Grunge Theme is not only for grunge bands and the 90’s Seattle scene, according to iThemes it is suitable for designers, musicians and artists. So no need to break out the old baggy checked logging shirts and combats and make a drastic change in musical direction to use this site!
If you are an artist (visual) or designer we do not recommend this theme! There are themes available which will be a million times more suited to your needs, unless you are particularly in love with this one we think it is a no-go.
For bands however this theme would be perfect, its sharp and clean with easy navigation. Although its not overloaded with features it is very functional and once branded will make a good impression on your fans / visitors.
So what has it got? Well it has a very well designed ‘latest news’ section, the ability to run as a blog or conventional site, is widget ready and is easy to brand. Above all it is the look of the site which really makes Grunge Theme stands out as a cut above the rest. Its glossy web 2.0 looks set against the dirty industrial background work very well (something to keep in mind while your stylising this site to your own branding) and the composition of the navigation and sidebars / content is very nice indeed. We really like the use of font styles and lines within the content aswell.
The theme could do with a built in mp3 player but there are plenty of free plugins for this functionality. It would also be nice idea to use a shop / sales plugin if you wish to sell merchandise. Both of these features would be very easy to integrate (for the WordPress savvy).
Revolution Two themes are gaining a lot of popularity and admiration amongst WordPress theme fanatics, they are probably our favourite developers currently on the scene.
Comes with 7 built in colour schemes
Suitable for photographers, artists and gallerys
Revolution Album is a theme designed purely for photographers and artists who wish to run a photo blog or a portfolio site. Care has been taken in the development of the design to make sure that the emphasis of your site will be your photos or images with everything else toned down, letting your work speak for itself. As you can see from the image below each photo takes up over 50% of the overall design.
Navigation has been made very easy with the simple previous and next buttons that you would expect to find in any well constructed photo blog. However below these is a featured photos strip which allows you to show off the crux of your work. This could very easily be modified into a categories selector. Simply make each of the featured photos a link to a different category and add a suitable tool tip (the text that pops up when your mouse is over an image or button). Or put the category titles directly onto the photos here to create a menu!
Directly under the title of each image / photo is a ‘filed under’ and ‘tagged’ area making it very easy for user to navigate quickly to similar works and projects, basically acting as a quick menu system.
Speaking of menus, all the main navigation has the option to use drop-down menus keeping everything at top level nice and minimal.
We think it would be nice to see EXIF data used within this theme and hope that Revolution consider this for future updates / re-designs. There are plenty of plugins available which will do this job and if you are a dedicated photographer then we recommend that you use them with this theme.
If you are looking to sell prints or originals of your work then this theme should be a serious consideration, your customers get a clean professional portfolio to easily browse rather than hundreds of thumbnailed images. There are plenty of plugins to add shop functionality, some of them even allow you to directly accept credit cards as well as the usual paypal etc.
Overall this is a very nice wordpress photo theme. Looking at what else is available on the market it would be very hard to find a website design for any system which can beat this one for either its ease of use or its minimal beauty.
Just to prove how versatile WordPress themes can be along comes ‘The Bel Air Real Estate Theme‘ This is not just a theme but a complete setup for any property based company wanting to reach a wider audience. All the features you could need for sales or property rental are installed with the theme, including an impressive payment or mortgage calculator (easily converted to any currency), photo galleries for each property and even profiles for the ‘agents’ who do the selling.
In essence you will be able to start selling straight away, the backend or ‘CMS’ admin area is very easy to use so entering and publishing each properties details is painless, making it a powerful piece of real estate software. If you or your client are a real estate agency then this theme should be a serious consideration.
Bel Air comes with a choice of five different colour schemes and it is easy to add your own branding. It is also advert ready with a built in ad banner management system so you can monetize your site or if thats not your cup of tea then use these areas to promote featured properties and services. There’s the obvious areas where details of different rooms etc can be entered. But what really caught our eye was the auto thumbnailing of images (when clcked they open in a lightbox style gallery), and the ‘no custom fields’ ease of use when publishing. The authors of this design have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that publishing is a breeze and that you (or your client) never have to deal with code or anything tricky.
Five colour schemes built in (sea blue, red, navy blue, gold and black)
Easy to brand and change the colours (if you don’t like any of the above)
Mortgage / payments calculator
Image auto thumbnailer
Lightbox style photo galleries for each property
Featured properties rotated on home page
Easy search drop down menus (price, location and type)
Ad banner management
Our only frustration with this theme is that it is not yet using google maps, which is not exactly new technology and would be a perfect addition to its features. The sites authors WP-Realtor are currently considering adding google maps into a future update of the site. Our advice would be to use one of the many Google Maps plugins availible for WordPress until this update is ready to avoid frustrated customers. Actually there is another ‘bug-bear’ with this theme, you have to by either buy a ‘single agent’ or ‘multi agent’ version. The latter being more expensive. Ok so we haven’t had that much experience with real estate software, well actally we’ve had none at all!! So maybe this is normal in the world of property (let us know below if it is!!) but it does seem strange. However neither ‘agent’ version will break the bank and if you find that you need to upgrade then you can do so easily.
Although The Bel Air Real Estate Theme is limited to estate agents, realtors and property companies (public and commercial) we couldn’t resist featuring it. We think this theme is a fine example of how to turn WordPress into an individualised e-commerce platform, something which WordPress developers and designers have been getting better and better at over the last few years (thanks to amazing advances in WordPress itself) and it is finally blasting the fated osCommerce out of the water, not only in aesthetics and functionality but most importantly with innovation.
WP Full Site is a free theme which aims to turn WordPress into a free CMS (content management system) for small businesses. According to the makers of this theme, every small business should have at least:
An obvious way to be contacted, hence the phone number and email link at the very top of the website
A clear, concise call to action accompanied by an attention grabbing graphic
The option to have or blog or not have a blog
Ok pretty obvious stuff but their wp cms theme does realise all three of these options and allows you to implement them.
The advantage of having a CMS is that you get a nice backend area of your website that only you or your staff can access. Once there you get some very simple but powerful tools to change the content of your site (no more difficult than using Microsoft Word), allowing you to keep it nice and fresh and always up to date, this is very important to your customers as it projects the feeling of a legitimate business, stale sites with old or out of date information very often have the reverse effect!
Although the look of the theme itself is basic it does what it says on the box and once your company logos and colours are in there you should have a very nice looking site.
Your contact information is always kept visible at the top of the site which is also very important for potential customers, the email link can easily be changed into a link to a contact form if you prefer. The theme also offers the chance for your company to run a blog (or latest news / current projects… etc) this also helps prevent the ‘stale site’ syndrome and helps your visibility and rankings in search engines.
If you do go for this theme then make sure you bookmark the demo page and keep checking back (or RSS it) as there is a promise of future tutorials and updates which you wont want to miss out on.
One word of warning to those who have never encountered WordPress before (or simply arn’t techie) or if you feel that this would be too tasking or if it is the only thing putting you off using this site then we do offer an installation service and would be happy to install and set-up this website for you. Please see ‘Install Info‘ for more information or click the ‘Install’ link at the bottom of this page if you would like this service.
We have only just discovered Graph Paper Press and are very impressed. They are a company who specialize in making WordPress themes and who put a lot of effort into helping their users with as much support as possible.
But what’s really important is ‘how good are their themes?’ Well lets find out!
The first wp theme from Graph Paper Press we have decided to review is the High-Def theme. Mimimal and stylish the name gives a big clue as to what this theme should be used for! High-Def features a built in HD video player with with full-screen capabilities, perfect for those who dont want to rely on others to host their content i.e. the good: vimeo, or the very bad: youtubes new HD player. But that not all its got! A well designed ‘mac’ style sliding content region and a powerful automatic thumbnail creator for posts (no more custom fields!!).
A theme settings page with makes every element on the homepage optional and configurable
Five separate widget areas
Automatic thumbnail creator
HD player with full screen option
Advertising ready (if you want it)
RSS built in
Easy to change to your branding
Free support forums
Suitable for multi-media use, magazines, review sites and too many more to list here!
Need an example of just how much support Graph Paper Press give you? Check out these screen casts:
The minimal design ensures that visitors wont be lost on your site, and also makes it very easy for you to organise your content. The theme itself is very easy to brand and comes with
‘A theme settings page with makes every element on the homepage optional and configurable’
It is easy to monetize this theme aswell with a nice none intrusive space for adverts at the side. All in all a very nice theme and a great debut on our site from Graph Paper Press. Try it out with the theme demo below or go straight to the High-Def home page for more information, comments from other users and forums!