Five Hot Free Magazine-Style Themes for WordPress

Gossip, tabloids, sound bytes, Twitter breaking news stories, paparazzi – these things seem to make the world go around.  WordPress is the ultimate tool for publishing of-the-moment stories and making them look sexy at that.  Why not give yourself a leg up (is that a pun?) with these excellent Magazine styled themes for WordPress.  Did I mention they’re totally free?

Grid Focus

Oh let’s just start off by being unconventional – after all – the stars that catch our interest are the ones doing something different.  Grid Focus doesn’t look like the typical glossy magazine layout you might have been expecting from our headline, but it has all the bones to become whatever you desire.  You just have to be ready to roll up your sleeves, open a the can and then paint the town red.  We appreciated designer Derek Punsalan’s response to those complaining about a lack of ad support within the theme :

“I often receive complaints that Grid Focus – or any of my other themes – are not “ad friendly”. Official ad support is nowhere near my list of reasons for giving back to the WordPress community. If ad support is necessary, please modify the template(s) to meet your needs.”  That’s the spirit of innovation I like to encourage.  Wake up people – the curtain is about to go up and you had better be ready to rock the crowd.

grid_focus magazine-style free theme for WordPress
A three-column theme. Convenient navigation bars can be found at the top and bottom of pages. Category archives are presented via a JavaScript shelf which can be found at the top of the page.

Download || Demo

Jello Wala Mellow

A little unusual in its grid-like design, this punchy orange and black theme offers an interesting way to organize a lot of content in an easy to browse layout.

jello-wala-mellow magazine-style free wordpress theme
Jello-Wala-Mello is a news / magazine-styled WordPress theme created for multi-media sites. It requires WordPress 2.3+ to work properly.

Download || PSD Files

Scarlett

The Scarlett theme is just plain hot.  With a sliding large-format thumbnail bar at the top, a built in custom video frame and much more this feels like the place to be when the cameras start flashing.

scarlette-theme magazine-style free theme for wordpress

Download

National Treasure dvd

|| Source || Demo

Julia rip

Skyye News

Like the famous Sky Bar on the Sunset Strip, this swanky media-rich theme is like a fully stocked bar in a clean, well lighted place.  Pretty sure when this theme crosses your line of site, you will give it a second look.

skyye-news free theme for wordpress
Skyye News by developer Nomad-One / designer Nathan Rice has an advanced template system that gives you the ability to configure almost everything from the dashboard options menu. Nearly every aspect of the theme is dynamic, from the homepage, single posts, pages, archives, etc.

Download || Live Demo

Small Magazine

Just like its namesake – this handsome theme should be popular due to its familiar print magazine feel.  You may just find yourself wishing you could take it into the bath, or on a plane with you.  Well, technically, who says you can’t.  (Don’t forget to register your blogs with the Kindle marketplace at Amazon! wink)

small-magazine magazine-style free wordpress theme

Download || Source

One of the things all the starlettes, all-star quarterbacks, prom queens, screenwriters and future Spielbergs quickly learn when they arrive in the Entertainment Capital of the World is that they are no longer the only one that is special – you have got be innovative, think on your feet, emulate the ones who have been successful and then find a way to do one better.  The above themes are all great but take them as a point for departure.  You can’t afford to be just another small fish in a big pond – after all, you are here to make your dreams come true so get out there and make a statement even if it is reporting on the statements someone else is making.

Most of all – have fun – your blog is your own damn publication – revel in that fact.

About the Author:

Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com

. Keram recently released a solo acoustic CD titled “Box”.

WordPress As A Video Site – Themes and Plugins

WordPress vs. Joomla as a CMS

WordPress is deeply customizable and has evolved into a full content management system or “CMS” for many publishers, but it still isn’t the best choice for video sites – that crown is still held by Joomla, likely because it approaches the content not as a blog but as a way for navigating through a lot of content pulled from a database. Although this is essentially what WordPress does – WP still thinks like a blog – that is to say, it is hungry for updates so that it can post them on its front page, and have those updates commented upon by readers who subscribe to its RSS feed.

Joomla, on the other hand struggles as a blogging platform and instead excels at cataloging your content much like a library catalogs and displays book, allowing that content to be voted upon and rated, building communities and so on. They are both capable of much the same things, but they come at it in very different ways.  furthermore, someone with knowledge about installing and running a WordPress site does not necessarily share the tools for installing and running a Joomla CMS.  Again: they are two different animals.

As WordPress slowly saturates the market as a full-blown CMS, we are on the lookout for ways in which people are solving both community building (in the sense that its readers can maintain profiles that go beyond a comment history) and as a multimedia platform.

While most successful port of the YouTube idea to WP are expensive custom jobs, there are a couple of solutions emerging for the rest of us worth a look.

Video Themes and Solutions for WordPress

First is WordPress Video Theme – a design that does a very simple thing: it integrates the ability to embed video right in to your template’s back end. The upside is you need to know nothing about coding or even third-party plugins to use it. The downside is that because it is expressly designed to display videos in its posts (to retain the integrity of its overall formatting) you must link a video in every post or you will be stuck with a big empty white space before your text appears. It also affords you the ability to switch between seven different color palettes on the fly.

22-year old designer Malan Joubert has been more than generous in giving this one away.

Good Burger ipod

It is not an ideal solution, but it works, and its free and at the very least you can get a chance to tinker around with a solution to this problem.

Wordpress Video Theme

A free WordPress Video Theme by Malan Joubert

Next is an excellent video theme from the good people at Woo Themes called, appropriately WooTube. This premium theme automatically resizes videos on your site for a clean consistent look and even has the WPPost-Ratings plugin built in so readers can vote on their favorite videos. The difference between WooTube’s integration of the rating system and doing it yourself without any knowledge of CSS is WooTube makes it look good. It also features a customized sidebar for displaying past videos without any need for installing third party plugins.

how deep is your love.mp3

WooTube - a premium video theme from WooThemes.com

WooTube - a premium video theme from WooThemes.com

WooTube can be purchased in one of two ways: as a single license (meaning you have permission to use it on one site) for $70 and multi-sites for $150, or as part of a Woo Themes club membership. Visit the site for details.

A last thing to look at is Viper’s Video Quicktags


The Spirit buy

– not a theme, but a plugin that allows you to embed videos from a wide variety of sites including YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, Vimeo, Dailymotion and others, customize the appearnce of the video player and define other behaviors.

Once installed the plugin option appear within the WYSIWYG of your post editor. It doesn’t break your theme in any way, (I have tested it with over 25 different themes) and get you into the world of video broadcasting from your Worpdress blog. What it doesn’t do, that a good theme does, is display past videos, who watched them, how much they were liked and so on. These are the keys to making a successful video site, and WordPress isn’t quite there yet.

Here is a list of many other video plugins for WordPress worth taking a look at; as always, try some out and see what works best for you.

While there are dozens of amazing highly customized themes for multimedia by frighteningly talented designers out there, most of them aren’t available to the common blogger without a budget.  The resources above, however, should get you on your way.

About the Author:
Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com

10 Unconventional WordPress Themes

For some reason, I love blogs that break the rules. Whether it’s a different design or functionality, I love playing around with WordPress themes that can only be described as unconventional. In other words, themes that don’t follow the typical style and layout of WordPress themes. Themes that use a unique layout and awesome graphics that push the limits of web design.

Below are my picks for the Top 10 Unconventional WordPress Themes.

Japan Style

japan-style

download great escape the


This is a perfect blog theme for all you Japanophiles out there. This theme will turn your blog in a Japanese themed wonderland. Features include slick Japanese Watercolor header, pretty background, clipart and a design that can be described as functional and elegant.

Download Japan Style WordPress Theme

Feed Me, Seymour

feedmeseymour-580x485

Feed Me, Seymour is a fun theme designed around displaying different feeds in an interesting and fun way. It’s got a unique yellow color scheme, 5 column layout and the ability to display content in any way that you wish within the theme parameters.

Download Feed Me, Seymour

Outdoorsy

outdoorsy_preview

This theme is perfect if you’re planning on starting a green living or gardening blog. It’s green, it’s got the colors of the Earth and it’s brilliantly laid out. It’s uniqueness translates to lots of images that have to load, but it’s worth the wait and your readers will love it.

Download Outdoorsy

WP Coda Orange

wp-coda-orange

WP Code Orange is an offshoot of the popular WP Coda purple theme. It features the slick scrolling navigation that makes this theme different than any other theme out there. The orange color scheme is bold, bright and lovable.

Download WP Coda Orange

Infinity From Smashing Magazine

preview-large

Smashing Magazine has taken WordPress to somewhere it has never been before with its Infinity theme. The layout is image heavy, bold and elegant. It’s may not be for everyone, but it works for me.

Download Infinity

Typebased

typebased

Typebased is the most conventional of the unconventional themes. It’s got a familiar layout, but what set it’s apart is it’s color scheme, 4 column layout and powerful Woothemes backend.

Download Typebased

ClearPress

clearpress

What sets this theme apart is the way that it breaks up content. It takes a three column layout and turns it on its head. It’s clean, elegant and very yellow. It also features something that I’ve never seen before, a drop down sidebar. Now, that’s innovation.

Download Clearpess

Rainbow Feather

rainbow-feather

I’ve never seen a layout like this and I probably never will again. Who knew that yellow, blue and pink would go so well together? Despite the jarring combination of color, it’s unique layout will definitely make your blog stand out.

Download Rainbow Feather

Squible

squible

This theme is deceiving in it’s simplicity. The front page features one post and the sidebar allows quick access to your content. Other more traditional sidebar content it laid out at the bottom of the page. Very clean and well put together.

Download Squible

Going Global

goingglobal

I’m a bit of a map geek, so I especially love any theme that manages to include a map of the world in it’s background. The color scheme is very pleasing, the layout sharp. This is a great theme for a travel blog or travel information site.

Download Going Global

Give these themes a try if you want to make your blog stick out from the pack. If you know of any other unconventional WordPress themes, feel free to leave a comment.