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

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|| Source || Demo

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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”.

Top 10 Most Beautiful 3 Column Themes

For many bloggers, a 3 column theme is what you need to take your blog to the next level. It allows you to show more content in your sidebars, allows better ad placement and generally creates a more well rounded and balanced design.

There are tons of free 3 column themes available and you will have a lot of options. Here’s our picks for the most beautiful three column WordPress themes that we could find.

1. Mimbo

mimbo3 download the call

Mimbo is a well put together 3 columned magazine style theme. It works perfectly for taking your blog to the next level. It displays your content in a way that makes it easier for new visitors to explore your site. Great for ad click conversions.

Mimbo Theme

2. Aeros

aeros

Aeros is a slick theme. It’s key feature is that it has a pretty background picture (that you can change) and your blog floats of top of it. The image stays put but your content moves as you navigate the site. It’s a little gimmicky but it’s slick and well put together. Perfect for showing off your content. The package comes with several images you can have as the background as well as allowing you to create your own.

Aeros Theme

3. Puteulanus

puteulanus

Puteulanus is a very well designed 3 column theme that really likes the color blue. But it’s not overpowering. Everything is well laid out and underneath is a powerful theme. It’s well designed for ad placement optimization and will suit most advanced bloggers very well.

Puteulanus

4. Publicizer

publicizer

Don’t let this theme’s simplicity fool you. It’s an incredibly powerful and well designed theme that’s perfect for showing off your blog and all the great content you’ve written.

Publicizer

5. Woodtastic

woodtastic

This theme won’t suit everyone, but I love it. It harkens back to a more solid way of displaying content. It adds an air of sophistication and opulence to what are otherwise slick blogs. Woodtastic is well designed and doesn’t go overboard with the wood theme. This is one of those perfect little themes you just have to try.

Woodtastic

6. Tamodatchi

tamodachi

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What I love the most about the Tamodatchi theme are the colors. The color palette the designers have chosen just works perfectly for me. It’s well laid out as well and it perfect for ad placement. It’s a simple, zen-like theme that just seems to work for me.

Tamodatchi

7. Brownmagic

brownmagic

Brownmagic is light and airy but also extremely powerful. It will help you display your content in a way that makes it easy for your readers to find content and explore your site. The only thing I’m not crazy about it the yellow at the top. I could live without that.

Brownmagic

8. DailyPress

dailypress

This is a theme you’ve probably already seen in a lot of places. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that it’s a theme that WORKS. It also has many ways that you can customize it so that it’s different from all the other sites that use it. It’s a nice little theme that I recommend using if it suits your needs.

DailyPress

9. Corptheme

corptheme

Corptheme is a simple 3 column layout that is perfect for a company website. It’s a clean design that has four color options. It also has drop down menus, which is always a good feature to have on a 3 column blog. It’s clean and it works.

Corptheme

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10. Limit

limit

While this is a three column theme, it’s got some unique design elements that separate it from the pack. It’s well laid out and has a very pleasing color palette. An excellent starter 3 column WordPress Theme.

Limit

So there is a good list of three column themes to get you started. What’s Your Favorite Three Column Theme? improve premarin lining

10 Gorgeous Two Column WordPress Themes

Whether your creating the next Top 100 blog or doing a small website for a company, two column themes provide lots of functionality and clean design. Many people overlook two columned themes in favor of more robust three columned themes, but if you’re designing a simple blog or a small website, two columns will suit most uses fine and be much easier to setup and maintain.

They are a great way to emphasize content since there is more space available while still allowing enough room for advertisements and other widgets. Here is an overview of ten awesome looking two columned themes you can use for your WordPress blog:

Auntie Mame dvdrip Green Tech Theme

greentech-theme

A clean brown and green theme that is perfectly designed for ad placement. It also has an author box where you can tell your readers a little about you.

Download Green Tech Theme

WP Freemium Theme

wp-freemium-homepage1jpg

A very clean two columned theme that is perfect if you are looking for a magazine style site but don’t want three columns. It also has some built in space for 125 pixel advertisements.

Download WP Freemium Theme

Salmon Theme

salmon-theme1jpg

This theme is colorful, clean and gorgeous. The header is very clean and the sidebar has plenty of room for a banner ad as well at listing other information.

Download Salmon Theme

Blue Sensation Theme


bluesensation-themejpg

I tend to like themes that use blue as the primary color and this is no exception, clean and well laid out. The theme incorporates a subscribe section to make it easy for readers to stay up to date. It also has a built in section for 125 pixel banner ads.

Download Blue Sensation Theme

Blues Theme

blues-themejpg

This theme has a lot going on, but once you master it, it’s a perfect theme to allow people to explore all the content you have to offer. The best part about the theme is that it uses some of the header space for advertisements. That way you do not have to sacrifice real estate in your sidebar for ads.

Download Blues Theme

Webby Green Theme

webby-greenjpg

This theme is lean, clean and green. What more can you ask for?

Download Webby Green Theme

WP-Portal Theme

wp-portal

This theme is bright and bold as well as cleanly laid out. Like many of the themes above, it has a built in advertisement section so you can monetize your blog.

Download WP-Portal Theme

Corporate Theme

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This theme is perfect for setting up a website for a business. It’s simple, yet very professional looking.

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Floristica Theme

floristica

You can make the header whatever you want, which sold me on this theme. I love the transparency as well.

Download Floristica Theme

Tropicala Theme

tropicala

This is a pretty simple two columned theme, but it looks great and is perfect for simple websites.

Download Tropicala Theme

What’s your favorite Two Column WordPress Theme?

Top 10 Flashy WordPress Themes

Some WordPress themes feature designs that don’t really serve much of a purpose other than to look good. There’s nothing wrong with that and these unique themes can give your blog’s voice extra authority and character. Here is our selection of the most bling-bling flashy WordPress themes we could find.

Desk Mess

deskmess

This is a pretty popular theme that basically makes your blog look like a notebook on a messy desk. It’s an obvious gimmick but the theme is actually well presented and is very versatile. Besides, it probably actually looks like a lot of our desks.

Download Desk Mess here

Ali Han Natural

ali-han

This theme is perfect if you have a sunny disposition. My mood improves just looking at it. The biggest design element of this theme is birds. Cute little birds. Despite the feminine look of the theme, it’s actually very nicely done.

Download Ali Han

Outdoorsy Theme

outdoorsy-wordpress-theme

If you want a ‘green’ theme, then this is theme for you. The background image is grass and the header is a giant flower. You can’t get more outdoorsy than this pretty theme. I really like the crumpled parchment paper look. It’s very Harry Potter-esque.

Download Outdoorsy Theme

WordPress.fun


wp-fun

Smashing Magazine makes beautiful WordPress themes and this one is no different. It has a very bold, grunge look to it. Despite the fact it’s incredibly over designed, it seems to work as a theme package. I think it has a really pleasing color palette. I love the layout the most and would probably take this theme and change all the images to my own design, just to keep the great layout.

Download WordPress.fun

Night Whimsy

night-whimsy-wordpress-theme

If you ever wanted a theme that evoked a cool summer night with clear skies, then this is the theme for you. I just look at it and I feel instantly calm and ready for a nap. Best of all, if you don’t like it, the designer has made it really easy to change the colors around.

Download Night Whimsy fotografia di un momento al bano romina power mp3 download

Lady in Green

lady-in-green

This theme is very dark and it’s prominent feature is a sexy woman. I really like the giant Block Quote that lives in the header, it gives an otherwise uninspiring theme a neat twist.

Download Lady in Green

Color Paper

09-01_color_paper

Another beautiful theme from the folks over at Smashing Magazine. They really know how to make them look great. I love the layout, the wood background and the color coded tabs. This theme is ALL design and that’s OK with me. Definitely worth a try.

Download Color Paper

Notepad Chaos


09-05_notepad_chaos

This is the last theme from Smashing Magazine, I promise! This theme basically turns your blog into a notepad and the sidebar is a post it note. It’s a really cool design and has now been copied in many other places. I’d go for the original. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the header, it’s kind of what I imagine hallucinating would be like.

Download Notepad Chaos

iTheme

09-23_itheme

If you’re a Mac lover then this is the theme for you. It will turn your WordPress theme into something that resembles a Mac OS X app. I don’t know why you’d want your blog to look like that, but it’s possible with this. It’s a pretty slick layout, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Download iTheme

Travel Grunge


travelgrunge1

Grunge is a very popular trend in WordPress theme design and I’m not quite sure why. This theme turns the grunge look on it’s head by creating a clean travel theme perfect for chronicling your backpacking trek across Europe.

Download Travel Grunge

So there you have it, a good collection of flashy WordPress themes to make your blog stick out from the rest. What’s your favorite flashy WordPress Theme?

Top 10 Free Premium WordPress Themes

There are thousands of WordPress Theme possibilities and what theme you end up choosing for your site will influence it’s content along with the look and feel. Premium themes are great options to give your blog that extra professional look and advanced functionality that can be absent in normal free themes. Premium themes normally command a high price to use, but I’ve compiled a list of 10 Free Premium like themes.

Arthemia Magazine Style Theme

arthemia-screenshot

This theme is simply gorgeous and comes with lots of advanced functionality. It’s a magazine style theme, meaning that it will allow you to display more of your content in a useful way. It invites people to explore your site. This is a great theme if you’re starting a community like site.

Download Arthemia Theme

Blog.txt

blogtxt-screenshot

This theme is as minimalist as they get. It’s clean and crisp. It loads quickly and looks great while doing it. Perfect if you just want to get your blog up there and customize as you go along.

Download Blog.txt Theme

Dojo

dogo-screenshot

Dojo Theme is a pretty plain theme, but it’s well laid out and looks great. It’s minimalism hides a powerful backend that will help take your blog to the next level.

Download Dojo Theme

Firebug

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Firebug is a great dark theme. It may be dark, but it’s not hard on the eyes to read. Perfect for a sci-fi oriented site or gaming oriented blog. It’s also very customizable and it even includes great ad placement slots.

Download Firebug Theme

Premium News

premium-news-screenshot

This theme comes from WooThemes – a great premium WordPress theme maker. This is their one free theme and it looks simply wonderful. It features lots of cool ways to display your content and feature it. Woo Themes are usually easy to use and setup and you have the option to buy support if you need a little extra help.

Download Premium News from WooThemes

Mimbo Magazine

mimbo-screenshot

Mimbo is another magazine style theme that does everything you need in order to set up a full featured magazine style blog. Very clean lines and nice layout.

Download Mimbo Theme

WP Premium

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This theme features three color schemes and is very well laid out. It’s easy to customize and there is plenty of free support out there.

Download WP Premium

Ashford

ashford-screenshot

Ashford is a perfect theme for a company looking to build a simple website. It’s nice and clean and loads quickly. You can customize the colors anyway you want and it won’t take long to have a professional looking website for your company.

Download Ashford Theme

Coda

coda-screenshot

Coda is a neat theme that displays content in a rather unusual way, with a slideshow functionality. It’s also purple. Great if you like purple. But not hard to change if you’re comfortable editing your theme files.

Download Coda Theme

Massive Press

massive-press-screenshot

This is a great theme if you’re looking to have lots of rich content but not go all the way towards a magazine style format. It has nice colors and a clean layout.

Download Massive Press

What’s your favorite Free Premium WordPress Theme?

Exclusive Interview with Founder of OneHertz.com, Designer of the Mandigo Theme for WordPress

One of the most powerful features of a custom blog installation is the ability to store content in a database and then display that content dynamically within a theme that outlines the layout, style and often contributes additional functionality for the site.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of themes available now for WordPress, many of which are free and many that transform a basic WordPress installation into a very powerful CMS.  Free themes usually add some color and design to a site but not many free themes afford as much extra ammo as Mandigo

by independent developer OneHertz.

A Default Home Page Using Mandigo, a free theme for WordPress

A Default Home Page Using Mandigo, a free theme for WordPress

Mandigo offers a wide variety of color schemes that can be changed on the fly, dynamic sidebars that can be moved from the right to the left side, automatic bolding of hyperlinks, auto drop caps at the top of paragraphs and even additional fields for HTML, Javascript and CSS inserts – all without having to know a thing about code.  From the huge array of free themes available, I have found it to be by far the most versatile and powerful option out there short of having to pay a hefty license fee for comparable premium themes.

Intrigued by this hefty “Donationware” package, I conducted the following interview with Tom Picard, the creative mind behind Mandigo.

WP-Blogger: Tom, tell us about how you got started in design?

Well, I started making websites for personal projects, family and friends some 7 years ago but only started making a living out of it in 2006. This decision has its roots in some kind of frustration about the lack of usable websites in the travel industry: each time I needed to plan a trip or book a hotel room, it turned almost impossible to get information or see pictures of the place without asking people to send them by email. Since I thought I had the required skills and there was a market, I decided to open a business and registered OneHertz.com.

WP-Blogger: What led you to create your first WP template?

Curiosity (and to be honest, SE ranking). A few months into my entrepreneur venture, things were not going as well as I expected, particularly because of lack of traffic, so I decided to focus on improving the ranking of onehertz.com with Google. At the same time, my interest in WordPress was growing rapidly (I was making static HTML sites then) and I thought releasing a theme would be a cool way of learning something new and get a few backlinks at the same time. So I made a copy of my Kubrick folder, started tweaking it, and ended up releasing Mandigo 1.0 in December 2006.

WP-Blogger: Does it require a strong grasp of CSS?

Yes, and no. It doesn’t take much to get started. For the most part, you can just look at existing themes, use intuition and search for what you need on Google. Things only get worse when you implement options in your theme or want cross-browser support (read IE6 compliancy), and standards compliant markup.

WP-Blogger: Talk about www.onehertz.com

Things didn’t turn out as I planned, but the outcome is probably better this way. I wanted to make static sites for the travel industry and instead of that I ended up doing all kinds of WP-related development (be it custom plugins or themes) for all kinds of businesses from all over the world and this has been very rewarding so far.

WP-Blogger: What one piece of advice (that the rulebooks don’t tell you) would you give someone just getting started today building and customizing their own WP templates? XXx movie

Get Firebug, definitely. Firebug is an extension for Firefox which eases the debugging of web pages. You can monitor and edit HTML, javascript and CSS on the fly, so it’s a real life saver. It’s particularly useful for debugging CSS since it shows which properties are applied to each DOM element, and how rules override each other.

The top of Mandigo's backend Admin panel

The top of Mandigo's backend Admin panel

WP-Blogger: Mandigo is an amazing achievement of template design – it affords so much customization, is beautifully integrated into WP, powerfully SEO friendly, and yet even a beginner could use it without breaking anything.  Give me a brief history of its development:

I’ve always been more a programmer than a designer, so I tend to add fancy features in everything I make, and Mandigo is no exception. Right from the start, the theme had options inspired by what was available in the Freshy theme by jide, and this contributed to make it stand out from the crowd. After the first few updates, the theme gained in popularity and people started to contact me with ideas they wanted to see implemented in Mandigo. Each release came with its lot of new features and bug fixes thus making the theme even more customizable and popular. Actually, most of the features in Mandigo, including some of the most popular ones like HTML Inserts, have been suggested by users.

WP-Blogger: Anything else you’d like to share, let us know, have in development, parting words?

Working as a freelance designer is very rewarding but also very time-consuming. It doesn’t leave much time for family and hobbies. But when I happen to have some free time, I try to focus my attention on a few projects: a one-of-a-kind premium theme codenamed “OSes” which I’ll be releasing sometime this year, more free themes and some other personal WP-powered projects (which happen to not be suitable for all audiences.)

About the Author:

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