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”.

Three Plugins To Transform Your WP Site Into A Video Portal

A Watershed Year for Online Video

In 2009, YouTube saw a 56 percent increase in traffic and finally hit a new benchmark – users are uploading 20 hours worth of video per minute to the site. This remarkable statistic may have something to do with the improved functionality of the webcam response tool that now allows users to start recording video with one-simple click.

And although online video is not quite ready to dethrone the venerable TV set, online video is almost a must-have element to any good online destination.

Here are three potent and easy to install plugins that will help transform your WordPress blog into a video-ready CMS:

wordTube for WordPress:

Per the developer site’s description: “This plugin manages the JW FLV MEDIA PLAYER 4.3+ and makes it easy for you to put music, videos or flash movies onto your WordPress posts and pages. ”

Well, let me say that “easy” is a relative term.  Compared to Viper’s Video Quicktags (see below) wordTube is not so simple.  It requires you to create an .flv (Flash video) file to begin with, or yes, you can link to an existing Flash video file (for example a YouTube link) and then drop a line of code into your post manually that looks something like: [media id="media id"]

That in itself isn’t so hard, but it can become a bit tedious when you just want to copy and paste something from another site into a post.  The adantages of wordTube, however are the extended power you get from integrating the JW FLV player into your WordPress installation; everything from building video jukeboxes, to custom skins for your player to integrating LongTail ads becomes available.  There is also a long list of plugins that add further functionality to the player available from the site at www.longtailvideo.com

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Another cool thing about wordTube and it’s ability to work with audio or images alone, is that you can create a jukebox for music or images and thus build a radio station or photo gallery to your liking.  Or even a music jukebox with cover art.  To see an example of this, visit the Streaming Indie Jukebox at LA music blog MusicZeitgeist.com

It supports .flv or .swf, sound files as MP3 and JPG, GIF or PNG grafic files.

Viper’s Video Quicktags

This delicious little dish makes serving up video from a wide variety of media sites as simple as copy and pasting the appropriate video link into an input field.  The plugin does the rest.

Sites currently supported include:

Highly recommended for ease of use and selection.  Furthermore you can use the plugins WYSIWYG backend to alter the player’s behaviors – from disabling related videos, to offering high quality options to the color of the frame.

Smart Video Plus

A relative but powerful newcomer is Smart Video Plus which is very different from any other WordPress video plugin you will find on the net as it’s not dependant on using any [tokens] or [tags] to embed media, nor does it need a list of supported video sites for you to choose from as this plugin allows video embedding from absolutely every video site online that supports embed code.

It can be used as a standalone plugin or integrated with a free custom optimized theme available from the developers site.

Some of the plugins features include the ability to:

  • Search Videos From Over 30 Top Video Search Engines!
  • Choose Videos From Over 100 Million Pre Cached Media Files!
  • Mass Embed The Media You Choose Directly to Your WordPress!
  • Change All The Video Meta Titles, Descriptions & Keywords!
  • No Downloading, No Uploading, No Copy & Paste, No Duplicate Media!

So there you have it – three ways to start becoming your own online broadcaster.  I’d love to hear from you if you have tried any of these and how they worked out for you.

About the Author:
Keram (follow him on twitter @ConstantChange) 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