15 Best Free WordPress Themes Autumn 2015

A quick round up of some of the latest free WordPress themes, including a couple of older themes that I’ve not included in previous posts but feature here because they are consistently well rated and reviewed.

1. ColorMag

ColorMag wordpress theme

Extremely well-reviewed theme by ThemeGrill – ‘a perfect responsive magazine style WordPress theme. Suitable for news, newspaper, magazine, publishing, business and any kind of sites’.

2. Virtue

Virtue wordpress theme

I’m not always keen on ‘lite’ themes as the free versions sometimes do not deliver but the next few themes are so well-reviewed, that their free versions certainly warrant inclusion in this list.

First up, Virtue by Kadence Themes has been around for quite some time and has over 150 five-star reviews, which must make it one of the best reviewed themes in the WordPress depository.

‘The Virtue theme is extremely versatile with tons of options, easy to customize and loaded with great features. The clean modern design is built with html5 and css3 and uses the powerful responsive framework from Bootstrap to be a fully responsive and mobile friendly. It’s fully ecommerce (Woocommerce) ready with all the tools you need to design an awesome online store. The versatile design is perfect for any kind of business, online store, portfolio or personal site. We built Virtue with a powerful options panel where you can set things like your home layout, sliders, custom fonts, and completely customize your look without writing any CSS.’

The free version has a good deal of options but the even more all singing premium version is $45.

Continue Reading for Themes 3-15

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Enough to make you yell.com

I’m pleased to say that I’ve just saved my dad (an accountant) some cash by helping him transfer his site away from yell.com.

Despite offering a poor website design and marketing product, yell.com’s persistent sales spiel and large marketing budget means that they continue to pick up business. However, their reputation is beginning to take a battering as it becomes less clear about the value they add whilst very clear as to the exorbitant prices they charge.

My dad paid an initial £150 plus VAT for a 3 page static website which sounds OK except that Yell then charged a monthly fee of £20 a month plus VAT for ‘maintenance’. It might not have been so bad except that the site was a badly designed thrown together template-based site. In reality of course he should only be paying a few pounds a month for a host and some one-off fees once in a while for an update or change to the site (he saved more because I designed and am hosting his new site).

Yell charged £40 to release the domain name. It seems they really don’t want to leave a good impression or retain customer loyalty. My dad is still locked into some of their other marketing services but there’s little evidence that its brought him any business.

Thanks to Google and other online services, the Yellow Pages has long ceased to be the directory to go to. It seems Yell has tried to adapt by going more digital but has not adapted well and has offered poor value services, relying instead on intensive marketing. This blog post Does anyone actually use yellow pages anymore? Or Yell.com? from earlier this year is not untypical.

As I stated above, the current costs for an ‘affordable yellsite’ are currently £150 plus VAT and a monthly £20 service charge for the basics (up to 5 pages) but this increases to £350 plus a hefty £35 a month for a ‘standard’ 10 page site. Don’t even think of anything beyond that!

Yell is rebranding and changing its name to hibu, the sign perhaps of a desperate company. Apparently it’s pronounced high-boo so at least they got the second part right. On a final note, Yell’s/hibu’s shares are now worth virtually nothing:

Ouch! Hibu (formerly Yell) says its shares could have “no value”

Don’t touch them with a 10 foot barge pool. In fact, don’t touch them with a 100ft barge pool. Or does anyone have good tales to tell about yell.com?