Top 10 Premium Multi-Purpose WordPress Themes

There’s a lot of very good versatile premium WordPress themes out there at the moment. Theme makers are certainly in healthy competition which is ensuring the continued development of a number of modern themes with an excellent array of design/layout customisation options and features.  The only downside is that some can be a bit overwhelming to start with.

Avada is the top selling theme on Theme Forest but I’m not never quite liked it somehow. It’s not included below but in recent updates it has included some nice contemporary features so I’m now warming to it.

At the time of writing, these themes will typically set you back about $59-69. So here’s a quick round up.


Salient

Salient WordPress Theme

This is a great intuitive theme, and integrates well with the included Visual Composer, for excellent aesthetics.

Theme Forest Rating: 4.83 after more than 3000 ratings and over 37,000 sales.

 


Divi

Divi WordPress Theme

The flagship theme from Elegant Themes, Divi continues to improve and is becoming a really excellent theme, incorporating the Divi page builder, and an excellent choice of design and layout settings.

Available from Elegant Themes – not available on Theme Forest – and for continued access to updates, you’ll need to pay an annual subscription.

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Best Free WordPress Themes for 2015

It’s almost a year since my last round up of free WordPress themes, and there are certainly some great new themes out there, most now with a full screen look.

As ever, I’ve not tested all the themes, though all the themes look like they are from genuine trusted sources. Where themes have a pro version, I’ve had a look to see that the free versions are still worthwhile but it’s worth comparing free and pro versions to see what the difference is. Often the free version will have more limited colour, typography and page layout options, no slider or limited slides, less widgets or widget areas, and a new trend seems to be to offer WooCommerce compatibiltiy for the pro but not free version.

I have linked themes to their WordPress depository page if they are in it, but for themes that are not in the WordPress depository you may want to check them with the Theme Authenticity Checker Plugin or check the theme files at VirusTotal. So let’s get started:

1. Nirvana

nirvana wordpress themeNirvana is one of the most impressive free themes around at the moment.

‘a framework of over 200 settings in a user-friendly interface, a very effective responsive design, easy to use typography equipped with Google fonts, all post formats, 8 page templates (magazine and blog layouts included), 12 widget areas and a presentation page complete with an editable slider and columns’.

2. Storefront

Storefront WordPress ThemeGood contemporary theme from WooThemes.

‘Storefront is an intuitive & flexible, free WordPress theme offering deep integration with WooCommerce’.

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30 Best Free WordPress Themes for Summer 2014

The halfway point of the year seems a good time for another round up of the latest free WordPress themes. As usual I have steered clear of ‘free’ themes that are so limited that you really to need upgrade to premium to make any use of them. I’ve not tested all the themes, though all the themes look like they are from genuine sources. For themes that are not in the WordPress depository you may want to check them with the Theme Authenticity Checker Plugin or check the theme files at VirusTotal. So here goes:

1. Limo

Limo is an impressive modern free full screen theme from CodexCoder with a good range of features and options that you often only find in premium themes. ‘Limo is a beautiful HTML5 template Designed and Developed by CodexCoder. This template is validated by W3C and we attached lots of Features. Its awesome outlook and effects can easily attract visitors’. Limo WordPress Theme

2. Isis

‘Isis is a Simple, Clean and Responsive Retina Ready WordPress Theme which adapts automatically to your tablets and mobile devices. theme with 2 home page layouts,2 header style,10 social icons,4 widget ,Slider,3 page templates – Full width page, 4 google fonts, font-awesome service icon,Upload logo option ….. Isis is suitable for any types of website – corporate, portfolio, business, blog.’ Isis WordPress Theme Continue Reading for Themes 3-30

5 Great WordPress Plugins for 2014

It’s been a while since I posted anything on WordPress so here’s a few top WordPress plugins that have caught my eye recently.

WordPress Plugins banner

Shortcodes Ultimate – there are lots of shortcode plugins out there for buttons, accordions, columns etc but this has to be one of the best and most extensive with 30+ shortcodes. Simple to use and responsive too.

Blue Studio Tiny MCE Widget – open up the possibilities of your widget areas by adding a WYIWYG visual editor widget. Great for clients.

WordPress Visual Slide-box Builder – Add cool hover effects to images or any other type of content. Impressive range of effects for a free plugin.

MailChimp for WordPress – Mailchimp is a great e-newsletter generation tool and this plugin integrates MailChimp subscribe lists with your WordPress site – an excellent combination!

Easy Digital Downloads – excellent free plugin to sell digital products, with add-ons also available.

Change of Name for Long Established Security Plugin

Better WP security has changed its name and look. It’s now known as iThemes Security, and is still a worthy addition to any site.

You’ll find all of the above and many more in my WordPress Plugins directory.

 

15 Free WordPress Themes for 2014

Here’s the first round-up of new themes for 2014 including some big bold contemporary themes. It’s also good to see many of these themes offering WooCommerce compatibility. All themes are free and responsive.

1. Bearded

This looks to be one of the more impressive free themes of late with a real premium look and feel about it. I look forward to giving Bearded from bonfirelab a try.

Bearded WordPress Theme

‘A responsive CSS3 and HTML5 blogging and portfolio theme. It supports all post formats and has layout, and color options built into the theme customizer. The theme also supports the Custom Content Portfolio plugin, giving artists and other creative people the ability to share their work’.

2.Simple

This is a great full screen theme from Themesmarts who are aiming to ‘to create free or open source WordPress themes using the best and free open source resources tools on the net’. This theme, packed with features and options, looks like their best one yet.

Simple WordPress Theme

‘Simple wordpress themes goes by its name a simple wordpress theme with enough features and options to get your satisfaction a big boost. Simple WordPress theme supports multiple color schemes 5 to be exact and 2 primary color which is dark and white. Its homepage can be fully customized, using a set of shortcodes the homepage can be created uniquely.

Simple WordPress supports 3 types of page templates, Blog template which shows all the latest blog posts, portfolio template which shows the latest portfolio project and lastly is the homepage template which is used to create your homepage’.

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WordPress Security: 10 Steps to Stop Your Site Getting Hacked

In terms of security, an up to date WordPress site is fairly robust, but because WordPress is so popular, there are plenty out there looking to exploit any weakness in security. Before you know it, your site could be full of links to Viagra and dodgy pharmaceutical products, or worse. So what can you do to make your site more secure? Here’s a non-technical list of 10 things you can do.

1. Use a security plugin. There are two good free plugins available – Better WP Security and WordFence. Once activated, your site is immediately more secure, but the settings provide further enhancements which do not take very long to set up.

2. Don’t use admin as your user name – it gives half the game away! And ensure strong passwords – non-dictionary, with numbers and characters. This can help protect you against ‘brute force attacks’which aim to gain access to a site by trying passwords and usernames over and over again.

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15 of the Best Free WordPress Themes for Autumn 2013

It’s been a couple of months since my last round-up of free WordPress themes and a quick check around the sites reveals there’s been a surprising amount of good new themes released recently. Some of the following themes are still quite fresh so bear that in mind if you are thinking of using them – most of the developers will welcome any feedback and suggestions for improvements. The themes are all responsive and it’s noticeable that Bootstrap is being used as the basis for more and more themes.

1. Vantage

This looks to be a truly impressive free theme with a host of features usually seen in premium themes. The full screen front page slider looks great plus there’s a load of widgets and use of Page Builder to help create customised layouts. It’s a popular theme with 25,000 downloads in 5 weeks.

Vantage

‘Vantage is a flexible multipurpose theme. It’s strength lies in its tight integration with some powerful plugins like Page Builder for responsive page layouts, MetaSlider for big beautiful sliders and WooCommerce to help you sell online. Vantage is fully responsive and retina ready. Use it to start a business site, portfolio or online store’.

2. Openstrap

Another very impressive free theme, Openstrap utilises the Bootstrap Framework, and offers a whole host of features with plenty of widgets and page layouts.

Openstrap

‘The Openstrap theme for WordPress developed on top of Twitter Bootstrap Framework. The theme is fully responsive and can be viewed on any device. Openstrap theme provides 6 different layouts for posts and pages, 11 widget areas, 3 strategic menu locations, nicely designed and customizable footer with its own widgets’.

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Disastrous Update for NextGEN Gallery WordPress Plugin

By all accounts, the latest substantial update for the well-established photo gallery plugin, NextGEN (over 7 millions downloads!) has been a disaster. The update promised much, but has delivered little, with broken and buggy sites now scattered over the web. For the moment, this plugin is best avoided. If you are currently using it, don’t update to version 2.x, and stick with the older versions.

NextGEN has been one of the best plugins for many years but was recently taken over by Photocrati, who have clearly struggled to make the worthy looking improvements they were seeking. Let’s hope they can sort it out as although there are many gallery plugins out there, NextGEN was the most comprehensive, especially for free, which also makes you wonder about Photcrati’s decision to bring out a Pro version at the same time as the update.

See the WordPress reviews for the plugin to get a taster of some of the problems the update has created, whilst as of today, it is worth noting that only 180 of 1,630 support threads have been resolved in the past two months.

If you need to go back to an earlier version, Next GEN do provide guidance on how to rollback a version. If you have updated successfully or have been using the Pro version and like it, please let me know, so we know that’s it’s not all doom and gloom!

UPDATE EARLY 2014: NextCellent Gallery

NextCellent Gallery – NextGen Legacy – the 2013 NextGen upgrade has led to this fork from the original, which has 40,000 downloads in a few months, and is getting good reviews.

If you have Nextgen and want to change then this article – So Long NextGen –  may help.

More of the Best Free and Responsive WordPress Themes 2013

This is another round up of free and responsive WordPress themes.Some free themes also have pro versions so when this is the case take care to check the free version has the features you require if you do not want to pay for pro. For example, the Panoramica theme, mentioned in my previous article, 16 Free Responsive WordPress Themes for 2013, which is an impressive free theme, now has a pro version, and the free version is not quite as good as it was.

In general, I have tended to shy away from listing basic or lite versions as the features are often quite underwhelming,and sometimes the free version is not responsive. This is no doubt part of a strategy to encourage you to go pro or try a theme but I have only listed basic/lite versions where the free version is still a good choice in itself.

1.Customizr

Customizr is currently the second most downloaded theme in the WordPress Themes directory, and with a good slider, plenty of widget areas, easy customisations, and a clean look, it is not hard to see why. From CPO Themes.

Cutomizr Theme

‘A  free responsive WordPress theme, easy to customize , built with HTML5 & CSS3 upon the Twitter Bootstrap framework. The clean design can be used for any type of website : corporate, portfolio, business, blog, etc. Choose a skin, upload your logo, set up your social network profiles and you are done!

It also includes a handy responsive slider generator (with call to action text and button) that can be embedded in any pages or posts. The theme supports five widgetized areas (two in the sidebars, three in the footer), up to three columns, nine post formats with special styles. It also comes with seven elegant skins and three handy featured page blocks for the front page’.

2. Discover

Another popular theme is Discover, from AntThemes, there are free and pro versions but the free version offers a lot, including a good slider with a side area for a call to action. Unlike some themes with pro versions, the free version is responsive .

Discover Theme

‘A very neat and clean orange and white business theme. The theme supports widgets. And features theme-options, threaded-comments and multi-level dropdown menu. A simple and neat typography’.

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