Jan 06 2012

The Top 25 WordPress Themes Of 2011

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One could argue that every year the WordPress platform gets better and better, and 2011 was no different with the release of three major updates: WordPress 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3. We have seen the addition of post formats, advanced taxonomy and custom fields queries, an improved import and export system, the introduction of an admin bar, distraction-free writing mode, revised dashboard interface, drag and drop uploader and much more.

As always, it’s theme developers who are taking advantage of these new features and pushing WordPress to do things that no one expected it to do. Today we would like to share with you 25 more of our favourite WordPress themes from the last 12 months. Included in the list are themes for personal blogs, photography websites, businesses and communities. There have been so many great designs released this year that this list could have extended to over 200, so please don’t be offended if your favourite design didn’t make the final 25 :)

2011′s Top 25 Themes

1. Daily Post
FREE

A simple yet beautiful free design from WPLook that was created for personal blogs. It was designed using HTML5 and CSS3 and due to its responsive design it looks great on portable devices such as phones and tablets too.

Post formats are supported and through the theme options area you can define your social media profile URLs and modify some basic SEO options.

Daily Post

Info & Download | Demo

2. Pink Touch 2
FREE

Designed by WordPress developers Automattic, Pink Touch 2 is a great looking single column blog design with beautiful typography, unique designs for post formats and custom header and background. Although the blog doesn’t have a sidebar, there are three widget areas in the footer. This simplicity is what sets the design apart from many alternatives.

Pink Touch 2

Info & Download | Demo

3. PhotoClick
FREE | $4.99 For Premium Version

A feature rich design that was created for photography websites and personal blogs. It has great typography, shortcodes for styling content and its one column design is perfect for displaying large images.

The theme is free to download however for only $4.99 you can get an additional colour scheme (grey), custom widgets, banner integration, more theme options and the original layered Photoshop PSD file.

PhotoClick

Info & Download | Demo

4. ProReviewTheme
Single License: $37, Multisite License: $67, Developer License: $127

An advanced WordPress theme that allows you to create an Amazon or Clickbank affiliate review site in seconds. All products can be rated using the popular 5 star rating system and the theme helps push traffic to affiliate sites by prominently displaying links to the product website.

It has been optimised for use on mobile devices such as tablets and through the theme settings area you can change basic style settings and modify the header. Arguably the best affiliate design for WordPress released in 2011.

ProReviewTheme

Info & Download | Demo

5. FaultPress
Regular License: $100

Working in a similar way to their help desk theme SupportPress, WooThemes FaultPress design turns WordPress into a fully functional bug tracking system. It allows you and your team to monitor the progress of your project through milestones. Tickets can be raised by users to allow you to track what needs to be addressed.

It also features a great messaging system to allow users and developers to communicate with each other effectively and it has been optimised for use on mobile phones and tablets.

FaultPress

Info & Download | Demo

6. The Navigator
Regular License: $40

The perfect theme for a travel website. Utilising Google Maps, The Navigator shows a map of the world in full screen. Every trip (post) is noted on the map using a pin. Details of each location are displayed in a content box at the left hand side of the page whilst an image of the location is displayed in the background in full screen.

The Navigator

Info & Download | Demo

7. Delicioso
Regular License: $35

Perfect for restaurants, Delicioso displays a large image slider on the home page to showcase your dishes. It comes with 6 colour schemes and its own unique shortcodes to help style your content. There are also dedicated blog, gallery and menu templates.

Delicioso

Info & Download | Demo

8. PixelPower
Regular License: $35

A responsive WordPress theme that has a clean minimal styled design. With support for all post formats, PixelPower is one of the best options available for personal blogs. It also comes with 1, 2 and 4 column portfolio templates so should prove popular with photographers and designers too.

It is optimised for use on mobile devices and it includes dark and no-CSS child themes too.

PixelPower

Info & Download | Demo

9. Continuum
Regular License: $40

Boasting over 200 theme options, Continuum is one of the most feature rich designs released in 2011. It comes with 5 custom sliders, 11 custom widgets, 19 unique sidebars, 68 custom shortcodes, 6 colour schemes and 28 pre-selected backgrounds and 8 page templates.

It also has an in built ratings system that supports 5 review types: movies, music, video games, books and products.

Continuum

Info & Download | Demo

10. Grido
Regular License: $39

A responsive Tumblr style theme from Themify that supports all WordPress post formats. The sidebar can be placed on the left or right or be removed altogether. You can also set 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns of posts to be displayed.

Coded using HTML5 and CSS3, it comes with a lightbox gallery, 9 post gradient colours and 7 colour schemes. It also has child theme support.

Grido

Info & Download | Demo

11. Rockwell
Regular License: $35

Packaged with one of the best looking theme options areas we have seen, Rockwell is a versatile design that is suitable for portfolios, business websites or blogs.

In total there are 43 category templates, 20 single page templates, 10 page templates, 30 shortcodes and 6 colour schemes. There are also 3 different home page sliders, 3 different styles of top navigation menus, a slider manager and much more.

RockWell

Info & Download | Demo

12. Announcement
Standard License: $70, Developer License: $150

It’s becoming very common for couples and families to create websites to celebrate important events such as weddings, graduations or the arrival of a baby in the family. The Announcement theme was created specifically for events such as these.

Everything is displayed on one page. When a user clicks on a section in the top navigation menu the page scrolls to the appropriate area on the page. Visitors can also leave comments at the bottom of the page. It also includes a photograph slider and you can choose between 1 and 3 columns for your content. There are several preset layouts for evens such as births, graduations and website launches. A baby statistics grid is also included.

Announcement

Info & Download | Demo

13. Sofa Shoppr
Regular License: $40

A cool eCommerce design that works with PayPal, 2CheckOut and Authorize.net. Orders and stock inventory can be tracked in the back end and featured products can be rotated at the top of the home page. There are 8 built-in widgets and 3 different layouts for the home page.

Sofa Shoppr

Info & Download | Demo

14. Studio8
Regular License: $35

A minimalist photography design that comes in white and black colour schemes. Images are displayed in the background in full screen and it is optimised for use on tablets. Videos are also supported though what many photographers will love is the ability to upload hundreds of photos at once using the themes built-in gallery management system.

Studio8

Info & Download | Demo

15. Stereotype
Regular License: $32

A clean looking one page portfolio design that was created using HTML5 and CSS3. It comes with 4 colour schemes and is optimised for use on mobile phones and tablet devices. Featured images, videos and galleries are all supported and the contact area has Google maps integration.

Stereotype

Info & Download | Demo

16. Daily Deal
Standard License: $89.95, Developer License: $179

Given the success of daily deal websites such as Groupon and Living Social, it isn’t surprising that a lot of imitation scripts and templates have been released. Daily Deal is one of the best available. The design turns your WordPress website into a full functional daily deal service.

Each deal shows the length of time left before the deal expires, the savings you can make and the number of items sold. Several payment gateways are supported to allow sellers to upload their deals directly with no fuss, and there is a newsletter form built into the home page design that supports MailChimp and Feedburner.

Daily Deal

Info & Download | Demo

17. Morning
Regular License: $69

A visually impressive magazine theme that comes with blue, dark and light colour schemes. Posts and pages can be shown in full width or have a sidebar placed on the left or right hand side of the page. It has fantastic video support and images are automatically resized so that they fit into the design correctly. One of the best looking magazine designs released this year.

Morning

Info & Download | Demo

18. Handmade
Regular License: $30 ($50 on Obox website)

A warm theme that was designed with arts and crafts, cooking and clothing websites in mind. It has a great looking home page that displays large featured images of your latest blog posts. The included gallery makes it a good choice for anyone who wants a welcoming blog design.

Handmade

Info & Download | Demo

19. Lucky Times
Regular License: $30

A responsive design for blogs, portfolios and online magazines. The developer allows you to download the Photoshop PSD file for free before you buy to see if the template is suitable for your project.

It sports a unique columned menu design at the top of the page and bizarrely no home page template. Instead, users of the theme can build a homepage design using short codes. The theme has great typgography with Google Fonts support and it a great options panel that lets you customise the header, footer, colour scheme and blog and portfolio templates.

Lucky Times

Info & Download | Demo

20. Me Gusta
Regular License: $35

The self proclaimed ‘user driven content sharing system’ uses a Facebook-like system that allows visitors to vote for the posts that they like. Posts that get a lot of votes are deemed ‘Hot’ and can be listed in your sidebar or your home page (instead of new posts). You can also make posts ‘Not Safe For Work’ for adult related content.

Me Gusta has great Facebook integration too. Users can register and login using their Facebook account and you can replace the default WordPress commenting system with Facebook comments directly from the options area. With good support for post formats, Me Gusta is great for a content sharing website or a personal blog.

Me Gusta!

Info & Download | Demo

21. Huddle
Regular License: $50

A community design for users of the popular BuddyPress and bbPress plugins. It features 6 custom page templates, 9 custom widgets and a blog template that supports featured images.

Even though BuddyPress and bbPress had major updates during 2011, support for the plugins has been lukewarm at best from developers. Huddle is certainly one of the best options available if you want to create a community website using WordPress.

Huddle

Info & Download | Demo

22. SocialLike
Regular License: $30

Another Tumblr style blog design that has support for all post formats. It could also be used as a portfolio as it has 4 great looking gallery templates.

It includes 22 background images, unlimited colour options for text using a colour picker, 25 fonts for headings and 9 for body text and an unlimited number of colour options for your post icons. Content can be styled using over 40 included shortcodes and you can publish any type of post directly from your iPhone using the Express App.

SocialLike

Info & Download | Demo

23. DK For Photography
Regular License: $35

Another versatile photography theme that supports a full screen rotating image gallery in the background. There are 4 home page layouts to choose from, 10 page templates, 6 gallery templates, 7 custom widgets, lots of shortcodes and support for password protecting your galleries.

Whilst some photography designs consider the blog template unimportant, DK For Photography has a beautiful blog design that integrates Facebook and Twitter voting buttons into the post area perfectly.

DK For Photography

Info & Download | Demo

24. Humble
Regular License: $35

A powerful WordPress theme that can be used for just about anything. The first thing that you will notice about the theme is the unique polaroid style slider on the home page. It’s a great change from standard featured post sliders.

The homepage can be styled using shortcodes which allows you to create a near unlimited number of layouts. Additionally the theme includes support for 19 fonts, 5 custom widgets, over 80 shortcodes and 4 portfolio layout designs. You can also change CSS settings directly via the options area without having to touch the style.css stylesheet file itself.

Humble

Info & Download | Demo

25. Lightning
Regular License: $35

A beautiful business and portfolio WordPress theme that allows you to create an unlimited number of layouts using a visual drag and drop interface (this costs $25 if you buy it separately as a WordPress plugin). This allows you to create portfolio pages, columns, sliders, tabs, galleries and much more.

Lightning

Info & Download | Demo

We hope you enjoyed this list of further theme faves from the year we just left. As always, we would love to hear what your favourite WordPress theme from 2011 was. Feel free to let us know about it in the comments, or leave your opinions on some of the featured themes that you may have used yourself.

(rb)

About the Author

Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog. He can also be found on Twitter: @KevinMuldoon.

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Comments and Discussions
  • Dustin, 06 January 2012

    Great list! Thanks. I had seen most of these, but there are a few from developers I wasn’t familiar with.

  • adam, 06 January 2012

    Really great post and a really enjoyable read, my personal favorite of the showcased word press themes is Delicioso, i really feel it brakes away from the typical “template” stereotype. The slider on the web page is really impressive, i like the image stretching across the whole of the browsers, i really like how the navigation background is transparent also, i really feels it brings the website to life. Great post cheers

  • Mike, 06 January 2012

    Nice round-up. There’s some pretty cool themes in there. :)

  • DesignMock, 06 January 2012

    Nice collection…………………

  • Intravec, 07 January 2012

    Great Themes….

  • fmvilas, 07 January 2012

    Nice collection! :)

    Note: the Rock Well ‘demo’ link is pointing to this page, not the demo of the theme.

    Thanks!

  • Vivek Shah, 08 January 2012

    Most Of The Themes I am already aware but themes for Amazon , clickbank and some other ones i see first time. thanks

  • Greg, 08 January 2012

    Nice post. WP really seem to tackle a lot of niches now VS reinventing the blog-wheel every week. I guess it’s call being mature.

    Quick note though, the demo links of studio8, Sofa, Continuum, PixelPower & Delicioso are pointing to this page instead of the actual demo pages.

    Cheers
    Greg

  • Robert Bowen, 09 January 2012

    Thanks for the heads up on the broken links. Thought that had all been resolved. ;)

    Glad the post is proving popular with everyone!

    Noupe Editorial Team

  • Designtreasure, 09 January 2012

    WOW Great List.Thanks

  • Will Hull, MPA, 12 January 2012

    Great themes. I hope I can get there some day with my designs.

  • Tutspress, 12 January 2012

    Cool list Thanks for the share Kevin..

  • Janey Smith, 24 January 2012

    Nice Collection! all of these look really good:)

  • Dumitru Brinzan, 25 January 2012

    Thanks for including Morning in your list :)

  • Shivkumar, 04 February 2012

    Great collection loved all of them.
    Thanks for this.

  • Jens Schwoon, 07 February 2012

    Great Themes — 80 % of those are the ones I also found at ThemeForest and did like the best!

  • John Pratt, 15 March 2012

    Wish I had caught this the day it was published – so many good themes from beginning to end!

  • Karim Hossenbux, 07 May 2012

    Thanks for featuring my Humble Template :)

  • Tho Huynh, 11 May 2012

    I love Lucky Themes, simply elegant and beautiful :)

  • GRVN, 17 August 2012

    Nice collection ! Thanks for this !!

  • Mark, 04 September 2012

    Great designs here guys………………too many to choose from!

  • Umer Rock, 21 September 2012

    This one is also Nice Collection dude :)

  • NSR, 22 December 2012

    I really like all these themes, but FaultPress is the theme i like the most.Thanks for this.

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