For a fair few numbers of years Drupal has had the reputation of being a difficult CMS to learn. Any web developer will tell you that. It is a fair reputation, but this does take a lot of the gloss and prestige away from what it deserves.
Whereas once you manage to get beyond the initial tricky learning curve, everything falls into place and is relatively straight forward, and what you are left with is one powerful beast of an engine that can handle anything you throw at it. You either really love Drupal or you should learn to love Drupal. Yes, I am a Drupal fan.
Drupal does hold its place well amongst the top three CMSes (WordPress, Joomla and Drupal), and does have its own specialized section within web development. And contrary to belief, it is a highly versatile CMS that can be used for almost any type of website whatever the size, just as you can with almost all other CMSes.
Of course, it is all down to the personal preferences and choices of the developer, and Drupal should be considered for all projects.
In this collection, we have not only collected the best free and premium Drupal themes, we also offer a useful selection of blank or starter themes, perfect for your first steps into Drupal development.
An Introduction to Drupal
If this is your first step into Drupal, perhaps you should take a look at the basics first. In this 9 part tutorial video series they offer a concise introduction into Drupal and all of its subsequent tutorials cover all aspects of its theme development, from first installation to controlling the visual design of an operating site.
9 Part Drupal Development Video Series:
- Drupal 6 Introduction
- Downloading and Installing
- Initial Setup
- Home Page Setup
- Creating a Poll
- Drupal 6 Blocks
- User Setup and Profiles
- Drupal 6 Themes
- Relaunching Bitnami
Free Magazine and Newspaper Style Themes
Free Corporate and Business Themes
Free Blog Themes for Drupal
Free WordPress Ported Themes for Drupal
Blank and Starter Drupal Themes for Developers
If you are using Drupal for the first time to build your own standards-compliant theme, you will find it much easier starting with Zen.
Out of the box, Zen is clean and simple with either a one, two, or three column layout of fixed or liquid width. In addition, the HTML source order has content placed before sidebars or the navbar for increased accessibility and SEO.
This theme is backed up by fantastic online documentation and tons of code comments for both the PHP (template.php) and HTML (page.tpl.php, node.tpl.php).
Beginning Blank Canvas
The Beginning theme is a W3C standards-compliant blank canvas theme for developers with support for one , two or even no sidebars and with up to ten editable regions.
Framework Blank Canvas
Framework is another user friendly blank canvas theme that is set to a 24 column grid of 950px, with support for one, two or three-column layouts.
Genesis Starter Theme
Genesis is first and foremost a base theme for building Drupal 6 sub-themes with very flexible layout options and very easy to install with its simple three step process.
This starter theme is very well documented and supported with a collection of video tutorials, which can be found here: Genesis Video Collection.
Blueprint starter Theme
Blueprint is a starter Drupal theme built upon, as its name states, the Blueprint CSS framework. As with all starter themes it has a very flexible layout, from 1 to 3 columns, based on where you configure your blocks to show (left, center, right).
Basic was originally a stripped down version of the ZEN theme (see above), it has now become its own concept of a theme starter and boasts a clean HTML structure with extensible CSS classes and ID's for unlimited theming possibilities as well as a top-down load order for improved SEO.
Basic's goal is to provide themers the building blocks needed to get their designs up and running quickly and simply.
Fusion is a powerful base theme, with layout and style configuration options built in that you can control through Drupal's UI. It's based on a simplified 960px or fluid 16-column grid.
It includes a commented "starter" subtheme for easy CSS theming and also has plenty of helper classes for even easier Drupal theming.
Premium Drupal 6 Themes
Web Solutions is a two or three column corporate site with numerous regions in the upper area of the page, so you can easily build custom landing pages with blocks to highlight certain projects, products, or features.
All Geared Up
All Geared Up is a very flexible theme, with a translucent drop down menu for your primary links and two different header styles that allow for a custom front page. The preface regions are collapsible, and the sidebar expands and alternates between two block styles. Postscript regions are designed to match the site and can be used in any combination.
Premium Business & Portfolio (Demo)
This professional business Drupal theme comes with a portfolio page, front page slider, and seamlessly features your content. This theme also features many Drupal customizations such as front page slider for portfolio/service items, user avatars in comments, featured front page footer blocks, and much more.
ThemeNews Drupal News (Demo »)
The ThemeNews Drupal News Theme is a grid based news & magazine style theme that features a sidebar that is perfect for displaying 125×125 ads. The color scheme is completely customizable via the CSS file and the theme is easy to set up and comes with step by step instructions.
The Magazine Plus premium theme for Drupal is a news and magazine theme with clean lines and precise image handling. This theme is a very flexible and unique magazine-style theme for blogs of any topic — celebrity, news, business, movies, music, travel, etc. It's great for colleges and universities and can be easily adapted to fit any online publication.
Black Portfolio (Demo)
Black Portfolio is a clean and simple folio template with jquery slider effects to show off works can be controlled by keyboard ( arrows, space bar enter ) too, this theme works for web designers, photographers etc…