Noupe Editorial Team March 24th, 2008

45+ Must-see WordPress Themes

This is the second article in the four-part series, "Powerful Guide to Master Your WordPress". We are taking a look at some quality outstanding free and premium WordPress themes, which have been released over the last few months. We’ve selected minimalistic solutions, elegant themes, artistic themes, photo blog themes, 2- and 3-column themes, mobile themes and many more - all of them offer quality, elegance and a user-friendly interface. You might also like the first article in this series "Mastering Your WordPress Theme Hacks and Techniques", featuring WordPress theme hacks, ideas, tips and useful tutorials you need to keep handy when developing WordPress websites.  Also our third article Powerful List of WordPress Lifesavers Plugins, taking a look at 77+ quality and useful WordPress plugins. So let's get started and don't forget to subscribe to our RSS-Feed to keep track on our next post in this series.

Minimalist WordPress Design Themes

Grunge WordPress Theme

Grunge Web 2.0- Includes 4 pre-built color schemes to choose from. Designed specifically for artists, photographers and designers. Has 4 color styles to choose from, Change header images easily through WP Dashboard, Integrated blog component and Widget ready sidebars.
GrungePress- Eye catching grunge style theme, with a clean 2-column layout, Widget ready sidebar, 3-column seperate footer and Layered Photoshop file (header or full).
Music WordPress Theme- Music is a red, 2 column, widget ready WordPress theme with an optional featured band template. Tested in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.

News and Magazine WordPress Themes

WP Remix- Is customizable, quality coded & comes bundled with many layout options that helps create custom websites , has multiple page templates, 20+ Custom Layouts, Pre-styled HTML elements, Widget Ready...
BranfordMagazine- The main tabbed area in the home page features a lead story with a photo. It has featured articles with image, title and excerpt.
Revolution WordPress Theme- This theme was built mainly to be used as a static website or CMS. It's a great solution to use WordPress for small businesses, portfolio sites and more.
Wordpress Magazine Theme- A fresh and clean magazine theme, worth checking.
The Massive News “Mobile Edition” WordPress Theme- iPhone and iPod Touch are on the rise, and this theme is built entirely for optimized viewing on both devices.

Unique Theme Ideas

LaunchPad Domain Parking Theme- An easy way to park your site while it’s still underdeveloped. The main feature is to allow visitors subscribe through RSS and e-mail.
Prologue- Released by the WordPress team, to act like a Twitter-like system for teams of bloggers who need to be able to communicate brief messages while working in various locations..
CSS Gallery Theme- For webmasters who want to build CSS showcase or web gallery. Packed with built in Tagging, Google ads and a sidebar block with 125 x 125 banner ads.
WP Contact Manager- Turns WordPress into a contact manager. You can add contacts through the regular admin interface, tag contacts, search them and more.
Time Manager- Time Manager is a free, tableless, W3C-compliant web design layout by Template World.

Personal WordPress Theme

Personal WordPress Theme- Personal is a blue, 3-column WordPress theme with two widget-ready sidebars, custom templates, a banner switcher, custom text styles, integrated plugins, and a unique way to display entry dates and comment-number links.
Rihanna- Rihanna is extremely lightweight, versatile and widget-ready theme.
Minyx- This theme has a small panel configuration to choose whether to display various elements of the theme, as well as being compatible with a lot of plug-ins, supports AdSense.

3Column WordPress Themes

BlogBus WordPress Theme- Theme requires WordPress 2.3 or above, tested in Firefox / IE6 / IE7 / Safari and it is widgets-friendly.
Brilliance- This is a 3-column, widget ready theme with soothing colors and design. The theme also has provision for an adsense block in the third column where you can put your adsense code
Xplosive- It is a fully XHTML complaint, Web 2.0 theme meant for modern bloggers. Xplosive has two sidebars (both on the right side) and has a very pro look to it. It comes with a Blue-Orange color schema.
Free “WP Premium”- Is an elegantly designed, 2/3 column, feature packed, widget ready theme that comes with three color-scheme options

2Column Themes

Cutline 2.0- One of the most-used themes around. It provides a clean, simple layout that is easily customizable.
Unsleepable- It is a stand-alone theme for WordPress and is mostly K2 with some fairly significant design tweaks here and there.
iTheme- Designed for the Mac lovers with a truly customizable sidebar. You can customize your sidebar’s contents without modifying the source code using WordPress widgets.
Blue Zinfandel- 2 or 3-column Widget-ready theme, made especially for online newspapers or magazines.
Forte- This is actually a 3-in-1 theme where you will be able to select you layout of choice from your theme admin panel, the choices are a (normal) blog layout, a Magazine styled layout and a List styled layout, you’ll get what i mean once you’ve uploaded and activated the theme.

Photo Blog Themes

Photoblog Theme- Simple theme for a photo blog WordPress theme. This theme uses jQuery.
Nishita- A simple, sleek and minimal (quick and simple install/setup) Photo Blog theme for Wordpress.

Artistic Themes

PolaroidPress- PolaroidPress is a light, cloudy and artistic theme for WordPress with image randomizer.
Gossip WordPress Theme- Gossip is a three column WordPress theme, created for gossip and celebrity related blogs.

Worth Checking Elegant Themes

The Unstandard WordPress theme- Farewell to the blase reverse chronological text heavy front pages, and hello to visuals & imagery to lure visitors deeper into your website / blog.

Theseus Theme- Theseus prominently features the latest post in a “feature” category of your choice (conveniently set on the theme options page) and moving all non-essential stuff (you know, widgets) to the page footer. Also it is optimized for Search Engines
SpringLoaded theme- Chris Garrett, has released a nice looking WordPress theme that support Widgets, Gravatars and a handful of other nifty plugins
Options WordPress Theme- This theme comes packaged with two different stylesheets, Dark and Light, includes customizable, widget-ready sidebars. There are five sections, or blocks, on the home page layout. From the theme options page, you can choose from 14 different options for each of the sections.
Organic Premium WordPress Theme- Has Trackbacks/Comments Separated, Highlighted Author comments, Widget Ready, SEO Friendly...
EliteByDesign Theme- Is the ultimate theme when it comes to functionality and reader-friendliness. The clean, structured coding makes managing this theme all the easier.
Recycled Canvas- This theme was an experiment. Not just in design, but in experimental methodology, sharing, and process.
Blog Oh Blog V2.0- Double sidebar, multi column and widget ready. Simple, clean and easy you to modify. Sitemap and Sifr ready.
Hello D- The style sheet is based on Blueprint CSS Framework, W3C-compliant.
StudioPress- Very clean theme, and it comes with the possibility to integrate several AdSense units, Widget-ready, Comments alternate with a different background.
Further Resources

Noupe Editorial Team

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  1. I’m using wordpress and i find it very useful and easy to use, but i’m used to my old template…thanks for showing all these even though it looks like an advertising campaing for worpress…they do a good job.

  2. You’re welcome Foxinni and Futurosity. I’m glad we added your themes to got some good results with this post.

  3. Polo, Paran, Ryan, Malin
    I’m glad you found some useful stuff here, we have tried to only add the best and new themes out there.

  4. Thanks Mehmet,
    Your Magazine theme is realy clean and fresh. We added it to this awesome list.

  5. Nice post. Some good stuff out there, but nothing that convinces me to switch from Copyblogger.

    I wish there were more good minimal themes out there.

  6. I love Daniel from’s Studio Press Theme — I use it in Red and find it very clean and more professional looking than other themes I’ve used in the past.

    I converted nearly all my sites to the Studio Press Theme.

  7. Michael, i agree that copyblogger’s theme is one of the best minimalist themes.
    Ian Stewart, you are welcome. Let us know when you have new themes :)

  8. some great work done and you seem to have a good eye – I will sure get some inspiration for my work form some of these.
    Have a look at my designs as well particularly the free themes and let me know what you think – I need some feedback as I will be working on the next free theme very soon

  9. Wow, I love the PLainBox v. 2, I am amazed that it’s free! Than kyou for the great feature :)

  10. This is one of the better lists I have seen yet. I actually use the Blog Oh Blog V2.0 on my site, And the original version of this theme on my other blog. They are very easy to work around and tweak if you need to. But the other themes on this list are very innovative. I’ll give some of them a go.

  11. Nice set of themes… Scourging the net for a few good themes before I skin my blog… This list just made my job a bit easier :)

  12. Would like to see a place that offers more professional and paid for themes. The paid ones offer a much better look!

  13. Great list. I thought a couple of the free themes were better designed than a few of the premium themes. Sometimes you can ge something good with out paying the price :)

  14. This really is a great list! I keep meaning to get a blog together for our wedding photography site, but I just don’t know how everyone finds the time!

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