I had a problem on one of my blogs this week that I (wrongly) assumed was due to over-tweaking of its WordPress theme. To fix it, I went in search of a new theme to install on the site.
Boy, was I surprised by the number of beautiful themes available, particularly the responsive theme designs and those with parallax scrolling.
Parallax scrolling is where background images move slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth in a 2 dimensional scene. Parallax and other long scroll themes are best suited to business and ecommerce sites, i.e. a membership site.
For bloggers, I believe it's best to stick with designs which highlight your latest blog posts on the homepage, allowing visitors to view your new content without having to scroll much past the fold.
The most important aspect of any WordPress theme design is that it is responsive.
Responsive web design aims to create sites that offers visitors “an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)“. (Read more about responsive design on Wikipedia.)
Here are some of the themes that I found particularly appealing.
Divi, by Elegant Themes, comes with 20 pre-made and completely customizable layouts that can be manipulated in the ‘Divi Builder' to create your own unique layout… without touching a line of code. Regardless of how you choose to configure your website, each and every element will conform to your visitor's screen. Divi was awarded the Safe Theme seal by Sucuri.com as no security flaws were found in its design despite multiple reviews.
See the Divi demo.
Our next group reports having 5,227 responsive WordPress themes. I picked the Salient – Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme as being representative of the majority of ThemeForest's new theme offerings.
Salient enjoys a 4.84 average rating based on 2727 reviewers ratings.
This customizable theme comes with its own page builder, Nectar slider, shortcode generator, tons of portfolio configurations and full icon sets. It is fully responsive, SEO optimized and WooCommerce ready.
Purchases include free updates and premium support for life.
ThemeForest also offers the (paid) option of having your new theme installed. (YAY!)
Check out the Salient theme demo.
Other nice WordPress themes in their lineup include:
Studiopress breaks its themes into the following categories — Business, Enterprise, Magazine Style, Photography and Real Estate. For bloggers, I particularly like the Generate Pro Theme which highlights your most important asset – your subscriber list – with an email signup form located right at the top of the page.
Other good themes for bloggers at Studiopress include:
- Modern Studio Pro Theme
- Whitespace Pro Child Theme
- Remobile Pro Child Theme
- Minimum Pro Theme
- Modern Blogger Theme
Here are a few of the Studiopress parallax WordPress theme designs:
So, I DID actually choose a new theme on the errant blog — but unless you are a member of my Academy, you won't be able to see the changes for another week or so, when I get back from my trip to San Francisco and can work on developing the homepage. 🙂
Comments, questions or suggestions? Please leave a comment below!