Tag Archives: WordPress

December 11, 2010

WordPress theme roundup: 12 clean, minimal themes

My favourite time of the month!

It’s my WordPress theme roundup.

Here are 12 delicious WordPress themes I’ve found this past month.

The best part is that they’re all free.


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Big Square

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Black Magazine

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David Airey’s theme

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November 11, 2010

10 beautiful, new minimal WordPress themes

More beautiful, minimal WordPress themes for your blogging pleasure.

All the themes shown below are free – though several of them do have pro versions with additional features.

I’m particularly in love with Platform by Pagelines which has a gizillion theme options even on the free version.

Codium Extend

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Plain Fields

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Portfolio Press

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October 16, 2010

October WordPress theme roundup

I’ve been scouring the internet – so you don’t have to – for new and beautiful, minimal WordPress themes.

A few of the themes listed below aren’t super new but are themes I like and want to share with you.


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CP Minimal

Demo | Download

Fresh & Clean

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Diary 1.0

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Silver Magazine

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September 11, 2010

Free WordPress theme roundup

This site is built on WordPress.org. One of the wonderful things about WordPress is the enormous range themes available.

I’m obsessed with finding new and beautiful WordPress themes. I usually check at least once a day to see what’s new in the world of themes.

There are a lot of very badly designed free themes. When I find a great theme, I usually download it and check it out on one of my test sites.

For these reasons I’ve decided to write a regular theme roundup post showing the latest themes I’ve found. I can’t be the only one obsessed with this stuff so hopefully you’ll get a kick out of it too – and maybe a new theme for your blog.

There are lots of premium themes (paid) that I fall in love with but I’m going to focus on the free stuff.


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Simplex Magazine

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Bonus theme – Château

This beautiful theme isn’t entirely free but at 99 cents it’s practically free.

Demo & download

August 26, 2010

Guest post: Kyla Roma on maintaining a successful blog

This post comes from fellow Winnipeg blogger Kyla Roma.

Oddly, we’ve never met in person but continue to connect online.

I adore Kyla’s blog and admire her committment to great content and connecting with her readers.

For this guest post, I asked Kyla to share some of her blogging secrets with us. Here’s what she had to say.

Starting a blog is easy enough, but after the honeymoon period of finding a look and a voice that’s just right, maintaining a blog and drawing in new readers can be a daunting task.

I’ve been blogging about my life, photography, and DIY for two years and my blog has always been a project that I love, but keeping it fresh and new while keeping it from taking over my time has been a challenge.

Liz kindly asked if I could share some of the things that have worked for me, and these are a few of my favourite strategies:

1. Put high value, unique content first

No one is an island and being in touch with your community is vital, but the only thing that will get people coming back to your blog is excellent content.

Stay on top of trends and news in your community and find a way to speak to them that demonstrates your strengths. From an ability to build a strong narrative to unique presentation, finding a strength and an angle that gives you a unique position inside your community is a great way to get noticed and have people looking forward to what you bring to the table.

2. All blogs are personal

Personal blogging has a funny reputation but with huge companies changing gears from having One Consistent Impersonal Corporate Message to having a number of distinct, trusted individual voices, all of our social media is at least a little personal.

This can be scary territory for small business owners, especially because so many seem to equate a blog with an avenue to vent about bad days, but pulling back the curtain (even just slightly) gives clients someone to connect to, and that feeling of being an “insider” can go a long way toward building an invested client base.

Even just showing a collection of your favourite things, or linking to your favourite inspiration sources gives people a sense of who you are – no dredging up family drama or venting about bad days required.

3. Choose your weapons

I get hit with inspiration at odd times, and I found out quickly that feeling like I have to blog every day is more of a stress than anything.

Now that I blog five to six times a week, I’ve started exploring more tools that let me take back my time and ramp down my stress.

Some of my favourites for WordPress are Twitter Tools, which tweets your posts when they publish, Dashboard: Scheduled Posts, so I can see my next set of scheduled posts at a glance when I log in, and Editorial Calendar for a monthly at a glance view of my posts and the ability to drag and drop them in any order I like.

My favourite offline tool is simple and probably my most useful: a notebook that I keep with me for when I have ideas for posts.

4. Jump into the conversation

If something is going on in your community that you have opinions on, speak to it. If you’re on Twitter but aren’t starting conversations, start talking to people!

No one is involved in blogging or social media because they’re looking to build walls- everyone wants to feel noticed, valued, and part of something. Simple acts of inclusion can go a very long way.

5. Try making a plan

This one isn’t right for everyone, but I love having a rough idea of what my blog content will look like in a week or two.

I find it takes a lot of (self inflicted) pressure off me, and it helps make sure everything flows nicely from one post to another. A plan could be as simple as starting a series that you post on once a month, but planning in advance can help you to pull together beautiful, insightful posts that you might not feel up to if you only blog after a long day of work.

Kyla Roma is a 20something lady living in the Canadian Prairies under the biggest sky she’s ever seen.

She’s a life-long vegetarian, blogger, black tea aficionado, photography nut, knitter, puppy mama and wife. Her beautiful blog is a collection of stories from her life and things that make her swoon.

May 1, 2010

Ten amazing minimal WordPress themes

I don’t usually write this kind of post about WordPress but I’m doing it for two reasons:

Matt Forsythe asked me to.

I’m on a mission for the best theme for my dog’s blog. And it pains me greatly that I can’t settle on a theme I truly love. She’s nominated for a Canadian Weblog Award and I want her blog to be the best.

You need to know some stuff about me before you read the rest of this.

I am obsessive. I am tenacious. I will not settle until I find the solution to my problem. For these reasons I can tell you with confidence that I have scoured the web for the best minimal WordPress themes. Premium and free.

I LOVE going to a post like this and seeing a screen grab of the theme. It turns me off when folks don’t offer one.

There are many reasons for my listing below. If a theme is too complicated to use everyday then it didn’t make this list. I’m not stupid when it comes to HTML and CSS but I want an easy life. And so does my dog.

In no particular order:

Cutline themeSadie Shih Tzu is currently using this theme. Very versatile. Custom header (which matters to me) and great layout. Neoclassical by Chris Pearson is very similar and worth checking out.

Intonasi Mono – very new theme. Beautifully put together.

Early Morning – a child theme for Thematic.

Minimalista – by Bird Themes – these guys have three cute WordPress themes but this is my favourite.

Pristine – there are two versions of this theme. The other one comes with a header.

Pure II – from a brilliant theme developer who has many more themes worth looking at. This is the newest.

BASE – from another amazingly talented theme developer whose full time job is with Woo Themes. I really like this one.

WhitePress – a new theme that I found on Weblog Tools Collection.

Seven Five – I’ve been in love with this theme for a long time. An ultra minimal theme with a focus on social networks and life streams.

Koi and Vigilance tie for a place in my top 10 so I have to include them both.

There are other themes that deserve a mention:

Clean Home from MidMo which comes in two versions – free and pro.

Keep it Simple – I was using this theme on Sadie’s site until recently.

Grid Focus – another beautiful theme. It doesn’t make my top ten because it isn’t easy to use.

Modern Clix – this one didn’t make the top ten because I see it referenced constantly and it’s super popular. I wanted to offer something new with this post rather than giving you the same list of minimal themes you’ll see if you Google that search term.  However this is a great theme and is easy to use.

There are many places to look for good themes – too many to mention – but I recommend:

- Theme Lab

- Simple Themes

- tripwire Magazine – this post lists over 90 delicious WordPress themes

- GraphPaperPress has many beautiful themes which I’ve played around with. My problem is that they aren’t intuitive to use. I’m sure if you become a pro member you get more support. I feel obliged to mention them because they produce some beautiful work but it’s not for WordPress newbies.

- Of course you can also check out the long list of minimal themes on WordPress.org which includes some of the themes mentioned in this post.

- I know folks rave about Thesis. Again, I feel obliged to mention this theme because so many people love it. I’ve never used it and have heard mixed things about it. But it might be just the thing you’re after.

I warmly welcome your own suggestions about themes I haven’t mentioned here. Have you unearthed a WordPress gem? Please leave a comment below with a link to that theme.