You may have noticed Edudemic just got a fresh coat of proverbial paint a couple days ago. While it’s usually not a good idea to switch up a site’s design too frequently, some updates are usually a good idea.
The general layout of Edudemic hasn’t changed (featured articles, other news listed below, etc.) but there is a lot of extra stuff now available to me should I want to dive into some more adventurous options (AJAX-powered article organization!).
I follow hundreds of blogs, websites, and personal sites via Google Reader but I actually find new sites by looking for them the old-fashioned way. I surf the links from some of my favorite blogs and when I spot a site with interesting content and a halfway-decent design… I add it to my Reader.
That’s why design, at least to me, is important. That being said, it can’t hurt to be aware of some of the great WordPress themes out there that would be a great fit for teachers.
These themes were chosen over some of the more complex designs out there because they had the following:
- Elegant layout for posts that may be short for bloggers on the run
- Lots of theme options that make it easy to edit / update the theme
- A layout that’s been proven to be effective (grid-based, ordered blog, etc.)
- Not expensive! Casual bloggers don’t have hundreds of dollars to plop down for a theme
Without further ado, here they are in no particular order:
1. DailyNotes from Elegant Themes
Elegant Themes‘ goal with DailyNotes was to make the simplest and most elegant medium possible through which you could share your daily life. The theme is very minimal in its design, and has been trimmed down to the bare essentials. For anyone looking to create a fun and inviting personal blog, DailyNotes will serve you well. The theme lets you upload simple pictures, quotes (from students perhaps), and other media with ease. Best of all, it presents everything in a simple-to-use sliding format. Also available for Tumblr if you have an account.
Price: $39 for subscription to all Elegant Themes (52 so far)
2. LightBright from Elegant Themes
LightBright makes it easy to share your daily life through it’s tumblr-style post types. Using the custom post types/taxonomies added in WordPress 3.0, the theme adds special integration options for photos, video, audio, quotes, notes and links. If you love the format of tumblr but don’t want to give up the versatility of WordPress, this is the theme for you.
Price: $39 for subscription to all Elegant Themes (52 so far)
Designed by James McDonald, and boasting tumblog functionality with a quick publishing form on the dashboard, Auld is perfect for lazy bloggers who want a colorful, vibrant looking site with Tumblr-like ease-of-use.
Price: $70 for 4 themes (that’s just $17.50 per theme)
4. The Morning After by WooThemes
The Morning After was the original magazine theme in the WordPress community and after more than a 100 000 downloads, it now has a place in our themes collection. It may be “old”, but this amazing theme is not yet dated! A definite download and one that you will thoroughly enjoy! Click here to download this theme (it’s free!).
5. Fresh Life by Theme Junkie
There are some new features that Theme Junkie has integrated in the theme, such as custom twitter&flickr widgets, author bio boxes for single posts, the ability to switch the posts style(magazine/blog) on homepage and so on. It’s clean and powerful enough to make your blog look fresh and professional.
6. Notebook on Theme Forest
Tumblr-like functionality with the power of WordPress!. WP Notebook acts like a conventional WordPress blog and a Tumblr-like website – all the while having the benefit of having complete ownership and control over your site content.
Publish to your WordPress tumblog from your iPhone. Express is an iPhone app built to quickly and effortlessly publish images/links/notes and short posts, on the go, to your WooThemes powered WordPress website.
7. BigFeature on Theme Forest
Clean and flexible wordpress theme, with big article images and nice typography. Very many settings. Many page templates. 5 custom widgets. Easy to add article and preview images. Check the “Introduction to the theme” article in the live preview for more information. All the documentation is also on the live preview.
8. Arthemia by Colorlabs Project
Arthemia is combining a magazine and a weblog into one; it is not too magazine-ish nor too blog-ish. The front page of Arthemia shows the headline and featured post of yours along with the pictorial representation, that’s the magazine style, while the rest of your post will be shows sequentially just like a usual weblog.
In the middle of the front page, Arthemia has a nice blue-and-black category bar which will help your readers exploring you site. At the bottom, Arthemia is outfitted with a blog must-have section, a three-list of favorite posts.
9. Sharp on Theme Forest
Sharp is a widget ready, 4in1 Premium WordPress 3.0+ blog theme. It’s WordPress 3.0+ compatible, has 4 color variations, 3 sidebar widths with 125px, 200px, & 260px of usable space. There is a theme Options Page using OptionTree allowing for an easy logo change. It has 2 columns of table-less fixed layout along with 4 PSD theme files, plus 3 sprite PSD files for customization. It’s sidebar widget ready with a custom Ad widget as well as integrated related posts function. It has a great integrated maintenance mode (for plugin updates) and allows you to easily enter in your Google Analytics tracking info.
Adii, a co-founder of WooThemes, used this previous custom design for his personal blog and it’ss now available as a free theme. It’s simple layout, and clean colour palette means easy customizations to this neatly coded theme on the ever-popular WooThemes framework.
What’s Your Favorite?
There are thousands of themes out there and I’ve tried to pull together some of the easiest and most functional sites. They don’t have elaborate featured sliders or require much technical expertise, which is a big selling point for many users.
What are some of your favorite themes? Let me know and I’ll be happy to include them in this list. Thanks!