Finding free themes

Finding the theme that fits you best may take some time, but with thousands available, you'll eventually find one that suits you. Trying out several free themes is like trying on different "outfits" for your blog. You can change outfits as needed until you find just the right theme.

In July 2008, WordPress launched the official WordPress Free Themes Directory at http://wordpress.org/extend/themes (see Figure 11-1).

Figure 11-1:

WordPress Theme Directory.

Figure 11-1:

WordPress Theme Directory.

The WordPress Theme Directory isn't the only place on the Web to find free WordPress themes, but it's the place to find the most functional and safe themes available. Safe themes contain clean code and basic WordPress functions that are considered fundamental requirements in a theme to ensure that your WordPress blog functions with the minimum requirements. The WordPress.org Web site lists the basic requirements that theme designers have to meet before their theme is accepted into the themes directory; you can find that listing of requirements at http://wordpress.org/extend/ themes/about.

Unsafe themes, on the other hand, are developed by people who are looking to take advantage of the blog owners who use them. These particular themes are not allowed in the official WordPress Free Themes Directory. They contain elements such as the following:

✓ Spam links: These links usually appear in the footer of the theme and can link to some pretty unsavory places. The designers of these themes hope to benefit from traffic from your site. They count on the idea that most blog owners won't notice the links or know how to remove them.

✓ Malicious code: Unscrupulous theme designers can, and do, place code in theme files that inserts hidden malware and/or virus links and spam. Sometimes, you see a line or two of encrypted code that looks like it's just part of the theme code, and unless you have a great deal of knowledge of PHP, you may not know that the theme is infected with dangerous code.

The results of these unsafe theme elements can range from simply annoying to downright dangerous, affecting the integrity and security of your computer and/or hosting account. For this reason, the official WordPress Theme Directory is considered to be a safe place from which to download free themes. WordPress designers develop these themes and upload them to the theme directory, and each theme gets vetted by the folks behind the WordPress platform. In the official directory, themes that contain unsafe elements are simply not allowed to play.

^ My strong recommendation for finding free themes is to stick with the official WordPress Theme Directory. That way, you know you're getting a clean, qual-■ Cqj ■ ity theme for your blog. You can rest assured that themes from the official directory are safe, and free of spam and malicious code.

Previewing themes

While you're visiting the WordPress Theme Directory, you can easily browse the various themes by using the following features:

✓ Search: Type a keyword in the Search box at the top of the page (refer to Figure 11-1) and then click the Search Themes button. A new page opens, displaying themes related to the keyword you searched for.

✓ Featured Themes: These themes are listed in the center of the themes directory, randomly. WordPress changes the featured themes listing regularly.

✓ Most Popular: These themes have been downloaded most often.

✓ Newest Themes: These themes are the latest to be added to the directory.

✓ Recently Updated: These themes have been updated most recently by their designers.

When you find a theme in the directory that you want to take a closer look at, click its name to open a page that describes that theme (see Figure 11-2):

✓ Download: Click this button to download the theme to your computer.

✓ Preview: Click this button to open a new window that shows what the theme looks like in a live blog.

Figure 11-2:

Download or preview a particular theme from the WordPress Free Themes Directory.

Figure 11-2:

Download or preview a particular theme from the WordPress Free Themes Directory.

Auto Blogging Profits

Auto Blogging Profits

No guesswork! Follow a proven strategy to building profitable autoblogs in a few short hours. How to quickly monetize your autoblogs with insanely profitable cash funnels. The fastest way to drive unstoppable, targeted traffic to your autoblogging network, FREE. Powerful resources that will save you loads of time, while automating the entire process.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment