A guide for free WordPress themes

Within the possibilities of WordPress in appearance and web design, everything is summarized in the use of themes, which are templates that work as an aesthetic basis for a website or blog. After installation, you can make different changes in colors, style and even changes in the CSS code.

As we have already seen in some blog articles, when we use WordPress basically we have two options regarding the design:

  • A free theme
  • A premium theme that requires a small financial investment

At first glance, you might consider that a free theme is the best choice for the simple fact of being free and does not require an expenditure. Is this true? In this small guide to free WordPress themes, we will find out.

First considerations about free themes and templates

On the Internet exist an infinite number of free themes that can be used on websites. Just make a search on Google (write free WordPress themes, free WordPress themes or any other term related) and have access to many excellent choices.

What is a WordPress free theme?

As the name says, are WordPress themes or templates that can be downloaded for use immediately without the need to invest or spend money. There are free. Numerous developers create free templates for a hobby, or simply to promote themselves, to offer their work and make themselves known.

But there are some more professional companies that offer free quality themes like Woothemes, that have free themes or in promotion to offer customers or new clients.

Are free themes a good choice?

The answer to that question can be YES but also No. There are many high-quality free themes that work perfectly and meet the basic functions needed for a Webmaster. And you will not have been any problem.

However, there is always the risk of choosing a template with malicious code, poorly developed, vulnerable in terms of security, with various limitations on customization and design and/or many other possible failures or bugs.

In short, use a free theme may be a good choice depending on the type of web site that is to be created and needs to be taken, but there is always the risk of security problems, personalization and other things.

Advantages of using a free theme

Let's see what are some advantages of using this type of templates for WordPress:

They are for free! – This is undoubtedly the most important benefit. It does not require any financial investment, which is always appreciated, especially when there is a limited budget.

Variety – Browsing on Google you can find hundreds of free themes from different types, styles, colors and shapes. A whole library designs a few clicks! And, again, for free.

Immediate start – If you do not have money to invest in a premium theme, free themes are a great way to start any project and not stop at the stage of design choice by the financial barrier.

Community support – Most popular free themes have support, the help of users and even from the same developer. There are also many WordPress forums where you can ask anything and many users will be willing to respond with solutions.

These are the advantages of choosing a free theme in WordPress, but there are disadvantages too, but if you are in the first step of your project and you have a limited budget, free themes are the best choice.

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WordPress evolution and future

In recent years, the Internet and technology have evolved considerably. If we look back 10 or 15 years ago, there were no available many of the tools we have today, which provide us facilities and allow us to achieve unimaginable things.

And on the Internet, as for creating web pages, when the World Wide Web began, few people could create a website with the theory and practice necessary to learn HTML programming and even was much more limited for them.

As the years went by, began to emerge platforms more friendly. different, accessible to all users. One was WordPress, which emerged in 2003 as a free, open source tool to create blogs and publishes content.

WordPress began as a 100% focused on “blogging" platform, but now it has become a CMS (Content Management System) that lets you create any type of website and adapt it to every need.

Do you need to create a virtual store? WordPress is possible

Do you want to create a corporate site for your company? Forward! WordPress is an excellent choice.

Do you want to sell your digital product with a professional website? There is no better option than WordPress.

Are you a photographer and want to create a page where show your best shots? WordPress will be your best friend.

You want to create a professional or a personal blog? There is no better choice than WordPress!

But…What makes it so flexible WordPress?

As experts said all the time, WordPress is an open source platform, which allows hundreds of developers to create plugins and themes (templates) to create and innovate, with virtually limitless possibilities.

Nevertheless, there are some myths related to WordPress. Many people think that to create a personalized and professional website you will need to hire a programmer and designers who costs large amounts of money.

And although many prefer this option (hire professionals), on several occasions the end result is not desired, in addition to managing and updating the site can be a headache for greater dependence you have on the person who programmed it. Because being the only person with the knowledge.

With WordPress, anyone can create a web site and if necessary, and, if need it, seek help from a developer to make certain special modifications. This is much more affordable and the user can also update, modify and make proper maintenance of the website. And you can do it all from the main desktop. No codes or advanced programming.

The future of WordPress

Although its main focus remains the creation of blogs, WordPress has a great evolution in the development of plugins and themes that will continue to expand the possibilities and performance of the platform.

Also is because security is an important issue which is often ignored by people until the site is hacked or have loss of information or content problems.

In most cases, these problems are not caused by faults that have on the site or in WordPress, rather by users oversights. Example: having harmful plugins, not update the platform to its latest version, use poor quality or hacked themes, etc.

In recent versions, they have been introduced automatic updates, something that will help us all to use the latest, safe and stable version. There is no doubt that will be many more improvements  regarding safety in the future.

To keep growing is not enough to just use the platform. It is always good to get more involved with the community. Write about WordPress, recommends its use to others, learn more about how it works and…. why not? Become a WordPress developer!

Today more than ever the opportunity is here. It depends on each of us to know and get the most out.

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How to choose a domain name? Part 3

Everyone has questions regarding how to create a website, and these questions are very similar around the world, and that is why also the tips are the same, no matter in which country do you live. Every person who has the work of creating a web page had doubts and questions.

This three-part guide tries to answer some of these questions regarding some topics like the name of a domain, and in this last part will take the last step: how to register your domain.

Choosing your domain tools

Here you have some good tools that will facilitate the process to choose your tools

1. Instant Domain Search

This is an excellent tool to know immediately if a domain is available and if you can purchase extensions.

The website is www.instantdomainsearch.com

2. Dot-o-mator

On this site you can create automatically a combination of different keywords. The results can give you some great ideas to choose quickly a good domain.

In two columns you can write different words or phrases of ideas you have for your domain. At the end you will have a list of good combinations. Simple and with great potential.

The website is www.dotomator.com

3. Busta A Name

This is another good tool to write different words or/and ideas and immediately have different combinations that you can use as a domain. You can alternate the use with Dot-o-mator and You'll have much more clarity and good candidates for your domain.

The website is www.bustaname.com

Where can I register my domain?

There are many sites that offer domain name registration service. The most recommend you are:

www.godaddy.com 

www.Namecheap.com

Both are reliable, offer good prices (and coupons), quick registration and good service.

Once you have your domain, remember that you also need a web hosting service.

After WordPress and you can install and start creating your blog or website!

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10 free responsive themes for WordPress

Are you looking for a new look for the blog, but not yet encouraged to invest money on a subject? Today I wanted to introduce 10 new themes that take advantage of responsive technology -to fit any screen or device-, without the need to use an ugly and limited theme.

With these free WordPress themes, you have an advantage, because instead of having to work twice -for your website and the mobile version- you only have to choose a single design rather than think of one specific for each device. This will allow you to give access and information to your visitors, regarding there are coming from a PC or a smartphone.

In this article you will see 10 themes options that work very well on mobile devices and has the most modern and simple designs on the Internet. Last but not least, these WordPress themes are free.

MiniMable

MiniMable is an excellent theme if you are looking for create a portfolio or a company presentation page. It is an one page design, with scrolls and extremely handy to keep a simple and easy design to update with your latest work, contact and author information.

Pytheas

Pytheas is a very versatile theme because can use it as a template for blogs -including an excellent slider top- and as a page of business information. The only drawback is that we need to register for the free account in WPExplorer to download it.

Bones

Bones is an advanced, quite flexible and elegant HTML5 Boilerplate theme, is an excellent template to build apps or websites with a great design platform. 

Playbook

Another excellent theme is Playbook if you are looking a good website to have a magazine online, this theme can fulfill your expectations.

Grid

Grid is a theme made especially for fans of the look of Google Now and his cards, or boxes like are in Pinterest. Offers a great clean and colorful design with great fonts and formats.

Yoko
Yoko is an excellent responsive theme, especially for blogs that constantly updated content, because allow users to interact easily with post and you can manage photo galleries and texts without conflicts.

Simple Grid

Simple Grid is an excellent theme for those who are looking to create a work portfolio or a photo gallery theme.This WordPress theme is also extremely light.

Speedo

Another theme that works quite well for traditional blogs, it is highly configurable thanks to options panel that helps us edit it, without knowing code language.

Portal

Portal is other responsive WordPress theme with a magazine look, the theme is quite simple to edit and configure, is optimized for SEO, and color settings are extremely versatile. 

Diary

Finally, we have a responsive theme that returns to the "roots" of blogging: Dairy. This is a useful WordPress theme for a personal blog, because it offers a simple and very legible and clean interface with a large column on the left side and another large content column when you can put a large your most recent posts.

Try all the WordPress themes and find which is better for your website!

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Two sites for entrepreneurs: StartupStash and Template Stash

Are you just creating a web page and are looking templates for WordPress? Or have you a blog on Ghost? Or are you just launched a Shopify store? Are you familiar with Template Stash? Or with StartupStash?

Themes and templates for everyone

Template Stash is the place to find dozens of free templates and themes on the web. In the site www.templatestash.com, there are themes and templates for Shopify, Ghost, WordPress, mobile, pages, apps, Bootstrap and e-commerce themes and more!

In Template Stash, you will find templates for WordPress and other platforms handpicked by the creators of the page. All free. There is a good variety of templates to fulfill different roles. There are templates that work for any kind of businesses like cafes, restaurants, personal blog templates, shops, templates for portfolio (WordPress-focused) and even templates for that imitate the "look Medium" for long texts. In conclusion, there is a bit of everything.

The website home has a very easy and useful design for those who are not yet familiar with the terms of programming and Internet. The categories are sorted by platforms and applications, so you can navigate themes and templates sections depending on what you want and need.

Also, all designs that follow the "Material Design" used by Google in Android 5.0 onwards. O panel templates for administrators, or HTML templates are in a single page.

Definitely, you want to keep a page from your favorites because their updates the themes and templates every week. 

Template Stash is defined by their creators as a great curator of themes and templates, and they select them by form and function, customization and visual appeal. 

For Template Stash, is not only important the visual balance, his originality, freshness or innovative design, but if the theme or template is mobile responsive and is easy to customize for any web.

These websites are designed to provide solutions and tools to entrepreneurs around the world, help to contribute to online communication, advising and choosing the best tools for any site.

Certainly for those who work with WordPress, Template Stash it is one of the places to consider in our daily work, because it helps us to save time and resources in our labor.

Resources for your startup

Startup Stash is a great resource directory, another big web curator, that you can use in your startup. The site is organized into different categories, all to help you to create your startup: from generating ideas, looking for a suitable name, find domains and a list of all the tools needed to create, promote and make known your startup. 

Within each category, you will find a selection of applications and web services with a brief description of what they do, and how you can use them. Also has dozens resources, advises and resources for WordPress.

Startup Stash has tools that cover all basics, but also tools that help you to see the legal issues, payments, sales, newsletters, market research, presentations, analytics, outsourcing, finance, videos, photos, articles and much more.

In each category of the website, you will find a list of WordPress plugins, tutorials, and examples that you can use but also learn from them. One example is the Video category, when there are materials from “This week in startups”, when entrepreneur Jason Calacanis gives an insider vision for the tech industry, and also “Growth Hacker TV” with experts giving advises and revealing secrets in more than 100 episodes.

The website also offers the possibility to subscribe to a newsletter, an excellent medium to be informed for all the new features and tools. Visit the website and see what tools can help you with your startup!

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Three ways to communicate with your visitors

When you create a website, there are too many things to consider, and maybe you have wonderful ideas but doesn’t know all the tools, widgets or plugins that you can use on your website without expending much money.

If you have a website with the goal of selling products or services, your visitors or potential clients must found in there all the possible forms of contact, like emails, social networks, a phone, directions, store locations, etc.

And to give you some ideas on how to improve that information and contact with your clients, in this article we will present a few WordPress plugins. Thank me later, Comment Redirect and Rating-Widget are three plugins that work perfectly with WordPress websites and are easy to install and manage.

Thank Me Later

With this plugin you can automatically send an email to people who have left a comment on your blog. But you can configure after a while you want that the visitor receives the email with the response, doesn’t have to be automatic.

It is very important for your products or company to create a closer relationship and loyalty with your readers. You can use it, for example, to invite them to subscribe to the newsletter of your blog or to communicate changes in your products or conditions. 

Thank Me Later support and have descriptions in many languages: English, Español, Italiano, Français, Türkçe, Polski, தமிழ் and 简体中文. 

Also can send HTML emails, include shortcodes like [name] and also you can personalize your emails with categories or tags.

Comment Redirect

Comment Redirect is an interesting variant of Thank Me Later plugin because in this case an email is sent, but the reader is redirected to a thank you page.

This is another plugin created by Yoast, from Joost de Valk, one of the most popular and prestigious developer for WordPress (SEO by Yoast is one of the most popular plugins for SEO Optimization).

In other words, it is a plugin with many guarantees. With a clean code, the WordPress plugin will not increase the loading time of your website.

When a person makes his first comment on your blog, just after the click to send the comment, the plugin redirects to a custom page that you decide. As Joost de Valk says: people who commented for the first time are precious to your website.

Rating-Widget

Rating-Widget is the best free plugin to implement the famous "starlets" valuation. This plugin also supports microdata, that means that the evaluations received will be reflected in the results of Google if you enable this option.

Websites and blogs around the world have the same challenge: attract people to them, and moreover, want to visitors left comments, reviews and share the content on social networks to attract more visitors. But that’s not always possible, and only 1% of your visitors will do one of them.

Rating-Widget offers to web sites another option for visitors to interact with your content, by providing a simple and anonymous 5-star rating. The system will help you to know what visitors think about your post or products.

These WordPress plugins will help you to make more fluid, continuous and professional communication and interaction with visitors or potential customers.

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Share your post with Shareaholic

Social networks are today the most effective way to share and communicate your products and content, especially if you want to reach to millennials and young audience. And if you want to integrate Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Medium, Google plus, Reddit, Youtube, Vimeo, Linkedin just to name the most popular ones, to your website, you can choose a great variety of plugins, but Shareaholic the best.

Latest studies show, to increase and attract traffic to your website, you need to share posts, images, links, videos from your website with social networks, today people read more share content in Facebook than newspapers. 

Today social media demands more and better tools, and now professionals need professional tools to do their work. Marketers and CM require that websites integrate plugins for share content, and Shareaholic helps them to do their jobs. 

Shareaholic is easy to configure and has a simple dashboard, is easy to use, responsible for mobiles devices, integrates Google Analytics and WooCommerce. Like his developers said, it is not only a WordPress plugin, is an online platform. 

Also, this plugin is free,and although there is a paid version, with a number of additional options, we can enjoy a good amount of alternatives without spending any money.

The platform offers benefits to developers as well to users and visitors:

  • Offers share buttons for social media in a post, and you can choose put it in the beginning or in the bottom.
  • Statistics (for clicks).
  • Related post. Also, you can select where to put the list of links.
  • All your images are ready to be shared on Pinterest with a special button, “pin it”— a feature that appears when the visitor put the mouse in the picture.
  • Google Chrome special button.

In spite of these specials features, Shareaholic also has critics, and in the last months users reports bugs and problems with the plugin and inside their websites because Shareaholic doesn’t work at full capacity like used to do it. And Shareaholic para Google Chrome report problems since last year, and it seems to have no solution for the moment.

But critics are not widespread, and the Shareaholic team is responsible for answering each of the claims and doubts both on their official website and WordPress.

Community managers use Shareaholic for everyday use, helps them to create reports, to follow tendencies, create new strategies and apply their new ideas. 

Share ideas, communicate events, create bonds with other users and generate new proposals, are tasks that always need innovative resources, efficient tools to have hard data but, at the same time, been useful for creative work. And platforms like Shareaholic can help us to do it.

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