There are thousands (if not millions) of blogs out there. And there are also thousands of themes you can use to make your blog look good, appealing and a standout. I mentioned standout coz if you want some readership, then you have to at least make your blog memorable, unique. It’s not all content (not that I’m discounting the value of content) but any reader would shy away from your blog if it hurts their eyes even if you have outstanding content.
As for WordPress, my favorite blogging platform, there are just countless themes you can pick. From free to premium, you’ll be dizzy with choice, its like trying to pick out the best sunless tanning spray in a sea of tanning spray products.
My personal choice for making a unique standout blog? Premium theme (if I have the money) or heavily customized free theme. And I know some would say, you need to have some HTML/CSS mojo to change the look of a theme. That is true, but there are also a lot of beautiful free themes out there that can be easily ‘dressed up’ without messing up a lot of codes.
So I picked out some Clean, Minimal and Easy to Customize Free WP Themes you can have consider for your blog..
- Reddle – one of my absolute favorite. Why? It’s clean, highlights the content well and very easy on the eyes. The problem though was this theme was only available for WordPress.com users but I found a workaround with that (thank you big G, lol!) and found a way to get it to install and work on standalone WordPress. I’m sharing my zip copy of Reddle, download from here.
I’m using Reddle on this blog, I simply added a checkered background and made a header to achieve the look I wanted. Girly but not pink. 🙂 See the big difference a background and header can make? I also use it on my crafting blog, and there it looks different, again.
- Twenty Eleven – yup. the default WP installation theme. Some would easily skip this since it is too generic but hey! you can easily change how this looks. And I do love how clean looking it is.
- Scherzo – used this countless times and found it easy to customize. Specially gorgeous if you want to highlight your photos and text.
- Origin – minimalist with lots of built-in tweakers.
- Brunelleschi – very elegant looking. I used it on one blog, I just threw in a ivory damask background and voila! It looks really so gorgeously understated. Check the tweaked theme here.
- My Base – great start for CSS lovers. easy to customize too for beginners.
- PressWork – a lot of built-in customizations including fonts. Excellent if you are just starting to learn how to personalize your themes.
- Codium – minimalist look, but with loads of custom choices. This one makes me think of a rounded Twenty Ten or Eleven theme.
- Pagelines – lots of built in choices to customize.
- Platform – same maker as Pagelines.
- Pico Light – beautiful theme with custom-background, header options.
- Coraline – clean with lots of options. including custom layouts.
What you can do to dress up these themes? Some easy to do tweaks..
- Change the background. Google for ‘free backgrounds’, ‘free patterns’, ‘free seamless patterns’ or you can also make your own on Photoshop or other photo/image softwares. Want it easy? Check out PatternCooler (and other free pattern making sites) and play around with the patterns and colors that would suit the look you want for your site.
- Custom Header – create a header for your site that makes it distinctly your own. It’s like branding a product, in this case, your site. Get inspired with these free header downloads-blog boutique, scrappy vintage here, free wordpress image headers, headerspot (images), free header resource list, another header resource list and this blog post has some awesome free header links.
- Play with your fonts. Yup, I know this one puts off a lot of people, but you know its fairly easy to do. The main thing first is to have a backup of your style.css and header.php in case you mess something up. The easiest way is to use GoogleWebFonts. Just add in the code of your font pick on your header.php, then on you css-style section of your theme, change the font to the font name you picked. Even changing just the header or title font on your blog makes a big difference to how it all looks.