10 Best WordPress Themes to Choose From for Your Next Website Project

10 Best WordPress Themes to Choose From for Your Next Website Project

The digital world is spawning at an exponential rate. Every hour, roughly 1,000 websites are created. We’re talking petabytes of new data every single hour. To understand the sheer size and volume of that, there’s one million gigabytes in a petabyte or 1,000 terabytes. Considering that the human mind is estimated to be able to hold 1.25 terabytes of data, one petabyte is equivalent to approximately 800 human minds.

While those numbers could most certainly shock and awe you, the truth is that many of the newcomers to the online world rely on the WordPress platform to help streamline the process of getting their website up and running quickly and easily. With over 100 million websites and counting, WordPress is by far the most popular CMS in existence. That might be why the WordPress theme market is burgeoning and exploding.

However, with tens of thousands of themes in existence, how do you know which WordPress theme is the best one for your next website project? While this can most certainly be a subjective topic, these pre-built themes, which offer a far smoother transition into cyberspace, are scooped up in droves.

Some of these themes are terrific for ecommerce stores while others are great for starting a blog. However, the best theme for your project will be based on a few criteria. Not only should they be aesthetically appealing to the eye, but they also need to be mobile responsive. Considering that Google’s search is now a mobile-first index, and mobile searches far outpace desktop, responsiveness in design is important.

When a design is responsive, it looks and functions just as well on mobile and tablet devices as it does on desktop. However, building a responsive design on your own is no simple feat. Trust me, I’ve built loads of them. And unless you rely on a system like Twitter’s Bootstrap, building responsive designs for different media types is an exhaustive endeavor. That’s why some of the best WordPress themes have placed special weight on this one crucial aspect.

Related: CMS Battle for Beginners: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal (Infographic)

How to choose the best theme for your website.

Whether you’ve just started a business, or you’re trying to figure out the type of business you want to start, there are some things to look for when selecting a theme for your WordPress site. Some themes offer great support for ecommerce stores while others are terrific for membership-based sites. Either way, you’ll usually need some plugins to make everything function smoothly with one another.

After nearly two decades of software engineering, web development and SEO mastery, I can tell you that there are 7 critical categories that any software application or extension (i.e. WordPress theme) is judged on.

1. Ease-of-installation: While there are tons of WordPress themes out there, the best ones are easy to install. There should be a simple interface that will help you get started quickly and easily, without a lot of fuss or programming know-how.

2. Degree of customization allowed: Pre-built add-ons, tailor-made plugins and a high degree of customization make themes that much more powerful. While some themes focus on a high degree of customization, others don’t.

3. Mobile usability: Mobile usability is crucial. Considering Google places heavy weight on this, finding the right WordPress theme that supports a responsive mobile design should be one of the defining factors in your quest for the ideal theme.

4. Overall speed: As a developer, I can tell you firsthand that your style of coding counts for a lot. It can either be bogged down by excessive code, or be light and compact. The latter is important to facilitate the overall speed of page loads, which is a crucial factor when it comes to things like SEO and visitor retention.

5. Aesthetic appeal of design: The aesthetic appeal of the theme is important. How polished is the look and feel? Does it look amateur or professional? People pay acute attention to design, so be sure to select the right theme that supports a high-quality design.

6. Customer reviews: Reviews are important when it comes to any product or service. And, when it comes to discovering the right theme, you should do your due diligence into the experiences of others. What’s the general consensus on that theme? Are they authentic reviews?

7. Ongoing support and upgrades: Support is an important aspect in any business, especially in one that requires constant evolution and upgrades to keep up with core upgrades to the WordPress platform. Be sure that whatever theme you purchase, that they provide some sort of on-going or limited support and that they’re constantly evolving, upgrading and adding new features.

Related: 25 Reasons Your Business Should Switch to WordPress

Top themes for WordPress sites.

While any list of themes for WordPress might be considered subjective, the preceding list of criteria help to laser-focus the approach to finding the perfect one. Below are what I consider to be some of the best themes that are out there.

1. X-Theme

I’m partial to X-Theme. It’s the theme that I presently use on my blog. And I’ve had an incredible experience with it. It hits all 7 of the criteria that I’ve laid out and does so particular well. X-Theme was created by ThemeCo, and it offers a highly-customizable, mobile-friendly, easy-to-use interface for your WordPress website. This one is definitely worth checking out.

2. Avada

Another one of the most versatile themes I’ve come across out there, Avada is one of the best-selling themes of all time and was created by Theme Fusion. It offers up a powerful design interface, allowing you to customize nearly all of the graphical elements of your WordPress site.

3. Hexater

Hexater is a fantastic theme that allows you to quickly and easily customize your site without investing hundreds of hours trying to figure out how it works or having a PhD in graphic design. This theme offers quick-to-market renditions for things like product launches, ebooks and niche authority sites, as just a few examples.

4. BeTheme

BeTheme is a massive theme built for WordPress with over 260 variations that can be launched with a single click. This powerful theme is beautiful, responsive, fast-loading and highly customizable. The company offers fast and reliable support, lifetime updates and the framework is optimized for SEO.

5. The7

The7 is one of the most customizable themes that are available for the WordPress platform. It includes a visual composer with a beautiful design wizard and over 750 theme options, along with over 26 pre-built websites that are quickly and easily launchable with a single click.

6. Flatsome

Flatsome is a great theme if you’re planning to run an ecommerce store with the WooCommerce plugin. It’s by far one of the best-selling WordPress themes for WooCommerce out there. It’s highly customizable, provide on-going updates, is fast-loading, boasts a responsive design and has beautiful pre-built designs with on-going updates.

7. Uncode

Uncode is a WordPress theme that gives you with the ability to create beautiful designs within an ultra-fast-loading framework. There are over 200+ layouts, a versatile visual composer and provides over 30 ready-for-market designs to get you up and running quickly and seamlessly.

8. Genesis

Gensis is a framework for WordPress that allows you to create beautiful and stunning websites that are highly customizable. This theme offers a light-weight design that’s highly optimized for speed, and provides advanced customization options, giving you the ability and flexibility to build just about any type of website with the framework.

9. Pixelgrade

Pixelgrade offers a visually-stunning WordPress theme that’s designed for a variety of situations, best suited for a variety of occupations such as restaurateurs, photographers, bloggers, designers and more. The theme is customizable, responsive and very easy-to-use.

10. Storefront

Storefront is a bulletproof WordPress theme that was specifically designed for the WooCommerce add-on. It’s a great way to build an ecommerce store quickly and easily, offering up extensible customization options with a fast-loading framework that makes creating an online story easy and straightforward.

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

Opera announces project Reborn, brings enhanced sidebar and new themes

Opera has released a brand new interface for its browser, under a project named Reborn. The new UI was introduced in a developer build of the browser. The build allows developers and enthusiasts to preview the new look and test new features including new themes and an updated sidebar which will work with social services including Facebook Messenger.

In terms of appearance, Opera has received several improvements. First of all, the tabs have been made simpler, lighter and “more elegant”; this supposedly makes it easier to locate your open tabs. Speed Dial has received an updated look and it now features smooth animations. The appearance of the Speed Dial page can be customised further with two theme colours that are now included in the browser: light and dark. Three new backgrounds have also been added to complement the browser’s new look and feel.

Under the Reborn project, Opera’s sidebar has been ripped from the Speed Dial page and fixed onto the browser windows, similar to how it appears in Opera Neon. The sidebar, which has also been given new animations, gives you one-click access to important tools such as bookmarks, history, personal news and extensions. The contents of the sidebar are customisable and if you dislike it, there’s also the option to turn it off.

The sidebar will also be able to hold one-click buttons to access social features, including Facebook Messenger. In its blog post, Opera says more services are planned in the future.

[Source:-Neowin]

WordPress or Squarespace: Which CMS Is Right for Your Project?

Softly colored abstract composition of semi translucent overlapping squares

Building a website without extensive web development experience is becoming easier, thanks to content management systems (CMS)—platforms that offer the ability to build, design, and customize good-looking sites with little to no code.

Building a site with a CMS has advantages: site owners have the power to update a site easily and as often as they want. Even basic administrative tasks—things like publishing content, SEO optimization, plugins, and managing multiple users—typically require little to no programming experience. They’re not totally turnkey, however. When it comes to customizing and extending a site built on WordPress, for example, a developer’s expertise can help turn a basic, out-of-the-box site into a totally unique, powerful solution.

There are lots of CMS platforms out there to choose from, with options ranging from drag-and-drop solutions like Wix and Squarespace to options with more going on under the hood like WordPress or Drupal—so which option is best for your project goals?

In this article, we’ll compare two top CMS platforms, WordPress and Squarespace, to help you decide which one is best for you.

About WordPress and Squarespace

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, used by more than 60 million websites, from personal blogs to major magazines and news organizations like The New Yorker, the BBC, and TechCrunch. From its origins as a blogging platform it’s grown into a feature-rich framework for building websites. What makes WordPress a web-publishing juggernaut is its near-infinite customizability. There are literally thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes that can make WordPress suitable for not just hosting blogs, but rich multimedia galleries, e-commerce, and more.

Squarespace is a newer entrant into the web publishing industry. Squarespace’s major advantage is its ease of use, making it simple and quick for nearly anyone to produce a high-quality website.

A Quick Note: WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

There are actually two different sites/services that commonly go by WordPress. WordPress.org is a site that allows you to download the WordPress CMS for free. WordPress.com is a commercial site that offers basic hosting and maintenance using the WordPress platform. Unless otherwise noted, when we say “WordPress” we’re referring to the WordPress platform, available on WordPress.org.

Set-Up and Learning Curve

This is where Squarespace really distinguishes itself. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s possible to create a high-quality website on Squarespace in half an hour. Unlike WordPress, Squarespace is entirely cloud-based, meaning there’s nothing for you to download or install. You just go to the website and start designing. Once you’ve picked a template, it’s easy to make basic edits using Squarespace’s drag-and-drop interface. Unlike WordPress, SquareSpace’s editor lets you see exactly how your site will look as you edit, so if you’re a very visual thinker or don’t know how to code, this can be a major asset.

Furthermore, Squarespace handles hosting and maintenance, which can be a huge plus for individuals or teams that don’t have the expertise or resources to continually maintain a site.

Getting set up with WordPress can require some work. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to first download the latest WordPress installation from WordPress.org, and then you’ll need to find your own hosting service and set up your own domain name. (WordPress.com offers free hosting for personal blogs, but custom domain names and premium plugins and themes cost extra.) Once that’s set up, you’ll need to install and customize your theme. Unless you’re using one of the WordPress defaults, you’ll probably have to do some work to install your theme, which can be a lot of work depending on the functionality. Keep in mind also that support for themes is up to the theme author, and as with all open-source projects, documentation for themes can run from the comprehensive to the bare bones.

When it comes to adding content, WordPress is more involved than Squarespace. When it comes to customizability, WordPress can’t be beat. WordPress does have a preview option, but actually building the page can take some getting used to. The basic post editor is fairly easy to use, offering both a visual and developer view, but managing other types of content can be more of a challenge as you learn how to add and manage content in the media library. Unless you have a web developer or designer, you’ll probably have to get comfortable with at least some basic HTML and CSS.

Customizability

Most WordPress sites use a number of custom or commercial plugins and themes. A theme (sometimes called a “skin”) is a collection of files that dictate the appearance and presentation of your WordPress site without altering the underlying code or content. These files can be a mix of template files, CSS, image files, and code, depending on how complex the theme is. Different themes are designed to support different types of websites–some are meant to be publications, others personal portfolios, online stores, company pages, etc.

Plugins are pieces of software that add additional functionality to your WordPress site. Common examples of plugins include social sharing tools (e.g., “Share to Facebook”), rotating image galleries, and e-commerce payment systems.

One thing to note when it comes to picking WordPress plugins and themes–there is tremendous variation both in functionality and quality. Commercial themes and plugins are more likely to offer continued support than free ones, which can be important when it comes time to upgrade your WordPress (more on that below).

When it comes to customizing a Squarespace website, your options are somewhat more limited, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When setting up your Squarespace site, you can choose between dozens of different templates. Like WordPress themes, these templates alter the presentation of your site without changing the code.

Each Squarespace template is designed for a certain type of site, broken down by themes like “business,” “portfolio,” “wedding,” and “restaurant.” They all tend to have a similar aesthetic–clean, modern, and elegant. And because all Squarespace templates are made by their in-house design team, they’re all high quality and mobile responsive.

When it comes to functionality, Squarespace lags behind WordPress. While some third-party developers do offer commercial plugins, there are some things that you simply can’t do on Squarespace. This can be a real consideration for commercial sites that rely on memberships or that want to use payment processors other than Stripe.

Support and Maintenance

Where do you turn when you have questions about your CMS? Squarespace has a robust knowledge base of articles and videos, as well as community forums and live-chat support five days a week from 3am-8pm Eastern time.

Again, because the Squarespace platform is entirely cloud-based, there’s never anything for you to install or update. That said, if Squarespace ever goes down, that means your site goes down with it.

While WordPress enjoys a massive community of developers and users, there’s no single best way to access it. There are plenty of blogs and forums offering guidance for both beginners and experts, but when it comes to getting help with specific themes or plugins, your only option may be reading the (not always reliable) documentation or contacting the developer.

With WordPress, ongoing support is a major consideration. The WordPress platform receives multiple updates per year, and with every update you’ll need to update your site. If you’ve coded the site yourself, this can be a pretty straightforward process. However, if you rely on a number of third-party plugins or themes that aren’t being actively supported, just updating your WordPress installation can cause functionality to break. This is why it’s usually a bad idea to rely on unsupported third-party plugins for critical functionality. At the same time, not updating your installation, while tempting, can leave you vulnerable to security flaws.

A final consideration is data portability. WordPress makes it easier to export your website data and even plugins, which can be a huge time saver if you move to another CMS. Squarespace is more limited, only allowing you to export your pages, galleries, and blog posts to an XML file. That means that other pieces of content, including audio and video blocks, as well as product pages, won’t be exported. If you’re running a rich multimedia site or an e-commerce site, this can make porting to another CMS a laborious process.

The Key Question: What Are You Making?

Every CMS makes tradeoffs between flexibility and simplicity. Which matters more to you will depend on the kind of website you’re building, and your own skill level. WordPress is one of the most flexible platforms around, which is why it’s used by so many different organizations, but getting the most out of it requires a significant commitment of time and resources. Squarespace, by contrast, is built to make it easy to get a good-looking and functional website online with as little hassle as possible, but that comes at the expense of functionality and scalability.

There are a few questions that can help guide you to which platform is best for you, including:

  • What are you building? Are you a non-developer just looking for a place to show off your portfolio or host a personal blog? In these cases, you might appreciate the simplicity of Squarespace. Are you trying to build a feature-rich commercial website? Then you’ll probably want to take a more serious look at WordPress.
  • What’s your budget? Squarespace offers a menu of pricing options depending on whether your site is personal or for business and whether you need a custom domain. While the WordPress platform is open-source, you’ll still need to pay for your hosting and domain name, as well as any commercial plugins or templates.
  • How many users, contributors, or admins are you going to have? How many different users (and user permissions) will you need to have set up? Both Squarespace and WordPress allow you to define different types of contributors and set permissions accordingly.
  • What are your template needs? How many types of content are you going to have, and how many require different templates? The more complex your site, the more you might benefit from WordPress’s extensibility.
  • What are your security and availability requirements? If you’re using a lot of third party WordPress plugins, you’ll want to spend some time making sure they’re up-to-date and secure. Conversely, if Squarespace’s site goes down, will your organization be in trouble?

[SOURCE:-Business 2 Community]

Project Mortar: Mozilla Bringing Chrome’s Built-in Plugins To Firefox

mozilla-chrome-pluginAs the web browser wars continue to heat up, the developers of popular browsers are busy adding new features to gain more users. Recently, Mozilla started rolling out multi-process in its Firefox browser and Opera brought the built-in VPN.

Now, Mozilla has announced Project Mortar to bring Chrome’s built-in plugins to Firefox web browser. By doing so, Mozilla aims to bring some particular plugins, which are absent in its library, to Firefox.

Project Mortar aims to make the development and maintenance of Firefox cheap and easier. This would be done by importing features from the world’s leading web browser Google Chrome.

In the beginning, Project Mortar will start off by bringing PDFium library and the Pepper API based Flash plugin to Firefox. PDFium is Chrome’s open source native PDF viewer and Google’s Pepper Flash player, which runs inside a sandbox for extra security.chrome-browser-plugin
This important change will allow Firefox web browser to run Chrome’s PDF viewer and Flash Player.

Mozilla calls this step an exercise to reduce the work done by Mozilla developers to write code for the technologies that are used to provide a better web experience but not a core piece of the web platform.

In other words, to make the web browsing experience better, Mozilla is agreeing to use APIs that are not considered web standards.

You can visit Mozilla’s website to find more information on Mortar Project.

Did you find this article interesting? Don’t forget to drop your feedback in the comments section below.

[Source:-FDoss Bytes]