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Summary. This document offers a listing of best themes for self-hosted WordPress sites.

About. This report represents substantial research that was done from May 2012 through October 2012. Information has been reviewed updated to ensure the information is current and accurate. Download history data has been updated to be current as of 24 October 2012 (except where noted). Themes are listed in alphabetical order. Some themes listed are provided from the same development team.

Choosing a WordPress Theme. Exploring available WordPress themes can be a bit overwhelming. There are over 1,600 total themes available for free on the WordPress.org site. These can be downloaded (and subsequently updated) directly from within WordPress, so they are the most desirable. One way to begin exploring available themes is to pick from among the most popular WordPress themes listed on the WordPress.org site. However, reviewing the themes chosen below will save you some time.

Criteria. There were several factors and considerations that went into creating the list below.

  • Ongoing Support. Part of the criteria was to find themes with ongoing support, ease of use, and good compatibility — themes that had a history that indicated they also would have a future.
  • Downloads. Another criteria was the number of downloads (and presumably users) for the them. So, included below is the download history as of May 28, 2012 in the morning (unless otherwise indicated).
  • Cost. Some themes require payment to purchase and use them or to get access to support and/or forums. About $300 total for was paid for several themes and packages listed below — $200 for Pagelines.com then smaller amounts for collections of themes with lifetime support from InkThemes.com, MegaThemes.com, CyberChimps.com, and ThemeFoundary.com. Some of the themes shown below are free.
  • Popularity. Many of these themes are still among the most popular WordPress themes.
  • Photocentric. An effort was made to choose themes that work well with images.
  • Customizability. The themes selected are quite customizable and use the full capabilities of the latest WordPress versions.
  • Easy Installation. Except in a few cases, preference was given to themes that are for download and installation from within WordPress. Themes that must be downloaded and installed from a third party require greater end-user familiarity with site management as well as the use of FTP software.

Adriana Lite

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/andrina-lite
Developer Web Page: http://www.inkthemes.com/
Support Web Page: http://www.inkthemes.com/supportforum/
Download History

  • Today 31
  • Yesterday 119
  • Last Week 802
  • All Time 46,158

Atahualpa

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/atahualpa
Developer Web Page: http://wordpress.bytesforall.com/
Support Web Page: http://forum.bytesforall.com/
Download History

  • Today 60
  • Yesterday 326
  • Last Week 2,418
  • All Time 1,016,301

Colorway

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/colorway
Developer Web Page: http://www.inkthemes.com/
Support Web Page: http://www.inkthemes.com/supportforum/
Download History

  • Today 164
  • Yesterday 793
  • Last Week 2,470
  • All Time 168,578

Famous

Theme Web Page: http://www.megathemes.com/famous/
Developer Web Page: http://www.megathemes.com/
Support Web Page: http://www.megathemes.com/forums/
Download History (as of 28 May 2012)

  • Today 13
  • Yesterday 75
  • Last Week 670
  • All Time 21,536

iFeature

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ifeature
Version Updates (iFeature 5 Pro)http://cyberchimps.com/changelogs/ifeaturepro5/changelog.txt
Developer Web Page: http://cyberchimps.com/
Support Web Page: http://cyberchimps.com/forum/
Download History

  • Today 166
  • Yesterday 1,109
  • Last Week 5,601
  • All Time 399,085

Minimatica

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/minimatica
Developer Web Page: http://www.onedesigns.com/
Support Web Page: http://www.onedesigns.com/support
Download History

  • Today 71
  • Yesterday 279
  • Last Week 2,012
  • All Time 201,833

Paperpunch

Theme Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/wordpress/paperpunch/
Developer Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/
Support Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/support/
Download History (as of 28 May 2012)

  • Today 5
  • Yesterday 12
  • Last Week 85
  • All Time 21,723

Pagelines Theme & Platform for Custom Sites

Pagelines Theme: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/pagelines
Showcase Web Page: http://www.pagelines.com/showcase/
Developer Web Page: http://www.pagelines.com
Support Web Page: http://www.pagelines.com/forum/
Cost: $97 to $197 (normally $197 to $397)
Download History

  • Today 187
  • Yesterday 920
  • Last Week 7,680
  • All Time 228,842

Responsive

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/responsive
Developer Web Page: http://themeid.com/
Support Web Page: http://themeid.com/forum
Download History

  • Today 359
  • Yesterday 1,646
  • Last Week 10,157
  • All Time 302,044

Sliding Door

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/sliding-door
Developer Web Page: http://mac-host.com/slidingdoor/
Support Web Page: http://macintoshhowto.com/about
Download History

  • Today 50
  • Yesterday 265
  • Last Week 1,793
  • All Time 365,736

Target

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/target
Developer Web Page: http://antthemes.com/
Support Web Page: http://antthemes.com/forums/
Sample Page: http://demos.antthemes.com/target/
Download History

  • Today 96
  • Yesterday 535
  • Last Week 1,900
  • All Time 59,608

Themia Lite

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/themia-lite
Developer Web Page: http://www.inkthemes.com/
Support Web Page: http://www.inkthemes.com/supportforum/
Download History

  • Today 31
  • Yesterday 120
  • Last Week 865
  • All Time 76,068

Titan

Theme Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/wordpress/titan/
Developer Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/
Support Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/support/
Download History (as of 28 May 2012)

  • Today 3
  • Yesterday 13
  • Last Week 149
  • All Time 155,227

Traction

Theme Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/wordpress/traction/
Developer Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/
Support Web Page: http://thethemefoundry.com/support/
Download History

  • Today 5
  • Yesterday 50
  • Last Week 305
  • All Time 94,691

Twenty Eleven

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/twentyeleven
Developer Web Page: http://wordpress.org
Support Web Page: http://wordpress.org/support/
Download History

  • Today 322
  • Yesterday 1,491
  • Last Week 11,199
  • All Time 896,533

Twenty Ten

Theme Web Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/twentyten
Developer Web Page: http://wordpress.org
Support Web Page: http://wordpress.org/support/
Download History

  • Today 319
  • Yesterday 1,431
  • Last Week 10,844
  • All Time 969,864

Twenty Twelve (New)

Theme Web Pagehttp://wordpress.org/extend/themes/twentytwelve
Theme New Pagehttp://theme.wordpress.com/themes/twentytwelve/
Developer Web Page: http://wordpress.org
Support Web Page: http://wordpress.org/support/
Download History

  • Today 195
  • Yesterday 993
  • Last Week 7,108
  • All Time 29,547 (since 27 September 2012)
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