45 Clean and Minimal WordPress Themes

Although there are thousands of different WordPress themes available, finding the right one can be a challenge. Sometimes the best choice is a theme that features a clean design without unneeded design elements and distractions.

WordPress themes with a clean or minimalist design and layout are often easier to customize and use as a starting point, and they can also look great on their own without the need for customizations.

In this post we’ll showcase 45 different WordPress themes that avoid excess in terms of design and style. Some are very minimal, and others use clean layouts.

Minimal Multi Purpose ($55)

Minimal Multi Purpose

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12 Ways to Make Money in the Design Industry, Aside from Client Work

When it comes to working as a designer or developer the options that come to mind are typically 1) work as an employee for a design studio or agency, 2) work as employee as an in-house designer or developer, or 3) work as freelancer.

While all of those are perfectly legitimate options, there are thousands of designers and developers who are earning a living in the industry with less traditional approaches. In this article we’ll look at some of the ways that you can use design and coding skills, aside from the 3 approaches mentioned above.

Working as a freelancer is something that many designers aspire to do. In reality, most freelancers struggle to find enough client work to make the income that they need. A growing number of designers and developers are taking alternative approaches as a result. One of the great benefits is that many of these things can be done part-time or full-time, which also means that you can combine one or more of these approaches with client work.

So let’s take a look at some of the options for designers and developers. We’ll also see some examples of people who taking these alternative approaches, and you’ll find links to some excellent learning and training resources that can help you in your own pursuit.

1. Designing and Selling Stock Graphics

A common approach to making money as a designer is to sell stock graphics (PSD files, logo templates, Photoshop brushes, vectors, icons, etc). Marketplaces like GraphicRiver, Creative Market, and major stock photo sites like iStock allow designers to sell their own creations to a large existing audience. The down side of selling at these types of marketplace sites is that you will need to share the revenue with the marketplace, and in many cases you’ll also face restrictions related to pricing, the types of products you can sell, and exclusivity.

Of the major marketplaces, Creative Market provides the most flexibility and fewest restrictions for designers. They don’t require exclusivity (you can sell your products at your own site or at other sites), you can set your own prices, and they offer 70% of each sale to the designer.

GraphicRiver

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How to Choose a Basic Web Hosting Provider

Hosting is something that every website needs, but no one really enjoys shopping for it. With thousands of hosts to choose from it can easily become overwhelming if you don’t know what you should be looking for. It’s also a decision that you’ll want to get right, because changing hosts can be a cumbersome experience with some websites.

Every website is unique and will have its own needs. Web hosting is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so you’ll need to know what is important for your website in order to find the best host for you. For the purposes of this article we’ll be looking at the subject from a perspective of a typical small business that needs a basic shared hosting provider. High-traffic websites or those with unique or specific demands may need to go with a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or a dedicated server. Most of the principles that we’ll cover in this article will still apply when shopping for a VPS or dedicated server, but we’re specifically focusing on basic shared hosting here.

If you’re looking for a host, what factors should you consider? Let’s take a look.

At the end of this article you’ll find a chart that can be very helpful for comparing some of the leading hosts.

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30 Amazing Websites with Big Background Photos

One approach to creating a website that will make a strong visual impact is to use a large or full-screen background photo. Many sites that have taken this approach feature a simple of minimalist design, and the photo takes center stage.

Big background photos can be used for any type of website in just about any industry. In this post you’ll see 30 examples of website designs that feature large background photos. Finding the right photo is obviously an important part of the process, and hopefully this selection will provide provide some inspiration that you can put to use in your own work.

Ditto Residential

Ditto Residential

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What Freelancers Absolutely Must Know about the Hot New Trends, Coworking & Hives

Does your freelancing web design future include other freelancers?

Many freelancers think dealing with coworkers became a thing of the past once they left traditional employment. But a new breed of freelancer is choosing to work closely with others, often in an office environment. And they’re thriving.

I’m talking about the new trends towards coworking and freelancing hives. As freelancers, it’s important to take note of new trends. It’s especially important when such trends seem to be working.

This article from Karsten Strauss on Forbes, Why Coworking Spaces Are Here To Stay, examines the popularity of coworking.

coworking1
Image Source: Steelcase by Cole Camplese CC by 2.0

In this post, we’ll take an even closer look at coworking and the latest freelancing trend, hives. We’ll examine some of the benefits (and drawbacks) of each.

If you liked this post, you may also like How to Transition from a Freelance Web Designer to a Lucrative Consulting Business.

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A Web Designer’s Guide to Marketing on Facebook

There are many articles to be found on how creative professionals can market on Twitter, Pinterest, even Linkedin. Yet not many seem to push Facebook as a social media focus specifically for web designers. Many experts mention LinkedIn, Twitter, Behance, Instagram, and other creative portfolios as top social media networks for creative professionals, and it’s easy to see why.

You have to go where your audience is. Web designers should market themselves to businesses, startups, non-profits, and one of the best places to connect with professionals in the corporate world is LinkedIn. Twitter is great for making connections with other web professionals who can lead you to new clients, and Behance is a common portfolio platform that many use for research.

Yet Facebook is also an excellent platform on which web designers can create important connections, and it doesn’t take as much time as you would think. You may decide that Facebook is not the platform for you to spend the majority of your time for social media marketing, but it still is too valuable to completely pass up.

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How to Choose a WordPress Theme Framework

If you design and develop WordPress themes you may have considered using a WordPress framework rather than creating themes from scratch. Frameworks offer some significant benefits to developers and users, but for those who have not used frameworks in the past the thought can be a little intimidating and confusing. In this article we’ll take a detailed look at theme frameworks, what they are, why you might want to use one, the different types of frameworks, and the leading options.

What is a WordPress Theme Framework?

One of the reasons that WordPress’ popularity grew so quickly several years ago is that designers and developers can create templates/themes rather quickly and easily. Learning how to work with WordPress to create a custom design is fairly easy, especially when compared to some of the other leading content management systems that were popular when WordPress was up and coming.

WordPress

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