Articles tagged as ‘WordPress’

20 WordPress Travel Themes

Those who are traveling or working in the travel industry often need a website to share their experiences or to allow visitors to research information and options related to their own travel. There are a number of WordPress themes that have been designed and developed especially for the travel industry and for travel blogs. (You may also be interested in 17 of the Best WordPress Hotel Themes.)

If you’re looking for the right theme or template for your own travel website, this post is for you. Here we’ll showcase 20 different WordPress that could be just the right option for you.

Voyage – $99

Voyage, from ThemeFuse, is one of the best-looking travel themes available. It is an ideal choice for travel agencies. Voyage features powerful search and filter options that will allow visitors to find the perfect trip or vacation. It also uses a responsive design and layout so that it will look good on phones and tablets as well as desktops.

Voyage

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50+ New WordPress Themes from April, 2013

If you are looking for a WordPress theme for a new website or for a fresh look on an already existing website, there are always plenty of new themes being released. April was a busy month for new WordPress themes, just like any other month. In this post we’ll showcase some of the best new themes that were released during the month, and hopefully if you’re looking for a new theme you will find something that you like.

This post includes over 50 new WordPress themes, so there  is plenty of selection. Most of the themes are premium/commercial, but some high-quality free themes have been included as well.

Foxy
Price: $39 (price includes access to more than 80 themes)
Available at: Elegant Themes

Foxy

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Notification Bars for WordPress

One important part of blogging or running an online business involves getting visitors to notice your most important items or content. Using a notification bar at the top of the site is a great way to draw the visitors’ attention to something specific. It could be an announcement for a new product, an important customer service announcement, a link to a popular blog post, a call-to-action for subscriptions or opt-ins, or any number of things.

Notification bars are often used by bloggers as an alternative to using a popup, which can be more intrusive to visitors than a notification bar. For example, on this blog we’re currently using a notification bar to promote our free e-book that is a bonus for anyone who signs up for our email newsletter. Notification bars can be highly effective, and WordPress users have a number of different options for setting up their own notification bar.

Hello Bar

Hello Bar

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New WordPress Themes – March, 2013

March was another big month in terms of new WordPress. There were a lot of great themes released during the month, both free and premium themes. Even if you are an avid WordPress user I’m it’s difficult to stay on top of all the latest theme releases, so this post will showcase 55 new themes. Hopefully it will help you to find the right theme for a current or upcoming project.

Interakt
Price: $49
Available at: ThemeFuse

Interakt

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40 New WordPress Themes – February, 2013

One of the great benefits of using WordPress as a CMS or blogging platform is the availability of high-quality themes. New themes are being released all the time, and it’s pretty difficult to stay up-to-date on the available themes because they come out so quickly and because there are so many different companies and websites releasing themes. We thought it would be helpful to showcase some of the best new themes that have been released during the past month.

StyleShop eCommerce WordPress Theme
Price: $39 (includes access to all themes by Elegant Themes)
Available at: ElegantThemes

StyleShop eCommerce WordPress Theme

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The Best WordPress Real Estate Themes

Most people who are looking to buy real estate will do research online before anything else. For this reason having an effective web presence is essential for real estate agents and brokers. Several years ago it was costly to set up a professional-looking real estate website that could be maintained by the agent or an assistant, with no web development skills required. Today, however, there are much better options.

WordPress, the most popular (and free) content management system in the world, is a viable option for anyone in the real estate industry because of the quality themes that have been developed specifically for the industry. For less than $100 a high-quality theme can be purchased that will allow any agent or broker to maintain a website that is attractive and effective.

Here we’ll take a look at 15 of the best themes that have been created for the real estate industry.

wpCasa (€59)

wpCasa is a great option for having a feature-rich real estate website powered by WordPress. It’s actually a theme framework that can be used on it’s own, or you can select one of the available child themes if you want a different look. The theme framework uses somewhat of a minimal design style (although it still looks great), so it is a good starting place if you want to customize the appearance of theme.

wpCasa comes with several important features that make it extremely useful and effective. It uses a responsive design, so the site will look good on any device. You’ll also have control over the layout thanks to drag and drop widgets. The property editor makes it easy to add listings, and it even offers optional IDX/MLS integration. The advanced search makes it easier for visitors to find the right property.

wpCasa

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The Best WordPress Themes for Bands and Musicians

Every band and musician needs to have an effective website. Established and popular bands must be able to communicate with their fans, promote their live performances and tours, and offer audio clips or sell their music. Smaller bands that are working hard to get their big break will need to use their website to spread the word and to help make people more aware of their music.

Since many bands are working with limited budgets, having a quality website hasn’t always been easy. Fortunately, there are now a number of quality WordPress themes that have been created specifically for bands. With the help of any of these themes a band can have a professional-looking website for less than $100.

In this post we’ll take a look at 17 of the best WordPress themes for bands.

Soundstage

Soundstage from MintThemes is a great choice for any band. It uses a clean design and has all the features a band will need. It integrates with WooCommerce to provide e-commerce functionality for selling music and merchandise. The homepage uses a stylish slider, and the theme also includes an HTML5 audio player.

Soundstage

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Best Membership Website Plugins for WordPress

Once purely known as a blogging platform, WordPress has developed in to a powerful and popular content management system, used by millions of websites worldwide. WordPress also has an active and loyal reader-base and this has led to a huge variety of themes and plugins that are available. Membership plugins are popular for giving webmasters the chance offer subscription and membership to fans, providing them with premium content that is not available to those that are not signed up.

As membership sites become more popular, the number of available plugins grows, and there are now dozens of these add-ons, ranging from simple free plugins with limited support to premium professional plugins with numerous features.

If you’re looking for the best membership plugin for your WordPress site, the following list maybe of some benefit:

aMember

Before WordPress was the force it is today, and before numerous membership plugins started popping up, there was aMember. The original add-on is still one of the most popular and has many great features, the most notable of which is its full integration with WordPress. Content drip is another standout feature of aMember and affords users the ability to protect downloads, and change subscription lengths. Users can also benefit from multiple language support.

aMember

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Managing 301 Redirects in WordPress

A 301 redirect is the HTTP status code returned by your browser when a web page is requested pointing the browser to go to a different location. The status code everyone will be most familiar with is a 404 which indicates that the requested page could not be found. The two main types of redirect are 301 and 302 the difference on the surface is minor but important, a 302 is a temporary redirect while a 301 is permanent. While the average user is unlikely to notice the difference search engines treat them very differently; a 301 passes SEO value (or ‘PageRank’) on to its redirect target while a 302 does not.

Other forms of redirect include Meta Refresh where the redirect is handled on a page rather than on a server level and 307 which is a HTTP 1.1 successor to a 302 redirect.
There are a number of reasons why you may need to permanently redirect to a new page including moving to a new domain, changing site structure or merging content, while a 302 would be used for displaying a clean URL for example when a session ID is used. The type of redirect a web page is using can be checked using a HTTP request and response header tool such as web-sniffer.net or a plugin for Firefox such as HTTP LiveHeaders.

Managing 301 Redirects in WordPress

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Challenges and Solutions for WordPress Publishers

Today very few successful bloggers can exclusively write all of the content on their blogs. A majority of the top blogs on the web have a number of writers producing content for them on a regular basis. Inviting other bloggers and writers to become co-authors is a great way to expand one’s blog. After recruiting the writers, the next problem that the publisher faces is management of the writers and their content.

Managing multiple authors for a blog is never an easy task. When the publisher manages a multi-author blog he or she spends less  time writing articles and more time handling the administrative tasks, such as generating content concepts, scheduling articles, managing authors and reviewing articles. It is often challenging to manage multiple authors, getting them to write quality content on schedule, making sure they do not miss deadlines, etc.

Luckily, there are many WordPress plugins available today to help publishers and media companies to manage multiple authors. If you are planning to turn your WordPress blog or website into a multi-author blog/website, then below is a list of five solutions that you might want to check out.

1. Betaout

Betaout is an editorial project management solution targeted at publishers running their sites on WordPress. A cloud based service Betaout plugins with WordPress installations. It offers a user friendly, sleek and highly intuitive interface.

Betaout

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The Best WordPress Theme Builder Options, No Coding Required

As WordPress has continued to grow in popularity, developers have constantly enhanced the options available to users through advanced themes and plugins. While WordPress is popular with designers and developers who are comfortable creating custom themes, it’s also a popular option for website owners and bloggers who want to be able to manage their own sites without needing any coding skills or experience.

There are currently a number of products available that make it possible for WordPress users to have control over the layouts and designs of their site without the need to be able to code custom themes, or to hire a designer to create one. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the leading options.

Divi Theme from Elegant Themes

Divi - Elegant Themes

Divi is the most popular and most powerful theme available to Elegant Themes members. The Divi Builder gives you the power to create countless different layouts without touching any code. It comes with 18 pre-made layouts, or you can create your own or customize one of the pre-made layouts to suit your needs. All of the blocks that you’ll use to create your layouts are responsive, so your site will look great on any device. In addition to the drag-and-drop layout builder, Divi also includes a powerful theme options panel and full control over the colors of your site. Membership to Elegant Themes starts at $39 per year.

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7 WordPress Setup Tips

WordPress is an immensely powerful blogging and website platform. There are, however, some important steps to carry out as soon as possible and some elementary mistakes to avoid once WordPress has been installed. This is by no means a complete guide but it includes a number of useful tips to help make your WordPress site as effective as possible.

1. Permalink Structure

A common critique of WordPress is that its default URL structure for posts is quite weak, with each post being given a page ID such as “http://site.com/?p=123”. This can give a bad impression if it is linked to from another site as it doesn’t give a good idea of what a user can expect to find and in some situations could look spammy.

To remedy this in the WordPress dashboard go to Settings, then Permalinks and you will find the default settings. Change this to Post Name – the second to last option on the page and you will achieve a much cleaner and more user friendly URL.

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How to Add an Awesome Parallax Banner for Your WordPress Site

The parallax effect has been used in the movie industry for a long, long time. Also, cartoons make great use of this simple technique. The general idea is to have 2 overlapped items moving in different speed ratios, to create an illusion of depth.

Parallax effects can work great even for websites. We can see many uses out there, and today we’ll take it a little deeper and create a banner making use of this technique.

The main challenge here is to do something simple because we’re dealing with dynamic content so everything will change pretty often. Our effect will need, for example, to automatically detect heights, since the only fixed dimension will be the width.

Also, we’ll learn how to do that on the top of a WordPress theme, in our case the Twenty Eleven theme (default theme), but you can easily use the concepts and snippets here to apply on your own theme.

How to Add an Awesome Parallax Banner for Your WordPress Site
Photo credits joeymc86

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15 Free WordPress Theme Frameworks

For designers and developers that frequently work with WordPress, theme frameworks and starter themes can have a noticeable impact of efficiency. Frameworks and starter themes can eliminate some of the repetitive work that you probably do with each custom theme. In addition, many frameworks provide additional features that can make your theme more powerful with less development time.

In the past year or two, responsive frameworks have become more popular. Since designing and developing responsive sites and themes can be highly time consuming, these frameworks can be a great resource.

In this post we’ll take a look at 15 of the best free WordPress theme frameworks and starter themes. There are also a number of outstanding premium options, but in this post we’ll focus on the free ones. Despite being free, these resources can be highly valuable.

Bones

The Bones framework comes in two variations: classic and responsive. The classic version is built on the 960 Grid. The responsive version gives you are starting point to design for multiple devices, with a stylesheet set up for media queries and a mobile first approach. Bones isn’t intended to be a framework for which you develop child themes. Instead, it is intended to be a project template.

Bones

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55 of the Best Responsive WordPress Themes

Responsive design is obviously a popular topic in the web design industry right now, and WordPress continues to grow as one of the most popular content management systems. Many bloggers and site owners who are using WordPress are interested in having a responsive website, and the result is a quickly-increasing number of responsive themes that are available for WordPress.

In this post we’ll take a look at 55 responsive WordPress themes, including free and premium themes. The majority of the themes showcased here are premium. Although there are some good free responsive themes available, the time and effort required to create one is rather significant, so most of the good ones must be purchased. There are more free responsive themes available aside from the ones we’ve mentioned here, but we tried to showcase only the best ones regardless of whether they are free or premium.

Free Responsive WordPress Themes:

Skeleton

Skeleton

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How to Code an Awesome Categories Menu for Your WordPress Site

Sometimes it’s good to ditch the default functions for components and create our own stuff. WordPress has great features for category listing but when it comes to customization we need to dig a little deeper on its functions.

Today we’ll see how to do an awesome categories menu, based on Pawel Kadysz’s awesome menu design.

We’ll see alternatives to WordPress wp_list_categories functions that allows full customization. Also we’ll see how to do it with clean CSS and a little jQuery for final touches to make it smoother.

So, are you ready to rock?

The Final Look

How to Code an Awesome Categories Menu for Your WordPress Site

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How to Create a Job Board with Gravity Forms

Niche or industry-specific job boards are highly useful for job searchers who are looking for work in a specific field, and they’re also great for allowing employers to reach a targeted audience of job searchers.

For those who want to create a job board or add a job board to an existing website or blog, there are several options for creating and managing it. There are several different WordPress plugins and themes that have been developed over the past few years for running job boards.

I have used 2 commercial plugins and 1 commercial theme for job boards with very mixed results. In some cases setting up the job board was rather complicated, and in other cases the support was poor and the developer disappeared. If you’re building a website or a critical part of a website on a commercial plugin or theme it’s important to have confidence that the product will continue to be supported in the future, otherwise you could have major problems as new versions of WordPress are released.

Gravity Forms is a very popular commercial WordPress plugin for creating forms and it includes all of the functionality needed to create a job board. Although it is not specifically a job board plugin there are a few significant reasons why you may want to consider using Gravity Forms if you are looking to create a job board for yourself or for a client:

  • Gravity Forms is well-established and due to it’s popularity it is not in danger of becoming unsupported.
  • The inteface is easy to use and manage.
  • A PayPal add-on is available to those who have a developer’s license of Gravity Forms, so you can easily charge a fee for job submissions.

Gravity Forms

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27 of the Best WordPress Themes for Photographers

Most photographers need a website that they can update easily and frequently, as they add new photos and sets to their portfolio. WordPress is a great platform for that, in part because there are already a number of well-designed photography templates available. Photography websites often use a minimal design style to keep the focus on the photos, and for this reason templates and pre-made themes can be more appropriate than for some other types of businesses.

In this post we’ll showcase 27 WordPress themes from various designers that are created especially for photographers.

Carousel ($50)

Carousel

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The Best WordPress Themes for Churches and Non-Profit Organizations

Most churches and non-profit organizations need a website that they can easily update and maintain on their own, and many are also working with limited budgets. For both of these reasons, a WordPress-powered website is a great option for many organizations. While a custom design is almost always preferred, there are a growing number of quality themes created specifically for churches and non-profit organizations, and they are very affordable. In this post we’ll showcase 12 WordPress themes from various designers that have been created especially for these types of organizations.

Grace ($65)

Grace

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30 of the Best Real Estate Themes for WordPress

Real estate is a very competitive industry and having an attractive, usable and up-to-date website can help agents to stand out and increase the exposure for their listings. In the past, managing a website could be a costly and complicated task for real estate agents. However, there are now many WordPress themes designed specifically for real estate that can make it much easier and affordable.

WordPress is a great platform for most real estate agents because it is simple to add new listings in most real estate themes, professional themes can be purchased for less than $100, and because having a search engine-friendly site is possible with WordPress.

While there are some free real estate themes available, the quality and functionality of most premium themes is far better and prices are very reasonable. In this post we’ll showcase 30 of the best professional real estate themes for WordPress.

wpCasa (€59)

wpCasa

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WordPress Ecommerce: 30+ Resources

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems for blogs, portfolios, and other types of sites, but with the right plugins and/or themes it can also be used for e-commerce. While WordPress is not specifically intended to be used for e-commerce sites, the quality of available plugins and themes has increased in recent years. In this post we’ll feature more than 30 resources and tutorials to help you get started with e-commerce for WordPress.

WordPress E-Commerce Plugins:

WP e-Commerce Pluign (free with premium upgrades available)

WP e-Commerce Pluign

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Create an Advanced Contact Form for Client Inquiries

Most web designers rely on inquiries from their portfolio website to produce a decent portion of their business. Contact forms can be very simple, collecting a name and contact information, or they can be much more detailed, providing enough information to get an estimate. While the primary purpose of the contact form on our website has always been to make it easy for potential clients to contact us about web design projects, there are also a number of other reasons that visitors use the contact form and a one-size-fits-all approach has its drawbacks. We recently changed the contact form to include some conditional fields that make the form more customized according to the reason the visitor is contacting us, and in this post we’ll go through the process of creating this type of form.

The form we’ll be creating will contain some basic fields (name, email, phone, website, and message) that are shown to all visitors who are filling out the form, but based on the reason they are contacting us they will also see a few other more specific fields. If the visitor selects “Web Design Services” as their reason for contacting us they will be prompted to tell us if it is a new website or a re-design, enter a budget, and tell us how they found us. If they select “Content Development Services” they will also be prompted to enter a budget, but with different options than the budget for web design services, and so on.

In the past our contact form has included a field to allow visitors to select a budget, but that was based on the assumption that they were contacting us regarding web design services. Since the budget field isn’t applicable for someone who is filling out the contact form just to say hi, this “advanced” form will only show what is relevant based on user input.

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15 Exceptionally Useful Resources for WordPress Theme Designers

One of the great benefits of designing and developing for WordPress is the amount of quality resources that are available from others in the WordPress community. Many times these resources can wind up saving you time in your own development. The only problem is that there are so many resources available that it is difficult to know about them all and sometimes to find what you are looking for.

In this post we’ll feature 15 resources that may be of help to you while you are designing and developing WordPress themes. If you have suggestions for other resources, please leave a comment.

Frameworks:

Thematic

Thematic is a very popular WordPress theme framework created by Ian Stewart. This framework can be used as-is, or is excellent for using with child themes. In fact, a number of child themes for Thematic are available for free or as premium themes, including the free gallery theme distributed by Smashing Magazine.

Thematic

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20+ Tutorials and Resources for Working with Custom Fields in WordPress

One of the keys to WordPress’s flexibility and endless possibilities is the use of custom fields. With custom fields you can do all kinds of things, but most designers and developers who are new to WordPress are not familiar with how to put custom fields into practice. In this post we’ll look at a number of tutorials that will show you some potential uses of custom fields, as well as a handful of plugins that make it easier or more productive to use custom fields.

Using WordPress Custom Fields: Introduction

This article from Justin Tadlock gives an overview of custom fields, and it’s actually the introductory post to a series on the subject of custom fields (other posts in the series are included in the list). If you’re not familiar with custom fields or if you just want to make sure you get the basics before moving further, this article is a great starting point.

Using WordPress Custom Fields

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WordPress Tutorial: Category Trick for WP 2.7

A lot has been written about the recent release WordPress 2.7, and I think most WordPress users and developers understand that this release adds some significant features that open up some new options for theme development. I did a little bit of experimenting with one of the changes and I wanted to write a brief tutorial that demonstrates a real-world situation for taking advantage of a new feature.

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Top 10 Blogs for the WordPress Community

One of the great things about the WordPress platform is the excellent community surrounding it. Whether you are looking for help with a specific problem or if you’re just interested in finding some blogs to follow for occasional tutorials, there are plenty of resources available. Here is a look at 10 of the best sites for WordPress users and theme designers.

Weblog Tools Collection

There is probably no better resource for staying up-to-date with theme and plugin releases than Weblog Tools Collection. Whether you want to find new themes and plugins from others or get some exposure for your own, Weblog Tools Collection is a great resource. In addition, it’s a great resource for general WP news.

Weblog Tools Collection

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Elegant Themes Giveaway!

If you’re looking for a new theme for your WordPress blog or website, you’re in luck. Nick Roach of Elegant Themes has offered to give four one-year memberships to readers of Vandelay Design.

I’m sure many of you are already familiar with Elegant Themes, but you may or may not be aware of their business model and how it differs from most premium themes. With Elegant Themes you can pay $19.95 per year for unlimited access to their marketplace of themes. There are currently 16 themes available, some with multiple color schemes to choose from, and more themes are being developed.

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Interview with Brian Gardner of Revolution Two

Those of you who have been around the WordPress community for a while are no doubt familiar with Brian Gardner and his popular line of Revolution themes. The Revolution themes have been incredibly well-liked by bloggers, website owners and designers, and they’re probably the most recognizable of the premium WordPress themes.

In recent weeks Brian and Jason Schuller have taken some bold steps with the new generation of Revolution themes, Revolution Two. These high quality themes are now free and open source (the original Revolution themes are no longer available). Since WordPress is an open source platform, the idea was to align the focus of Revolution with that of WordPress in general.

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10 Excellent Sources for WordPress Design Inspiration

CSS galleries and collections of inspirational designs are nothing new to designers, but sometimes you may be looking specifically for examples of great WordPress themes. Whether you’re working on a theme to distribute to others or if you’re building a custom theme for your own site, it can sometimes help to look at examples of what others have been able to do with WordPress

We Love WP

The best, most up-to-date gallery for WordPress sites and blogs. We Love WP has been around for over a year and they have a ton of designs for your inspiration (in June they passed 1,000). And of course, you can also subscribe to their feed.

We Love Wp

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Enhanced Sidebars with Dynamic Content

After writing Effective Use of Blog Sidebars a couple of weeks ago I decided to look into the topic of dynamic sidebars. Typically, most blogs will us a standard sidebar for the entire site. WordPress users have a lot of potential functionality that is rarely used in terms of creating various sidebars and displaying them in different situations…

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What Should Separate a Premium Theme from a Free Theme?

If you’ve spent any time at all looking around at WordPress themes that are available either for free or as a premium theme, you certainly know that there’s a very wide variety of quality available. Of course, that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with free themes. Anyone can create and distribute a theme for WordPress, which is one of the strengths of using WordPress as your CMS or blogging platform. However, that also means you’ll have to be careful when selecting a theme.

With the rise in popularity of premium themes and the increasing demand for them, the line between free theme and premium theme can be difficult to distinguish. I’ve read from a number of theme developers that have been unsure of how to distribute their theme, for free or for sale.

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Premium WordPress Themes and Plugins: Making WP a More Valuable CMS

Earlier today there was a post published at Smashing Magazine titled Premium WordPress Themes: Are They Here To Stay? The article looked at some of the leading premium themes that are available and posed some questions to readers: Have you ever considered releasing a premium WordPress theme? Would you consider using one? How much would you spend? They also asked if it’s time for premium WordPress plugins. I’d like to take a moment to respond to these questions, particularly the last one, because I feel this is a topic worth discussing for designers and WordPress users alike.

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Top 10 SEO WordPress Plugins for Webmasters

The quality and quantity of available plugins can often influence bloggers to choose WordPress when setting up a new blog. However, sometimes the huge number of plugins can become confusing and frustrating. There are several very good plugins that have been developed to enhance the search engine optimization of your blog. Here are 10 of […]

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