Searching For The Perfect Theme

Bit51.comSo instead of writing this week I’ve been working behind the scenes on Bit51.com to update it with the perfect responsive theme. As I am graphically challenged this means that I need a theme that is almost ready to go out of the box. I don’t mind tweaking but I have no desire at all to develop the entire theme myself.

So far I’m looking at the updated Focus theme from Studiopress but I haven’t decided yet if that will fulfill the needs of this site or not. What do you think? Have any other suggestions for truly awesome responsive WordPress themes? I want something that is easy to read, fits at least loosely into the current architecture of this site and is fully mobile responsive.

Please leave any suggestions you have in the comments of this post.

About Chris Wiegman

Chris is the owner of Bit51 where he blogs about web development and works on WordPress plugins such as Better WP Security. In addition Chris is a Senior Developer for Springbox in Austin, TX where he develops a host of solutions for clients large and small.

Find Chris on Facebook, , LinkedIn, and Twitter.

  • Pablo

    It follows the same structure as the one you’re using now, so that’s probably the best choice if you don’t want a full redesign.

    There is, however, one thing I don’t like at all in the Updated Focus Theme (but this is just a personal opinion):
    Navigation links in both menus seem to be too small and too close to each other on a 320px mobile screen. Depending on the size of user’s thumbs/fingers, this could be quite unfriendly in terms of usability.
    That is something you can easily tweak with a little bit of CSS.

    As a reference: Taking a look at the official WP themes repository, I found Responsive and Esplanade to be 2 good examples for a “mobile-friendly menu”. The first one with big “line-separated” menu links for small screens, and the second one with a collapsed menu on small devices.

  • Curtis Pope

    I have found this theme, Mantra, on WordPress.org interesting with plenty of admin GUI options available from the theme.

  • http://deswalsh.com Des Walsh

    I’m looking at Focus as possibly the StudioPress responsive theme most suitable for one of my sites. I’m puzzled by the fact that on my Samsung Galaxy smartphone I see the whole screen in miniature and then have to manually adjust to read the post. Whereas with, say, the eleven40 child theme it brings up the blog post in full and you see the sidebar stuff only when you scroll down, just as with, say, the copyblogger.com site. So is “responsive” a rather flexible term for StudioPress?

    Also, am I right in assuming you have used the blue color option here? Or did you have to do some color customization?

  • http://www.patrickgarman.com Patrick Garman

    Check out some of the themes over at WooThemes :) newer ones come responsive out of the box.

  • http://www.carrieontheweb.com Carrie Lewis

    I personally lover Weaver II Pro ( http://weavertheme.com/ ) it has all the bells and whistles I want and usually need for my clients as well. Have you checked it out. There is a free version which is good too.

  • http://sihometour.com kelly

    http://diythemes.com/thesis/version-2-teaser/ has a responsive child theme if the new one does not fit your bill.

  • http://www.garypaxton.info Gary Paxton

    I’m using the iFeature Pro theme from Cyberchimps and I like it. I’ve also used it on a friend’s site http://www.kingsburghconsulting.com with a little tweaking of colours.

  • mala barka

    Check this http://hdboilerplate.com/ – I think w/ Nivo Slider http://nivo.dev7studios.com/ could be one you are hoping for?

  • http://chriswiegman.com Chris Wiegman

    I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  • http://bit51.com Chris Wiegman

    Hi Des,

    This current theme is the 1.0 version of Focus (before the responsive version) and it is heavily modified with the blue colors. So far I’ve found the themes they say are responsive to be fairly consistent but I’ve only tried eleven40, balance, and education (which will soon be the theme for this site).

  • http://deswalsh.com Des Walsh

    Thanks Chris
    I’d spent a lot of time with Enterprise on one of my main sites and like it, but it’s not responsive and they are not making any promises about whether or when it will be made so. Hence my interest in Focus.

    Des