It’s hard to go wrong with a theme that harkens back to some bygone era. Retro- and vintage-themed designs have a way of tapping into the collective unconscious, building on the cultural archetypes that we’ve all inherited. They harness power and meaning from outside themselves, relying not on color and composition, but nostalgia and story. It’s from this inbuilt and very personal significance that viewers can look upon a design and call it “Classic.”
In my pursuit of retro and vintage themes, I’ve found that the WordPress community has produced far too few. Some are extremely high quality, others are bland. Some are free and some are paid. The purpose of this post is to act as an ever-growing collection of all Retro and Vintage themes available for WordPress. So without further ado…
A few days ago I wrote about the release of Oxus. Oxus is a theme by Themeopoly described as being “for blogging with a focus on content and hierarchy,” which is, of course, a marketing phrase that means absolutely nothing. Since WordPress themes by definition take content and hierarchy into account, I wanted to see what set Oxus apart.
I fired up MAMP and set up a local installation of WordPress so that I could do some testing. Here is what I got.
Earlier this year when I first encountered Headway, I was so impressed by it that it became the first WordPress theme I ever bought. Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to the release of version 2.0 all year and now it’s finally here.
Before reviewing it, I assumed that I’d find one or two features to be particularly happy about, but that I’d remain mostly indifferent towards the update. After having used Headway, Genesis and Platform Pro, I adopted the belief that there was no such thing as the “best” premium WordPress theme. Jumping from one to the other was a lateral move. They were all of the highest quality and they all attempted to solve the same problems, the only difference was their preferred method of solving them.
Using Headway today has started to erode that belief. Headway 2.0 completely exceeded my expectations. Not only was I reminded of why I bought Headway in the first place, I ended up wondering how I had been able to tolerate versions 1.5 and 1.6 all these months.
Here are some of the most notable features.
Themeopoly has released Oxus, a blogging theme for WordPress 3.0 and above.
The theme is built on the Blueprint CSS framework and comes in three color schemes. Other key features include:
- An options panel for entering copyright information, customizing displayed categories, pasting analytics code, etc
- A Twitter and Feedburner widget
- Custom fonts
- Themeopoly paging system and more
The theme also supports WordPress 3.0’s menu creator and featured images. A full list of features is available on Themeopoly’s Oxus page. A demo is available here.
The theme is available from Themeopoly for $15.
Max Foundry has released Landing Page, a premium WordPress plugin that allows bloggers and internet marketers to easily create landing pages.
The plugin was designed to increase conversion rates and product sales. It features 9 customizable landing page templates that users can assign to WordPress pages. Available customizations include:
- Background colors
- Custom logo
- Call-to-action buttons
- SEO meta
- Custom fonts and more
A full list of Landing Page’s features is available on the plugin’s official page. A single-site license sells for $97 and a multi-site license goes for $184.
Jesper Johansen has released Fapowy, a free WordPress theme for blogs.
The theme takes advantage of WordPress 3.0 features like the new menu manager, custom post types and custom header. Other features of Fapowy include:
- Red, Blue, Green and Dark color schemes
- Logo and background change from the dashboard
- Simple theme options
- Built-in support for Yoast Breadcrumb or Breadcrumb Trail
- PSD files
For a full list of features and to download the theme, visit the Fapowy theme page. A demo of the theme is available here.
Eric Blackwell has posted the speaker roster for WordCamp Louisville on the event’s official site.
WordCamp Louisville, which will take place on December 4th at the University of Louisville Shelby Campus, will include presentations on:
- Custom Post Types and Taxonomies and Designing for WordPress (Tammy Hart)
- Search Engine Friendly Blogging 101 (Eric Blackwell)
- Inbound Marketing with WordPress (Anne Sallee Miles)
- How to Make Your WP Blog Do Damn Near Anything (Mitch Canter)
This is just a taste of the roster. There are several other subjects, panels and speakers scheduled for WordCamp Louisville. Head over to WordCampLouisville.org to see the full lineup.
Tickets for the event are on sale now for $20. Proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Louisville’s Kentucky Autism Training Center and the WordPress Foundation.
Organized Themes have launched Ventana, an image-oriented business theme for WordPress.
Some of the theme’s features include:
- Homepage slideshow
- Featured video option
- Custom header and background image uploads
- Facebook integration
- Random image sidebar widget and more
For a full list of Ventana features, visit the theme release page. A demo of the theme can be found here.
The theme is available from the Organized Themes website for $30.
PHP consultant-turned-entrepreneur Vid Luther has launched ZippyKid, a company that focuses solely on hosting WordPress-based websites.
Regarding the launch, Luther told WPCandy:
“One thing I noticed was that the sheer number of businesses that were running on WordPress, almost all of them had the same problems. So, I decided to start a WordPress hosting company, but unlike other hosting companies that give you a one click install for WordPress, we focus solely on WordPress…”
Operating under the mantra “Focus on your content, not your content management system,” ZippyKid aims to take care of all the technical aspects of running a WordPress website–core upgrades, plugin updates, security and maintenance–so that users can concentrate on reaching their intended audience and creating quality content.
Hosting accounts come with a 14-day free trial. After the trial, accounts range from $20 per month for low traffic sites to $100 per month for high traffic sites.
BuddyPress blog BP-Tricks has been relaunched as a full-on BuddyPress community.
The site, which provides useful tips and tricks for BuddyPress users, now depends on its community to share their BuddyPress knowledge. Visitors are able to submit tricks, external tricks and quick tips to the site.
Tricks are divided into three categories: Design, Coding and Inspiration. External tricks are links to BuddyPress-related content found elsewhere on the web while quick tips provide users with an easy way to add snippets of information and code.
Members of the site are also rewarded for their contributions with different achievements, such as “Open the Gates” for first-time posters and “Design Expert” for those submitting to the Design category.