Reader theme review: Minimal, but not in a lazy way


Reader theme post graphic

Reader is a theme by new theme shop WP Minima, a brand which sells entirely on ThemeForest at the moment. They’ve released two themes so far, one free and one paid. This is the paid theme, which costs $35.

Reader, being both new and minimalistic, caught my eye last week. A lot of the time, theme designers will put something together and call it minimal, almost as an excuse to not put much thought into what’s designed. Or to leave things kind of plain. At least that’s the impression I get when looking at some WordPress themes that get released.

In this case, I think it’s clear that WP Minima put time into Reader and made real decisions. I don’t agree with all of them, but there’s a consistent, strong design aesthetic here that doesn’t come across as what I’ll call “lazy minimal”. It’s minimal, in a good way.

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Review: BizWay WordPress Theme by InkThemes


BizWay Theme Screenshot

BizWay is a new WordPress theme released to the dot org theme repository in the last week. There were fifteen themes all pushed live to the directory on the same day, and I think BizWay deserves to be pulled out from the crowd a bit.

BizWay is a free release from a commercial theme shop called InkThemes. Many of the themes on the dot org directory that I like recently have been from commercial theme shops releasing free themes. I had not heard of InkThemes until I ran across this free theme release.

You can check it out along with me if you download BizWay from

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Review: Feel the effects of Launch Effect theme (plus video)


Are you ready for the Launch Effect?

Anyone in the field marketing will know half the battle with launching a new website is creating a buzz about it. “Coming soon” pages are well and good, but what about a truly viral WordPress theme?

In steps Launch Effect, a WordPress theme by the guys over at Barrell a NYC based creative digital agency. In Launch Effect they have created a WordPress theme specifically for that purpose. It’s their answer to the question: “how do I attract my potential audience and get them to spread the word, all before launching a site?”

Launch Effect review gallery

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WooCommerce Review: A new e-commerce plugin to watch


I have used a range of platforms during my last five years in the e-commerce industry. From initial setup and product selection to writing product specs and content for the web, I’ve nearly done it all. And in my time I’ve always been a big believer in using e-commerce platforms for e-commerce and blogging platforms for blogging.

Of course WordPress is an incredibly powerful platform in its own right, with even more on the way with WordPress 3.3 on the horizon. E-commerce is still a growing field within the WordPress community, though, and the question remains: is WordPress really a smart way to manage online shops?

WooThemes think it is, and earlier this week officially released WooCommerce, their free e-commerce plugin for WordPress. WooCommerce is a fork of Jigoshop, which has caused a bit of controversy in the community.

Irrespective of that issue, right now let’s just focus on what WooCommerce has to offer.

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Preview: Beta release of the Stencies WordPress plugin


Based on their home page, Stencies is “a collection of pre-formatted re-usable design elements.” This makes it sound a lot more complicated that it is. In layman’s terms, they’re pre-defined formats that you can use in a post, or on a page, to make your content stand out or draw attention to something. And they’re called stencies.

I’ve been playing around with it today. Even though it’s in its beta phase right now, I definitely see some potential. You can use it unregistered and it works great. There are no limitations but you only have access to stencies provided by the developers. If you register, which can be done through the settings panel, you’ll have access to user-created stencies and can even submit your own.

Stencies gallery

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Book review: WordPress For Dummies, 3rd Edition


It has been my experience that even experts in a field sometimes need a refresher in the basics. Either the fundamentals have changed since they were students or there are minor details that they never need to know before. Sometimes you just need to go back to school.

Just as important are the subjects it doesn’t cover.

WordPress For Dummies, by Lisa Sabin-Wilson is the perfect primer for WordPress. Between the iconic yellow covers are the integral basics everyone should know but maybe didn’t learn. I have never had the need to really dig in and learn about, setting up a MU network or importing a site from Blogger, but it’s all in there. And I know I’m not the only one who has had a client ask a basic question that just stumped them. This is the perfect go-to resource for those situations.

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Review: Opaline theme by Viva Themes


Opaline Theme

Opaline is a new hotel and business focused theme by Viva Themes. WPCandy gave away a copy of Opaline in our post about its release last week. Before we gave it away, I took it for a test drive on my local install of WordPress.  I wanted to see just how Opaline works behind the scenes, and whether I think it’s worth the $47 price tag.

I’ll share with you what I found.

Opaline theme review gallery

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Review: Express for WordPress


Express for WordPress is an iPhone app created by Kenobi Studios and WooThemes that allows users to post short notes, images, links and quotes directly to their Tumblr-style blogs wherever they are. It also lets you save drafts when you’re not online and moderate comments.

The app works in conjunction with the recently released WooTumblog plugin and WooThemes’ tumblog themes, like Crisp, Retreat, Cinch or Slanted. For my review, I’m using a self-hosted WordPress installation at with the WooTumblog plugin activated.

Express for WordPress Gallery:

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