3 Theme Types to Push WordPress to the Limit

WordPress is one of the most robust and widely used content management systems available. While originally intended to be used as a Blogging platform, themes and plugins have transformed WordPress powered sites in to versatile creations that can do more than the average site. Here’s a collection of three theme types and how they can transform any WordPress powered Blog in to something more.


Thinking of displaying your work online and want a beautiful gallery or clean grid layout part of your portfolio? WordPress plus a selection of themes may be the option for you.

The majority of WordPress portfolio themes available are clean, grid based and typically minimalist. If you’re bored by whites, grays and blacks, be warned: you may not find a lot of colorful WordPress portfolio themes. These themes place a huge focus on content over beauty. The upside is many offer extensive customizability such as enhanced contact information Widgets, sliders and SEO options just for WordPress.

As I mentioned earlier WordPress was intended to be used as Blogging platform. This means you may need to follow certain guidelines when formatting images and videos. Refer to your theme’s documentation on the best way to upload your work.

Recommended Themes:

AutoFocus+ (free + $15 option)
Cumulus (Free)
FolioGrid Pro ($48)


Despite being built for Blogging, savvy designers have created themes that act as complete ecommerce sites. WordPress is powerful enough to handle your next online retail store but relying on it to be the next Amazon has some limitations.

Ecommerce WordPress themes tend to be the most robust in terms of design but a lot of extra functionality is reliant on extra plugins. Some themes include suggested plugins or bake the extra functionality in. SEO options are abundant in a lot of eccomerce themes which is a must for promoting your products. The best ecommerce themes tend to cost quite a bit but pale in comparison to a custom built option from a WordPress developer and Web Designer.

However, most themes work great for starting a small business that focuses on a particular niche but starting a much larger store that puts you at retail store status will require something more. The great thing is how robust WordPress and the various plugins available are. Shopping cart functionality and check out plugins are included with most ecommerce themes making it extremely easy to start an online business and not worry about the development aspect of the shopping experience. However, WordPress can’t create a PayPal or appropriate merchant account so don’t be surprised when customers say “Your e-store looks great but I can’t give you money for your products.”

if you want to add ecommerce functionality to an existing WordPress site or expand your current checkout features, plugins like Ecwid, eShop, WP e-commerce, Shopp and PHPurchase are well worth it.

Recommended Themes:

eStore ($39.99)
Templatic ($79.99)
Emporium ($65.00)


Despite being built for Bloggers and being adapted for ecommerce and portfolio uses, WordPress themes are available that put content first. Magazine like layouts give journalists and publishers the power they need to make content accessible and beautiful.

Most magazine layouts developed for WordPress can take on professional looking content portal and offer many options including an image slider, gallery, extensive grid layout and expanded profile views for authors. Most themes even involve some level of color customization and branding allowing you to differentiate your WordPress powered site from others using the same magazine style theme as you.

I personally love sites powered by a WordPress magazine theme as it showcases the beauty of content and transcends the limitations of a typical Blog layout. This allows small teams of writers to come together and create content around their interests or a niche they’re passionate about. The better magazine themes tend to cost money but the options available for displaying content and author flexibility is what more than justifies their price.

Recommended Themes:

Magazium ($69.99)
Global Press ($30)
Suburbia (Free)

WordPress is one of the most powerful content management systems available. Functionality can be expanded upon thanks to themes and plugin support. With the right theme your site can be a portfolio, online store or the newest digital magazine.