WordPress Fun: A Free WordPress Theme


If you have been following Smashing Magazine for a while you know that we love high-quality freebies. Over the last years we’ve featured a number of designers and developers who released their work for free — among other things we presented high-quality free fonts, free WordPress themes, free wallpapers and, of course, free icons. You can find many of them in our section Freebies1.

Every release helps to make the Web a nicer place which is why we support designers and challenge them to release something for free in order to be featured on Smashing Magazine. And the results are quite often pretty impressive.


Today we are glad to release a wordpress.fun — a free professional WordPress-theme. The theme has 2 columns, thumbnails integration, a “featured” post section as well as a nice grungy design. The theme was designed by Maleika Attawel3 from Germany, purchased by Smashing Magazine and is now released as a gift for our readers.

Download the theme for free!

You can use the theme for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. However, it’s forbidden to sell or redistribute the theme without both designer’s and Smashing Magazine’s permission — please link to this article if you would like to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish, but if you are planning to release your modification, please ask our permission first.

The main illustration (Teen Blogger (Punk Boy)) was created by ChinHang Chung4 and purchased by Smashing Magazine from iStockPhoto with the extended license “Electronic Items for Resale (unlimited run)”. Therefore the illustration is redistrubited legally.


Motivation behind the design: the idea

What do you generally do when you want to create a WordPress theme without having an actual client? The initial reaction would be; you despair. All the things we have learned as good web designers such as evaluating a client’s specific needs, doing proper field research, wireframing, finding the proper grid concept for content placement, selecting a colour scheme and visual elements to support content, choosing good type, tailored to … oh wait … this is just a theme.

A theme, by definition, is a subject of discourse. In the case of a WordPress theme, it can be anything. And in the delicate case of my humble theme, the subject is fun. Plain and simple. The idea was to create a theme that is fun and usable, heavy and light, eye-catching and robust, specific and yet generic enough to be used in a variety of ways. The theme is not designed to replace true and proper web design, ergo it is not tailored to suit a specifc niche, nor complement distinctive content. However, depending on your explicit or non-explicit purposes, the design might find a good home.


The prerequisites

Like all creative processes, it started with an idea. While I am a great fan of minimalistic designs, I also admire complex and graphically intense web compositions. The only prerequisite was that it doesn’t take ages to load and that the total size of the graphics doesn’t add up to an enormous sum that would only enable those with mighty speedy internet connections to work. That was the only aspect I had to keep in mind to get started.

The design process

I had decided on going with a simple two column layout. No fancy modular or column grid, but a simple hierarchical grid like the majority of blogs use. As a page’s length is variable, it was clear that only the content that is extra but not mandantory could reside at the bottom of the page. So all navigational aids (such as categories or friends’ links) as well as a “most discussed” feature would take their position at the very end of the page.


Because I wanted to keep it as elementary as possible and void content clutter, it was clear to me to do away with too many features that would blur instead of sharpen the reader’s perception when visiting the site. Hence, I kept it rather simple and thus set aside the left column for featured content and the right column to display the newest blog entries.

Here11 you have the result of my humble efforts (preview) and here12 you can download the theme for free.

Special requirements

The theme is built with WordPress 2.5.1 and is only partially backwards compatible. The theme also works with WordPress 2.6. As this theme uses a few .png files, it is recommended that you make sure that the image paths to these are correct (for IE6). You find the two CSS rules in the ie.css file inside your theme folder. The theme can be used with or without widgets (below the fold).

Last but not least…

We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists. You may not know it yet, but we might feature you in one of our upcoming posts.

If you would like to release a high-quality free font, a WordPress-theme, some wallpapers or an icon-set please contact us13 — we would like to support you (both financially and with the broad coverage on Smashing Magazine).


  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/smashing-freebies/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wp-fun-large.jpg
  3. 3 http://rockatee.com
  4. 4 http://www.chihhang.com
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wp-fun-large.jpg
  6. 6 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wp-fun-large.jpg
  7. 7 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wordpress-fun.zip
  8. 8 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wordpress-fun-source-files.zip
  9. 9 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wp-fun-large.jpg
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/featured.jpg
  11. 11 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wp-fun-large.jpg
  12. 12 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/wordpress-theme-fun/wordpress-fun.zip
  13. 13 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/contact/index.php/form

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    Josh Gutteridge

    July 18, 2008 8:57 am

    This is amazing! Thanks

  2. 102

    Wow !!! very hard work.

    I will try to rebuild the image using the images in /themes/WordpressFun/images folder. After that I wil use fireworks to try to make a template.

    Its much more easy to make changes this way.

    Thanks again for your support.

  3. 203

    Sehr schön gelungen. Vielen Dank für die tolle Arbeit!

  4. 304

    Sorry don’t understand how to put in the archive page :(

  5. 405

    Hi, I love this theme for my new personal blog. However, I want to translate the titles to spanish and change the image and the logo. I’ve tried to edit the PSD but I can’t find the text layers, so I don’t know how to do it. I use Pixelmator and not Photoshop but it’s more or less the same.

    I hope anyone can help me or send me those text layers at fesjav a gmail dot com

    thanks a lot

  6. 506

    OMG! i can’t believe this theme is free! Thanks

  7. 607

    I won´t use it, but it´s a great theme

  8. 708

    if you interested in this theme but 2 column only you can get it at slimmity.com

  9. 809

    wow this is absolutely a great WP theme! love the textures and the line patterns! :)

  10. 910

    Very nice and creative WP theme! i like it.

  11. 1011

    This is very nice theme, but it needs own hosting, how can I add to wordpress blog

  12. 1112

    Thanks for this beautiful theme. The illustration of the cartoon on the header is superb.

  13. 1213

    Hey Maleika Attawel,

    First of all, great theme, just what I was looking for (sorta hehe). Amazing skills you have :)

    Now to my little problem…Its about the categories section. I use it and i use it with hierarchy as true. Problem is, that it puts huge spaces between child categories…

    Here is my blog : My Blog

    I dont really know what i am doing wrong..Without hierarchy thingy it works. I hope you reply.

    Thnx, and again well done on the template!


  14. 1314

    Hey Maleika Attawel,

    Another wee little thingy, i dont understand what you guys mean by selecting the archives page? Sorry. Can you explain?


  15. 1415

    Hi. This is very nice stuff. I’m working to convert it into blogger xml layout. I’m doing it for my reader, sell it, or maybe for I use in my other blog.

    Thanks to share it..

  16. 1516

    Maleika Attawel

    July 21, 2008 4:34 pm


    the unordered lists in the footer area (below the fold) have a fixed height, meaning if you nest another list within it, it will inherit the height of your parent unordered list. So, if you want to have a hierarchical list, change the code in the stylesheet (/themes/themename/style.css). Alter the following code:

    .sub-container .category ul {

    To this:
    .sub-container .category ul {

    That should fix it.

    If you create a page, you can choose which template you want to use with it. In the dropdown, there is a page entitled “Archives”. Use that one. :)

  17. 1617

    Hey Maleika,

    Thank you for replying with the solution, exceelllentt! Both problems are fixed now. I do however now know that i wont be using the fix for the categories thing, cause if i have too many categories… it will mess up your beautifull design :) But thanks !

    its always nice to se a designer give some support :) Thank you for this!


  18. 1718

    great for your part!!!!!!!!!! thanks a lot for be there!! saludos desde españa!!

  19. 1819

    Great WORK !!!!

    But can someone explain why in de index the template display the normal link and in de singlei press a item, the Colum-one.php gets messed up and the url get outside the box

    Cant see the sollution over here?

  20. 1920

    Awesome theme!!! Does anybody know where I can see a live preview of it and not just the image?

  21. 2021

    Perfect theme, Tank you!

  22. 2122

    What a beautiful WordPress theme and it s free! Props for that, Smashing Magazine!

  23. 2223

    This is why I love you guys ;)

  24. 2324

    Problem with Theme

    July 26, 2008 4:20 pm

    Hello, I love the theme, but I’m getting an error message under the most discussed area:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function: get_mostcommented() in /….removed…./wp-content/themes/WordPressFun/extra-content-two.php on line 7

    Is there another plugin needed or something I need to enable somewhere?

  25. 2425

    Problem with Theme

    July 27, 2008 2:19 am

    Yea im receiving same error,

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_mostcommented() in wp-contentthemesWordPressFunextra-content-two.php on line 7

    Can you help me?

  26. 2526

    That’s a great theme, I love it very much…
    thanks for sharing~~

  27. 2627

    Problem with Theme (July 27th, 2008, 2:19 am)

    Yea im receiving same error,

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_mostcommented() in wp-contentthemesWordPressFunextra-content-two.php on line 7

    Can you help me?

    Hey you must use the plugin wp-mostcommentedposts and add tag in the first line of file extra-content-two.php

    apologise for my English because I am Brazilian and I do not know about the language. I hope I have helped!

  28. 2728

    Hi Peeps,

    Thanks Maleika(she makes awesome looking themes, check out the ones on Sitepoint) for making this theme, ChinHang Chung, and Smashing Mag for giving it out for free!

    How do you get an image to appear in the Featured section…? Can’t make it work. I put one @ the beginning of my post but that didn’t work…

    The contact form is not aligned… is there an easy way to fix this? And I have those “bookmark me”(Social Bookmarks Plugin) graphics/links… under Featured they balloon up and show up vertically… check out http://yoonhoum.com and you’ll see what I mean. Guess I’ll go with ShareThis or use the other bookmarking plugin…

    Thanks again
    God Bless,

  29. 2829

    i changed something in the colors and got a new mascot, this is the result: [http://www.tvsuperhero.com]

  30. 2930

    thanks a lot!

  31. 3031


    July 31, 2008 10:32 am

    omg is wonderful!! thank you very much!

  32. 3132


    August 1, 2008 8:49 am

    hmm.. thank you very much. usefull information

  33. 3233

    Super. It took almost a day to find this info. Thanks, great job. :)

  34. 3334

    I love this theme – I’ve played with it a lot to get it looking more like I want, but now I have a major problem – there’s no “Leave a Comment” or any way for readers to comment on my blog! I’m not sure what I messed up, but is there a way to fix it?


  35. 3435

    Brenda Nicholson

    August 5, 2008 6:53 pm

    How do I replace “wordpress.fun” with my blog name? Sorry I didn’t understand the instructions regarding the logo (above).

    BTW – I love this theme, and overall have found it very easy to install, and I am not techy at all.

  36. 3536

    busy dog sun trust tree yahoo ocean see sun

  37. 3637

    I don’t think the designer has bought an extended license for the use of the illustation on this theme, Why? because if he or she was planning to sell it or actually sold it at Sitepoint, he(she) must be selling it as a single templates full rights obviously but not for mass distribution and SmashingMagazine Didn’t notice this ;)

    You might want to ask and clarify this guys because if not someone is going ot get into trouble ;)

    Just my suggestion.

  38. 3738

    Well I do want someone to clarify this before using the theme, because if it’s Violating copyright laws then I dont want it, but I love it actually.

    kari, there is no violating of copyright laws. please don’t post false accusations. (Editor)

  39. 3839

    that is really cool… maybe i will change my theme to this.. thanks…

  40. 3940

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 10, 2008 12:14 am

    @all: for clarification: The main illustration (Teen Blogger (Punk Boy)) was created by ChinHang Chung and purchased by Smashing Magazine from iStockPhoto with the extended license “Electronic Items for Resale (unlimited run)”. Therefore the illustration is redistrubited legally.

  41. 4041

    This is a brilliant theme! Well done.

    Just wanted to let you know I’ve added it to http://www.bestwpthemes.com, a collection of the best of the best WordPress themes available today.

  42. 4142

    Having problems with this theme not loading some background images (bg, and div bgs), I’ve checked and double checked the files uploaded properly and CSS links are correct. Hmmm… :-/

  43. 4243

    I’m using this theme and i have little problems, maybe because i’m a newbie.
    1) My main problem is that the codes are displayed on previews. Normaly, you don’t see them.
    2) I have read the readme.txt but i don’t succed to display the thumb in the small square.

    You can see that in “Ceci est un test” on my website: http://www.wakatrip.com

    Regards for your help and thank you ;)

  44. 4344

    wow.. nice theme. i luv it.

    but the featured post section looks dull.. unlike the post on the right section..

    thanx for sharing! :)

  45. 4445

    Hi myadlan,
    I don’t finish to change the skin but the more important is to resolve bugs of display for the moment. http://www.wakatrip.com

  46. 4546

    Thanks for share it :)

  47. 4647

    Ok that’s fine i resolve it.
    Is anyone having problems with the thumbs?…I don’t succed to put a picture in the square.

    Thank you.

  48. 4748

    I seem to have the same issue as Beatnik. I just cannot get the thumbs to work.

    I have followed the instructions in the readme file and
    1) created a custom field withe the key thumb
    2) created the following value:

    And when i go to the page i only see the alt text “test” in thumb area.

    What do i do wrong here?

    Thanks in advance


  49. 4849

    Ouups, in the post above the value disappeared. Sorry. Here it is.

  50. 4950

    Happy to not be alone David ;)
    I’ve try a lot a things and no thumb finaly….The guy who find the solution will be the king of this topic!


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