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

    Ich finde das Design großartig, aber wie kann ich die featured article anzeigen lassen? Bei mir bleibt der Bereich leer. Bitte um Antwort!

    Gruß, Sascha

  2. 252

    This may be a dumb question, but for the images like “contact”, etc. How do I add my own email so when the person clicks the image, they end up sending an email to me?


  3. 503

    Danke für das Design. Nutze es in meinem neuem Blog.
    Liebe grüße von Lübeck nach Lübeck

  4. 754

    Love this theme but am wondering if there is a way to make the extra columns at the bottom (Categories, Most Discussed, Links) extend down as you add text in there. It seems as though I am limited to only 9 categories and if I create more categories than that the category list extends down but the grey background in the Categories box does not extend. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  5. 1005

    It’s very cool, I like it.

  6. 1256

    Cool design. I like it lots. Thanks

  7. 1507

    hi there… i really loved your theme.. a loooootttt…. =)
    i was wondering, how do i change th home page font “wordpress for fun” into my blog tittle….
    and also change some of the widget…..
    you have to excuse me… i’m a newbie….
    please help….

  8. 1758

    What do I need to do in order to get the homepage thumbnails to display? I created a Custom Field called “thumb” and added the link to the 125×125 image, but it displays the image name in text.

  9. 2009

    This is a great theme. The only problem I am having is the archive page. I’ve created a page named “archives” w/ the archives theme set for that page. I cant get it to show up when you click the archive button in the navigation bar. When I click that button is says the archive page address is “http://fiala06.com/?page_id=18″ when its actally “http://fiala06.com/archives”.

    Site: http://www.fiala06.com
    Any thoughts? Thanks

  10. 2260

    Hello, I am using your theme but I have a small problem with the featured post item. It is working, but not properly. It won’t show the latest items from a certain category, it just shows the latest posts in general, alltho I think i got the coding right.
    Can you maybe help me?
    This is what I’ve got; ‘?cat=17=featured&showposts=5′

  11. 2511

    Hello ….
    You can use a nice theme ….
    Can I ask you something …??

    Posting images on the left sidebar and featured parts Why’d you want to know

  12. 2762

    I uploaded your theme to wordpress and was messing with the widgets. I can not figure out how to get any desired widgets to show on the page. The only sidebar content is what was coded in php – nothing from wordpress will show. How do I add widgets to the sidebar on this theme?


  13. 3013

    Thanks for a great theme.

    In order to get the pictures work in Featured, you need to add this code into colum-one.php

    ID, $key, true); ?>

    My version is at http://www.clausbonne.com/wordpress

  14. 3264

    Im using this template and i find some minor bug, in the index.php the post is recovery with the and the quotes like “” are not showing so some plugins dont work like wp-syntax.

    If you click in the post you can see correctly so i change in the index the for

    Best Regards.

  15. 3515

    your page very nice. Thanks

  16. 3766

    I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of the font used for the title logo? I love the theme but would just like to re-title the logo in the same font.

  17. 4017

    Hmm, nice name for a theme.

  18. 4268

    thanks. really nice. i like it soooo much

  19. 4519

    Very very very nice

  20. 4770

    i use this theme for my blog…wat is d space left for friends & links, its always empty for me…could u pls tel me hw i could manipulate dat space n use it for some other purpose or atlest how do i fill it?…my blog: musicshunt.blogspot.com
    thank you so much in advance!!

  21. 5021

    Though this theme looks great, from the perspective of somebody who is now going through the back end, THE GUY WHO BUILT IT WAS RETARDED. I have never seen such a restrictive overly complex system. It takes advantage of very little of what makes wordpress user friendly in its refusal to be compatible with the widget system and the blatant disregard for the fact that if you want other people to use your theme, YOU NEED TO MAKE IT FLEXABLE. Then to make things worse, it requires several plugins that really have nothing to do with what makes a blog design great. I’ve pretty much had to rebuild half the stuff you did, and after redesigning the colour scheme and graphics, I am giving you NO CREDIT.

  22. 5272

    First I would like to thank you for this excellent theme.

    However I have one small issue with it. At the moment I am running WordPress 3.3.1 and when I make a post with pictures in it the layout is distorted when I actually click on the image. This obviously does not happen when I remove the link from the image.

    I guess that WordPress has it’s own way of navigation through images in a post marked as “Gallery” that does not work well with this theme.

    There is a workaround for this, if you force it to open in a different window but I would like to have people cycle the images on the site just like it works with the default WordPress theme.

    Any input is appreciated.

  23. 5523

    I love the theme!!! … and I am excited to get to work with it, but when I try to install the ZIP file, I get the message:

    The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet.

    I have installed 2 other themes “trying them out” for this site and had no issues.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


    P.S. I tried unzipping the file, rezipping it, editing the style sheet and rezipping, and I can see it.

  24. 5774

    Read the ReadMe :)
    For your Archives page, Edit the page and use the archive template (on the right, under the save button)

  25. 6025

    Make sure the path is correct, usually that’s the source of the problem. Good luck!

  26. 6276

    to make the images appear, make sure to use the img src code in your extra field – once you create the “thumb” extra field, input it something like this –

    Put the full path just to be safe, and you should be good to go. Took me a bit to figure that one out :)

  27. 6527

    The easiest way would be to edit the image “logo.gif” and change it to say something else. It has a transparent background, so if you make a new image make sure to make it .gif or .png with a transparent background, with the same name. Just overwrite the old image file.

    Hope that helps!

  28. 6778

    Really a nice theme but extra column is used that is decreasing its beauty

  29. 7029

    VERY new to WordPress. Using this theme for my webpage and I love it BUT I need to add my cpomany logo where the name of the site shows up in the top header. I don’t really know anything about CSS or coding. Sounds like people in prior posts have tried but are having issues.Any help you can provide to do this would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully you have an updated version with this and a custom header image coming soon! Thanks.


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