Free Podcasting, Video and Photography WordPress Theme


(Update: 15/11/2009): the theme was updated.

In this post we are glad to release Smashing Multimedia, a unique, flexible and advanced WordPress theme for artists, photographers, podcasters, designers and users. The theme was designed by Sarah Neuber1 especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Multimedia WordPress Theme2

Download the theme for free!

Smashing Multimedia was designed especially for podcasters, photographers and users who can now easily embed videos and images, rate them and showcase them in their own WordPress-based blog. It has a parent theme and an easily customizable child theme. This WordPress Theme comes with layered PSD source files3, a visual help guide and is fully localized ready for you to translate it into your target language.

The theme is released under GPL. You can use it for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. Please link to this post if you want to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish.

Multimedia WordPress Theme4


  • The GD library due to the custom written resizing script for the
    splash images.
  • PHP 5
  • PHP Allow URL fopen: ON


  1. Easy media embed method, with shortcodes in the post content area or use a media plugin of your choice (supported are YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video,, Veoh, Viddler and Revver),
  2. Feature any post, any category – the easy way – just make them sticky! Why restrict yourself to one featured category when you can have the freedom to pick and choose any post from any category to feature!
  3. Choose and put together your Site’s Main Navigation without touching the code in the template files. All available options are right there for you included in the Theme Options.
  4. Choose and put together your Site’s Category Navigation (appears in sidebar) without touching the code in the template files. Again, all available options are right there for you included in the Theme Options.
  5. Choose the type of splash image for your media posts: sliding or static splash image. Do the same indepently for Category pages.
  6. Choose the type of post teaser (the usual excerpt or text from the content) to appear on multible post pages and customize it’s word limit through theme options. The word limit can be adjusted independently for sticky (featured) posts or multimedia posts on the front page and on category pages.
  7. Subpages appear dynamically in sidebar when created
  8. Related posts: if there are any, appear in the single page sidebar. How many should appear is set by you from the theme options
  9. 8 Independent widget areas: front page seperator (1) just below the featured area, front page (1 – index), category(1), archive (1 – daily, monthly, yearly, author and tag archives share the same widgets), single (1), page (1), search (1), 404 (1).
  10. Security: 2 common sense security precautions already hooked in just for you; hidden login page error feedback and hidden WordPress version number,
  11. Preventing Spam: a useful little function to deny Comment Posting to No Referrer Requests
  12. Extra goodies: cformsII styles, wp-Pagenavi, wp-PostRatings, WP125: Easy 125×125 Ad Management For WordPress styles included, show your last tweet (shows on the front page and can be removed and replaced by any plugin of your choice so in other words you are not stuck with it if you don’t like it), Social share media, Feedburner Rss and Email, Follow on Twitter, “Give it a Tweet” call to action to your readers, styles for threaded comments (if enabled), seperated comments and trackbacks (appear in animated dropdown), styled admin comments, custom avatar image for when your users don’t have their own!
  13. …and even more features!10 (pdf)

Further screenshots

The slide show navigation at the top of the theme in the Multimedia WordPress Theme.

Category view in the Multimedia WordPress Theme.

The sidebar in the Multimedia WordPress Theme.

Update (24/08/2009)

The problem with the js is fixed. It was the missing call to the wp_footer(); also, removed the js file that was not needed. Please make sure when you import the sample data that you check the “Download Attachments” when importing!

Everyone has their own opinion of what constitues a decent free WordPress Theme which I appreciate.

In view of that, you may not be particularly excited about the colour, font or other design choices ( including spelling ;) ) and you may decide, as some of you have already done so, to express this in your comments below.

While you do so, it is my sincere wish that some of you may take a moment and appreciate the effort that went into things like: the Theme Options, the custom write panels, the custom video shortcodes, that if I may add output valid html code, and the time taken to write and comment out, what I believe is, decent html/css code.”

Thank you very much, Sarah! We really appreciate your efforts.


  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Love it except for the lightbox. Would really love to see a decent photo gallery in wordpress that functions like facebook and myspace photo galleries.. ie next photo loads in same page, clicking on image goes to next image. link back to albums.. Finding that has been like the holy grail.

  2. 52

    ok. installed it over wamp server and there is a problem with php tags. parts of code are rendered literally.
    i changed all <?= to <?php echo … and it works fine

  3. 103

    When I install, I get this:

    Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

    Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  4. 154

    I think the theme is ok and id give it 4/5 – The problems about rollovers etc are easy to fix and Im grateful for a elegant theme available for free via smashingmagazine.

    If this was for sale at ThemeForest before so what?

    If you bought it on that site apparently it has a few more features than this free version.

    It seems people are forgetting that smashingmagazine doesn’t have to give anything away for free its a privilege not a requirement.

    Saying that I have no use for this theme :-)

    — nlvq .com

  5. 205

    i didnt install. i use the instruction

    but i see that

    Fatal error: Class ‘WP_Widget’ not found in C:wampwwwncwp-contentthemessmashingMultiMediafunctions.php on line 1626

    please help

  6. 256

    I can get everything to work except the ratings. They appear but don’t respond to rollovers. There must be an include I haven’t found. If anyone has solved it, please post the fix. Thanks,

  7. 307

    really cool theme

  8. 358

    @mark, make sure you read the stuff in the documents folder.
    You need to install and activate the ratings plugin and change the options based on what the author has in her screen shots, see the bottom of the help PDF.

  9. 409

    Soo nice!

  10. 460

    I also had to change all <?= to <?php echo but now it works fine


  11. 511

    Well, I love the theme and want to use it, but I keep getting the following stupid error… “Fatal error: Only variables can be passed by reference in…/functions.php”.

  12. 562

    wow. please keep the free wp themes coming. this one is GREAT!

  13. 613

    thanks for great theme

  14. 664

    I dont know, in WordPress 2.8.4 everything is falling apart, and a lot of stuff is missing.
    I mean what is the point, I have feeeling that this theme is not complete…
    Thx for the effort.

  15. 715

    Baran Cezayirlioglu

    September 1, 2009 6:27 am

    Thanks for this great theme. As a free wordpress theme it’s perfect. I use this theme for my video blog cgbaran tube. I only have problems with wp-page navi. It doesn’t work on index page

  16. 766

    Wow, that is amazing. I suppose anythings great if you don’t have to pay for it!

  17. 817

    Excellent theme, just like one I am working on for a video podcast, you just give me some nice ideas, but I don’t thing I could make such great work you’ve done here.
    Anyway Thanks for the theme

  18. 868

    Well, I love the theme and want to use it, but I keep getting the following stupid error… “Fatal error: Only variables can be passed by reference in…/functions.php”

  19. 919

    Anyone able to help? I seem to have the same problem as obiwan667 and possibly jafar, where I am getting a Fatal error message in reference to the WP_Widget in the functions.php.

    Any help on what is wrong woul dbe much appreciated. :)


  20. 970

    great just what i was looking for, 2bad colours ar are aful. i reminds me of diarrhea

  21. 1021

    I’ve been using pixelpost for my photoblog at but i’m being attacked by spammers, ALOT! And i cant find any good way to stop them with pixelpost so i think am going to switch to wp now. And this might just be the theme that i need for my blog! thank you :)

  22. 1072

    Hey Sarah!! Das ist doch ein super theme, echt klasse, danke dass du es mit uns geteilt hast, tschüss!!

  23. 1123

    This looks awesome, is there any way you can convert this to use on Blogger or is there one similar already that I could use?

  24. 1174

    I’m new at this. Is there a way to change the color scheme of blog by changing the color codes?

  25. 1225

    I am getting the following error when I use this theme, can you help?

    apache2: WordPress database error You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘ASC’ at line 1 for query SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE (post_type = ‘page’ AND post_status = ‘publish’) ORDER BY ASC made by require, require_once, include, get_header, locate_template, load_template, require_once, wp_page_menu, wp_list_pages, get_pages

  26. 1276

    sooo nice! good work….look fantastic!!

  27. 1327

    You people did a Great Job Keep it up!

  28. 1378

    Thankyou so much for this theme!

    As a designer/coder myself I know what kind of work goes into designing and developing a wordpress theme.

    It’s amazing! Great features and layout.

  29. 1429

    same problem of other people “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting ‘]’ in / home/storage/9/e1/64/semeare/public_html/milkmidia/wp-content/themes/smashingMultiMedia/functions.php online 1673 ”

    Can someone help me? Really like to use this theme.

  30. 1480

    hi, i like this theme, looks pretty great but as i’m testing it seems that the footer does not load on category pages,tag pages and search pages. On the demo it’s ok, i followed the install instructions and haven’t made any changes to any files, so i’m stuck… can anyone help? thanks.

  31. 1531

    JJ — here’s the fix for the “Fatal error: Only variables can be passed by reference in…/functions.php”

    Original Code
    $comments_by_type = &separate_comments(get_comments(‘post_id=’ . $id));

    Replace to:

    $get_comments= get_comments(‘post_id=’ . $id);
    $comments_by_type = &separate_comments($get_comments);

    Hope this helps!

  32. 1582

    this theme looks nice but it’s has 2 critical points:

    1. a case with Gavin it’s unfair – you need to change bitween selling the theme and spreading this one for free….

    2. this theme is difficult to setup as compared with other free themes so the lack of any suppport (even here in comments) looks like bad idea

  33. 1633

    I see this error when i tried to activate/preview this theme, could somebody help?

    WordPress database error You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘ASC’ at line 1 for query SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE (post_type = ‘page’ AND post_status = ‘publish’) ORDER BY ASC made by require, require_once, include, get_header, locate_template, load_template, require_once, wp_page_menu, wp_list_pages, get_pages

  34. 1684

    Warning: file(): Unable to access /hsphere/local/home/kyrrido/ Files/style.css in /hsphere/local/home/kyrrido/ on line 180 Warning: file(/hsphere/local/home/kyrrido/ Files/style.css): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /hsphere/local/home/kyrrido/ on line 180 Warning: implode(): Bad arguments. in /hsphere/local/home/kyrrido/ on line 180

    how do i make this work ? please help, i love this theme

  35. 1735

    first of all I want to congratulate you on a great theme.

    I am curious, can’t you make several child themes with different color styles?

    For example make 1 black, 1 blue, etc……

    Thank you.

  36. 1786

    This theme may look great but the theme is a mess. I am disappointed at SMG for allowing this to be a freebie!

    Honestly, by not fixing the huge amount of problems with this theme, your degrading yourself.

    People are gonna see this freebie, see how messed up it is and chances they want to buy anything from you is low.

  37. 1837

    ]: Unable to open ‘wp-content/uploads/image-183//DSCF42731-269×360.jpg’ for writing: No such file or directory in C:wampwwwwp-contentthemessmashingMultiMediafunctions.php on line 562

    why am i getting this?

    • 1888

      I’m also getting the same error as Malcolm for the images..

      “Warning: imagejpeg() [function.imagejpeg]: Unable to open ‘wp-content/uploads/image-442//image.jpg’ for writing: No such file or directory in /home/****/****.com/wp-content/themes/smashingMultiMedia/functions.php on line 562

      I notice the double /’s but can’t seem to find how to correct this. Any ideas?

  38. 1939

    I managed to get something out of the theme:

    … would like more themes like this! Thanks Sarah & Smashingmagazine!

  39. 1990

    Looks nice, gotta love holy sheep :P

  40. 2041

    I think it could become one of the nominated theme for my new photography blog.

    I like the lay-out.

  41. 2092

    Typically I Would Agree with This Post
    I however can’t. I’m usually a avid reader of this site however am pretty dissapointed in this posting.

  42. 2143

    I am getting errors

    First I cannot get the video to change by clicking on an older post.

    Warning: file_get_contents
    Warning: getimagesize(×3.jpg) [function.getimagesize]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in D:…

    Any help would be much appriciated…thanks

  43. 2194

    The theme will not install for me either I get an implode error() line 180…..

    I really wanted to test this out to see if it would work for my site prior to purchasing the paid version:(

  44. 2245

    I know people are upset that the theme did not work for all as expected.

    I truly apologize for this and I want to let everyone know that I have just handed over an updated version of the theme to SM. I would have liked to have done it sooner however I did not manage for whole lot of reasons.

    Point is, I am truly very sorry that many were dissapointed but I know the update will make up for it.

    There are some requirements though for the theme to run so please check the features.psd to make sure your host meets them!

    I’m sure SM will somehow make sure that when the update is up, it will be noted visibly somewhere in the post so you’ll know you get the update and not the old version.

  45. 2296

    Hello anyone to help me error :

    Fatal error: Only variables can be passed by reference in /home/caube0/public_html/hoangnacom/Blog/wp-content/themes/smashingMultiMedia/functions.php on line 132

  46. 2347

    Hoang, if you email me over my site, I can give you the updated files

    • 2398

      I am getting this error, and I am so desperate…I’ve spent hours. Any ideas how to fix this?

      Unable to open ‘wp-content/uploads/image-183//IMG_3616.jpg’ for writing: No such file or directory in /home2/onelivi1/public_html/wp-content/themes/smashingMultiMedia/functions.php on line 569

  47. 2449

    Impressive Article , I thought it was phenomenal

    I look forward to more innovative postings like this one. Does Your Blog have a newsletter I can subscribe to for new posts?

  48. 2500

    i have tried this theme. good stuff. like it so much. but when i choose a category view, the sidebar is missing, could someone help me in this? tq

  49. 2551

    hi, has anyone tried to use the front page separator widget area…i’m assuming this is the same area where “Hello! Take a tour or go ahead and download the theme here. Yeah, it’s Free!” is written in the demo. I’d like to add the same are with different text obviously, to the front page, but i can’t seem to figure out how to do that. i’ve gone to the widget area on the dashboard and i’ve dragged the text widget into the front page separator widget area but nothing shows up on my page.

    any help WOULD BE GREAT!!!! :-)

  50. 2602

    How do you go about getting thumbnails for video on the non-featured posts at the bottom of the index page?


↑ Back to top