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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! Link

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

Requirements Link

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

Features Link

  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 Link

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) Link

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.

Footnotes Link

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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 UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Frank Sesselmann

    August 22, 2009 4:12 am

    Pretty amazing… I like that theme. Just searching for something to use :)

  2. 2

    great great job ! maybe useful later ;-) ! good stuff as usual…

  3. 3

    August 22, 2009 4:50 am

    The link to Sarah Neuber is incorrect

  4. 4

    Yeah, I notised that too. Here you go:

  5. 5

    Great stuff !!! Very useful. I’ve linked that via my blog here

  6. 6

    Thank you, Sarah!

  7. 7

    Especially for smashing magazine????

    I just bought this over at Themeforest?

    Seems a little unfair?

  8. 8

    Heh, the color scheme would make it a great M*A*S*H multimedia blog. It’s a great looking theme, nice work Sarah.

    @Gavin: Can you provide a link to the theme in question at ThemeForest?

  9. 9

    Gavin: Please note the reduced features on this one! Look for them in the features.pdf (click on “Take a tour” on the demo)

    The 2 themes are not the same. Therefore the release here on Smashing Mag. is especially for the smashing magazine readers. Plus the free version comes without any support except the help file

    Brian: the link to Multimedia theme on Theme Forest can be found on my site.

  10. 10

    Omg. Amazing theme. very nice Thaks

  11. 11

    nice one , i will transform it to Arabic language soon .

    • 12

      Hi imad,

      are you from Egypt ?

      its sarah aniston here from Norway

      are you living in Australia ?

      • 13

        Hi sarah aniston,

        I think i know you !! but still not sure , i was friend of Imad sid ….. yes imad sid was living in Australia- Brisbane , but he is now back to Egypt.

      • 14

        lol ! , i dont live in Egypt or australia
        I am Algerian , and i live in Algeria =)

  12. 15

    I’ve always admired your web work, Sarah, and it’s so generous of you to release a free version of such a great theme. Danke schön!

  13. 16

    The theme was not “especially” DESIGNED for SM, it was DESIGNED for and sold on Themeforest.

    a VERSION (With fewer features) was then made available here.

  14. 17

    @Gavin – what’s your point?

  15. 18

    Not designed especially for SM

  16. 19

    I can see Gavin’s point. All of the other releases were specifically for SM (…I think. I really haven’t looked into it.) but this seems more like an afterthought release; I’d also be a little irritated too if I purchased something and then a few days later it’s released free “especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.”

  17. 20

    Dont get me wrong, this is a GREAT 5 star theme! Even without some of the features and support (Which has been 5 star to).

    Just would have been nice to know this was going to be released, so I could have played around with it and then probably bought it, as I have been talking to Sarah (The author).

    And to see it was designed especially for SM, the author must have known it was going to come out now and could have told me.

  18. 21

    Smashing Editorial

    August 22, 2009 10:10 am

    The theme was designed specifically for Smashing Magazine from the very beginning – we’ve set the requirements and ideas for the theme. As far as I can see, an advanced version of the theme is being sold on Themeforest.

  19. 22

    pretty cheap looking

  20. 23

    I have a problem. I’ve installed the theme but it doesn’t seem to be working, as you can see
    Can anyone tell me what the problem is?

  21. 24

    I would probably be pissed if I purchased this theme without knowing a free version of it would be released here…

    Thanks for releasing the theme though SM, your free resources are always appreciated.

  22. 25

    This theme looks great, but no amount of fiddling with it get it to actually work.
    the demo data all shows up, but no navigation on featured posts work nor do any of the rollovers for the images on the front page.
    Pity… it’s pretty

  23. 26

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    August 22, 2009 12:54 pm

    meh, I am underwhelmed, and I do not like it. Too much ‘design’ for something that might look nice on paper, but in reality doesn’t really work. Sorry, better luck next time.

  24. 27

    I saw this theme on the ThemesForest and now Sarah and SM gave it out for free. Thank you you guys very much. I really like the theme.

  25. 28

    This theme is not playing nicely with Dreamhost at all!

    “Fatal error: Only variables can be passed by reference”
    “Warning: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration…”
    “failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found”
    “Warning: Division by zero”…

    Anyone have any tips?

  26. 29

    You should correct the filename of smashingMultiMedia_smapleData.xml :)

  27. 30

    Isn’t releasing the ‘same’ (similar) theme thats already been sold on theme forrest against the terms and conditions?

  28. 31

    Pretty sweet. I was just talking to someone yesterday that was needing a WP theme for some of their videos. :-)

  29. 32

    Great theme! Although I would recommend doing another proof-read. Quite a few typos, and the manual (help.pdf) was pretty sparse and the sample data had a few typos in the “Splash Media Images” so I had to do some fixings in here. All in all I would give this 5 stars regardless!

  30. 33

    super cool! :)

  31. 34

    The theme looks amazing but that’s where it stops. There are many issues to fix, I think this is worth downloading the PSD but that’s it. This theme lacks good programming to make it useful.

  32. 35

    Really very beautiful and useful.
    Thank you.

  33. 36

    This is damn good XD

  34. 37

    looks superb. Thanks.

  35. 38

    Like doctaco has said, I couldn’t get the rollovers on the front page to work.

  36. 39

    I upload the theme but it seems not working!

  37. 40

    I can’t seem to make podcasts work.I’m using the Podcasting plugin and the theme tells me no media was found.

  38. 41

    If anyone can get the rollovers to work, please post the fix. I’ve reloaded the theme twice and done a clean install of all the plugins. My stylesheet matches the demo exactly so there must be some option I haven’t properly set.

  39. 42

    wooooooooo its great

  40. 43

    Has anyone been able to install and get this theme to actually function?
    I just registered a fresh domain, did a completely fresh WP install and installed the theme and sample data following the directions to the letter.
    Still have same issues of no roll overs and no navigation between the featured posts.

    I did send a note to the dev with a link and the issues, but don’t know how much support we will get since it’s a free theme. If anyone has it functioning properly can you post up a link and any changes you made to get it to function?

  41. 44

    Hmmm, I can’t seem to post the fix here, but I figured it out.
    There are several javascript includes that the author has in footer.php on her demo that are not included in the downloaded theme.
    I tried to post the relevant code here, but SM didn’t seem to like it. Just check out the demo and look for all the JS includes after the link back to the authors site, change the domain to your own and everything will start to work.

    edit: she has an include for slideshow.js which doesn’t seem to exist, add that one out, and there is no reason that I can find that this code can’t go in the header, that’s where I just moved it and it improved loading.

  42. 45

    doctaco is a genius!!! His fix of copying the js includes in the demo footer source did the trick. Now it works like a charm, rollovers and all. I was almost ready to buy a $59 alternative. Thanks doctaco!

  43. 46

    HA! Glad that helped out Mark. All I did was go through the source of the demo and the source of my server with diff. Took a while since they are not exactly the same because of the plugins etc, but it was pretty obvious once I got to the very bottom of the page! Wish I had started there and worked backwards ;)

    It’s a pretty sweet theme I tell ya. I really like the look of the paid version, because I want to do some traditional blogging as well and it has support for a few other things that I would dig (like big footers) but I’m going to see what I can do with this one, because it is pretty slick. Props to the author for the theme for sure.
    Shame on her and smashingmagazine for not doing any QA on the release they put out though, this would have been pretty easy to catch before publishing if someone had just done a clean install.

  44. 47

    I can see the idea of cross selling your Themeforest theme by releasing a simpler modified version through SM. I don’t see anything wrong with this approach except that SM readers are offended that the author already has this theme for sale at Themeforest. I would suggest that SM can come up with some strict guidelines on its theme releases so that we can prevent such cross selling hacks. Normally we expect no parallels for SM theme releases and hope to see more such great themes continually being released through SM that are not found anywhere else except for SM. That would be nice. But since WordPress is GPL any author can technically provide the theme on GPL license anywhere on the web including the theme directory. Themeforest is clever by circumventing this GPL issue by stating in a separate license agreement that only the wordpress code is GPL but all other things like CSS, JS, Images etc that are created by the theme author are commercial licensed and so you have to pay for it. Well it is a long standing debate and so far no clear skies ahead.

  45. 48

    I’m testing the theme. I find it slow when it loads up. Will someone confirm this experience on their servers?

  46. 49

    Premium Theme Info

    August 23, 2009 6:28 pm

    I just can’t believe this is a free theme. Thanks for sharing the theme. and you can get more themes in my blog if you like

  47. 50

    looks sweet, don’t know about the technical aspects though.

  48. 51

    Not sure if I really like it. Seems a bit too much after all, although it is very beautifully built. Still looking for a slick, functional WP photoblog theme.

  49. 52

    @vic it’s pretty slow when it loads with all the test data, video’s from vimeo etc and I think a few of the images end up getting pulled from the authors site (or at least they are referenced there instead of locally in the post data).
    If you clean up the posts data it will load much faster.

    Also make sure you’ve fixed the missing javascripts issue (and only included the ones in use) this can have an appreciable affect on load time.

  50. 53

    ok. installed it over wamp server and there is a problem with php tags. parts of code like are rendered literally (for example: <- this is code is taken from ‘view page source’ window, not from php file).

    i suppose i have to change all <?= to <?php echo … will retest it tomorrow


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