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Free HTML 4.01/HTML5 WordPress Theme: Spectacular


Today we release Spectacular, a free WordPress theme that aims to provide a warm and pleasurable atmosphere for personal musings and ramblings. The theme comes in two flavors: HTML 4.01 and HTML5. Also, both German and English versions of the theme are included in the download package. The theme is cross-browser compatible and supports Opera, Safari, Chrome, IE7+, and FF. Support for IE6 is not available, though the theme works in IE6, too.

The theme was commissioned by Smashing Magazine and designed by Maleika Esther Attawel1 exclusively for Smashing Magazine. As usual, the theme is absolutely free to use in private and commerical projects.


Download the theme for free! Link

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


Screenshots Link

Front page area (large preview)8

Table and content (large preview)10

Archives page (large preview)12

Post page (large preview)14

Comment area (large preview)16

Front page area (large preview)18

Comments view (large preview)20

Blog post (large preview)22

Thank you, Maleika. We appreciate your work and your good intentions.

Feel free to suggest your ideas for the freebies you’d like to see on Smashing Magazine in the comments area below.

Footnotes Link

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  1. 1

    Beautiful theme..I like it..
    i should download it and modified the color little bit..

  2. 2

    It’s awful nice of you guys to offer something so nice for free. I appreciate you taking care of us in the community! Great work!

  3. 3

    I would delete the webkit-transitions on the more button/arrow (on the homepage) and the rss button in the footer. It doesn’t look nice with sprite images.

  4. 4

    Christopher Anderton

    January 10, 2011 6:01 am


  5. 5

    Thank you for all the hard work. Looks good!

  6. 6

    Wow, that’s great theme for free. I like it.

  7. 7

    Great theme, looks amazing.

  8. 8

    Very nice theme, well designed.
    However its quite slow to load and very hard to read; Maybe increasing font size/colour could help?

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • 9


    • 10

      It’s the problem of ‘Myriad Pro’. Renders poorly in Chrome on my Win7 machine. Probably looks fantastic on a Mac though.

    • 11

      Maleika Esther Attawel

      January 11, 2011 11:35 am

      Thanks for your comments, Mohamed, 28inch, and ngassmann.

      These issues will be addressed in the next update!


  9. 12

    Thanks for this carefully made template! Looks like a colour print on recycled grey paper. Also the round edges on the buttons and form fields are nicely made. Love it!

  10. 13

    Okay, this really *is* spectacular. Love the attention to detail. Far, far superior to most freebie themes.

  11. 14

    Really nice article (

  12. 15

    Now this is a great free theme.

  13. 16

    How do I “Change the permissions of the “uploads” folder to 777″? I’m trying to install this on our company intranet which we host internally.

  14. 18

    Dang that is a sweet template for being free! Thanks so much!

  15. 19

    This is fantastic. Thanks so much…may become the backbone to the new blog I want to start…

  16. 20

    Really love how much texture there is on this. Very nice!

  17. 21

    Das ist ja mal ein echt netter Zug, dass dieses tolle Theme auch in deutsch angeboten wird :-) Herzlichen Dank!

  18. 22

    This is a nice theme. Thank you for the hard work!

  19. 23

    Damn sexy looking theme. Thanks SM!

  20. 24

    gorgeous! thanks for sharing such a nice free theme.

  21. 25

    Really clean theme – this is why Smashing Magazine is so good! Keep them coming!

  22. 26

    Contrast a bit low no, making it a bit unfriendly to read?

  23. 27

    Andreas Ostheimer

    January 10, 2011 1:39 pm

    I love the looks of it but the readability of the text is bad in both IE and FF. I don’t know why one would use a this kind of font replacement as it really makes text almost unreadable.
    Otherwise great work with stunning details!

  24. 28

    Nice theme. I need to work more with WordPress.

  25. 29

    The body text is pretty much unreadable on a windows 7 machine, I’m sure it looks fine on your Mac but you should probably check it out on a windows machine to see what I mean.

    • 30

      Maleika Esther Attawel

      January 11, 2011 6:19 am

      Hi Alex,

      I’ve tested it on Windows 7 via Parallels and the text rendering displayed fine. Goes to show that I need a real Linux machine rather than relying on emulators. I’ll rectify the font-stack in the next update.


  26. 31

    Nice. Love the texture but I think it need more contrast on the text footer. Overall, great design. I love how the position of the contact form, very easy for reach.


  27. 32

    This theme is AWESOME! I just installed it… and is it just me, or is it missing the ampersand (ampersand.png) graphic on the front page? I’m displaying a broken image icon and the ampersand graphic is nowhere to be found.

    Still… amazing theme! Thanks!

    • 33

      Hi Sam,

      i faced the same issue no (ampersand.png) also it comes from root. :(


    • 36

      Maleika Esther Attawel

      January 11, 2011 6:00 am

      Sam and Rohith,

      thanks for spotting that! There’s a path issue I failed to correct. My apologies.

      In the theme’s index page (approx. on line 35), there’s this line:

      <img src="/images/ampersand.png" alt="And">

      The image path to the WordPress theme file needs to be changed to this:

      (just noticed I can’t post the code here, sorry). Please see this image for the code that needs to be added into the IMG tag:

      I’ll rectify this in the next theme update.


      • 37

        Nice! Thanks for the fix! We’ll still have to upload the ampersand.png to the images folder, right? Because, as far as I can tell, it isn’t included anywhere in the download. Again, many thanks!

  28. 39


    Posted here:

  29. 40

    Que groso que sos amigo! Спасибо!

  30. 41

    This is really a Good work, but the readability of the text is bad in both IE and FF (Windows machine).

  31. 42

    Great theme. Like the background texture. Thanks

  32. 43

    Very nice theme and cool writeup… Keep up the good work…

  33. 44

    Awesome Theme

    : Dinesh Saini

  34. 45

    It might look nice but design is about more than that, i can’t help but think there will be some accessibility problems with the color use.

  35. 46

    Andy Griffiths

    January 11, 2011 1:14 am

    An other great FREE theme. Not sure I would use this theme as is, but would certainly look into the code and possibly use certain things.

  36. 47

    Laura Hogarth

    January 11, 2011 2:09 am

    It’s a lovely design – I really like the textures. I have to agree with some previous comments though that the readability of the text is quite poor (on a Windows machine at least).

  37. 48

    Fantastic, thank you for such a great work. I will benefit it for my next work that is already in progress…

  38. 49

    I love the design! Now if only it could have a photo carousel since I’m a photographer and i’m done. 8-)

  39. 50

    fantastic! thank you smashing magazine!

  40. 51

    Like the textures you are using here!


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