New QuickLaunch Theme – free! (1.1 update)

It’s been ages, since I’ve posted something here at WPVerse. I’ve been quite busy working on unique and interesting WordPress themes that hopefully I’ll be able to share in the next few weeks.

In the past I’ve looked for a “coming soon” WordPress theme but I could find something that was “generic” or easy to edit. A lot of them had a count down timer but not everyone needs it. I also liked the idea of the theme by my friends at Barrel NYC but I ultimately found it was too hard to use. So I decided to make a cool WordPress theme for free. It’s not going to kill anytime soon but it’s free!

So here’s a screenshot of my new theme with the admin tool palette turned on:

Instructions: Download the theme ZIP file and upload to your WordPress site using WP admin and activate theme as usual.

Then look on the bottom of the WP admin bar and select “QuickLaunch” -> “Launch Designer”. The screen will switch to the preview edit mode. From that point you can edit the site name, tagline, and body text by clicking on those preview areas directly and start typing. When you see the pencil icon that means you’re ready to edit the text and do “live” or inline editing.

One of the easiest things you can do with QuickLaunch is to upload a background image or specify a solid background color.There are fields to specify your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Linkedin user profiles. You can also specify the color of the “Submit” button of the email collection box.  With v1.1, you can increase the padding of the center content module. Note the preview is slightly different then what you’ll see if you look at the actual saved site. And you can see submitted email addresses by clicking on the “Email List” option in “QuickLaunch” on the WP admin menu bar.

We hope you enjoy this theme! Please drop us a line if you use our theme as your splash/landing/squeeze page!

Download: (Updated Feb. 27th) | Demo Site

Theme company spotlight: Graph Paper Press

You have probably noticed there a lot and I mean a lot of commercial WordPress theme companies out there. It seems like a new one is popping up every month. Let’s take a quick look at one of the veterans, Graph Paper Press.

Graph Paper Press specializes in photography focused themes so the grid paper metaphor and minimal use of text is prevalent in most of their themes. So you’ll see a lot of big photos blocks and less emphasis on text. The great thing about GPP is they give away most of their themes away for free use along with some light documentation. If you need support, then you’ll have to pay of course.

Let’s take a quick look at two of my favorite themes: Workaholic and Berlin.


Workaholic is a photography/art portfolio theme that I use at my site. It has a home page intro and rows of 3 across thumbnails. When you rollover the thumbnails, it reveals the title and category. It’s perfect when you think pictures are worth a thousand words.

When you drill down to an inner page, there are tabs that will allow the visitor to see multiple photos on the same page via AJAX. There’s also an automatically generated list of similar photos to the right. As a testament to the solid code behind it, I was using a version of Workaholic that is several versions behind the current version and I recently upgraded the site from WordPress 2.8 to 3.04 and the site still works beautifully with the older Workaholic theme.


Berlin is a deviation from their usual that’s meant for both photos and text. It has a large article block in the left column and there’s a smaller right column that can be used to show posts or other widgets. It’s very easy on the eyes and it’d be great for a magazine or news blog. I haven’t used Berlin myself so other than seeing the front end, I don’t know about the workflow and backend usability.

So hats off to the Graph Paper Press folks for giving back to the WordPress community in such a big way with a ton of polished free to try themes.

Get it: Workaholic | Berlin

Where to find great free WordPress themes

A few weeks ago there was a WordPress community security scare because of possible malware in WordPress themes. So the general rule maybe to get them for trusted sources. But who’s a trusted source and which ones are legitately owned by the designers? has a great article covering both issues along with a list of commerical WP theme development companies like WooThemes, Graph Paper Press, and others giving back to the WordPress community with free themes using their well developed core framework.

It’s a great article especially as I’ve never heard of a few of the groups including Theme Labs with over 100 free(!) themes. All in all, I can count around 100 free themes provided by for profit companies.

Read it: