Of lately, I had been reading a lot about importance of website speed, not only to avoid user abandonment, but also for search engine rankings.
3 second rule: Statistics and Studies show that nearly 40% of readers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Let’s face it. Most of the new themes, especially commercial themes, are bloated and overloaded with plug ins and give a very poor pagespeed score.
That’s when a minimalist theme makes lot of sense. Because minimalist themes load faster and puts more emphasis on content. They are not bloated and in general, lavishly uses white space and are visually pleasing to the reader. And they have great typography. A good combination of beautiful fonts and white space can do wonders to any theme.
What follows below are some of the best minimalistic themes and they are still visually pleasing:
My favorite theme for personal blogs. Flat design is a popular concept and has been a trend in design world lately. From Microsoft’s Metro design, Android Holo design and the latest iOS 7 flat design.
This is Flat theme features:
- Responsive layout support
- Retina screen ready
- Off-canvas sidebar on smaller devices
- Customize background
- Customize sidebar color
- Editor style support
- Multilingual support ( English and Germany)
Pinzolo is a new responsive theme designed(from thivetheweb.com.au team) specifically for WordPress. The theme is minimal and easy to customize and best part is, it has Ajax loading for blog posts.
Pinzolo theme main features :
- Theme customization options
- Responsive layout for both mobile and widescreen
- Fixed menu available
- Ajax loading for blog posts
- Designed to work well with Photospace plugin since it’s from the same author
- Drop down menu and tiny navigation menu for mobile browsing
And as per theme developers, thivetheweb.com.au team, more upcoming features are planned:
- More page layouts available
- More customization options available
- Post formats
Best minimal theme for photographers or artists. It is a portfolio-type theme for displaying your stunning designs and photos. The horizontal layout of this theme is suitable for displaying visual materials like photography or art works.
Expositio has some unique features below:
- Responsiveness for better mobile experience
- Big and clean layout
- Horizontal scrolling for a unique user experience
DW Minion is a minimalistic theme for personal blogs with a simple layout. But it is visually pleasing as well. Sidebar has Built-in support for ads as well as a nice tabbed interface that shows latest posts, comments and tags.
Some of their best features:
- Customize panel
- Off-canvas navigation for smaller screen
- Responsive layout by default
- Various posting format
- Very minimal design
Spacious is a multipurpose responsive theme from ThemeGrill and is perfect for a business, portfolio, blogging or any other website or blog. Minimal, Responsive, multipurpose and clean code.. It also has an awesome slider, which is not usually found in minimalistic themes. Plus, it provides 6 additional templates – business(1 template) , blogs (4 templates) and a contact page template.
Spacious also provides you with five exclusive widgets that are designed for business oriented sites.
Some of key features of this theme:
- Awesome image slider
- Four layout available
- Six templates available
- 13 widgets area
- Five exclusive widgets
- Boxed or wide layout to choose
- Light or dark skin choice
- Customize menu
- Translation ready
Frank is the an ultra-light fast minimalistic responsive theme and is designed for speed with emphasis on content. This theme is built based on Foundation Grid system and gave me a whopping 97/100 page speed score for desktop and 91/100 for Mobile (See PageSpeed Score for Frank)
StanleyWP theme from gentsthemes.com is one of the best free Twitter Bootstrap themes. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it lacks features. It’s an elegant theme created to showcase your work in a simple way. One of the best features I like is the drag and drop homepage builder. Here’s a list of built-in features:
- Theme options panel
- Portfolio post types
- Three page templates for you to choose
- Responsive design
- And much more including all the Bootstrap goodies.
Hexa is is a personal blog theme and is responsive as well. The responsive design looks great on any device, large or small. One of the best features I personally like is the option to create in-built social links.
Custom menus: This theme has the option to create custom menu (drop down menus).
Here are some of best features for this theme:
- Post formats and sticky posts
- Featured images
- Widgets supported
- Social links
- Custom menu
- Infinite scroll
- Custom header and background
DW Timeline is a TimeLine WordPress Theme from DesignWall and is suitable for blog and portfolio sites. It is a clean, modern and colorful theme that is suitable for displaying posts in a chronological order. The theme idea was adapted from Facebook’s timeline layout. This theme supports up to 6 post formats
According to their website, the main features of this theme are:
- Unique timeline layout,
- Various post formats,
- Translation files ready
- Customize panel
Vasiliki theme resembles Pinterest and is a minimalistic theme with jQuery masonry. ie: The theme re-arranges content grids in a brick fashion and come with smooth animation.
This is the list of features taken from their website:
- Custom menus
- Featured thumbnails
- Theme options
- Twitter widget
- Banner ads
Summary: So you have seen the best minimalistic themes above and have you made your choice? If you feel there are better ones or if you have any comments, please add below.