I’ve been thrilled beyond belief since switching to WordPress back in 2008 and I continue to be amazed with nearly every update. WordPress is truly fantastic software and it forms the base of any web project that I’m involved in because I can manage just about any type of content I need to. That being said, Tumblr keeps tempting me with it’s themes and it seems my eye isn’t the only one it’s captured.
Tumblr’s built-in themes are great on their own, but then you have designers knocking it out of the park on free templates like Sean Farrell’s new theme Leatherbound, or premium themes like Vintage Scrapbook by Pixel Union and I have to admit to a bit of blog envy.
Tumblr is a simplified tool for blogging, so perhaps I’m drawn to the simplicity of the designs, but I’m having a hard time finding themes on par for WordPress. It’s not that WordPress is lacking in the themes department. ThemeForest recently announced that they now have over 1000 WordPress themes. Sifting through those 1000 designs, I see that many of the premium themes out there are focused on taking your weblog beyond the basic blog. Magazine styles and portfolio styles abound, but none of those fit my needs.
I have a simple weblog and I need a simple, but elegant template. This may explain why designers are drawn to doing Tumblr templates. The format is standardized and simple in nature and doesn’t require that you design with a framework in mind, or with the expectation that — through custom plugins and custom fields — a user will expand your work beyond the basic blog and thereby “break” your design.
Could that be it? Tumblr is easier to design for and that’s why so many designers are trying their hand at it? To test this theory and end my frustrations with my earlier searches, I Googled for “Tumblr WordPress Themes” and was surprised to find a couple of good links with decent resources.
22 Tumblr Style WordPress Themes and Microblog in WordPress with these 15+ Tumblr Style WordPress Themes both yielded some nice designs that were definitely in line with what I’ve run into for Tumblr. Below are a few my favorites:
With thousands of themes out there both in free and premium models, roughly 25 are in a “Tumblr Style”. That’s not a lot. Maybe I’m an edge case, but Tumblr is clearly capturing mindshare and I have to think that some of it is due to it’s simplicity and great looking themes.