Wordpress may have begun life as a blogging tool, but the open source publishing platform has evolved into something resembling a full-fledged CMS in recent years, especially with the release of Wordpress 3.0 in June. In fact, it can easily be used to manage a Website for products and businesses, without or without a blog.
While we certainly recommend that any small business maintain a blog, it doesn't have to be the main focus of your company's Wordpress-based Website, thanks to the multitude of themes that are designed with products and businesses in mind.
There are a staggering number of Wordpress themes available for download, and sifting through them all could take up an entire afternoon. We've taken the pain out of the process for you by finding six of the best business-oriented Wordpress themes.
Please note that while most Wordpress themes are free to use, the ones listed here are premium themes that will cost you a few dollars apiece. While free is always nice (and there are plenty of free Wordpress themes worth using), premium themes tend to be higher in quality and include more advanced features than free themes. For business owners, site design and functionality can be critical to success and thus is one area worth investing in.
My Product is a very clean, well-designed theme intended for the promotion of a company's products and services. It comes with five different color schemes and the original Photoshop PSD file in case you want to modify the original graphics. It supports all major browsers (even Netscape!) and can be easily and extensively customized from within the Wordpress admin. The homepage design features an elegant tabbed interface alongside an auto-rotating graphic above the fold, enabling you to include a lot of information without cluttering up the page.
Much like the My Product theme, TheCorporation is a slick, nicely-designed theme with a focus on promoting products and services. Instead of being blog-centric, it focuses heavily on the use of static pages in Wordpress (rather than posts). The jQuery-driven homepage widget enables you to include all of the pertinent information on one page without cluttering it up. Companies can include snippets of their "About Us", "Mission Statement" and "Testimonials" pages here, which users can flip through and then click the "read more" button to delve deeper.
This theme too comes with several different color schemes to choose from and the original PSD files.
This theme is quite similar in concept and layout to the previous two, but it's by far the cleanest design. As its name would suggest, Minimal is very simple. It too has an auto-rotating slider box for featured information on the homepage, and a nice, jQuery-powered drop-down navigation. Again, it's a page-heavy architecture (rather than focusing on blog posts), with a corporate blog almost tacked on as an afterthought. Like the others, its cross-browser friendly and was built using valid XHTML and CSS. It comes with the source PSD files and two color schemes.
Unlike the other themes included here, BusinessCard does not include a blog at all. It's intended for static pages and a portfolio of work, making it ideal for sole proprietorships or small design shops.
CoffeeBreak is another attractive, simple theme with the standard slider-based homepage and page-centric architecture, although a blog is included. It comes with 17 stylesheet options and takes advantage of the new custom post types found in Wordpress 3.0. It comes from Woo Themes, which offers tiered pricing: $70 for the Standard package, which includes the theme, lifetime support and updates, or $150 for the Developer package, which includes extra bonus themes and the original PSD file.
Sealight is a shiny, gradient-heavy theme that lets companies showcase products and key information in the homepage slider box while also prominently maintaining a company blog. It gives emphasis to recent tweets and RSS and Twitter subscription options for users. It comes with five color schemes and a host of fancy controls for the back-end admin of Wordpress.