In one of my previous collections, I spoke about Multi Purpose themes as being some of the most advanced WordPress themes because they are flexible, come packed with a number of features and are usable in a variety of different industry websites. While Corporate Multi Purpose themes are definitely some of the most advanced themes, there are others that are deserving of a special distinction. These are commonly referred to as “innovative” themes.
Innovative themes encompass all of the same elements as some of the more advanced themes, but innovative usually refers to a theme that has some form of technical advancement or design improvement that is considered trendsetting or has a very polished design.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between unique, and innovative themes because there is a huge cross over. The only real difference is the fact that unique themes do not have to use any advanced or trendsetting methods in order to be considered unique and they often appear slightly odd or out of place rather than polished.
Considering all of this, the themes in this collection all have some of the most advanced, unique and innovative features.
These are the themes that set the standards by which others follow and can ultimately decide the future of design and where it will lead.
I would not do these amazing themes any justification if I were to place a quantifiable number on them, therefore I will simply refrain from doing so and place them in random order.
Without these kinds of innovations, WordPress would not be responsive, retina ready or contain any interactive and parallax techniques, as many of the themes currently do. Cudos to the developers and designers who take huge risks to introduce new techniques and methods.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. ~ Charles Caleb Colton
Innovation + Science 2
Sometimes the very thing that makes a theme so innovative is the part that also makes it extremely difficult to comprehend. Such is the case of the Innovation and Science 2 WordPress theme. It has so many amazing advanced features, it can literally take hours deciding which ones you want to use. It seems that the more styles or feature that you apply to it, the more elegant it becomes and if you are not careful, you can get lost in this easy to use and highly customizable theme. This is not a bad thing, only what one might expect to find in a theme of this calibre with so many features to experiment with.
For starters, the first thing that you will notice about Innovation is that it has a massive content management system and a huge number of pages and post types. It contains several unique ready made pages such as the Tag list page and very advanced options like Floating Objects which is a feature that allows you to create new image or text objects of any size, programmable media buttons, splash screens, an announcement bar and a unique story slider that can be used as a homepage feature below the homepage tabs or on any other page using a simple short-code to tell your story and display content in a unique way.
The 5 home page sliders and wide clean and very neat design of this theme makes it seem somewhat sterile looking and is reminiscent of a technology or high end science magazine and this is what makes it innovative.
Deciding on what slider to use for the homepage is only one of the many choices that you will find yourself having difficulty with, each slider has its own unique blend of interactive features such as horizontal pane frames as seen in the image above, sliding thumbnails and infinite scrolling images.
Versatile, this theme is perfect for any professional website and might be considered a multi purpose magazine theme.
Handcrafted by Alex Gurghis, the SFE(RA) is a WordPress photography or portfolio theme that comes complete with ten home page layouts, 14 templates, and three unique sliders ~ one of which uses the amazing Ken Burns zoom effect. Each homepage layout creates a scrolling page that contains a variety of different elements such as portfolio galleries, sliders and protected images.
Portfolio themes are often focused on displaying images and the rest of the content can become secondary. In this theme, the author has used an innovative design technique to combine both and provide a seamless bond between them.
Integrated with the Revolution slider and Visual composer plugins, as well as being WooCommerce and bbPress ready, SFE(RA) can be used for just about any website imaginable.
The overall design is flat, responsive and uses some pretty unique animated and transparent effects to create a sleek design.
What I really like about this theme is the unique circle navigation that you can apply to the posts and the very professional looking price table that is not like any other design I have seen before.
Unique elements, tons of features and some pretty advance sliders and layouts makes this theme innovative and the perfect choice for any website. The plugins alone just about cover the cost of it making for a pretty good deal.
From the moment you see it, you will know what is so unique and innovative about it. The homepage “puzzle” effect square grid is unmistakable in the Grid WordPress Responsive and Retina Ready Page Builder theme. Essentially, the theme provides only the framework for the design, the rest of it is only limited by your imagination. Definitely created for the “creative” type user who likes to get their imagination flowing by achieving great design, the puzzle grid provides the place to begin and the rest is simply icing on the cake.
The theme is minimalistic in the sense that the theme was designed with this unique squared grid as its main focal point, however, the rest of the page can be customized to create unique designs. Depending on the images and posts that you place in the grid, you can also create some pretty innovative designs. As well, you can personalize every square in the grid as you can see in the triangular effect in the image attached.
Make no mistake, while the overall concept of the theme might be minimal, Grid comes with a number of features including no browser reload, a powerful page builder, WPML support, 13 elements and animations for creating truly unique and amazing designs.
To make the most of this theme, you have to be a bit of a crafty designer therefore, it might be a bit more suitable for an advanced user.
Multi purpose, the theme can be used to create designs in just about any niche or industry.
Appropriately named, Litte WordPress multi purpose theme’s framework is so “lightweight,” it is hard to believe that this is a multi purpose theme at all. The reason this neat theme was built on such a light framework is because it gets a great deal of its functionality from some very unique plugins.
The “Page Extender” plugin, which is packed with the theme, adds custom page templates with various layouts and options, and the content builder plugin called “Box Builder” helps you build your content fast and easy. The 3rd and final plugin, Social Icons, adds more then 30 social icons providing the social media aspects. Litte’s innovation comes in the fact that it shows us that even with the smallest of things, you can achieve great things and get by with a little help from your friends.
The portfolio displays are very nicely done. Each image appears as if it is on display in a museum or art gallery set on a matted canvas and no matter whether you choose a one, two or three gallery view, each is as beautiful as the next. The three dimensional effect of the frame creates this illusion and adds a really nice added touch to the overall design.
The black, white and touch of red colors creates a very stark contrast which makes the theme seem very bold, even though it really is not what I would consider to be a bold theme.
Hard to describe, bold and really not bold, light and heavy at the very same time, minimal and yet multi purpose, this theme is a design contradiction and the reason it is so innovative. The amazing theme proves that you can do amazing things with WordPress themes when you think outside of the box.
I hate to admit, but as a writer, I might be a bit biased when it comes to the Rain WordPress Ghost theme.
I see huge potential for this unique theme that adds a little bit of rain to every story. This “rain drop” effect can be added to any background image and is 100% dynamic. To achieve the effect, simply upload your own image background and the theme’s custom feature will do the rest for you.
Simple and effective, what is not to love about the rain theme that was created specifically for writing?
Create ambiance and set the tone for viewing your content in a very user friendly and relaxed way with the Rain theme. Overall, it is a set it and forget it interactive writing theme that combines both digital technology and real life methodology in order to achieve one of the most innovative design concepts that I have ever seen.
You can create a sit down, read and relax website in any niche.
The large content area is placed to the right of the screen completely covering half the background which results in a unique book design. Simply scroll down through each page to read the book.
While is has some limitations, if you are looking for a book writing ghost theme, nothing beats a little bit of Rain which actually brings a whole lot of sunshine with it.
Front end posting, social book marking, content sharing, keyboard navigation is only some of the innovative and modern social features that you will find in the Aruna Content Sharing, WordPress Theme which the creators of the theme proudly boast is, “That theme you were looking for when you told yourself, man, I’d love my users to be able to share content also!” I could not have said it better myself and I cannot agree more, Aruna is that and a whole lot more.
Based on HTML5 & CSS3, Aruna is Responsive and retina ready and was built to be user friendly to suit the every changin online social state in which we currently live. Like many other modern themes, it uses post modules to create the design and literally this takes ten seconds. The functionality is similar to the famous 9GAG, but is not a 9GAG clone, it is custom made and has many of its own unique features.
You might say it has taken this trendsetting feature and ‘RTrended” it.
What is so innovative about the theme? Just about everything! From users who can register easily and post immediately to the Bookmark System that allows you to keep your content for use again and gain.
The front end posting features is perhaps the best part of the theme as you can post anonymously, disable/enable comments, mark posts as NSFW (Not Safe for Work) and like or dislike posts without every having to navigate.
Overall the look is very clean, colorful and I like the way the social icons are featured on the top of the posts. Aruna is the perfect social media theme for any business wanting to bring the customers to them, instead of the other way around. It is also pefect for websites that want a great deal of content without having to provide it all. Collectively, your users generate more content, a brilliant social media innovative concept. I am sure Robert Scoble (one of the pioneer social media experts) would be impressed by this theme and what it can do for social media, I know that I am.
Not only is the Time Travel theme one of the most unique WordPress themes, it also has innovative VOICE COMMAND technology that your website users can use in order to travel back and forth into the future as you navigate along the time line.
As some of you have no doubt guessed, Time Travel is what is considered a timeline or “tumblog” style theme. The concept behind a tumblog is to simply display content such as images, videos and social posts in a real time view so users can easily navigate to the content that interests them. Literally it tells the story of what you are currently active in or working on. Your current posts are automatically posted into view for your users to access in real time or simply ignore.
Not only is the voice command feature innovative, so is the design. It is one of the most unique designs to date. Reminiscent of a trip aboard the USS enterprise, Time Travel’s design is out of this world.
Time Travel is suitable for a personal blog or a creative type website because it really is quite ” funky” to say the least.
I have been waiting for the perfect moment to introduce one of my new personal favorite Word Press blogging themes.
Barely out of the starting gates, from the moment that I first saw this theme, a little while back, I knew that I had to have it. Its innovative 3 D perspective menu is simply awe inspiring and to be honest, I still am trying to grasph how it actually functions.
The name of this amazingly beautiful WordPress theme is Blog A Porter, which when translated from French to English literally means “Blog to go,” or “Portable Blog” and from the moment you see it, it does not disappoint. Rather minimalistic, Blog a Porter does one job and does it well ~ blogging.
Blog a Porter is a perfect example of minimal design that so advanced, it appears to be anything but minimalistic, in fact, it actually looks and feels like an extremely advanced big and bold theme.
This illusion is created by the innovative design techniques used such as the 3D menu, highly animated features and large bold imagery.
Its overall design might be minimal, but its features certainly are not. There are a number of features included in this theme for creating some personal customizations such as 2 homepage layouts, 7 page templates, social status embeds, video and audio embeds, customizable colors and fonts, custom logo options, favicon features, CSS and tons of social icons.
Perfect for a blogger who wants an out of the box theme that has a completely unique and innovate design that is both user friendly and extremely “technologically” advanced at the the same time.
Very similar to X, the other “ultimate” WordPress theme, Prestige comes with so many skins, you may never have to consider purchasing another theme. Suitable for a creative designer who likes to change websites often, you simply click the admin panel to create it.
The theme’s 400 skins are divided into Dark (300) Elegant & Classic or Modern and Stylish Designs, as well as, various Light (100) design choices to make it easy to decide which one you want. Mind you, I think it takes a considerable amount of time to scroll through each of them, however once you made the choice, it is as easy as click and set.
Design Tip: Take note of the skins you like, so you do not have to always skim through them in order to find the one you want every time you feel like a change.
The customizable choices do not end at the surface of the design, there are 130 short codes, 20 widgets, 6 header icon sets, and a host of page types to add to the mix. All of which you can choose with the flick of a button, of course.
Did I mention that it also has the DC Ratings System Plugin, DC Newsletter Plugin, 5 Homepage Sliders – classic Prestige Slider, advanced Accordion Slider, unique Progress Slider, functional Chain Gallery Slider and Video Slider which allows you to display embedded videos from YouTube and Vimeo, multiple blogs, portfolios, news and galleries?
Both X and Prestige are the most innovative themes in terms of how quickly and easily you can design hundreds of websites with tons of features and elements using the click of a button. Literally, you can create a professional looking site in a few seconds, and do this time and time again and never skip a beat. Innovation sometimes comes in the form of excess. Prestige’s capabilities are certainly excessive, but never dull, boring or tiresome.
For the designer who thinks they have everything, if you do not have Prestige or X for that matter, you do not have the ultimate theme.
Just because a theme is minimalistic, does not mean that it cannot be advanced and unique. Many of the themes in this list prove that very fact because they are extremely innovative, lightweight and focused on providing better options.
Unique and innovative is subjective and can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people but one thing is for certain innovative techniques and design concepts add a whole lot of savoir flair to the design world.
Innovation is simply a design that makes you want to take for a spin just to see what makes it tick, much in the same way you would when you purchase a new electronic gadget. As you can see by this list, innovation is not limited to one genre of style or theme, but rather is based entirely on different concepts, ideas and design goals.
It will be interesting to see what innovative products are introduced in the upcoming year.
We have already gone so far, it is hard to imagine that there is anywhere else to go, but the fact is, there is always room for innovation.
Innovation is anything, but business as usual. ~ anonymous