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BEST WORDPRESS THEMES FOR ARCHITECTS 2014

This post follows up our 2013 and 2012 picks for the best WordPress themes for architects. Each year I focus on a specific aspect of a website, which reflects the current trends in website design. In 2012 I looked for themes that dealt with projects well. In 2013 I looked for themes that were responsive and worked on mobile devices. This year I’m going to build on those previous goals and add in websites that market an architect’s practice well. An architect’s website is primarily a tool to attract potential clients. How you do this online is well documented in lots of other industries, so we’re going to borrow those ideas and apply them to architecture.

A couple of the things I’m looking for are:

  1. A Features / services section on the home page to explain what you do.
  2. Testimonials so your clients can vouch for you and add credibility.
  3. Staff profiles that include faces so people know who they are dealing with. This also builds trust.
  4. The “Apple row” approach to landing/home pages. Apple (and now many other companies) use a design layout that breaks a home page up in to rows, which allows them to fit far more onto the homepage, without it feeling cluttered. This gets the best info out in front and not hidden behind a link that no one clicks.
  5. They are all built on the Bootstrap framework, which amongst other things like being mobile friendly, makes it easier for developers to tweak.
  6. Oh, and I didn’t choose over animated, or problematic parallax sites. They’re confusing and sickening, plus they’re slow and clunky for scrolling.

For complete disclosure, Websites For Architects gets an affiliate commission if you purchase one of these themes. It’s one of the only ways the site generates income, so if you do choose to use one of these themes please click on the links below. Thanks.


 

Smartbox wordpress theme

SmartBox

Overview

Nice, but not quite there for me.

Things I like

  • Includes “our client” icons – not a full testimonial, but good if you have recognized brands as clients.
  • Includes what we do section.
  • Projects displayed well with follow on links to other projects to avoid dead ends.

Things I don’t like

  • The background colour. Probably not that hard to change.
  • The circle images on the project page.
  • The over animated slider at the top. Simple is beautiful.
  • No project thumbnails on home page.

View demo


Rebel theme

Rebel

Overview

I really like this theme, except for the green. That could probably be changed quite easily.

Things I like

  • Contact details at top of page – makes it easy for people to make contact.
  • Beautiful full width image slider, but without ugly animations
  • Testimonials on the project page: “What project owners say.”
  • Large footer with projects and social links, so every page links to more content.

Things I don’t like

  • The background colour. Probably not that hard to change.

Other notes

  • The home page has two layouts – Business and gallery. My preference is the business layout because it includes the right information that potential clients need, while the gallery is just a lot of images.

View demo


Splash

Splash

Overview

This is a big picture version of the a multi row home page. It can also include video.

Things I like

  • Good team member page.
  • Dedicated services page, plus key features listed on home page.
  • Includes a FAQ page. Not often seen on an architects website, but could be a great idea.
  • Includes a megamenu, not that I think an architect really needs one.

Things I don’t like

  • The page title bar for projects and the  portfolio page could be improved. Being a minimalist I don’t like the larger image floating off to the right and the title kind of sitting in the center, but off to the left. Just a little bit awkward. A small tweak to the theme could clean that up easily.
  • This is another site that wants to use preloaders everywhere… I’d rather the page just load fast!

View demo


Loom

Loom

Overview

Nice theme except for the dark parallax rows, which I expect are optional.  Overall, very simple, beautiful and has everything i’m looking for in this selection.

Things I like

  • The thin lines and simple black and white colour scheme.
  • Includes projects, testimonials, features and blogs posts, but doesn’t look over crowded, or like a sales page.

Things I don’t like

  • As mentioned above, I’m not a fan of the fancy parallax rows which moved the background separately to the foreground site.

View demo


preview

Bivio

Overview

This is an interesting theme to include in this set because it uses a “squeeze page”  as the home page. You would normally see this on sites like Twitter, or other online tools that want you to create an account as soon as possible. Once you get past the first page though it has a standard home page like the others with rows and features etc. If you have a blog and want to increase your blog subscribers this could be an option.

Things I like

  • The sketch style – but word of warning. That style is achieved because of images. So to get the same effect you’ll need to create some of your own, or use the ones provided with the theme.
  • Strong testimonials including profile photos and quotes.
  • Good features section.
  • The call to action rows, eg “Ready to work together, get in touch.”

Things I don’t like

  • The preloading icon for each page. Unless you’re dealing with massive data, or large images, you don’t need a preloader. It just makes the process seem slower.
  • The portfolio section includes a blue button over each project that shows a preview popup image instead of linking to the project itself. I’d remove that myself, or get a developer to tweak it.

View demo


elfie

Alfie

Overview

Another theme using a flat style of graphics. My preference is for the revolution slider version of the home page.

Things I like

  • A full testimonial page is included. And nicely formatted too.
  • It has a “meet the team page”.
  • Client logos included.
  • Portfolio works well.
  • Features displayed well on front page.

Things I don’t like

  • The flat style combined with the black header and footer doesn’t sit right with me. I think I’d prefer it to be white. A small tweak could fix this.
  • There’s a lack of calls to action in this theme. Projects feel like a dead end instead of engaging with potential clients and prompting them to make contact.

View demo


 

Jacked

Jacked

Overview

Simple primary colour based theme with most of the elements we’re looking for.

Things I like

  • Simple and includes client logos, projects, blogs posts etc.

Things I don’t like

  • Not really my colour scheme, but that’s a personal taste.

View demo


Human

Human

Overview

Dramatic full page image slider on the front page, but still uses the multi row principle below. Don’t be fooled by the purple preview image above – this theme isn’t purple.

Things I like

  • Dramatic home page
  • The rows below the slider are simple and elegant. (It’s not over animated).
  • The key factors we’re looking for have been included.

Things I don’t like

  • How the projects section on the home page is full width, when the other rows are fixed column. One or the other please. Same goes with the map and contact row.

View demo


Minimal

T-One

Overview

A simple minimal and monochrome version of a multi row theme.

Things I like

  • It’s elegant.
  • Big picture, but not over animated.

Things I don’t like

  • Not a fan of this font, i’d prefer something more modern.
  • The weird dashed line inner border of the widget headers. It looks like stitching to me.

View demo


More

Best wordpress themes for architects 2013