I still remember the feeling of inspiration after finishing reading Rework, a book by Basecamp team (formerly known as 37signals company), who started out with 4 people and now makes millions providing quality web application across the world.
Apart from average curious readers, the book is a spectacular find for entrepreneurs and start-ups (though the book authors don’t like this word), as it breaks the stereotypes of deep-seated rules for starting and running a profitable business. It’s simply chock full of fresh and non-trivial ideas for the first business. They show many examples (including their own) of a healthy business, which is being established without a modern office, corporate culture and white collars.
Coming to the point of this post, the book authors also give some common sense advice about a website design you should consider for the online presence of your entrepreneurship. The main point is: don’t concentrate on web design trends too much, because you risk the site visitors can lose the sense and understanding of your ideas.
Basecamp’s website is also more than simple in design with plain typography and underlined menu buttons. Remember Google, it’s also a true example of design simplicity. It doesn’t mean that this is the only way to follow.
As a starter, you probably need a bit more impressive design, but the main point is not going overboard. This is true for any type of WordPress ready-made templates. Some are clean and simple, with a good concept, and the others are overwhelmed with redundant design features or/and functionality. Useless over-complication can really spoil a good idea (and waste money).
So, my task was to choose clean WordPress templates (free and premium, new and popular) for entrepreneurs. The biggest challenge of this task is that the variety of entrepreneurship areas is so diverse, so it’s hard to choose universal designs to meet the needs of every entrepreneur. That’s why I decided that it’s better to select themes for particular common niches that can be more or less easily customized.
One more important question: can any generic business template serve as a foundation for a solid entrepreneur website? In many cases, the answer is probably yes. But if you are looking for some visual attractiveness equal to particular functionality, check out the list below. What if the needed template is waiting for you here?
Chances are, you are familiar with Rehab – so-called hybrid WordPress themes with tons of multipurpose options and a strong emphasis on eCommerce and community features. This theme offers a huge basket of opportunities, affordable pricing ($44) and comes with many positive customers’ reviews (good criterion!), so most likely it gained its popularity organically.
If your business deals with interaction or eCommerce, this can be a win-win choice. The theme comes packaged with extended WooCommerce support (thanks to integration with Easy Digital Downloads plugin), enhanced options for affiliate earnings, abilities to create coupons, review system, comparisons and e-shops.
This theme lets you start your business with a simple blog and develop it in a reliable shop without installing any extra functionality. A word about design: clean-looking magazine style with a nice balanced layouts – trendy, but not sophisticated designer solution.
Scrolling through the latest free WordPress themes (idleness!) on WordPress.org, I did not expect to find some entrepreneur-oriented theme with good philosophy, but there was actually a couple. And one of them is beautifully crafted Pique (it’s sometimes hard to resist this cool web design vision of Automattic).
Pique is a nice and simple one-page scrolling template for small businesses like various salons, cafes, bakeries and shops. It already has more than one thousand active installs. Looks like it won’t take much to customize it as you have to deal with the front page only. It will display a single panel with full-screen features image, website title, logo and the actual page content. Very creative solution for business owners on budget.
Yes, you are right, Entrepreneur is the theme name – very straightforward one, so you have no doubts it can suit your needs of small business. Really cool professional theme of the latest releases and pretty cheap in comparison with other WordPress templates on the site ($55).
It’s a clean-looking solution for hair and makeup professionals and can be used by any beauty salon. Smooth scrolling, only important niche content modules (Services and Prices table, Portfolio, Testimonials, Blog and premium Appointment plugin to manage your bookings).
In particular, Appointment plugin is a great bonus in this theme – it allows to book appointments online on any available date and the website administrator can easily manage them. It also comes with a built-in frontend drag-and-drop editor for non-tech users.
A nice theme for creating a directory for a local business, good choice for people without technical expertise. It offers each user a handy dashboard – one page with a full access to all the reviews, contact information, website statistics and business listings with appropriate statuses (pending, active, expired).
The theme has a good emphasis on monetizing your website as you can charged business owners to be listed on your website or sell featured placements. The theme is easily integrated with the 3rd party child themes and various plugins. Complex website that can be quite easily built and customized. Standard license will cost you $69.
If a cafe, restaurant or even culinary is your business and hobby, you should definitely have some small website to tell about your passion globally. There are plenty of good free themes for this purpose, but I recently discovered Canapé – fresh free Restaurant theme and it became one of favourites.
Unlikely the majority of the other niche themes, it is extremely elegant (without tons of food mages in each corner of the site), so could be a nice choice for your small cafe, tea shop, or bar. Besides classic and elegant design, Canapé supports six optional widget areas in the main sidebar (in blog view and on pages), front page, and footer.
The theme also comes with a built-in OpenTable plugin for online reservations. If you also want to sell food and drinks online, you may simply extend functionality of the theme downloading the appropriate free plugin, for example, this fresh free Restaurant Menu plugin – ultimate solution to build menus and start selling.
For web design trends lovers. A trend, which is not complicated in use and is not ‘overdosed’ in functionality. Sometimes it’s hard to create a readable design in bright colors, but Flat has a perfect combination of handiness and colorful design with a very positive message.
Of course, you can customize it and make balck and white, but if you want to present your business in colorful light, Flat is a nice solution: vivid content sections with complementary colors, stunning animation, elegant scrolling feature and pleasant fonts.
You are free to choose whether your site will function as a one-page or multi-page, as the theme allows to create both. It supports custom post types, WooCommerce and comes with drag-and-drop builder. I believe any creative workshop small business can start with this theme. It costs $49.
The overall design of this theme is not worse than of any premium one: it’s clean and stylish. It can serve primarily as portfolio for your small business (from consulting to culinary blog). The theme is based on flat design, most parts of the front page can be easily edited with WordPress Customizer: colors, fonts, slider, footer text and tracking scripts.
It also looks awesome on mobile devices. If you are not looking for some difficult functionality, the theme can be your professional business portfolio. By the way, the Pro version of the theme is also available.
Bloc is a clean theme for designers and photographers: pixel perfect with elegant typography. It’s a great feeling to have a portfolio with the works in the spotlight, where the website itself is just a nice frame. Your favourite and best works can be presented in bigger sizes and the others are in smaller without additional useless elements.
The theme supports Google fonts, custom handy page builder for non-techs and necessary custom post types (portfolios, people/team, testimonials and galleries). $49 is quite fair price for such a theme.
Wanna start selling something and it should be a free theme? Luckily, WordPress.org directory provides a lot of great solutions. FashStore, a fresh child theme of AccessPress Store, is one of them. Again, don’t try to turn your shop into something sophisticated: for the e-shops it’s especially critical to provide your customers with satisfying user experience, which is possible only when the shop is easily navigated and clutter-free.
Exactly as FashStore. More customization options include: editing front page with WordPress Customizer, background and color configuration, YouTube video support, multiple category display layout, product and content search, and clean product pages.
Probably you are already using any of them and can provide your feedback? Feel free to share it in comments!