The WordPress community is filled with talented designers and developers who create stunning themes. Theme stores are popping up all over the place selling impressive designs.
But for every beautiful theme there is a truly fugly one waiting for some poor unsuspecting soul to download and activate it on their WordPress site.
I scoured the internet to put together this collection of some of the worst WordPress themes. There are some real shockers out there, but it just goes to show how far web design has come since WordPress was conceived and how high expectations are now for theme creators.
Check out the list and let us know if you’ve come across any fugly themes that didn’t make it into the list.
P.S. This isn’t supposed to be a serious article – it’s a Friday Funny. Apologies if you designed any of these sites. But hey, maybe you’ll get some downloads :)
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Let’s ease into the list with this cracker. It is described by its designer as “A hideously ugly, barely usable theme inspired by (infamous web usability consultant) Jakob Nielsen.” Apparently the theme is based on an older version of Nielsen’s website.
The colors don’t work at all – the soft yellow and blue backgrounds are the same color as the fading onesies my little brother wore when he was a baby back in the late 1980s.
2. Rounded Blue
A boring name for a boring looking theme. “A simple layout with one column for posts and two columns for widgets at the bottom,” according to the designer.
A fantastic theme if you want to take your website back to circa 1999.
Another boring design, this time in 50 shades of green. Much like EL James’ book, Fifty Shades of Grey, this theme lacks class.
Geocities anyone? According to the designer, “In the winter sunshine, glittering snowflakes, they are lovely and comforting.” This theme is anything but comforting. The repetitive background hurts my eyeballs and I can almost smell the cheese wafting from the snow in the sidebar.
All it needs is a scrolling marquee to complete the look.
I haven’t seen wood panelling this ugly since I designed my first house in Sims in 2000.
The designer describes the theme as having a “richly toned wood floor background with bare-earth colored widgetized sidebar and footer… A strong theme to begin with; grow into; and, build on.”
How would you build onto this theme? I’d grow into it with an image of a moose head and an animated GIF of a roaring fire.
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“A great, simple theme that gives out a very natural and refreshing vibe. You can just smell the trees!” according to the designer.
I can’t smell the one little tree on the page… my nose can’t get past the poo-colored background or the green headers. It really is ugly.
Okay, so this theme hasn’t been updated in two years. Still, this Geocities-inspired design wasn’t exactly trendy two years ago. The border looks like the carpet my grandmother had in her house in the 1970s.
When I installed and activated this theme I thought it hadn’t loaded properly so I hit refresh. Nope, it really is supposed to look like an error occurred and it’s missing CSS.
This theme is also shades of wrong, despite the designer’s assurance that it is “very professional and very free” and is a “beautiful modern theme.”
I can understand the metal floor background, given the name of the theme, but the pink header background and links don’t make sense at all. Then there’s the butterflies and the hummingbird, which look absolutely ridiculous and out of place in the header. It’s like the designer got distracted after setting the background image.
And last but not least, one of our own designs… the Edublogs theme.
Download it and take your site back in time seven years!