There's a certain mystique that follows writers around. The idea that they sit hunched over antique typewriters while sipping cup after cup of coffee is a part of the writer legend that is pervasive in pop culture. And while the coffee part might be true, the rest is hype. The writer's life is hardly glamorous.
However, the writer's website can be. It can be lush and full of dreamy photography, quill and ink icons, and distinct fonts. It can look and feel the part of what writers are supposed to be. All of that is contingent on getting the right design for your site, of course. What follows is a list of 21 premium WordPress themes that all exude writerly-ness from every pore. One is certain to appeal to the budding screenwriter or professional blogger in all of us.
Author Pro, from the fine people at StudioPress, pairs with the Genesis Framework for an extremely powerful customization platform. The idea is to assist published authors in building the ideal library of books for sharing with readers and selling these books through a single website to improve profits. Authors also have the opportunity to link to other markets like Amazon and Kobo, but the main goal is to provide a sleek, media-based frontend for enticing readers into your newest release.
The theme comes with custom color styles and backgrounds for branding yourself and standing out from the thousands of other authors in the world. The custom header reveals a beautiful image area, along with modules for call to actions, descriptions and buttons. Use the landing page to describe a single book in detail, improving conversions and diving in deep to what your book is all about. The responsive theme provides strong theme customizer tools and a theme options panel so you don't have to touch any code or search around your WordPress dashboard to make a simple change, like uploading an eBook cover image.
Categorize your books into different groups, allowing for people to separate your children's books from your travel memoirs. Link to all of your social media accounts to improve follower counts, and feature all your top reviews in a stylish module on the homepage. As a bonus, you can create a sleek About the Author area on your homepage to feature a head shot and description of your experience.
We like Fotomag for writers because it it offers a slick, minimalist online presence, and it's catered to those who are looking to tell stories, whether it be with photos or words. The theme is basically meant to work as a magazine layout, which is great for all writers, considering you can feature your articles with large thumbnails and cram together widgets to keep people on your homepage for a longer period of time. Fotomag is grid-based, meaning that all of your posts are going to be scattered around the homepage, with thumbnails images and links sitting around for people to click on. The responsive nature of the theme means that all of your elements snap into place when viewed on smaller devices. Not to mention, you can see changes instantly with the free page customizer. We like this for people with minimal development skill, along with those who just want to skip the Preview button.
Translation ready files are packaged into the Fotomag WordPress theme, which is a must-have for most writers considering you want to get the word out about your stuff, regardless of what language people speak. The infinite post load feature helps with cramming a bunch of content onto your homepage. It also goes along with the more modern web design trends, since people are not looking to click all over your site to find articles. The header options are endless, and the layout options assist in creating versatile pages and posts that don't all look exactly the same. We really enjoy the visitor like system, which asks people to like your content when they read over it. This works for generating conversation and giving you credibility when folks say they want to hear more from you.
Forte is a sleek theme from the ThemeBeans team, and it's designed particularly for writers who need an elegant and simple solution for displaying their works. The layout starts out with a giant site title and tagline area without any distractions at all. When you scroll down you start to notice that the blog post thumbnails maximize the effectiveness of the photos, with wide screen and high-quality featured images.
The robust theme customizer makes it simple for beginners to modify items like logos, colors, blog settings and more. The background image provides a unique way to standout from other websites, and you can play around with the settings to make your image full-screen or even to just choose a solid color. The Forte theme runs well with the Restrict Content Pro plugin, in case you plan on offering memberships through your site.
Setup multiple post formats, and generate conversation with your users by implementing the elegant blog post and commenting system. You can even incorporate a video background if a photo doesn't quite do your writing justice. The fully responsive theme works well in terms of SEO, so you can sleep easy knowing that your content is being indexed by the search engines.
Check out the Graceunderpressure theme if you're looking for an option that gives you a blog. This is not particularly meant to be used for selling books, or anything like that, but you could definitely try it out by integrating with WooCommerce. Overall, you receive six demo layouts, from female blogging setups to literary journals. Each of them has its own flair, and it's nice because you can choose what you would like your brand to look like by simply going with a preset demo. We enjoy the literary option because it has a full list of your book chapters, releasing portions of your book to the public, or allowing for full versions, if you're only looking for feedback. Social media buttons are included with the theme, but we particularly enjoy that all of the written content is put towards the center of the page. Each blog post looks like it's written on a real book with paper, and it doesn't have lots of sidebars or junk content that is going to take user eyes off of the chapters.
The responsive layout helps your readers look at chapters from smaller devices, and the beautiful cover photos expand to the full screen layout, enabling you to use high resolution images to boost conversions on your books and chapters. Touch swipe gestures are available for those who are reading your content on tablets and phones, while the screenplay format comes into play if you're looking to make the next blockbuster movie. The custom typography is crucial when building your brand, and the stunning author profile empowers you to share information about yourself and connect with the people you call your fans. Overall, it's a slick theme that gives off a sense of nostalgia. It almost looks as if you're reading a real book.
The RAIN theme was developed by FRESHFACE and offers a minimalistic way to present your writing to the world. Still it's feature-rich and is focused on creating an experience your readers will never forget. For instance, the theme takes your uploaded background image photo and overlays rain on a windowpane dripping down it. It comes with audio files to set the reading mood, too.
Beyond the dynamic stuff, RAIN is also just a real pleasure to use. It's split panel interface makes for an intuitive reading experience. The lefthand side shows the title of the chapter you're reading (along with that fancy raindrop effect) and the righthand side shows the text of that section. You can scroll down to read new chapters or click the menu at the top which opens in the lefthand panel to view your options.
RAIN is fully responsive, supports multiple browsers, and includes Google Fonts and Font Awesome.
The Ink WordPress them is one of the more daring designs, since it provides a more visual look for convincing people to click through on your written content. It looks like it's created mainly for adventure writers, but you can use it for just about any type of site. For example, a mommy blogger could turn this into a nice platform, while you could also use it for a food site. Regardless, the whole point of the Ink WordPress theme is to share stories. It has a live customizer on the backend, ensuring that you don't have to touch any source code. In addition, this reveals your changes in real time, removing the need to click on the Preview button. This is compatible with the Restrict Content Pro plugin, making it ideal for those who would like to give away a few chapters before selling a book.
The Ink theme is fully responsive, making it perfect for those users who are bound to look at your content from mobile devices. You get an author page for turning your website into a more personal experience. In addition, the widgetized homepage turns your design process into more of a drag and drop module. The entire navigational menu is consolidated into the right side of your website. This means that no one can see the menu unless they click on the button to reveal it. This is nice for keeping most of the focus on your written work, while also turning it into a more mobile friendly layout. Along with that you gain access to a huge header image, with overlaying text for talking about what your site is all about. Along with a solid grid-based layout on the homepage, the Ink theme is ideal for all writers.
UpThemes is known for its beautiful layouts that present long form content in a reasonable manner. Largo is no different. With your purchase you receive a Typekit Font License for generating the ideal fonts for your own style. The theme includes integration with the Aesop Story Engine, which helps you utilize 13 unique story components instead of relying on code to get your point across.
The commenting system is where this theme truly excels, since users can post their comments to the side of the article, referring to particular lines or paragraphs in the article. Along with full-width article images and customizable colors, you no longer have to worry about how your story is displayed. The theme is also responsive, so all of your users can turn on a tablet or smartphone and view your content.
One standout, yet simple, feature is the widget area, which presents somewhat of a drag and drop modification zone for you to customize important components of your site without reaching into the theme's code. This area is available in the off-screen navigation menu, completing the intuitive settings wizard.
The Impose WordPress them comes into play for those writers who want to run a blog, but also highlight resumes, portfolios and even photos to show creativity. This is an extremely minimalist setup, with lots of white space and a logo and text module right in the center of the header. The elegant layout has responsive features for people who would like to view your resume, or blog, on a smaller device, like a phone or tablet. The over 10 blog layouts ensure that you have some variety throughout your blog, and the newsletter subscribe widget gets people to come back to your site after you capture email addresses. Related posts are featured towards the end of each blog post, which is more important than you may think, because people are going to stick around longer if they see something else they might enjoy. Trending posts are also highlighted on the sidebar, giving more exposure to the already popular articles.
Feature each of your posts in the beautiful slider, or put them in one of the many list widgets. MailChimp integrates directly with the newsletter subscribe widget, and the NinjaForm tools work nicely for those who would like to make contact or survey forms. Social media buttons are provided for building your follower counts, and a little search icon sits in the top right hand corner of the homepage, guiding folks to exactly what they want to see. Show off your Instagram feed, and talk about your life in some of the many page layouts. This theme could really be used by any type of writer, since it cuts down on the general clutter that you find on most themes, and it provides a wonderful way to get your blog out there, while also featuring your past work. We give it two big thumbs up.
If you need a theme for an online magazine, Literatum by Kohette is a perfect choice. It's straightforward and simple yet interesting to look at. Every article is presented in a clean way so you can navigate from one to the next with ease and get right down to reading. All the settings for this theme are integrated into your main WordPress settings menus so you don't have to learn and handle another options panel.
Some of Literatum's features include AJAX navigation, a custom author avatar, and category featured images. You can also swap out featured images on posts for video covers instead. It comes with category templates, a read time estimator, and support for third party comment systems. It automatically supports Facebook Comments and Disqus right out of the box.
Another cool thing about this theme is that it offers support for interviews thanks to question and answer interview buttons that display in the post editor upon installation. It's equipped with combined CSS and is completely social media ready. Your visitors will be able to easily share your content on their networks.
OM was developed by CodeStag and offers a sophisticated take on blogging. It comes with three post grid layouts to use on your homepage, blog, archives, and search results pages. You can turn on and off a left or right sidebar to give your visitors more options for navigation, too.
This theme also comes with a live customizer that's super easy to set up and lets you select from a full width or boxed layout, background images, sidebar options, Google or Typekit fonts, post grid layouts, menu placement, logos, colors, and more. The homepage template is also widgetized so you can easily select which widgets you want to appear and rearrange them on the fly.
OM is completely responsive and is retina and child theme-ready. It comes with great documentation and includes extensive support, too, so you'll always be in good hands.
If long-form content is your specialty, the Basic theme by Parks and Parker ought to suit your needs nicely. It offers a distraction-free layout that's perfect for reading long works. The fonts are easy on the eyes and the theme is fully responsive, so it looks great (and the content is totally readable) on whatever device you decide to view it on.
Basic comes with several post formats built in, too, including Standard, Link, Quote, Gallery, Video, and Audio. All coding has been tested and is based on valid HTML5 and CSS3.
Pick from a multitude of colors, customize any aspect of your site you want, and use the theme options to make every step push-button simple.
The Elegant theme, from the folks at Themify, presents a full-width title page with social components and menu buttons included. Upon scrolling downwards, each blog post is presented in a striking manner, with huge photos, an author image and stylized titles. This theme removes all of the clutter, such as animations and special effects, to get to the stuff that truly matters–your writing. Publish your content and know that everyone can view it on any device.
The primary advantage to using this theme is the drag and drop builder. It doesn't matter which part of your site you plan on making changes to, because you never have to modify any code. Just go into the editor and move modules to where you want them to show up. This merges well with the stunning typography, adding sufficient white space and appeal to the beginning of your articles.
Built-in image filters allow you to add grayscale, blur and sephia effects without opening Photoshop or any other photo editing platform. Present your favorite works in a portfolio, and modify the header by incorporating interesting fonts, backgrounds and colors. The customization options are endless with this theme, ranging from team post types, WooCommerce integration and color skins.
Literary is a blog theme through and through but it offers a little something extra for your time: custom post types for displaying your books and your portfolio. This gem from Mean Themes works for anyone in a creative field with a need for a blog and a portfolio of their work. It's responsive, fast, and quite simply stunning.
The Books post type lets you showcase your books and provide direct links to wherever they're available for purchase online. Portfolio lets you show off other projects, while Announcements lets you make quick news posts that can be made “sticky” to the top of your blog.
The theme options panel lets you select from many different colors for every aspect of the layout plus you can select from numerous fonts from Typekit, Google, and Adobe Edge. Literary supports child themes and you can opt to show or hide several content elements like the tagline, author info, search, social icons, and more. It also comes with several widgets, which makes customizing the layout a snap. Other features include shortcodes, contact forms, slideshow galleries, and extensive documentation. Well worth the price tag.
CSSIgniter never seems to disappoint, and the Moment theme provides a rare chance to display your written words with the help of powerful media components. The responsive layout runs with a masonry style homepage, stacking photos on top of and next to each other for the ultimate visual experience. The theme comes packaged with four blog post layouts including fixed width, full-width, left content and right content.
The CSSIgniter options panel is one of the best in the business, integrating easy-to-use buttons, all consolidated into one area. Some of the more basic theme options include logo uploading, Google Analytics tracking, color changes and special settings for all of your posts. The theme also comes with localization support, so just a few clicks translates your writing to reach out to new readers.
Overall, the Moment theme brings together media and the written word, exciting your visitors with stunning photos that lead them to blog posts with unlimited customization options. Some of the best post features include block quotes, comments at the bottom, full-width images, strong headers and even tables with headings.
The Fall theme by Obox Themes is stylish and inherently flexible. It's designed to handle long-form articles with no problem but offers a multitude of formats to handle any kind of post you can throw at it. The reading experience is described as “distraction-free” and puts all the focus on the text.
The layout is responsive and perfect for mobile, which is especially impressive since long reads can be notoriously difficult to parse on smaller screens. The font is easy on the eyes as well and the theme itself includes support for Google+ and your other social profiles, as it includes a Social Links widget. The build is SEO-friendly, too, so you'll see your site rank improve steadily as a result of using it.
Fall comes with several unique theme options that are worth mentioning as well. For instance, it comes with the Obox Themes' OCMX Theme Settings Panel that makes it easy to customize your site however you see fit. This settings panel allows you to upload a custom logo, track visitor stats with Google Analytics, and use a drag-and-drop editor to modify the look of your homepage. The theme also supports unlimited color options for links, containers, backgrounds, borders, headers, footers, and more.
Video and image resizing is included as well along with oEmbed and the ability to insert self-hosted videos.
If you're committed to writing, you'll love Typist. This theme is another selection from Parks and Parker and offers a simple layout that everyone will love. It's designed to create an optimum reading experience. It also offers ample space for featured images and an informative sidebar but it puts the majority of its focus on the content of your pages and posts–as it should be!
This theme is responsive, so it can be viewed on any device and offers a live preview mode for customization. Select from a variety of colors, fonts, and layout possibilities. It comes with several post types and is SEO optimized so you don't have to worry about sloppy code messing up your search engine rank.
And as all premium themes should have, Typist comes with high quality support, so you're always an email away from someone who will know the answers to your questions. It's a great theme for letting your content lead the way.
Another selection from Obox Themes, The Writer is very simple and puts your best content on display. It was made with writers and journalists in mind and offers an attractive way to display long articles on desktop and mobile devices.
One of the best features of this theme, I think, is its focus on the articles themselves. When you click an article to read it, all other distractions are removed so it's just you and the content. The typography was designed for lengthy reading and you can choose from different font colors, sizes, weights, and line-heights if you wish. It also includes support for social media and SEO.
The Writer also lets you set a custom color scheme or background image for each article, which lets you create the perfect accent to your writing. Using the included OCMX Theme Settings panel, you can also adjust the logo, set up Google Analytics, and select from a variety of layouts for your homepage using a drag-and-drop editor. Choose from a variety of colors for your links, backgrounds, headers, footers, and borders as well. The price tag may be high but the feature set is there to match it.
The name JRNY may not mean much to you, but the MeanThemes team ensures satisfaction with a theme that grabs attention with the help of bold and exuberant images. The entire homepage consists of full-length photos, creating a lovely scroll down effect. With full responsiveness and powerful grid layouts you can entice your readers to move onto some of your best content. The categories page template is a new way to reveal your four or five categories in a grid-based manner, using thumbnail photos and gorgeous title typography.
The theme provides fixed height articles for easier viewing, and the font customizer offers full control over what your words and sentences look like to your most loyal followers. One useful feature is when the developer sends out updates to the settings panel. They warn you with a red message to let you know that a new feature is available, ensuring you take advantage of everything you paid for.
The lightweight, yet powerful, theme serves as the ideal option when sharing regular thoughts and complementing these thoughts with beautiful images, videos and audio clips. By default, the theme only shows titles and descriptions when someone hovers over the full-width post images. This is customizable so all of the details popup upon landing on the homepage.
The Preface WordPress theme is built just for authors, and it features a design that supports WooCommerce. This plugin is perfect for selling books and other merchandise, particularly if you want to feature your whole collections. For example, you may have 20 books to sell, so the WooCommerce interface is the ideal way to do so. Simply post your books with buttons to buy, and collect money in your account when people decide to purchase. A book post type is included for uploading details about your book, such as cover art, descriptions and more. A book launch landing page is one of the standout features, considering you can quickly show people what your newest book is about and convince them to buy from you. The book filter works wonders when customers come to your site and want to locate an item that is in one particular category or genre. As an example, a user would find it nice to navigate directly to romantic novels if that's all they want.
Control all your font sizes with the Preface theme, and change around some of the colors to make your branding look nice. Several social media buttons are located at the very top of the homepage, prompting people to follow you on other places throughout the web. The navigation sits at the top as well, and right below that you can find a book cover slider, featuring a wide selection of all your titles. These offer links as well, so if someone sees something they like, they can click through. Post testimonials within seconds, and use the call to action text and button modules to convince people to go to the sales pages. The theme comes with a blog for boosting your search engine rankings, and the My Books slider keeps the entire collection in one place. Overall, it's a simple, yet stylish theme, and we would recommend it to authors with lots of books in their libraries.
Developed by Kraftt, Blogify is a high-quality theme designed for those who like to write regularly in personal blogs. It's powered by Bootstrap and comes with more theme options than you can shake a stick at. And I mean that in a good way. It's also responsive and the design is flat, so keeps with the modern aesthetic that's so popular right now.
You can customize the colors for numerous aspects of the site including the site's background, sidebar background and sidebar text. You can also post audio files, create sticky menus, and select from two styles of Related Posts sections. You can also create a sticky sidebar and turn on and off maintenance mode.
This theme uses FlexSlider to create gallery post sliders, comes with over 500 Google fonts, and you can customize the logo and favicon. Several widgets are included as well for popular posts, social media, ads, Flickr, and more. Blogify actually comes with more features than we can discuss here but it's also worth mentioning it comes with full documentation and support from the Kraftt team.
The Thinker theme delivers a unique experience for writers who would like to stick with a basic blog. However, the theme looks more creative than usual, using almost grungy color styles and the sleek Soliloquy Slider that links to other posts on your website. The default demo presents most of the information towards the middle of the page, but you can choose from several page templates, reorganizing your content and taking advantage of sidebars and widgets. The Thinker theme also works with WooCommerce, allowing you to sell items like eBooks or physical books.
As mentioned above, the page templates generate a more unique design for your writing. For example, one of the page templates is setup for making a beautiful portfolio for freelance work or even to link to your novel's chapters. The simple blogging theme has a responsive layout for readers who would rather access your content on mobile devices. Not only that, but the slider and all ecommerce elements snap into place when on phones and tablets.
Going along with the simplicity of the theme, you can find a theme customizer with the most basic of settings. Some of these include options for uploading your logo, along with header images, color elements and much more. Finally, this wonderful writing theme integrates with the following additional plugins: Jetpack and Genericons.