Yes, a free WordPress theme with widgets in the header.
You can get free WordPress themes anywhere. Most are awful. Give me two minutes to tell you why you should consider this one.
Do you want a blog with a really compact, widgetized header? Do you want visitors to immediately see your social media links, a search field, and your Feedburner e-mail signup form? Do you want more space in your sidebar?
Do you want an efficient, premium WordPress header for free?
Step 2: download the rtPanel TimelessFinance Child Theme (the “Child Theme”).
Step 3: Install and activate the Parent Theme on your WordPress.
Step 4: Install and activate the Child Theme on your WordPress
Step 5: Customize your header using WIDGETS. That’s right – the theme creates a “Top Right Sidebar” and a “Below Heading Sidebar”. On my “Top Right Sidebar”, I’ve inserted the rtPanel Subscribe Widget (the five grey social media icons) and a Feedburner Form (the “Get each day’s post by email!” form and the Feedburner chiclet). In my “Below Heading Sidebar”, I’ve inserted a Google AdSense Leaderboard. I’ve added a massive ad to my header and I still have extra space in my sidebar above-the-fold!
Step 6 (Optional): Create a custom menu (see how some of my menu bar items “drop down”?). Originally, when I implemented my custom menu, I lost my beautiful search box (at the right of the menu bar). If you want to use this theme with a custom menu and keep the search box, rtCamp developed a simple, 3-step solution that takes about ten minutes to implement — all you need to do is copy and paste some code based on very clear instructions.
How did this custom-modified Child Theme come about?
TimelessFinance always used the rtPanel WordPress Theme Framework. rtPanel, compared to most free WordPress themes, has a compact header.
Even still, I (Joe, the writer) despise wasted, empty space in the header. The “above-the-fold” area is critical – it’s where you have the reader’s greatest attention. Look at any popular content website – they make excellent use of the “above-the-fold” area (the area you see in your browser when you first enter the website).
So I offered a $100 prize to get a custom-modified Child Theme developed - a Child Theme with a compact header, to include my social networking links, my search box, my Feedburner Form, and a Google Ad. Gagan from rtCamp (with some help from colleagues to optimize the code) did a ton of work. We went through a few iterations until the Child Theme met and exceeded all of my expectations.
Now, rtCamp and TimelessFinance offer this custom-modified WordPress Theme to other bloggers. Again, just download/install the Parent theme and download/install the modified Child Theme. Eventually the custom-modified Child Theme will be available on WordPress.org! How exciting is that?
ALTERNATE DOWNLOAD LINKS:
rtPanel (Parent Theme)
rtPanel TimelessFinance Child Theme
- (pending approval at WordPress.org)
Other Elements of TimelessFinance.com and Its Design
- WP Socializer Plugin - I use this Plugin’s floating sidebar of “+1″ buttons and the fixed row of “Share” buttons on each post.
- Facebook Like Plugin – I tried a bunch of pre-made plugins to put a “like” for the TimelessFinance Facebook group in the sidebar. They were consistently awful and took up far too much space. Thus I snagged the standard code, set it toward the TimelessFinance Facebook group, and modified it with my own, more efficient parameters; then I just put this code in a “Text” sidebar widget.
- HostGator – I used to host my site with iPage. My experience was that my site was down a lot and too slow. Readers started complaining about it, which is where I drew the line. Their customer service wasn’t any help in fixing the problem. iPage is the cheapest host, but I couldn’t handle the thought of losing visitors because they were frustrated with a slow website. I made the switch to HostGator and haven’t looked back. It’s a little bit more expensive but the speed and up-time are excellent.
- I custom-modified the website’s footer (Footer.php in the rtPanel parent theme) to include a “loginout” button and a “register” button (the latter switches to “admin” when an authorized user is logged in).
- More to come.