Retro themes are sort of a paradox. Not every theme that brings back the past or reminisces about it would qualify as retro themes. Not every theme that tries to be contemporary can be called state of the art. There is a fine balance that is essential in any retro site. Also, the very definition of retro themes is debatable. What truly qualifies as a retro theme? Is it the design or the technology, certain images or the settings, the features or the manner in which the site works?
Some free retro WordPress themes are contemporary designs with some references to pop culture of the yesteryears. Some free retro WordPress themes are classic designs that have let go on the features that are relevant today. It eventually boils down to what kind of a site you wish to develop and how you wish to induce that retro feel. One can go all out with outdated designs or one can have a state of the art website with retro references. Bearing in mind the possibilities, here are some free retro WordPress themes that you can consider.
90s Retro is one of the finest examples of free retro WordPress themes. It doesn’t confine itself to the features or the references; it goes back to the essence of old sites or the websites of the nineties in particular. You may recollect, if you are old enough, the websites of the nineties with their pixilated images or graphics. At that time, we did not even know what high resolution images were all about or how grand and realistic certain animated imagery or graphics could get. Now that we know, the 90s Retro theme is almost nostalgic. The theme has an old school feel with neon colors, animated GIFs and background music. It is kind of homage to the predecessors of the post Y2K era. You can toy with the images and various features of the theme. You can dedicate your retro website to specific movies, bands, pop culture or anything in particular that you hold dear. 90s Retro is a great theme for movie buffs and thus movie websites, blogs, music websites, fan sites, video game websites and for generic business websites that owe allegiance to one or more retro themes.
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Remember when the fonts used on websites were unique or different to say the least? Before there was a need to fall in line, designers and developers were rather experimental. Strange but interesting fonts, unique layouts and an ardent inclination to be different used to make websites different. While contents did all the talking eventually, the design or the themes used were certainly quaint, and in a good way. That is what you can attain with RetroTale. This theme is completely customizable. It is an ideal choice for magazines, blogs, businesses and even ecommerce sites. The theme can also be used for portfolios if there has to be some retro reference and event management companies or organizers and communities can also use this theme. RetroTale is Retina ready, it is fully responsive, there are 3 pre-defined color schemes, as many as 220 Google fonts and Theme Options panel that can easily adapt your website to different layouts and sitemaps depending on what you need or prefer. There are boxed layouts, wide layouts, two blogs layouts, masonry or grid and column layouts. The headers, footers, favicons, sidebars, plug-ins and languages; everything can be customized. The theme is presently available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Russian and Slovak.
This is one of the simplest free retro WordPress themes available right now. Ideal for personal or family blogs, kids’ websites or any kind of website that doesn’t have to be monetized; Ectopudding brings in some very simple features without which a website would be incomplete but while retaining the charm of retro websites. However, the theme still allows you to have social media integration, a very convenient sitemap and other features which will make browsing, sharing and interconnecting a cakewalk.
Trendmag doesn’t pay homage to any particular pop culture or what was popular in the past. It is just a simple website theme that offers features which have been around for almost two decades now. The simplistic design has a flexible layout. It is ideal for blogs, magazines, profiles or portfolios and even for ecommerce sites but not for the obvious consumer electronics or gadgets. Trendmag is an easy theme with very lucid setup processes. Anyone can find the theme easy to work with. The theme is almost a classic but is also contemporary enough to allow you substantial customizability.
At the end of the day, how you present your site and what kind of flavors or references you pull in to deck up your free retro WordPress themes will determine the visual and contextual impression.