2008 has been a massive year in the world of WordPress themes, with the emergence of a number of professional design houses selling premium themes, accompanied by a steady stream of quality free theme releases.
The year has seen fevered discussion surrounding the issue of premium themes and how they interact with the GPL licence associated with WordPress.
However, for most users of WordPress the biggest developments have been the improvements to the software’s interface and the release of richer, increasingly professional designs from both free and premium developers.
There’s been a great deal of innovation during the year, much of it coming from the premium space and leaking into free themes over time. For instance, many themes now come with custom administration panels that allow users to customise their theme from within the WordPress menus. Such a facility was basically unheard of at the start of 2008.
Here’s bestwpthemes.com’s selection of the best themes of 2008. There are 45 themes in all, divided between free and premium themes.
The best free WordPress themes of 2008
Revolution White Canvas
Upstart Blogger Swiss
The Morning After
The best premium WordPress themes of 2008
Note: There’s a chance not all of the above themes were released in 2008. Some may have been available in late 2007 but only come to my notice in 2008. Nonetheless, I believe they belong among a list of the best themes of 2008, as this is when they came to prominence.