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Top 10 Joomla! Template Picks for 2010

Written by | Saturday, 01 January 2011 00:00 | Published in 2011 January
A few weeks ago Kyle and I set about the task of choosing our top 5 templates for 2010. To say it was a difficult task is an understatement.

During 2010, the Joomla! community experienced a veritable explosion of creativity in the world of template design. With new template companies and new designers coming on to the scene, the rapid development of popular template frameworks and, of course, the phenomenal expansion of the Joomla! user base which seems to be driving a lot of the innovation, the Joomla! template scene evolved, and continues to evolve, at quite an astonishing pace.

The following is by no means a definitive list of the absolute best templates available for Joomla!, but is rather a collection of designs that we like and are inspired by from our fellow designers. So, in light of this, here are our favourite Joomla! template designs from 2010...

Kyle Ledbetter's top 5 templates for 2010

Rasa and Ecolift by Joomla Bamboo

ecolift

2010 was the year of JoomlaBamboo. Anthony went from a minimal designer that I respected to a trend-setting Joomla! designer that I envied. Rasa is a perfect example of the type of minimal, yet classy design that's needed so badly in the Joomla template world.

I couldn't decide between Rasa and Ecolift, so I'm listing both! Ecolift is another stellar template from JoomlaBamboo. If I were to run a "green" business, or any holistic website, this would easily be my choice.

Creativa by Prothemer (aka Joomla junkie)

creativa

2010 was the "year of the framework" in Joomla!, and Morph started that party. Framework or not, Creativa is a beautifully crafted experience and probably my fave social networking theme in Joomla!

Omnicron by Rocket Theme

omnicron

I wasn't sure if Rockettheme would make my list. It's not that they don't do good design, but that they hardly stray from their typical design style (Why should they? That's what has made them uber-successful). I really liked Omnicron because, for a change, I could really see this template used for a real website, for software. This post is about design, but the RokFeatureTable extension is very cool and useful, and also well designed. I also applaud the iPhone optimization.

Postnote by Gavick

postnote

Continuing with the surprise entries; PostNote was by far my favorite Gavick template of the year (and all time). Gavick is known for their news/magazine layout, and are the best at that style in Joomla!. PostNote could certainly be used for a magazine, but it has a uniquely designed and innovative homepage.

Noble by Yootheme

noble

Another pleasant surprise was Noble from Yootheme. Yootheme is similar to Rockettheme in my mind. They don't typically stray from their bread and butter. Noble was a very nice departure. Elegant and subtle, it was not the typical "Yoo" style.

Anthony Olsen's top 5 template picks for 2010

Noble by Yootheme

noble2

This is really a very elegant design, and I love the attention to detail across the whole design. I'm a big fan of breaking out the date elements in a theme and this design does it superbly.

Post note by Gavick

postnote

The Postnote theme was mentioned in my trends for template design a few months back, so it's no surprise that it ranks in my top 5 templates for this year. I really like the detail in this one too, especially the shadow under the intro text images. This, in my opinion, is one of the best examples of sophisticated minimalism I've seen in a Joomla! template.

Events by Joomla Art

jaevents

I really like the sense of fun you get from this design. There have been some good examples of sites advertising design conferences this year (such as the drupal con design or the 2011 Jandbeyond design) and I think that JA Events has captured the event concept well.

Panacea by Rocket Theme

panacea

One of the trends I mentioned in the Joomla! template trend article was the use of large banner images. There were actually some really interesting jQuery gallery scripts like the supersize image gallery that pushed the envelope (a little too far perhaps) in terms of creating background image sliders, but I think Panacea nails it perfectly. The thing I like about it is that the design itself is actually pretty subtle, but because of the way the slideshow is implemented, it creates quite a striking contrast.

Le Blanc by Prothemer (aka Joomla Junkie)

leblanc

Le Blanc was also featured in the template trends article and I still think it's a really strong design. I like the way the design matches the large typography, plenty of negative space with a simple palette to create not quite a blank slate (but almost) for you to start your blog from. I especially like the text shadow on the large text elements, very subtle, but I think it adds real depth to the design.

Over to you now... What were your favourite designs from 2010 and why?

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Tagged under Designers
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Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos Saturday, 01 January 2011
Thank you both for your work and for a great job at picking templates! When I was redesigning my site, I was very close to hiring a designer to create a custom template for me. I had written a two pages brief and made another half dozen pages of sketches. At that time, RT's Omnicron launched and my jaw dropped. It's like Andy's team had read my notes and designed the template I was dreaming of. A couple of days later, all the extensions were also custom-styled using module chrome, "binding" everything together in stylistic unity. With my own site proudly beautified by it, I can say for sure that Omnicron is my favorite template for 2010 :)
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My Favorite one was, the Newstream from Joomla Bamboo.. You both missed it :(
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I like JA Events as I like the sense of fun :-)
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I personally prefer Yootheme templates, as they just run very solid, although I've stepped out of my box a little bit recently to use a few Rockettheme templates.

It's good to see some other opinions which bring other template creators to the forefront, as I'm always looking for other options, if not a different look.

Thanks for the article!
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All great template designs. One thing I think is interesting is how most of these templates are built on some sort of a framework (Gantry, Zen, Morph, etc.). Having just updated my own site using Joomla Engineering's Construct Framework, I really like the flexibility that it offers.

Personally, I'd expect to see more template development geared towards "themes" for a framework and less templates that aren't built on a framework as we roll through 2011. I've only quickly glanced at some of these products, but for the most part, all of them seem really user friendly and make it easier for non-design oriented developers (myself included) to customize their site's appearance.
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Go minimalists!

Looking forward to a review of template frameworks here soon. (hint hint.)
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Posnote is so good, it had to be mentioned twice.

This was a year of frameworks
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For me the best Joomla template for 2010 is Zephyr from Rockettheme.
I like the way we can customize it with color chooser and gantry.
It has the elegance of simplicity with a nice combinaison of transparency and plain color.
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your good decision for menu create
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Some really good templates though the noble has a strong resemblence to designcubicle.com a very nice list that shows the versatility offered by Joomla
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Thanks for the list guys. I wanted to ask you what you would rank as your favourite template for something like a personal photography website?
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methinks you like grey.

I don't pretend to be a designer, but I prefer designs to speak to me rather than be muted.

Just a matter of taste I guess
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Sweet choices guys!
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I liked JoomlaPraise Refresh template - clean, easy to work, professional.
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Have any of y'all used Shape5.com? I have a subscription there and I was wondering what you think of how their themes and extensions compare.
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What were the criteria you used in picking the templates? Was W3C one of them?
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I love omnicron and would say it was my favourite of the year without a doubt but I also had a strange affliction with a free template called 'business silver' from Joomla Free Templates
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Audrey A. Jones | WebTechMom Sunday, 09 January 2011
It was exciting to witness the 'frameworks year' - 2010. I have followed the joomla community for 4 years, and I have made some joomla websites. I am truly impressed, and I am trying to think how I can contribute in addition to buying an extension and a template here and there. Keep up the good work!
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I feel that JA event did a great job for bringing out conference feel and look for community.

Even liked the paradox template by RT

Great choose for other templates also :)
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Please ditch the frameworks! Or at the very least offer non-framework versions of all templates!

I know how to code css, and template club templates used to be a good starting point. I would then style them to my or the clients taste.

Now they are worthless and I have to code all of my templates from scratch.

Starting from a template used to save me 4-50 hours of work - and most clients aren't willing to pay me $3k to $5k to design them a template. Now because I am anal I spend that much time and only charge them for a fraction of it. Total BS.
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Best Web Templates Thursday, 27 January 2011
I like Joomla Art Events.
Good colour scheme.
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Beautiful collection, of course I am biased as a Joomla Bamboo member! My favorite is Grid2, Joomla Bamboo.
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wonderful ....really creative
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Web video player Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Nice resource......... Have you submitted for 2011 too?
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Hi Friends,

There are so many templates exist in joomla around so many place.
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My vote is for Rocket themes, but am not seeing it here..

also i dont see Apptha themes..
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Thiet ke web dep Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Events template is very beautiful . It's very good template . Html and css is good for SEO.
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I like JA teline IV, Nice joomla template :)
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It's good to see some other opinions which bring other template creators to the forefront, as I'm always looking for other options, if not a different look.
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thanks you.. nice posting
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Ja events is the best among all of them
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Love the first template. Many thanks for sharing this ;)
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Nice collection. Thanks...
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Panacea by Rocket Theme works great. Really professional template. I will implement this in my Educational website
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Very very nice, thanks for posting
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This article energies me to do some thing different!!!!
thanks
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Noble is a great template! Want!
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