For a mathematics website or blog, the very first requirement is nothing but excellent readability. Reader must be focused on the content all the time she spends on your site. Any extra gimmicks will lose her trust on your site. After being inspired from the designs of best of mathematics and science blogs, we have curated a small list of the best free WordPress themes for mathematics and science blogs. The following parameters were required to be fulfilled for WordPress themes to be listed as a good theme for math/science blog:

Readability:

Most important.

A mathematics blog should have clean design, bigger font sizes and better contrast, so that the reader don’t lose her focus from a post. Homepage is allowed to be a bit less readable, but there should not be unnecessary elements on the single article view.

Number of Columns

Medium importance.

The homepage may have more than two columns, but number of columns in single post templates must not exceed two. Each extra column makes site heavier to load and harder to concentrate on the content.

High importance.

Every one wants math/ education articles in print. Therefore, all single posts must be cleanly printable. This can be done by adding a print friendly style-sheet in theme. WordPress.com blog owners need to pay about 30 United States Dollars to do changes in CSS. So, nothing can be better for them if the theme natively includes a clutter-free and print friendly cascading style sheet. You’ll be surprised to know that 95% themes are not print-friendly.

Font selection : Sans-serif or Serif?

Low importance.

Readers prefer Sans-serif fonts for reading and serif fonts in print. There is no limitations to the type of fonts one should choose as theme’s default font-family on front-end. But it’s highly recommended to have serif fonts in print.

Responsiveness

Low importance.

Millions of readers prefer to visit websites using hand-held devices. It is best to have a mobile/tablet theme for the site. You can also chose a theme which is responsive and adapts the width of the device with which you’re accessing the site.

LaTeX/MathML Rendering

Medium importance.

90% of WordPress math blogs (including WordPress.com blogs) use WP LaTeX rendering system to display formulas on their site. Several themes, including Twenty Eleven , render LaTeX png formulas badly. 60% of WordPress themes have no support for WP LaTeX. There is nothing to worry about the rendering of MathML formulas, as they solely depend on javascript and are rendered by browser, not the theme.

Based on the above description of parameters, following WordPress themes will fit well on new or old math and science blogs:

Twenty Ten

Twenty Ten  theme
Twenty Ten theme (via WordPress.com)

This feature packed theme deserves praise for excellent readability, beautiful print styling and excellent LaTeX support. This theme is clean, widget ready and responsive. It should be the first choice for anyone starting a math blog.

[Use Twenty Ten theme on WordPress] [Use Twenty Ten theme on WordPress.com]

 

Tarski

Screenshot_2

 

 

Used by renowned mathematicians around the globe, Tarski has everything a research blog-theme should have. If you are trying to build a research blog, go for Tarski.

[Download Tarski from WordPress theme repository]
Not available for WordPress.com [see foot-note]

Twenty Fourteen

2014’s default theme for WordPress , Twenty Fourteen is a mix of magazine and blog layout. Make it your own with just a little customizations as this theme already has brilliant readability, print friendly style sheet and several widgets areas. If you’re launching a science or nature based blog, give this theme a go. It’s available at both WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Stargazer

Justin Tadlock’s awesome WordPress theme, Stargazer is less or more a supplement to Twenty Ten theme. It’s free to use on WordPress.org blogs.

Responsive

‘Responsive’ is responsive, clean and eye-catchy WordPress theme. It’s suited best for science blogs and profile pages. Get it for your WordPress.org and WordPress.com blogs

Coraline

Looking to add more features in Twenty Ten theme? Start with Coraline. It has more widget areas, more custom options and it is as good as Twenty Ten. Download this theme for WordPress or WordPress.com blogs.

 

Chunk

Chunk is bold and light WordPress theme suitable for blogs with “less math, more philosophy” contents. It’s available for both WordPress.org and WordPress.com

 

Suits

Suits is suitable for blogs of any kind. So, why not math and science sites?

You can download suits for WordPress.org blogs or use it on WordPress.com.


Footnote: Tarski is retired from WordPress.com theme showcase and is available only to those blogs which used it at least once in past.

I wanted to add two more themes to the list, Kubrick and Rubric, but sadly they have been retired already and no longer being updated. Other themes worth trying are My Life,  $ Liquorice, Syntax and $ Twenty Thirteen , all available for both .org and .com sites.

This was all for now. If you want to add a theme to the list, which follows all the parameters very well, then please leave a comment and help us add that.


Feel free to ask questions, send feedback and even point out mistakes. Great conversations start with just a single word. How to write better comments?
6 comments
  1. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks – <3
    Comment edited, due to violation of our commenting policy.

  2. Twenty ten is a great theme. When looking for a responsive one, I changed to stargazer. It is a great theme, and at the same time, I guess there is still room to improve…

  3. I’d recommend the Ryu theme for math. Inline and centered equations are the best I’ve seen, and it doesn’t cut off many of the equations like Tarski does. Check out my blog link to see it in action. Thanks.

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