Finding the perfect WordPress theme at WordPress.org can be a real challenge. There are thousands of options to choose from, and sifting through that avalanche of choices to find the hidden gems is easier said than done.
Updated 7/30/2018: We’ve discontinued Upfront in favor of supporting a bunch of other awesome drag and drop page builders.
Unfortunately, not every WordPress theme at WordPress.org is created equal. Some themes are filled to the brim with great design and are easy to implement. Others are poorly constructed stripped-down products designed to hook you and then force you to purchase a premium upgrade.
We’ve taken on the task of sorting through the available options and picking out a few best-in-class products. While we couldn’t possibly include every great WordPress theme, in this post we’ll present 39 WordPress themes that are feature-rich, beautifully designed, responsive to the last pixel, and free.
When is a Free Theme the Right Choice?
Let’s get one thing out of the way.
While we do have quite several plugins available in the official WordPress plugin directory, we don’t have any themes available through WordPress.org. This is because we’ve taken a different tack when it comes to WordPress themes and developed Upfront, a theme framework for WordPress.
You can pair Upfront with one of our beautiful starter themes, such as our Upfront magazine theme, Issue, or blaze a new trail and create a brand new WordPress theme from scratch. Whatever option you choose, you won’t be locked into any design decisions.
When you use Upfront, you can customize every facet of every element on every page of your website. Change colors, padding, borders, and font selections, add new content blocks and design elements, and completely rearrange the position of every element on your site with Upfront.
Upfront is the right choice when you want to create a custom WordPress website with complete freedom to make your own design and layout decisions.
However, there are times when being locked into pre-made design decisions is ok. Perhaps you’re throwing together a website for a local budget-strapped nonprofit, a blog for a friend, or a simple one-page splash site for a small business. In that case, a great free WordPress theme from WordPress.org might be just the ticket.
So, let’s get on with the themes!
Astrid is a one-page WordPress theme for creating business websites. It’s actively installed on more than 10,000 websites and enjoys a 5-star rating based on five user reviews.
Astrid is a pretty typical one page WordPress theme. It features a full-width hero header image, sticky navigation, sections for highlighting services and features, custom content blocks, a project portfolio, client testimonials, and more. However, what makes Astrid unique is its ease of use. Install Astrid and you’ll have a professional landing page set up in a matter of minutes.
Businessx is a one-page WordPress theme for business websites. The theme is actively installed on more than 3,000 sites, has a 5-star rating based on nine user reviews, and is compatible with WooCommerce.
Businessx includes all of the standard features you would expect to see in a one-page theme, such as a full-screen slider and front page sections to highlight your businesses features and services. A few notable sections that aren’t quite so common include a pricing table, frequently asked questions section, and a call-to-action section.
ColorMag is a WordPress theme for blogs and online magazines. It is actively installed on more than 70,000 WordPress websites, has a stellar 5-star review based on more than 250 user reviews, and is compatible with WooCommerce and WPML.
The real strength of ColorMag is in the many ways it provides to highlight your content. The theme offers a variety of sliders, post grids, and widgets you can use to make sure your users can find the content they’re seeking. Content is organized into color-coded categories, and an ad widget is available to make monetizing your digital magazine easy.
Customizr is a multi-purpose WordPress theme you can use to create many different types of websites. It is actively installed on more than 100,000 websites, has managed to maintain a 5-star rating based on more than 800 user reviews, and is compatible with BuddyPress, bbPress, and WooCommerce.
Customizr is quite flexible. The homepage features a full width slider, blog grid, and a feature highlight section. You can also add sliders to any post or page. Customizr is ideally suited to image-rich blogs and sites that wish to incorporate an online store.
Deadline is a magazine WordPress theme designed with ultimate readability in mind. It is actively installed on more than 1,000 WordPress websites and enjoys a 5-star rating but on the strength of just a few reviews.
Deadline pairs striking primary colors with carefully considered typography and fantastic use of white space. It is an excellent choice for modern digital magazines and blogs that wish to provide an exceptional reading experience right out of the box.
Directory Starter comes from the developer of the GeoDirectory plugin. It is designed to be used to create a location-based directory in the same vein as Yelp or Trip Advisor.
Directory Starter offers a minimalist design which pairs perfectly with a child theme such as Supreme Directory to create a stunning location-based directory website. Directory Starter is currently active on more than 1,000 websites and is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Edge is an elegant WordPress theme for blogs. It is active on more than 9,000 websites, rated five stars, and designed to work smoothly with WooCommerce.
Edge features a video header on the homepage and stylish contact and social media details are also shown in the header. The theme can display an Instagram feed and features website branding prominently. Overall, Edge is an excellent choice for a sophisticated lifestyle blogger.
Editorial is a visually powerful WordPress theme for digital magazines and blogs. It is active on more than 3,000 WordPress sites and enjoys a 5-star rating.
Editorial displays images prominently, making it a good choice for content-driven sites that make heavy use of graphics and pictures. Content is organized into color-coded categories and the front page magazine layout offers many ways to highlight and organize content. It would make a solid choice for a lifestyle or technology blog or magazine.
Education Hub is a traditional WordPress theme tailored towards educational websites — universities, private schools, training programs, and so forth. It is active on more than 10,000 websites and has earned a 5-star rating.
The Education Hub front page includes a slider and a content-focused layout with simple colors and fonts. Many users report finding it to be very user-friendly. While Education Hub was designed with educational websites in mind, it would also work well as a WordPress theme for blogging.
Eleganto is a one-page business theme with bold, eye-catching styling. It’s active on more than 10,000 WordPress websites, compatible with WooCommerce, and enjoys a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Eleganto’s one-page layout includes dramatic slanted section separators, strong use of bold colors, parallax backgrounds galore, and tasteful hover animations. The grid style portfolio and blog layouts are particularly well done. Eleganto is an interesting option for any business that wishes to make a bold statement with the styling of their website.
.evolve lite is a multipurpose WordPress theme with homepage layouts designed for digital magazines, ecommerce, personal portfolios, business websites, and more. It is actively installed on more than 40,000 WordPress websites, compatible with bbPress, BuddyPress, and WPML, and rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 175 user reviews.
.evolve lite features multiple post and image sliders, which can be added to any page, Google Fonts integration, a built-in contact form, and infinite scrolling for loading additional posts on the blog page. .evolve lite is a great choice for blogs and digital magazines that make heavy use of images and graphics.
Fruitful is a clean and minimalist WordPress theme for blogging. It is active on more than 10,000 sites, enjoys a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on the strength of more than 90 reviews, and is compatible with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, and WPML.
Fruitful includes a front page slider, flexible color options, font customization options, and more. While the theme hasn’t been updated in a few months, it is actively supported by the developer in the WordPress.org forums and would make a solid choice for a content-focused blog.
Graphy is a blogging theme for WordPress that emphasis supremely readable typography. It is active on more than 10,000 WordPress websites and sports a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating with more than 15 reviews.
Graphy is simple, minimalist, developer-friendly, and makes generous use of whitespace. Font selections are clean, elegant, and generously sized to provide an excellent reading experience. If you want a blogging theme that will allow readers to focus on your writing, Graphy is make an excellent choice.
Illdy is a one page WordPress theme for businesses and personal portfolio sites. It is active on more than 10,000 sites, compatible with WooCommerce and many other popular plugins, and enjoys a 5-star rating, albeit with only a handful of user reviews.
Illdy’s one-page homepage design features a full-screen hero image with text overlay, a blog grid, and sections for highlighting a portfolio, client testimonials, services, and features. Overall, Illdy is a straightforward one-page business theme that will be most useful for building landing pages and simple business websites.
iRibbon is a retro blogging theme for WordPress. It is active on more than 6,000 websites and rated 4 out of 5 stars based on a half-dozen user reviews.
iRibbon features whimsical retro design choices paired with bold fonts. iRibbon does suffer from mixed user reviews, and the header design is a bit sparse. However, it’s featured on this list because it offers a fun alternative to other more mainstream options. If you’re interested in iRibbon, consider your branding carefully because iRibbon has heaps of personality built-in.
Karuna is a simple business WordPress theme. It is active on more than 1,000 WordPress sites and has earned one 5-star rating since it’s addition to WordPress.org in early 2017.
The Karuna theme homepage has been designed for business and includes a hero image, sticky navigation, client testimonials, a photo gallery, and a recent posts section. Karuna is ideally suited to small businesses with limited technical expertise that want a simple professional theme to use as they build their own WordPress website.
Llorix One Light is a one page WordPress theme for business websites. It is active on more than 10,000 sites, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 20 reviews, and compatible with WooCommerce, bbPress, and SiteOrigin Page Builder.
Llorix One Light offers all the features you would expect out of a one-page theme: a full-screen hero image, generous use of parallax backgrounds, and sections for highlight business services, features, client testimonials, and staff. However, Llorix One Light also offers a very nice blog post list section with an integrated timeline visualization as well as a Google Maps embed at the bottom of the homepage.
Make is a versatile business WordPress theme. It is active on more than 20,000 WordPress websites, rated 4 out of 5 stars, and compatible with BuddyPress.
Make features an integrated drag-and-drop page builder called the Make Layout Engine and built-in support for Google Fonts. It also offers a dizzying array of customization choices via the WordPress customizer. Make is a solid choice for creating a customized business website.
Mercantile is a multipurpose WordPress theme. It is active on more than 1,000 sites and rated 5 out of 5 stars, albeit with fewer than 10 user reviews. Mercantile is compatible with WooCommerce and SiteOrigin Page Builder.
While Mercantile advertises itself as a multipurpose theme, the demo is set up as a one-page business site featuring a full-width slider, parallax backgrounds, tons of animations, a portfolio, a Google Maps embed, and sections for highlighting features, customer testimonials, services, and blog posts. Mercantile would be a solid choice for any business website that also needs strong support for blog content, as well as a good choice for more traditional blogs and content-driven WordPress sites.
Metro Magazine is a WordPress theme for digital magazines and blogs. It is active on more than 3,000 websites and rated five stars on the strength of nine user reviews which often mention the excellent support provided by the theme developer.
Metro Magazine features clean typography, minimalist navigation styling, multiple content layout options, color scheme options, color-coded categories, advertisement integration, breadcrumbs, and an image-rich content-focused homepage design. It would make a solid choice for any digital magazine or blog that makes heavy use of images and is looking for a theme with a bit of sophistication and modern design.
MH Magazine Lite is a WordPress theme for digital magazines, online newspapers, and blogs. It is active on more than 30,000 websites and rated 5-stars with more than 80 user reviews.
MH Magazine Lite features a post slider on the homepage, excellent category-based organization of content, and built-in support for advertisements. MH Magazine Lite places less emphasis on images than many other magazine themes, meaning you can fit more content on the homepage without overwhelming visitors.
Monograph is a magazine theme for WordPress blogs, online magazines, and news websites. It is active on more than 1,000 sites and is rated five stars, albeit with only two reviews.
Monograph features straightforward styling, places heavy emphasis on images, and makes strong use of categories to organize content. Font sizing, whitespace, and typeface selections have been made with a strong emphasis on readability. Monograph feels like a WordPress theme designed with serious journalism in mind.
Morphology Lite is a WordPress theme for photographers and other visual creatives. It is active on more than 2,000 WordPress websites and rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with about a dozen user reviews.
Morphology Lite offers unlimited color options, multiple blog layout choices, primary navigation and site branding positioned in the sidebar, and customizable sidebars. However, it’s the image gallery feature that sets Morphology apart. Images are prominently highlighted, and no space is wasted. Morphology will be interesting to all types of visual professionals — photographers, designers, and artists — as well as photojournalists and image-centric bloggers.
Napoli is a magazine style WordPress theme for food bloggers. It is active on more than 1,000 WordPress websites and rated five stars, albeit with only two reviews considering that the theme was just released in January of 2017.
Napoli features a classic blog-style magazine homepage layout. Napoli is a simple theme inspired by Google’s material design, it features blocky design with square edges and generous whitespace. While it is designed with food bloggers in mind, it would work just as well for any blogger who features imagery prominently.
North is a multipurpose WordPress theme. It is actively installed on more than 4,000 WordPress websites and rated five stars.
Right out of the box, North is a clean and minimalist blogging theme. However, it’s designed to integrate with SiteOrigin Page Builder and WooCommerce, meaning that with a little customization it could be used to create business websites and ecommerce stores.
Olsen Light is an elegant blogging theme for WordPress. It is actively installed on more than 10,000 sites, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 35 reviews, and designed to integrate seamlessly with multiple page builders including Elementor, SiteOrigin Page Builder, and Divi Builder.
Olsen Light features smart typography and excellent content organization, and Instagram integration is built in. Olsen Light would be perfect for a fashion writer, travel blogger, or just about any other type of lifestyle blogger.
OnePress is a one-page business theme for WordPress. It is active on more than 40,000 sites, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 50 reviews, and compatible with WooCommerce.
OnePress is a polished one-page theme with lots of tasteful built-in animations and smooth scrolling. It features a full-width header slider, sticky navigation, parallax backgrounds, and sections to highlight features, services, team details, a portfolio, and blog contents. OnePress is a standout choice in the crowded one-page business theme space.
Optimizer is a multi-purpose WordPress theme. It is active on more than 20,000 sites, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 130 reviews, and designed to integrate with WooCommerce and bbPress.
Optimizer features a built-in slider and allows for extensive customizations without touching any code. It is an ideal choice for creating landing pages and simple business websites.
Pixgraphy is a photography theme for WordPress. It is active on more than 4,000 WordPress websites, rated five stars, and is compatible with WooCommerce and bbPress.
Pixgraphy features a fullscreen image slider, multiple image gallery designs, and a built-in lightbox effect. It is designed with photographers in mind, but would also make a great choice for a photojournalist and any other visual creative with lots of images to showcase.
Screenr is a one-page business theme for WordPress. It is active on more than 8,000 WordPress websites and rated 5 stars.
Screenr features a full-screen hero image and is completely full-width throughout. It offers various front page sections for highlighting features, services, statistics, blog content, and more. Screenr makes liberal use of animations, parallax backgrounds, and bold colors. Typography is straightforward and sized generously. Screenr will be interesting to anyone looking to build a bold landing page paired with a solidly-designed blog.
ShopIsle is an ecommerce WordPress theme that is actively installed on more than 20,000 sites and rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
ShopIsle is designed to be used with WooCommerce to create an online shop, and it features shop products front and center. The theme does also offer well-designed pages and posts using a clean, minimalist design with small typography and good use of whitespace. The homepage includes a fullscreen slider and a variety of other sections to highlight products, special offers, and company details.
SimpleShift is a one-page business theme for WordPress. It is active on more than 1,000 WordPress websites but hasn’t received any user reviews yet. SimpleShift was released in November 2016 and hasn’t gained a lot of traction, but it’s certainly worth checking out.
The SimpleShift demo features an attractive one-page landing page with loads of tastefully applied animations, call-to-action sections, a clean and modern blog section, and sections to highlight features and client testimonials. Theme typography is a little on the small side, but pair the blog post design with a sidebar to narrow the width of the copy, and the text looks great even though you may still want to increase the font point size a bit to improve readability.
If you’re looking for a one-page business theme and want to use a beautiful theme that hasn’t already been overused by the competition, SimpleShift is worth checking out.
Spacious is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that is active on more than 70,000 WordPress websites, rated five stars with more than 325 reviews, and compatible with WooCommerce.
The theme is called Spacious for a reason and features the generous use of whitespace so that your content never feels crowded. The short landing page homepage design features a boxed slider, content widgets, a call-to-action element, and sections to highlight features, services, and client testimonials.
Spacious is truly a multi-purpose theme. You could use it to create a business site, personal portfolio, blog, or many other types of WordPress websites.
SuperMag is a magazine theme for WordPress websites that is active on more than 6,000 sites and rated five stars with more than 35 reviews.
SuperMag is advertisement-ready and offers color customization, a variety of front page layout options, multiple sidebar areas, breadcrumbs, and featured content sections on the homepage. SuperMag is a quality choice for any digital magazine, news website, or image-rich blog.
Sydney is a one-page WordPress theme for business websites. It is active on more than 100,000 sites and enjoys a 5-star rating with more than 180 reviews.
Sydney is one of the most popular themes in the WordPress.org theme directory, and with good reason. It features a beautiful one-page layout suitable for business websites and professional portfolios. Google Fonts, a fullscreen homepage slider, and simple homepage setup are integrated into this popular WordPress theme.
Tora is a WordPress theme for business websites that is actively installed on more than 5,000 sites and rated 4 out of 5 stars with just a handful of reviews.
Tora is highly customizable with a stylish section-based homepage design. It integrates with the Live Composer page builder and includes Google Fonts built-in. Six different demo homepages can also be imported to speed up theme setup. Also, the blog posts page features unique, eye-catching styling and Tora would work well as a blogging theme.
Vertex is a blogging theme for visual creatives. It is active on more than 10,000 sites but hasn’t yet earned any reviews in the WordPress theme directory.
With Vertex, you can showcase your visual work with a full-page slider, tastefully designed image galleries, and an image-focused blog layout. The theme features a unique partial-sidebar navigation menu, subtle hover animations, and a stark, minimalist, straightforward design.
If you’re a blogging visual creative looking for a theme that will make your work front and center, Vertex is a worthy candidate.
Virtue is a content-focused WordPress theme for business websites. It is actively installed on more than 70,000 sites, rated five stars with nearly 200 reviews, and compatible with WooCommerce.
Virtue’s homepage design features a boxed slider, featured projects, a section highlighting company features, and a blog grid. Leave the homepage and Virtue turns into a solidly-designed traditional WordPress blogging theme with a nice image gallery and support for image sliders on all posts. If you’re looking for a simple business theme that pays special attention to solid blog design, Virtue is a strong candidate.
Ward is a bold theme for WordPress blogs and simple business sites. It is active on more than 2,000 sites, rated 4.5 out of 5 stars based on nine user reviews, and is compatible with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML.
Ward’s homepage features a call-to-action header with a large attention-catching headline, followed by a feature highlight section. Font Awesome is integrated into the theme, and a variety of shortcodes are supported to embed Bootstrap buttons, tabbed content, image carousels, and more. If you’re looking for a bold and modern blogging theme, Ward is worth considering.
So there you have it. Thirty-nine WordPress themes that are feature-rich, responsive, beautiful, and free. The hard part, we’ll leave up to you: picking just one to use for your next WordPress website.
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