The WordPress community is big. Really big. We’re talking thousands of designers and developers, tens of thousands of writers, and millions of users, all contributing to pushing WordPress forward.
And one very popular way to do this is designing and developing free WordPress themes.
Free WordPress themes are a great way to get a blog or website off the ground. You might want to start writing about a topic but don’t want to invest the money in a custom site design on top of hosting and a domain. And once your site is up and running, there’s nothing to stop you dissecting them, building on top of them and learning from them.
Unless you want to change themes every year it’s best to pick something that won’t look dated as design trends evolve, and Hemingway is a good option in that regard. It’s a simple, elegant two-column layout with classic typography and large, readable text. Bloggers will find it ideal. Hemingway is built to be responsive, so will work on desktop and mobile.
02. SKT Full Width
This is a nice one if you’ve a site whose main purpose is to display images; it uses the whole browser window and lets you add discriptions via overlay text. The only thing to watch out for is whether your images will stand up to being displayed on very large screens.
If you want to fit a lot of text onto your homepage, Origin does a good job of that without looking messy or cluttered. Your articles are arranged in a column that gives each one space for a decent intro length, and the type looks great. A good choice for a site with a lot of reading.
Fashionista is another type-driven theme that’s good for magazine-style blogs. We like the bold headlines and pleasingly busy layout that will look good on both desktop and mobile.
Illustrators, photographers and artists will love this theme: the layout has one slot for your main image and then a grid of 12 that instantly gives visitors a sense of what your work is like. It’s a great use of space that fits a lot of content into one screen.
Optimizer is aptly named, as it’s super easy to customise for optimum satisfaction; the most advanced theme options panel lets you customize each and every element of your site with ease. It’s fully responsive and retina ready, so no need to worry about mobile compatibility. The uses are endless – from personal blogging and portfolios to services, this theme gives you so many options you can be hard picked for choice.
07. Future Lite
A clean, creative, feature-rich and multipurpose theme that would be perfect for creative agencies, creative portfolios or freelancers. The responsive layout of this WordPress theme adapts well to the screen size of different device your visitors are using. Future is also retina ready and will look sharp on high resolution displays. It’s powered with custom menu, custom header, sidebar widget, featured image, theme options, nice typography and built-in pagination features.
Great for storytellers, Longform is a free WordPress theme designed to be fully compatible with the powerful Aesop Story Engine plugin. It includes beautiful styles for all Aesop story modules with no code snippets or extra configuration required. Fully responsive, retina ready and super easy to customise.
Moesia is perfect for building your business’s online presence. Choose from eleven predefined blocks and build the homepage that best suits your company. Each of the homepage blocks can have a parallax background image and its own set of colours. Featuring a good selection of Google Fonts, two types of layouts for the blog page, cool animations and effects, a parallax header and much more… Make sure you have a great header image to grab attention!
10. TA Dailyblog
TA DailyBlog offers a simple and clean design with full optimisation for smartphones, tablets, desktops and any other devices. This free WordPress theme would be ideal for blogging, especially for daily or hobby bloggers who love to share their stuff. It’s very flexible and fully customizable with 16 color schemes and smooth and fast user experience. What’s more, the theme is SEO friendly, with a Schema compatible structure that will make Google love your website. It supports most popular plugins, too.
Nictitate is an incredibly versatile template: from blogging and portfolios to online stores and services, this theme can be customized to fit any and all of those needs. This multi-purpose free responsive template will add a touch of class and professionalism to any site.
Create and manage your portfolio or blog with ease with this clean and sophisticated InterStellar design. With multiple portfolio page layouts, this theme’s options allow you to change the layout, colour scheme, logo and add your Google Analytics code, buttons, Google maps, columns and more.
Create a stand-out website with Arcade, a lightweight and fully responsive HTML5 theme. Customise it to your taste by adding your own header image, page layout, site width and more. Each post can be distinguished with one of the eight supported formats; video, image, aside, status, audio, quote, link and gallery.
Designed specially with bloggers and designers in mind, vFlex is a stylish, free, responsive WordPress theme. Its main features include an inbuilt FlexSlider so you can simply select featured images, and an integrated VibeOptions panel, which supports logo upload, import and export settings and many other features. vFlex’s responsive layout also means the theme looks great on iPad, iPhones, and other devices.
Next page: the next 10 best free WordPress themes
Splendio has done a great job of balancing the featured content of the page with additional added value content. You want to promote the other pages and posts on your site (to increase traction and time on site) without taking away from the reason the visitor is there in the first place. This is a difficult task that the designers and developers of Splendio have done well. The details and colours really help to make this a great blog theme.
16. Origin Lite
Origin is a premium, fully responsive WordPress blog theme with a minimal, clean design that allows visitors to focus on content. Origin Lite is the only free version of this theme, which features a fixed two-column layout, responsive gallery and custom widgets for categories and social media networks.
Sometimes “Plain Jane” themes like Meeta get overlooked. However themes like this are easily converted and modified to fit your site and content. With two navigations, a featured graphic and a responsive layout, this free WordPress theme will act as a great foundation for your site or blog. However you will need to dedicate the time to customise it a bit.
Folder is a free WordPress theme with a slight retro feel to it. With a design dominated by images, this responsive theme is perfect for displaying projects and products. Features include custom project posts and admin panel, five different widgets included (video, latest work, contact form, twitter feed, recent posts), and more.
There’s no shortage of modern and minimal WordPress themes available online. But YAMINTH (Yet Another Minimal Theme) and its unusual image layout caught our eye. The free theme comes with light colors, dark footer, Google Web Fonts and jQuery fade in, fade out of images. It also has an options page for easy customisation and is free for use in both personal and commercial projects.
With an unlimited selection of colour themes this theme would be appropriate for any blogger. Another feature, which has been cropping up on some of the newer WordPress themes, is the Translation-ready abilities, reaching new audiences in a foreign languages.
Like flat design and want to use large images on your website or blog? Want it to be responsive? Then as free WordPress themes go, Thoughts is probably good one to investigate.