When creating your WordPress website, you have to make decisions like the choice of WordPress theme to use. You need to decide if you should use one of the free WordPress themes or go premium. All these and more are questions that will crop up at some point.
If you are at a crossroad wondering which free WordPress theme to use, this article is for you. There are thousands of free themes to choose from and it may be hard to select just one.
To make your decision easier, we have compiled a list of the best free WordPress themes for you to choose from. These themes are easy to set up and they have a considerable number of impressive features.
But before we go into that, we’ll look into the factors to consider when choosing a theme for WordPress.
- How to select a good WordPress theme
- Our selection of top free WordPress themes
Free WordPress Themes: How to Select a Good One
There are thousands of free WordPress themes available, how do you know which one to use? Here is how to make the best choice.
Go For Simple Themes
As much as you want your theme to be very appealing to visitors, you need to avoid complex layouts, many colors, flashy animations e.t.c. This may make your site look unprofessional and users may lose interest in it.
In many cases, your site’s content does not require excessive design. A theme with simple design layouts may be all you need.
Select Free WordPress Themes with Responsive Layouts
According to research, 50.81% of web traffic is generated from mobile devices. As a result, more of your visitors are likely using mobile devices.
So, when choosing a theme, make sure it has a responsive layout. This means it should have the capacity to fit all screen sizes and resolutions.
Use Themes That are Compatible Across Browsers
There are several web browsers used to surf the internet. So it makes a lot of sense to use a theme that functions well on all browsers. In most cases, the theme developers mention this in the theme’s description. But if it wasn’t indicated, you can test it out yourself.
Browserling is an effective and simple browser-compatibility testing tool. Simply, visit the website, paste your website’s URL in the field provided, select a browser, and click ‘Test Now’.
The tool takes screenshots of your website in different browsers.
Plugin Support for Free WordPress Themes
You need plugins to enhance your site’s functionality. Since plugins are so useful, your preferred theme should be compatible with your plugins. You don’t want them conflicting with each other.
To prevent this from happening, do some research on each theme. Make sure it supports popular plugins and read third-party reviews.
Use SEO Friendly Themes
Look out for a theme that is SEO-optimized. You are probably wondering what the link is between your theme and SEO. Well, when a theme’s code is poorly written, it will affect your site’s SEO rankings.
While some themes are described as SEO-optimized, you can confirm it yourself. To do that, run its demo page through testing tools like W3C Markup Validation. Enter your URL in the box provided, and click ‘Check’.
Good Customer Support
When you purchase a product and run into problems with it, it is natural to seek help from the product developer. This is the case with themes also. If a theme has no customer support, you will be on your own when you encounter problems.
Although customer support is usually restricted to premium themes, there are a few free WordPress themes that offer support to their users. This can be in the form of open forums on which you can ask questions, or in a few cases, in the form of support tickets.
It’s also important to learn about customer support because you may decide to upgrade to premium when your site picks up. In that case, you will have access to the developer’s support, however great or terrible it might be.
Check Customer’s Reviews
One of the many ways you can know about a theme is through reviews written by other users. This is very useful because you will be getting an honest overview of the theme’s performance. Therefore when picking a theme, check the number of active installations, star ratings, and reviews.
Install Fast-loading WordPress Themes only
You need a theme that won’t slow down your website. Research has shown that the average loading time should be 3 seconds as many users tend to be impatient beyond that. This is why you need a theme with fast loading performance.
If your site doesn’t need many features, avoid feature-rich themes. Even if your site needs features, you are often better off starting with a light theme and then adding the features you need with plugins.
That way, you can avoid slowing down your server with bells and whistles that you may never use.
Use Free WordPress Themes That Receive Regular Updates
The WordPress core software gets updated on a regular basis. The purpose of the update is to enhance its features, fix bugs, and improve performance and security. Knowing this, you need a theme that is constantly up-to-date.
When looking for a theme, check its last update.
Any theme that has not received an update in 6 months or more should be avoided.
Top 10 Free WordPress Themes
Now that you know what makes a good theme, let’s take a look at our theme collection. Here they are:
Astra prides itself as the most popular free WordPress theme of all time. It is used actively on over a million websites and has loads of amazing reviews.
This multipurpose theme is highly customizable and allows you to design your site the way you want it without writing a single code.
Astra comes with over 150 starter templates that you can import with just one click, making web design a walk in the park. In addition to this, Astra is built for speed. It is lightweight and has a load time of 0.5 seconds.
The theme also provides you with a lot of features to design your website. Some of them include:
- Design options to help you manage the layouts of your site
- Header and footer options
- Google fonts or custom fonts plugin
- WooCommerce compatibility
- SEO optimization.
This theme has almost all you need to get your website started. It works well with popular page builder plugins like Elementor, Divi, Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, SiteOrigin, e.t.c.
What’s more, the team behind this amazing theme offers support to users. There is a search box where you can type in your issue by using a keyword. Thereafter, articles will be provided to help you fix the problem. If that doesn’t solve it, you can actually create a ticket and get direct support.
Hestia is another modern and stylish one-page theme that is easy to set up. It is a product of Themeisle, one of the leading WP theme developers in the industry.
The theme makes web design an effortless experience as it offers you several customization options. You also get to see your changes in real-time.
This responsive WordPress theme is fit for all types of businesses. It was designed with clean and SEO friendly coding standards, so your website can have a good online ranking.
The theme is also:
- Translation and Right-to-Left language ready
- Optimized for speed and comes with 1-click updates
- WooCommerce ready
- Compatible with page builders.
As for support, Hestia provides users with video tutorials to guide them while building their site. They also provide support via email and through a large knowledge base.
Sister to Hestia, Neve is another product of Themeisle that falls under the ‘free WordPress themes’ category. This flexible theme is suitable for small businesses, freelancers, or hobbyists. It has a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to customize your header and footer easily.
What’s more, the theme comes with over 80 demo content packages you can import with just a click. In addition to these, it is lightweight and won’t slow down your website.
Other features include:
- Multiple website layout options
- Compatibility with drag and drop page builders
- Browser compatibility.
Just like the Hestia theme, users can get free support through their video tutorials, detailed documentation, and forums. You can also get support from the authors as well.
If you are looking for a powerful business WordPress theme to help boost your online presence, here is the theme for you. Sydney comes with everything you need to quickly create a classy and stunning web page.
Some of its features include:
- Custom Elementor blocks
- A responsive layout
- Parallax backgrounds
- Social icons.
What’s more, you can modify your website’s typography by choosing from over 600 Google fonts. You can also choose between a slider or static header image.
As for support, there is a support team ready to help if you have any issues.
OceanWP is a multi-purpose WordPress theme suitable for any type of website. This free theme comes with some amazing features that can help you create an eye-catching website. It can also be considered as a WooCommerce theme as it has WooCommerce integration.
The features include:
- A beautiful responsive design
- Fast loading time
- SEO-friendly codes
- WooCommerce integration to increase conversion rates
- Modern widgets
- Translation and RTL ready
- Lightning-fast support.
OceanWP was also designed to work with the best WordPress page builders in the market. It offers so much it’s almost like you are getting a premium WordPress theme.
With over 100,000 active installations and a 5-star rating, ColorMag is obviously a theme to consider. It is suitable for magazines, newspapers, news, and any form of publishing site. This is one of the free WordPress themes with an amazing performance as it loads in less than a second.
ColorMag also provides many customization options like custom widgets, multiple color options, advanced typography, e.t.c. Although it is highly suited for news outlets, its multi-purpose design means you can use it for other purposes too.
Other features include:
- Compatibility with WooCommerce
- 6 social icons
- 1 custom menu
- Wide layout option
- A responsive design
- Footer copyright editor.
ColorMag also has a sticky header feature. This will enable you to navigate around your site easily. To help you with any issues you may have, they have provided a well documented guide. You can also get further assistance via WordPress.org support forum.
This is another powerful theme that is suitable for business sites. Airi comes with full Elementor integration, which makes it stand out from other free WordPress themes. Due to Elementor’s drag-and-drop interface, you can easily create any type of blog layout.
In addition to this, the theme is WooCommerce ready, so if you wish to sell products on your site, you can.
Here are some other features you’ll love:
- It is 100% translation ready
- Includes multiple demos
- It has a live customizer
- Regularly updated
- It is compatible with most common browsers.
Airi free WordPress themes also provide detailed documentation to answer questions you might have about the themes and their features.
If you are a blogger, Ashe theme is for you. This theme is highly versatile. It can serve as a photography theme, fashion theme, travel theme, and many more. This is due to its minimal designs. WordPress beginners will also find this theme easy to use as it is well documented. It also has a modern responsive design and displays perfectly on all devices.
Additionally, this blogging theme is highly flexible and compatible with popular drag-and-drop page builders.
It is also:
- WooCommerce ready
- Compatible with most well-coded plugins.
Ashe theme also has features like image and text logos, featured slider, header background, etc.
More to these, all free users can get help from the support forum.
If simplicity is what you need in a theme, consider using GeneratePress. It is used actively on over 300,000 sites and has 1000+ 5-star ratings. The theme is lightweight, fast, SEO optimized, WooCommerce ready, and also comes with a widgetized footer.
Some of its features include:
- A live customizer
- 100% Pagespeed Insight score
- Multiple website templates
- RTL support.
As for support, the theme developers provide users with detailed documentation to help them from start to finish. You can also ask questions and get replies on the official WordPress support forum for this theme.
If you are looking to build a small business website or blog, here is the theme for you. Phlox is a beautiful and modern theme that comes with over 100 stunning WordPress templates to choose from.
Further, the theme is compatible with drag-and-drop page builders which makes it extremely easy to copy and paste elements on your site without having to code.
Phlox also comes with a live theme customizer that allows you to make changes on your site while viewing it in real-time. More to these, the theme comes with a variety of post formats, footer options and custom headers. It also comes with an exclusive media gallery and over 30 Elementor elements.
The theme is also:
- Uses easy to read typography
- WooCommerce ready
- Has a great touch slider, social media buttons, call to action buttons, etc.
When it comes to support, you won’t be left alone. When you need help, feel free to speak with the support staff.
Conclusion – Free WordPress Themes
Selecting the best theme isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you are going for a free one. In this article, we have listed 10 free WordPress themes with which you can achieve your desired look.
Besides giving the look and feel you desire, these themes check the other quality boxes required for a great WordPress theme, including speed and responsiveness.
Go ahead, scan through the features of each theme, and then select one that meets your needs.
For more WordPress tutorials, please go through our WordPress blog.