Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing a product through one of these links generates a commission for us at no additional expense to you.
“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
Why include unnecessary elements on your site?
Simple websites perform better.
Each page on your site should be focused on one goal whether that’s getting a visitor to read a post or purchase a product.
The free themes featured in this collection all have extremely simple and focused designs. They can also be used for a variety of purposes from blogging to portfolio promotion and eCommerce stores.
Keep reading to discover the top picks.
Don’t mind paying? Visit our premium simple WordPress themes post for additional templates.
Simple WordPress themes
Each theme here has amazing user reviews and responsive design. This list should help you narrow down your search so you can save time selecting the best theme for your site.
Here are my top picks for best simple WordPress themes for 2022.
1. Challenger by Compete Themes
Challenger has the perfect one-column design for creating a simple, conversion-focused blog. If you’re serious about making money with your content, this is an excellent template to install on your site.
At the top of the site, you’ll notice the lead generation header. The color, background image, text, and button are all completely customizable. The button can lead to a new page or integrate with list building software like LeadPages or OptinMonster to display an email newsletter popup. Feature the header section on the homepage only, all of your posts, or any other configuration you’d like.
The simple Challenger WordPress theme has more layouts available in the Pro upgrade. In the free version, you’ll get a mobile-friendly responsive design that looks awesome on all devices. This theme loads extremely quickly thanks to the performance-optimized code and simplicity. It works with Gutenberg, Elementor, and the vast majority of plugins available for WordPress.
2. Unit by Compete Themes
Unit is a stripped-down child theme for the popular Founder WordPress theme. The single-column layout removes all frills and distractions from your site. This simple aesthetic will focus all of your visitors’ attention on the most important aspect of your website – your content!
While Unit works with virtually all WordPress plugins making it versatile, it’s been designed primarily for blogging. You can always use a separate theme or subdomain for the homepage and keep Unit for just the blog of your website.
Unit includes dozens of social icons to link visitors to your social profiles. The main menu supports unlimited tiers for superior navigation on desktop and mobile devices. Below the site title, you’ll find a dropdown arrow which is a good place to include widgets for any supplemental navigation.
3. Gutenix by Gutenix
Gutenix is an awesome new WordPress theme with a simple and clean design. But there’s more to this theme than a minimalist design.
The Gutenix theme was made to work with the most popular page builder plugins for WordPress. It’s totally compatible with Elementor and the Brizy page builder plugin. Or if you’d prefer not to add any new plugins to your site, it also works great with the Gutenberg block editor. If you add a plugin for extra Gutenberg blocks, you can make all sorts of designs with just those tools and Gutenix.
Since page builders normally affect the main content area of a site, Gutenix has included 8 different header styles. It also has multiple post layouts and more than 650 fonts available thanks to its Google Fonts integration. As a professionally developed theme, Gutenix is fully translatable, has SEO-friendly code, and loads quickly on all devices.
Overall, Gutenix is an awesome theme and designed effectively for the modern way people build WordPress websites.
4. Founder by Compete Themes
If you don’t like the card layout style of Unit, you may prefer its even simpler parent theme, Founder. The plain white background feels extremely relaxed and spacious. This simplicity makes both the text and images in your posts jump off the screen.
Founder integrates with tons of WordPress plugins. In fact, you can use WooCommerce with this simple theme to add an entire eCommerce store onto your site. It also works well with page builder plugins like the awesome Elementor plugin.
Founder was released years ago but remains actively developed. It’s been through dozens of updates and works perfectly with the latest version of WordPress. Use it with the new Gutenberg editor, or the classic TinyMCE editor if you prefer.
5. Simple Persona by Catch Themes
If you want a blog theme with extra customization options, check out Simple Persona. This multipurpose WordPress theme can be used for a graphic design portfolio, freelancer blog, or general business website.
The typography is clean throughout each template and element. Scroll through the official demo site prepared by Catch Themes and you’ll see how consistent the style is. Minimalists will love this free theme for their business or blog.
When it comes to theme options, Simple Persona doesn’t disappoint. There are a few page templates for different sidebar positions and full-width displays. Use the Featured Slider to showcase your best posts, the gallery to highlight gorgeous photographs, and the customer testimonial element to display rave reviews about your product or services.
Simple Persona is still a relatively new theme but has garnered a couple of five-star reviews already for its excellent customer support and clean design. Use the link below to see more and download it for your site.
6. Apex by Compete Themes
Want a classic sidebar blog theme? Check out the free Apex template.
Switch the homepage to a static page to promote your products or service, and keep the main blog layout for another page on your site. Add social icons linked to your profiles in the header to grow your social following. Display the built-in search bar to searching your content archives even easier. Apex includes loads of practical customization feature for building a popular blog.
When viewing the demo site, make sure to switch between the desktop, tablet, and smartphone displays so you can watch Apex adapt to each screen size. The code is performance optimized and SEO-friendly for superior load times and increasing your organic search engine traffic.
Want to save a few bucks?
Themeforest always has popular themes on sale.See the sale
Which simple WP theme is best?
For a simple blog designed to build an email list, make Challenger your first choice.
Otherwise, you may find what you need for a blog with any of the remaining themes. Simple Persona is likely the best choice for a portfolio website.
If you have questions about these free and simple WordPress themes, use the comment form below to post.
“I used Bluehost to host my first WordPress site back in 2010 and I still recommend them today."
Bluehost auto-creates your WordPress site for you and lets you register your first domain for free.
If you want to try Bluehost for your site, use the button below to get our special partner discount.
Ben Sibley, Compete Themes founder