“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
Have an upcoming book?
If you’re going the self-publishing route then you know how hard it is to get new readers.
One way to build an audience is with a blog.
As you publish new posts, you’ll attract new visitors who will subscribe to your email list. Then they’ll receive an email notification every time you publish a new blog post.
Over time, your audience grows and you end up with a large email list of loyal readers. You can promote new books and offers to this audience whenever you want.
But in order to build the email list, you need a website.
And for people to take you seriously, you need a nice website.
You need a website that looks awesome on laptops and mobile
The free WordPress themes selected here meet all of this criteria and more.
If you don’t mind paying, you can find more options in our collection of premium WordPress themes for writers.
Free themes for writers
Only themes with plenty of five-star reviews from their users have been included here. You’ll find a selection of highly-rated templates below that are already being enjoyed on thousans of live websites.
Here are my top picks for best writer WordPress themes for 2021.
1. Author by Compete Themes
The Author theme is an obvious choice for writers. It’s got a simple design that will focus visitor attention on your writing, and the menu is always accessible in the sidebar.
As an author, it’s important to build your personal brand so you can grow your following. Including an avatar of yourself in the sidebar is a great way to add some personality to your site and brand it. You can include links to all your social profiles too including Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and more.
The sidebar is fully widgetized which means you can include any widgets you want below the menu – category links, recent posts, advertisements – whatever you want. Author also includes the ability to show your complete posts on the homepage or excerpts.
Many of your visitors will view your site on their mobile devices. You’ll appreciate that the Author blog theme is fully responsive. It adapts fluidly to every device regardless of the screen size.
2. Challenger by Compete Themes
If you want a really streamlined website, check out Challenger. This single-column WordPress blog theme is perfect for getting a beautiful website online fast.
One feature you might enjoy about this theme is the lead generation header. You can add a custom headline, button, and background image to the header section and display it on any page you want. The button can link anywhere, so it’s easy to link to an email signup form. You can offer any kind of freebie you want, but for an author, some ideas are to give away a discount code for one of your books or simply notify subscribers about new content you publish.
Challenger has a lot of simple customization tools included. Add a custom logo, include icons for any social network you’re active on, and show/hide any element on the site. There’s even an option to resize the Featured Images which provides bloggers with some art direction for their posts. On top of all this, it’s a performance-optimized theme so it will help your site load super fast.
3. Polite by Template Sell
Polite is a masonry layout WordPress theme. It is a responsive, fastest, and cross-browser compatible theme. This theme comes with an attractive slider, promo section, sidebar layouts, custom widgets for the author, social sharing, related posts, and many more.
This theme is perfect for WordPress blogs. If you are a writer and want to make a blog, then you can use the Polite theme. The typography is well managed, the design is fully compatible with mobile devices and color is pleasant. You can use this theme for a new blog or existing blog too.
With this free theme, you will get free support and updates too. In addition to that, you will get outstanding features to customize your header logo, blog page, footer section, etc. You will get numeric as well as ajax pagination, Instagram integration option, Mailchimp subscription compatibility, and more.
Use this free WordPress theme to create a wonderful experience on your website.
4. Ignite by Compete Themes
Ignite is a classic blogging theme. It works great for authors and anyone else who wants to build a following through online publishing.
Ignite looks great on mobile devices thanks to its responsive design. It normally uses a right-sidebar layout, but you can click one button in the Live Customizer to switch the sidebar to the left side. You can change the background color just as easily to any color you’d like. With SEO-friendly code, Ignite also loads fast and ranks well in Google.
If orange isn’t your color, check out Ignite Plus. The premium upgrade has more than 10+ new theme options including simple settings to change the color scheme across the site.
Ignite was first released in 2014 and has been updated a whopping 76 times! This makes it a very reliable choice for your website, and with over 30+ 5-star reviews, there are plenty of satisfied writers using Ignite right now. Ignite also has demo content you can import to immediately set up your site like the live demo.
5. Writee by Scissor Themes
Writee has a modern and minimalist design that your visitors will love. This simple blog theme will work wonderfully for any author.
The aesthetic of this template makes it feel appropriate for a more magazine-style website as well. If you have multiple authors on your WordPress site or publish frequently, Writee will be an excellent choice.
Writee includes a widget for your “About Me” section in the sidebar. This is perfect for helping visitors get to know the author behind their favorite new books. The Writee theme for writers also includes a homepage slider for featuring your best posts. It looks awesome with large, vibrant images.
Writee is also translation-ready so you can use it for any language. It even has RTL language support. Overall, it’s a stylish theme with a professional design and a competent feature set.
6. Lovecraft by Anders Norén
Lovecraft has a sophisticated style that will elevate your blog. It makes wonderful use of the Playfair Display font (powered by Google Fonts) to add an air of elegance to each post. Overall, it’s quite spacious and looks just as good on iPhones and Android devices.
Lovecraft supports post formats which you might enjoy. Post formats allow you to publish different types of posts. For example, you can publish short statuses instead of full blog posts, images, or just a link. This style of publishing feels a bit more like running a Tumblr blog than a WordPress site.
Add your own logo and replace the homepage header image with any image you want. Switch out the widgets in the sidebar with any of WordPress’s default 17 widgets or hundreds more available on the plugin repository. There’s a custom widget included for displaying images from your Flickr account. It won’t take long to set your site up like the Lovecraft demo site and start attracting your first visitors.
Want to save a few bucks?
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Which theme for writers is best for you?
Author will likely fit your needs best, but any one of the themes featured here can work well for your site.
Ultimately, the template you select depends on the aesthetic you like most. Use Challenger for a single-column blog and Ignite, Writee, or Lovecraft if you want a more traditional sidebar layout.
If you’ve got a question about one of the free WordPress themes for writers included in this post, leave a comment below.
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Ben Sibley, Compete Themes founder