“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
Nothing beats free.
In this collection, you’ll find a wide variety of awesome free WordPress themes. You can find a beautiful theme here for a:
- eCommerce store
- Business website
Some of these themes are incredibly adaptable and can be used for basically any niche.
The best free WordPress themes
I didn’t just put any old theme in this list!
Only responsive themes that have outstanding customer reviews have been included here. In addition, these themes have premium-quality designs and plenty of customization features as well.
Here are my top picks for best free WordPress themes for 2021.
1. Challenger by Compete Themes
Challenger has been designed from the ground up for professional bloggers. The lead generation header is great for building your email list. As a minimalist theme, Challenger effectively focuses the attention of your visitors on your content. This is due largely to the one-column layout. Without a sidebar, there are no distractions while someone is reading one of your articles.
The responsive Challenger theme includes a variety of handy features for showing/hiding elements across the site, displaying excerpts VS full posts, and changing the size of the Featured Images. There are also more than 50+ social media icons for linking visitors to your social profiles. Challenger is 100% responsive and looks awesome on mobile devices, tablets, and widescreen monitors.
2. Mission News by Compete Themes
Want to launch a mobile-friendly news website? Mission News is one of the best options on the market. Modeled after The New York Times, Mission News has a classic and authoritative style. Visitors will instantly recognize your site as a news source and with the three-column layout, you can show off tons of your best content on each page.
This newspaper WordPress theme has tons of customization options too. There are eight widget areas throughout the template you can use to display advertisements and list your posts. The Recent Posts Extended widget lets you list your newest posts but with a lot more options than the simple Recent Posts widget that comes with WordPress. On top of all this, there are 10 different layouts that you can set for individual posts and pages or entire page types at once. It’s a truly customizable theme for newspapers, and there’s even more functionality not covered here.
3. Startup Blog by Compete Themes
Want a cool new blog design for your site? Startup Blog has been designed especially for tech niches like web development, internet marketing, app development, and any blogs run by startups.
If you’ve got some important pages or offers to share with your visitors, the slider makes this simple. Feature any pages you want or simply include the latest posts. You can even remove the navigation and display a single slide to turn it into a header section advertising one page or post on the site.
Startup Blog includes 50+ social media icons you can add to the header to link visitors to your profiles. You can upload a custom logo, switch the sidebar layout, and completely customize the colors to match your brand. Make sure to load the demo site on your phone too so you can see how responsive it is.
4. Tracks by Compete Themes
Tracks is a popular free theme for blogs, photography portfolios, and podcast websites. It’s been around since 2014 and has been more than 70 times since! It’s fully up-to-date and is even compatible with the Gutenberg post editor.
The Tracks WordPress theme has a bold style with big, uppercase titles and oversized Featured Images. The front page design is unique in that the blog posts stagger the images and titles from left to right. The mobile menu also includes a cool railway tracks kind of animation.
All of the standard customization options come included in this theme. Add your own logo, include icons for your social profiles, display a search bar in the header, and make various other customizations to the blog. All settings are available from the Live Customizer where you can watch your changes take place as you make them.
5. PhotoFocus by Catch Themes
PhotoFocus is a slick and modern WordPress theme for photography websites. It includes a great variety of customization tools to help you focus your visitors on your best photographs and articles.
This responsive theme includes a built-in slider, various page templates, header image, services section, and client testimonials. You can use these site elements to help showcase your work and build your reputation as a photographer. That said, this multipurpose theme can be used for any kind of visual website, not just for photography.
While PhotoFocus is an excellent theme as-is for building a modern website, there’s also a pro upgrade with loads more options. If you’ve been looking for a template to highlight your best work, give PhotoFocus a try.
6. Author by Compete Themes
Author is a responsive theme with a sidebar made for all kinds of writers. It is essentially a blogging theme, so it’s best used for webmasters that like to publish new content regularly. The unique layout of this theme is thanks to its basis on the Van der Graaf canon. This was a mathematical solution to what was deemed the most aesthetically pleasing way to layout text in the pages of a book. While not confirming completely, the articles are offset from the right side of the screen based on these principles.
Author has a few customization options for the blog allowing you to set custom excerpts and display your full posts on the blog if you’d like. There are nearly 60 social media icons for linking to your profiles, and you can add both a logo and an “avatar” which lets you totally brand the site. Overall, it has a good design and feature set for a free WordPress theme.
7. Viral News by HashThemes
If you are looking for a flexible WordPress theme to create a viral magazine site, newspaper, editorial, news portal, or any other publishing website, Viral News is just what you need. It comes with 12 built-in demos that can be imported and installed on your website with a single click. These demos are fully compatible with the Live Customizer as well as the Elementor page builder. You can see a real-time live preview of all the editing and customization you have made on your website. Additionally, the theme is fully advertisement-ready and contains different locations where you can place the ads.
8. Chosen by Compete Themes
From the screenshot above, you can see how Chosen is a very visual blog theme. The Featured Image for each post is displayed prominently in a nearly fullscreen size. On the homepage, the posts are laid out in a two-column design that makes your content easy to browse.
If you want a minimalist theme for your site, Chosen will be a great choice. It strips away all the unnecessary elements and presents nothing more than your header and vital post content. Regarding the customization features, Chosen has custom logos, social media icons, a search bar, and a few other display controls for showing/hiding elements around the site. As a theme by Compete Themes, it also has a premium upgrade with a lot more great customization tools.
9. Ignite by Compete Themes
Ignite is a responsive blog theme with a classic sidebar layout. It has a few customization options you’ll love for changing the background color, fonts, and layout. This will be a great free theme to choose if you want to launch a blog with a clean design. Use it to create a site about tech, business, marketing, or a travel blog. The demo shows off a simple site title but you can replace this with your custom logo.
This is a theme you can trust to present your content beautifully across all screens and devices. Ignite has been downloaded over 200,000 times and has 31 reviews, 30 of which are five-stars. It was first released in 2014 and has since been updated 75 times. It’s fully compatible with Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0.
10. GeneratePress by GeneratePress
The GeneratePress theme is a great option if you’re looking to create a website for a business. It’s got loads of five-star reviews thanks to the extremely customizable design. GeneratePress integrates well with page builders and that’s one of its best perks. For instance, if you want to use Elementor or Beaver Builder, you’ll have no trouble getting them to work with this theme.
GeneratePress adds a variety of layout customization tools that enhance rather than compete with these tools. Make sure to read our guide on using page builders if you’re new to this. Don’t be fooled by all the functionality included in this theme – it won’t slow down your site. In fact, GeneratePress is very lightweight and will help your site to load fast.
11. Ellie by Themes Zone
Ellie is a modern WooCommerce theme which a highly flexible design. You’ll love the compatibility with Elementor for creating custom landing pages.
The product pages and shop have been gorgeously designed and will help your products stand out from the competition. The style is consistently elegant throughout every template.
Ellie also includes plenty of customization options for changing various visual elements throughout the design, so you’ll have no trouble adapting it to your brand. Use this eCommerce theme to sell t-shirts and apparel, cosmetics, furniture items, or anything else you want with an online store.
12. Hestia by ThemeIsle
Hestia is a material design WordPress theme made by the same developers behind the very popular Zerif Lite theme. Aesthetically, it’s modeled closely by the flat design trend that took over in 2014 and it may remind you a bit of Google’s Android apps. As a business-oriented theme, you’ll like that Hestia has a simple homepage builder in the Customizer. You can recreate the same design as the screenshot featured above, or customize it to look totally different. Hestia also comes with full WooCommerce support which means you can sell both digital and physical products from your site. And services too! This makes it quite adaptable and a practical choice for creative agencies, eCommerce stores, and freelancers.
13. New Blog by Postmagthemes
New Blog is a completely free WordPress theme. It is very easy to use and it a good choice for beginner WordPress users. All of the features are usable via the Live Customizer. It’s also fully responsive so it can be viewed perfectly from all kinds of devices.
The header image along with the wide banner slider are two of its finest features. It has a smooth and clean design which creates a pleasant atmosphere for your writing. The built-in post-filters can be customized in many ways and your articles can also show the time required to read them.
Custom colors have been added to this blogging theme allowing you to match your brand whether your site is for professional or personal use. For additional customization, there is also a premium version available. The New Blog WordPress theme was designed by Postmagthemes and is one of the most liked themes by more than 3000 users. You can trust it to be well-coded since it has been approved by the WordPress.org Theme Review Team.
14. MH Magazine by MH Themes
Want to create an online magazine? MH Magazine has been around for years and is highly-refined at this point. The developers have kept it up-to-date and continuously improved this theme making it one of the best free themes for a magazine. Use MH Magazine to create a magazine for any niche like fashion, sports, entertainment, travel, or politics. The flexible layouts and color scheme let you customize the theme to fit pretty much any industry you can think of. Wondering how the layouts featured in the screenshot above are achieved? MH Magazine heavily utilizes widget areas to create the homepage design. It comes with its own custom widgets for listing your posts. And of course, the other benefit of using widget areas is that you can use any of the thousands of other free widgets in any widget area in MH Magazine.
15. Syndey by athemes
The Syndey theme has been a popular business theme for a long time. It has some simple controls for creating a custom homepage, so you can adapt the content to your business’ needs. Syndey is also advertising its compatibility with the Elementor page builder plugin. Elementor is great for creating custom templates and it’s nice to know your theme will be completely integrated. Besides the homepage builder, there’s a handful of customization options found inside the Live Customizer. Upload a custom logo, change the fonts, switch up the layout, and even modify the colors. The great part about the Live Customizer is that unlike an admin menu, you get to watch all of your changes take place live. This makes it easier to quickly adjust the site to your liking
16. Twenty Fifteen by WordPress.org
The WordPress.org team releases a new free WordPress theme every year, and Twenty Fifteen is still my personal favorite. The sidebar design featured in this minimalist theme adapts very well to all screen sizes. Often times, themes look awkward around the tablet screen size, but Twenty Fifteen seems to always look gorgeous. Besides its smooth responsiveness, Twenty Fifteen was built with the beautiful Noto Sans and Noto Serif fonts. These typefaces have huge character sites which make them a smart choice for a multilingual WordPress theme and non-English websites in general. This clean and free WordPress theme has a nice variety of customization options as well, and they’re all available via the Live Customizer.
17. Storefront by Automattic
Storefront is probably the first theme you should consider for your eCommerce store. It’s got a simple but beautiful design and it was made by Automattic – the developers behind WooCommerce and WordPress itself. The plain style of this theme makes it incredibly flexible. It will look good for a wide variety of online retailers like clothing stores, jewelry shops, or even sporting goods eCommerce stores. And since it’s made by Automattic, you can be sure it integrates seamlessly with the WooCommerce plugin. This eCommerce theme is pretty customizable too. There are options in the Customizer for you to change the layout and colors easily. With multiple widget areas throughout the template, you can add all sorts of promos and other important sales tools to your site.
18. Spacious by ThemeGrill
Spacious is another theme that’s been a favorite amongst WordPress users for years. It has a clean, minimalist design that makes it very adaptable. This free WordPress theme will be a good choice for anyone who wants to create a simple website for their business. With a customizable blog design, it will work well for any organizations that also want to publish posts frequently and keep an active blog. As a modern theme, Spacious is completely responsive, so you can expect it to look awesome on your phone too. Regarding customization tools, there are 2 page templates, 4 page layouts, 4 blog display types, and a whopping 13 widget areas. It even includes some custom widgets, a slider, custom colors, and more.
19. Optimizer by OptimizerWP
Optimizer is one of the few free themes for WordPress that is truly multipurpose. That means it can be used to build any kind of site from portfolios to complete eCommerce stores. The Optimizer multipurpose theme comes with a set of pre-made templates. You can easily create a well-designed homepage by simply selecting one of these templates. From there, you can make edits where you see fit and switch out the dummy content with your own text and images. The cool thing about Optimizer is that it is an all-in-one package. You don’t need a page builder or other plugins to make an awesome website with this free theme. Also, it’s probably the best choice in this collection if you want to learn one theme really well and then reuse it for multiple sites. The premium upgrade makes it even more customizable as well so you can create a diverse set of websites.
20. Portfolio Press by Devin Price
Are you a designer or artist? A website can be a great way to show off your work, and Portfolio Press does this very well. The cool thing about this theme is that you can add the portfolio items separately from your blog posts. Create a beautiful homepage with all of your graphics in a grid layout and publish posts on the blog too if you want. You can still add regular pages as well for your about page and contact page. All of the configuration options are available in the Live Customizer. Portfolio Press also has a video tutorial you can watch if you want to learn how to set it up on your site.
21. Sparkling by Colorlib
Sparkling is a great WordPress blog theme with a completely responsive design. It looks good on mobile devices which is very important for content-based websites. Like most themes, Sparkling is internationalized which means you can translate it into any language you want. In fact, due to its popularity, this theme has already been translated into plenty of languages. Sparkling was built using the Bootstrap Framework which you may appreciate if you are a developer yourself. As for the non-developers, you’ll like the fullscreen slider, social icons, and author bio for customizing your site and building your audience.
22. Easy Store by Mystery Themes
Easy Store is made for eCommerce stores and is a solid choice for anyone looking for a WooCommerce WordPress theme. What I like most about this theme is the left sidebar navigation. It lets you link to all of your various departments. Visitors will recognize this pattern right away from Amazon and have no trouble navigating your website. Easy Store includes a decent number of customization options. Some of these options include 8 custom widgets for changing your eCommerce layout, custom colors, and even more settings available in the Live Customizer. Make sure to check out a few of the demo sites as they show off how you could use this theme for an electronics eCommerce store or any other type of web shop.
23. SEOboost by Dash Themez
The SEOBoost theme has a cool three-column layout. That type of design can be tough to find, so give this magazine and blogging theme a close look if you want three columns for your site. If you only publish once a month, this theme will work okay. However, the design is a better fit for a frequent publisher. The multi-column design can handle websites that publish daily or even more frequently. If you have a post or two that you want to be featured on the site, you can keep them sticky while you publish more content. SEOBoost has color options that let you match it to your brand. You can also choose from many fonts thanks to the integration with Google Fonts. This SEO theme also boasts clean code and fast load times which will help you to rank well in Google and get more traffic.
24. Rara Business by Rara Themes
The fullscreen background image in Rara Business can make for a strong first impression. Make sure to pick a great photo for your site when you use this business WordPress theme. The header has space for you to include important contact info like your phone number, address, and email address. You can also choose from dozens of social icons to include above the menu and custom logo. The call-to-action buttons on the homepage are great for directing visitors to your top offers. Rara Business has a fully responsive design and clean code which helps it to look great and load quickly on desktop and mobile devices. It’s also translation-ready so it can be translated into any language and works with all modern browsers.
25. Typecore by AlxMedia
The Typecore theme fills out the screen nicely with tons of content and blog post recommendations. For a personal blog, it would be overkill, but it will work wonderfully for any online magazines. There’s a post slider front-and-center on the homepage which you can use to feature your best content. On the left and right are widget areas where you can list more posts. The menu fits snug into the top-left of the site and there’s also a thin vertical menu along the left side where you can link to all your social profiles. Typecore keeps the sidebars at consistent sizes while it adapts to various screens which is great for getting ads to display at the perfect sizes. You can easily include ads in the sidebars, header, and footer in this Google AdSense-friendly theme.
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Which free theme is best for you?
Picking a theme can be a challenging process.
If you’re unsure where to start, follow our guide on how to pick a WP theme. You’ll find the four most important factors to consider as well as some extra points to consider. The checklist makes things a lot simpler when selecting a free WordPress theme.
Have a question about any of these free themes or WordPress in general? Post a comment below.
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