If you plan to create a website using WordPress, then you’re already aware of the power and flexibility of the world’s most popular CMS.

A lot of what makes WordPress an excellent web building tool is that its open source, which allows levels of customization that is unmatched by other platforms.  One of its main draws though, and perhaps the central feature that adds to its degree of flexibility is that it’s free. And who doesn’t love free?

Of course, you’ll need to let go of a little cash to secure a domain and nail down your web hosting, but those are nominal expenses. When your building platform comes at no cost, getting your website up and running with WordPress is a fantastic deal.

But that economy doesn’t end with the software itself.

A top attribute of WordPress is the number and variety of themes available. If you’re a newcomer, themes (also sometimes referred to as templates) help you quickly build out a website with the tools and features necessary to create a dynamic internet presence.

The best part is that many of these themes are free.

By many, I actually mean thousands. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 to be exact.

Now you may be thinking a) that’s a lot of themes and b) that’s a lot of themes. The answers, of course, are yes and yes.

Sure, it may seem daunting at first, trying to sort through that many options to find a quality theme that works well for your website. But no worries. We’ve put together an extensive list that includes 50 of the top free WordPress themes.

Let’s get started.

50+ Best Free WordPress Themes

Without further ado, let’s get down to business and the real reason you came to this party – our list of the best free WordPress themes (listed alphabetically).

1. Activello

Activello - Free WordPress Theme

Our first theme is for the bloggers and lifestyle editors who live to capture and document life as it happens. Plus, if you’ve got photos to post and want them enveloped in a sleek, modern design, Activello is the perfect fit.

Beyond its obvious aesthetic appeal, this theme is highly customizable, with almost every feature available for editing, and plugin ready should the need arise to expand some of the functionality. With the WooCommerce plugin also a seamless fit, you can easily transition to a lifestyle based ecommerce site as well.

2. Affluent

Affluent - Free WordPress Theme

There’s a fine line many companies must walk when developing a website. On the one hand, you want to display a welcoming image inviting visitors and customers to get to know your business. On the other hand, you need to convey a seriousness that gives your organization some weight.

The Affluent theme bridges this gap, with a clean, structured, and easy to navigate design that looks like it cost thousands of dollars to produce. It keenly lets a group focus on the values important to them with a toolset that supports the overall messaging.

3. Allegiant

Allegiant - Free WordPress Theme

One of our favorite modern themes for business, Allegiant checks off all the boxes for any company looking to make a bold and highly sophisticated statement with their web presence. The feature set is broad and accompanied by a plugin that further expands the capabilities.

Options to highlight products or people (such as team member pages), modules for building your customer testimonial network and quite a few feature blocks help you accentuate additional points or messaging for your firm. Overall, the sky’s the limit with Allegiant, and this stands as one of few across the board recommendations for practically any business type.

4. Anariel Lite

Anariel Lite - Free WordPress Theme

If you’re a lifestyle or fashion blogger, the magazine layout templates prove great options at seamlessly mixing your text and imagery. Anariel Lite is one such theme.

Clean and airy, this simple layout is a cinch to make your own. A visual treat that is both responsive and retina ready, Anariel Lite also provides seven different blog post options, photo galleries, and a very functional sidebar.

5. Arcade Basic

Arcade Basic - Free WordPress Theme

While many of the themes we’ll preview are of a more serious and professional variety, some offer a more laid-back feel. Arcade Basic is one of those themes.

It’s a relatively straightforward and uncluttered design that provides smooth editing. The image header offers a big, bold welcome and the site’s toolkit has multiple ways to get your message across, which includes video and audio capabilities.

6. Auberge

Auberge - Free WordPress Theme

While almost any theme worth your time should readily adjust for mobile devices (yes, a few good ones are not optimized) some tend to do responsive design better than others. Auberge is a great example of a theme that looks even better on smaller screens than it does traditional desktops.

Although it’s target demo is for use as a food and beverage web design, it does offer the flexibility to work in other areas. It should be high on your list of possibilities if you have incredibly mobile clientele.

7. Aviator

Aviator - Free WordPress Theme

If you do any amount of surfing the internet, you’ve no doubt taken note of a lot of cluttered websites. Packing as much info as you can onto a page is not always a good thing. Aviator helps alleviate that problem by offering a crisp, clean layout that is heavy on the white space.

The theme doesn’t skimp on the tools and function though, which include a custom menu, threaded comments section, and responsive design. Some of the most straightforward sites are the ones that work across the most variations, and Aviator is no exception. It would be a solid theme for any business, blog, or photography based project.

8. Bento

Bento - Free WordPress Theme

When visiting a blogging site, you expect it to be fast. Bento is a well-optimized theme that takes that concept and makes it even better while at the same time tossing in the additional feature of well-structured SEO. There’s also a number of customization options available to tailor the site to your specific needs.

9. Blaskan

Blaskan - Free WordPress Theme

Usually, most blog specific themes are generic enough to set up in a myriad of ways for a number of different topics. What makes Blaskan a bit different is that it creates a distinctly light and airy vibe that makes it a no-brainer for a lifestyle blog.

It’s hard to envision a tech-heavy site coming from this theme, but its three column layout, generous white-space, and simple touches (the calendar is particularly nice) easily translate to an island hopping travelogue or a review site for the best golf courses up and down the Pacific coast.

In other words, if the Wimbledon tennis tournament took a vacation, this would be the theme it would use to document it.

10. Eighties

Eighties free WordPress theme

Don’t let the name fool you. This is a very forward-looking website that we could see easily evolving into something even more dynamic than its current form, which is pretty great. You will find all of your content located on the homepage which keeps your visitor’s focus squarely where you want it, and the bold header helps to initiate that visual appeal.

You can also fill that space with a static picture or use one from a featured post. Additionally, the menu and sidebar have been designed to stay collapsed and off to the side until a user calls upon them. As you’d expect, your editing functions are quick and straightforward and adding new content is a breeze. An overall great site for small to medium size businesses.

11. Evolve

This is a snappy little theme that has gained some recent popularity within the WordPress community. Evolve’s responsive design allows you to edit all of the essential elements but also gives you a choice to run either a single scroll or a grid layout from your main landing page.

It even has a drag and drop builder to minimize your editing and initial setup time. Working best as a small business tool, Evolve can easily be customized to serve a blog or photography site as well.

12. Flat

When you hear the term flat in regards to website design, it references a function over form approach, where style takes a backseat to elements that are simple and straightforward. The Flat theme conveys these standards, with a practical layout that includes a well-developed sidebar which you can customize any number of ways. This template is responsive and retina ready and is a reliable option for any type of business focused website.

13. FlatOn

Our second theme based on the flat school of design, FlatOn takes this favorite scheme and gives it a very modern touch, with a detailed but uncomplicated central header area and layout that provides your content room to breathe.

Businesses will find a lot to like here as the professionalism is easy to spot. FlatOn can also serve bloggers well, especially those that want a step up from the more common stripped-down blogging designs.

14. Fukasawa

This is a neat theme that allows you to present your content in various forms with one of the best being a scroll of thumbnail pictures. You can also utilize gallery slideshows and video posting capabilities to expand your range of display options. As expected, the theme is highly responsive and lets you customize smaller details like colors and fonts.

15. Gridsby

If you love Pinterest, you’ll love the equally grid-centric Gridsby theme. Just a quick glance tells you this design is all about you showing off your photo collection.

Thankfully, Gridsby does this in a much clearer fashion than some other options, and you have a decent level of available controls to highlight your content exactly how you see fit. You might be far from creating the next Pinterest, but Gridsby certainly helps give you a push in the right direction.

16. Hemingway

The Hemingway theme might be one of the best all-around WordPress templates for bloggers. Clean and uncluttered, the design puts attention on content instead of unnecessary bells and whistles that can bog a site down.

The toolkit at your disposal though is quite robust and includes a showstopping header, straightforward responsive and retina ready design, and the ability to tweak a lot of minor elements to your specifications.

17. Hestia

This particular theme can serve a lot of different functions and website types through its endless flexibility. The main draw is the business savvy toolset and easy ecommerce integration through the WooCommerce plugin.

There’s also a lot of ways to make the smaller details your own and to support changing trends and needs. Hestia also works with the WordPress Customizer. From an artistic standpoint, Hestia can also be tweaked to accommodate photographers looking for a clean but highly functional template.

18. Hitchcock

Akin to viewing a screen full of colorful post-it notes (trust us, it’s pretty cool), the Hitchcock theme is perfect for image heavy travel or food blogs or general photography sites. The theme is also highly responsive which help to ensure you don’t lose the overall aesthetic of this vibrant site when its viewed on smaller devices.

19. Hoffman

There’s a lot of minimalist designs throughout our list, and the Hoffman theme ranks near the top when it comes to keeping the focus on your content. By nixing standard elements like headers, menus, and sidebars, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular choice among bloggers. That’s not to say its without function, because there are quite a few options to further encourage content creation.

20. Hueman

The growing popularity of the magazine layout is evident with a number of the themes on our list, but one particular standout is the Hueman theme. Highly fashionable and highly responsive, this design also provides a lot of flexibility in an already flexible format with ten different posting options, strong SEO functionality, and a nice set of built-in social buttons.

Perhaps the best element is the well-organized approach in which the layout handles the typically cluttered aspects of a magazine-based template.

21. Illdy

The developer advertises the Illdy theme as clean, slick, and pixel perfect and they’re not wrong. One of the most complete themes on our list, we are particular fans of how easy it is to build either a stylishly bold business site or a simple, minimalistic blog.

Few themes offer that type of design range without needing a full-time developer to make it happen. The highly responsive design will translate with ease to any kind of device, and you can even sneak peak your changes with a preview before going live through the WordPress Customizer.

22. Interface

If you like a ton of options and prefer to use words instead of pictures to get your message across, Interface is for you. This highly responsive (seriously, it looks great on any device) theme has an eye towards those that want to grab attention through text. Different layouts and page templates let you customize your build out versus other themes with more static functions.

23. Juno

Several themes tend to look better and better the longer you stare at them. Juno, with its sharp and sparse design aesthetic, is one such theme that works equally well for blogging and photography.

The blog area is a Pinterest-style layout, and there are multiple spots to post your best photos. Responsive and easy to toggle some of the minor design elements, Juno also functions well for ecommerce and efficiently supports the WooCommerce plugin.

24. Libretto

This nifty little blogging theme is perfect for the minimalist who wants to keep things effortless and stylish without a lot of fuss. The single column design keeps the site simple, and the feature set is geared directly to writers.

Whether your posts range from 500 to 2,000 words or you opt for the more engaging long-form versions, Libretto assists in maintaining focus squarely where it needs to be – on your copy.

25. Make

You’ll note that as you bounce back and forth between different themes, two design methods tend to stand out – minimalist and modern. Often these two approaches are confused, and while they are similar, the contemporary layout tends to have a more striking edge to it. Which leads us to the Make theme.

On its surface, it feels minimal, but the bold header, prominent hero banners, and overall smooth navigation are what a modernized site is all about. Speaking of modern, this responsive design also features a drag and drop page builder which is the new wave in website creation.

26. MedZone

It’s rare to find a WordPress theme with a singular focus, but MedZone stands out as one of the best designs for a highly specialized purpose. As the name suggests, MedZone is meant to place health care providers front and center.

The responsive and retina ready theme functions well as a professional and highly informative site or for clinics or hospitals, with features that include medical icons, appointment forms, and team member listings. It’s also plugin friendly and can serve a medical sales group through WooCommerce.

27. Modernize

Another of the minimalist design themes tailored for blogging, the Modernize theme offers some helpful functionality while keeping a simple approach to the proceedings. Easy to update and even easier to read, you can key in on a one or two column presentation while still maintaining a hero image front and center.

28. NewsMag Lite

If you need a magazine theme that’s tailored to visually engaging your site traffic, NewsMag Lite is a wonderful option for keeping eyes and clicks on your web pages.

Boasting an impressive header for highlighting your stories of the day, a three column area for section spotlighting and a scroll that quickly gets a visitor to your main page stories, this is an excellent theme for navigating any news or magazine based content.

In addition, the theme possesses robust SEO capabilities, translation functions, and support for the WooCommerce plugin should you also have an ecommerce need.

29. Newspaper X

If the cool name doesn’t immediately sell you on this theme, you’ll love the great feature set that comes with this magazine based design. Newspaper X is made to handle a lot of content while keeping your pages clean and simple to navigate.

It also has an ad banner built in to simplify your advertising, and you can also make good use of the four individual grid options that include editorial and current events as well as latest and world news. The theme also works with the WordPress Customizer which allows you to preview changes before posting them live.

30. Nisarg

Text does not always drive blogs, and the Nisarg theme reinforces this better than most. Though blogging remains the focus, you can accentuate your words with features such as audio, images, and video. You also have a wonderfully bold header area and two different navigation menus.

The theme also works well with the WordPress Customizer to make things even more accessible. Amazingly, Nisarg achieves this without messing with a beautiful, understated, and highly responsive design.

31. Olsen Light

Though there are plenty of art driven themes on our list, Olsen Light is one of the best. The sparse design lets your artistic acumen be the focus. Regardless if its art, photos, or words they all shine without a lot of the cumbersome front page elements of other themes.

Also, this theme has a strong SEO backbone which will help get your creativity out in front of the masses. In addition, being responsive and SEO ready, there is an Instagram integration that allows you to link up your outside account directly with your blog.

32. Onetone

Single page (also called one page) layouts are increasingly becoming more and more popular with their super simple navigation and dynamic feel. Onetone can undoubtedly claim its place among some of the best one-page themes, with a header that can handle a slider or brief video, a great photo gallery, and easy customization that makes putting your site together a breeze.

Even though it’s a single page, Onetone is still SEO optimized and will ultimately fit best with small businesses or firms that have a singular product focus.

33. Parallax One

Another single page design this one with parallax scrolling, the Parallax One theme is equal parts simple and dynamic. Responsive and retina ready, this template utilizes a bold header to grab attention and then provides balanced support to your content as a visitor works their way down the page.

Your options area is straightforward to navigate and use, and you have access to plenty of tools including customizable colors, logos, and layouts. This is a great theme for business use or if your company requires a singular focus on a product or project.

34. Phlox

If you find yourself undecided about the direction you want to take your website, choosing a multi-purpose theme is often the best course of action. Phlox is one of the themes that adjusts, with little effort, to whatever purpose you need it to fulfill.

This is a fast template that includes all of your basic needs including responsive, SEO, and translation and retina capabilities. But the big draw is that it can be molded to fit the following website types: blog and business, photography and travel, magazine and news and even ecommerce. Few themes offer that flexibility.

35. Pixgraphy

As the name would suggest, this theme is big on highlighting the work of photographers. Multiple options for setting up your galleries and feature shots, Pixgraphy is also set up to make use of plugins, including WooCommerce. You may think with pictures being front and center, the speed of this theme may suffer, but the developers made sure to optimize accordingly.

36. Portum

The Portum theme is another highly specialized option that lends itself well to a business environment. While it is effective as a general company website, Portum can really help a business spotlight a specific brand or project.

The layout helps you to clearly take your message from point A to point B to point C without the usual clutter of similar sites trying to unbox a particular project. Customizable features include plugin readiness, general style changes and editable sidebars.

37. Responsive

If you need an all-around solid theme that can do several things well, then the highly regarded Responsive theme is an excellent choice.

Insanely popular with well over a million downloads and counting, this theme allows you to change up backgrounds, headers, menus and page templates. Not only that, but the Responsive template stays true to the screen on which it’s being displayed reinforcing its highly purposeful name.

38. Restaurant Theme

It should be pretty obvious what this theme is all about. If you’re in the food and beverage business, few templates will help your company more than the highly specialized Restaurant Theme. From small coffee shops to regional chain restaurants and on up, this theme works to highlight your food and service.

With an incredibly stylish starting point, you can customize almost any aspect including page templates, drop-down menus, and the colors and fonts. You also have use of a calendar, Google Maps, several post formats and an excellent admin panel from which to edit it all.

39. Rokophoto Lite

You may have noted that several themes on this list specialize in unique ways to display content. You can include Rokophoto Lite as part of that list. This theme carries with it a low-key and understated design that takes the minimal approach to customization with only a handful of options for you to tweak. Perfect for those that are wanting something light and airy.

40. Shapely

If you like uncluttered, simple, and to the point design, it doesn’t get much better than Shapely’s vibrant but understated scheme. Though at first glance it works as a one-page design, you can set up individual project or portfolio pages to highlight your work.

Both business and portfolio-based web builders will find a lot to like if the goal is to make an immediate, visual statement. More than just looks though, there are plenty of tools to help you create everything from feature product sections to customer friendly areas to a very dynamic blog page that also includes a sidebar.

41. ShopIsle

The ShopIsle theme is another ecommerce targeted option with a focus on accentuating your product images. The layout itself is clean and simple and helps to keep the focus on what you’re selling.

Additional features for the responsive theme include support for digital products, powerful, full-screen header, a great About Us page, and the ability to show specials and featured products directly on your homepage. Also, the WooCommerce plugin works seamlessly for ShopIsle.

42. Simple Business

Even if your business is anything but simple, you can at least have a company website that is relatively straightforward. The Simple Business theme is a single scrolling page that also includes a blog with sidebar, responsive design, and elegant menu and header section.

A lot of customization is also available through a robust and easy to use options panel. Best for small to midsize firms, we also see this as a viable option for unique products or artists or promoters looking to generate some interest.

43. Sparkling

The Sparkling theme is one of those fluid layouts that can readily be customized to fit many blogging needs. At first, it comes across as a fairly standard setup, but the medium size photo that accompanies each new post work well to put extra emphasis on your content.

The sidebar is also a great tool with several customizable areas that you can update as necessary, including spotlighted posts, categories or a list of tags, or even recent comments to highlight the social conversation happening on your website. Though not an overall showstopper like some other options on our list, Sparkling certainly has the flexibility to fill a wide range of needs for various website projects.

44. Storefront

If there was one theme on our list that was absolutely, 100% designed for a singular purpose, it is clearly the Storefront theme. Granted, the products offered will vary wildly from site to site, but make no mistake, this theme is all about selling. It doesn’t hurt that its developed by the team behind WooCommerce.

Overall, it’s a great looking layout that does afford you the opportunity to make it your own. It also looks good from desktop to tablet to smartphone, so you have no excuse for ever missing a sale.

45. Sydney

The Sydney theme is a perfect fit for businesses looking for deep customization without losing any functionality, and Sydney has plenty. This theme allows you to control the minor details like colors, layout, and fonts, while making your impact felt with significant content additions. This is also a trendy choice for WordPress users and has a robust support structure and receives frequent updates from the developer.

46. Tracks

Simply put, the Tracks theme is a fresh choice for those wanting something a bit different, primarily if you deal in photography or are producing a travelogue. Using panoramic imagery to significant effect, the home page is impressive, simple and works well to grab a visitors attention the minute they arrive.

Tracks is also highly responsive with additional features that include adding your own logo, a search bar, easily accessible display controls, and a custom footer.

47. True North

As we near the end of our list, you’ve no doubt figured out that there are a lot of different theme options available, but the majority of them connect through a common element – simplicity. Clean lines, lots of white space, straightforward navigation. Perhaps none do this better than the True North theme.

Simply put, we love this template for several reasons, including the vibrant home page with a stunning header and excellent portfolio summary, the fantastic blog area, and all of it being easy to customize. A business, blog, or creative-driven website can all utilize the True North theme to build an exceptional internet presence.

48. Tyche

Although we include a number of themes that work well for both displaying and selling fashion, few explicitly aim towards fulfilling the overlooked need. Thankfully, Tyche fills in the gaps as a clothing targeted web design with ecommerce very much in mind.

Aside from the standard WordPress based theme features and benefits, Tyche includes functionality for banner ads, a shopping cart and is set up to use the WooCommerce plugin. What makes this theme really shine though is the ability to not only focus on the clothing you’re trying to push but also to set up areas where you can highlight favorite items or trends and gear it towards your loyal fashionistas.

49. Writee

This is an excellent theme for bloggers who have either a photography or travel angle. Or both. Writee provides an elegant aesthetic without sacrificing the literary focal point of your website. The header includes a panoramic slider, and the main layout is a simplified single column with a sidebar that has some deep customization.

You can also utilize the WordPress Customizer to preview anything before it goes live. Though it’s hard to imagine using this theme for business, it will without question make any blog stand out from the crowd.

50. Zerif

Our final theme, Zerif is an excellent entry purposed to help any business with ecommerce needs, and it works quite well with the WooCommerce plugin.

Incredibly simple and straightforward, this theme also has some flexibility should your business needs change. 100% responsive, the Zerif theme is quite popular with WordPress users, consistently receiving high marks. It’s also well supported by its developer with frequent updates.

Choose Your Theme

Too much?


But you absolutely can’t say there’s nothing currently available to fit your needs.

Again, that’s the beauty of an open-source platform like WordPress. Regardless if your project is a business, blog, creative-based endeavor or something that transcends a few different elements, you can find the perfect thematic fit for your next website.

No need to be overwhelmed either. Just identify your goals and figure out the purpose of your site, and then determine what you want to get out of your project, and soon enough you’ll whittle down the daunting original list of themes into a handful of viable options making your decision far more manageable.

Even if the exact match isn’t on our list, remember that customization is a vital part of creating a website in WordPress, and you or a developer can tailor any number of the above themes to your exact specifications.

Oh yeah, and one other thing you don’t want to forget. They’re all free.

What’s Your Purpose?

Now that we’ve jumped into all of the fantastic choices you’ll have to get your WordPress site up and running, you need to know what makes a great theme and how it will impact your project.

Before you do anything else, including choosing a WordPress theme, you’ll want to figure out a few things concerning your website. Specifically, what are your goals? What do you hope to convey or achieve through your web pages?

At this point, it doesn’t hurt to set some time frame goals too, with a target launch date to keep yourself on track.

Nothing needs to be 100% set in stone prior to your theme search, but at the very least, having a general idea of the type of site you’re hoping to create is an essential step in finding the right theme. Even just a thought of the message you want to communicate can initially steer you in the right direction. Inevitably, once you formulate what you’re trying to do, you’ll find yourself learning to one of the four theme types mentioned below.

Now, this is by no means intended to label your endeavor in any specific way, but realizing that different themes have different features, functions, and flexibility can help you quickly narrow down the options and find an effective one for your project.

With that understanding, let’s review the four basic categories that themes can be broken down into: Business, Blog, Creative, or Multi-purpose.


A business-driven theme will be noticeably more professional than a blog option, and a step or two above creative-based templates. Though the business themes are typically very adept at helping you to convey a message or highlight a team, project, or product the visual dynamics of these may be lacking.

That’s made up for by the fact that most business level themes have the most functionality and the most customization of all the template types.


A blog specific theme is going to be very straightforward. It’s all about the text and presenting it in the best possible manner. Yes, there are plenty of blog-based options geared towards photography or a similar visual medium, but we’ll touch on those in a minute.

Ultimately, a blog theme will have the fewest features or editable elements, but that’s perfectly fine given their intended purpose.


This type of theme is all about presentation, with eye-popping designs and tools for getting the most out of your visual content. Most often this means photos, but creative-based themes can also work well for art,  architecture and interior design, or any other design-centric work.

The customization can vary significantly from theme to theme within this group, but there is usually enough to ensure a unique website.


We’re sure you’ve already guessed this group is a hybrid of our other three categories and tends to mix elements from each to give you a theme with the highest possible appeal. As a general rule, business/creative and blog/creative are the most common crossovers, but you will at times see all three blended together for genuinely dynamic options.

So those are the four types of WordPress themes you’ll encounter in your search.

But what about the specific elements to look for that make up a great theme and how can you use those to create the best website possible?

How to Get the Most Out of Your Theme

After understanding the basic types of themes, there are a few primary factors to look out for before descending down the fun and fascinating rabbit hole of finding your new WordPress design.

Regardless of if yours is a business or personal website, you’ll need to make sure the theme you choose performs the following functions well:


The first requirement is the simplest, making sure your site adjusts appropriately to different screen sizes. This means your website needs to not only look good on desk or laptop screens but also tablets and smartphones.

Along with responsiveness, you’ll find a number of themes are also retina ready. This just means that a theme can effectively display sharper images on new, high-resolution devices. Though it’s not an absolute necessity, if your website requires a heavy reliance on images and their quality, a retina ready design is a must have as part of your theme choice.


In this day and age, it goes without saying that security is paramount for both you and the guests to your website. The vast majority of themes offer adequate defenses against all manner of security threats, but do your homework and verify how other users have fared using a particular theme.

You’ll also want a theme that is consistently supported by its developer, which means frequent updates to keep the security and its technical functions current.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you want your website found via search, you’ll want to be sure it has prominent placement on major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. WordPress is particularly useful for maximizing SEO so choose themes that are noted as either SEO-ready or optimized.


As you may already know, whether or not a website loads quickly is dependent upon a few factors, such as your web host, page content, and general site traffic. Your theme also plays a part in whether your pages load at an optimal speed. A site like Pingdom can help test a theme’s load numbers by entering in the demo’s URL in the prompt.

From those necessary requirements, we move onto the variables that can help make your web pages both effective at building an audience and easy for you to manage.

A couple of these items will be no-brainers for a business site. Conversely, you may want to eschew those same features for a more simple, straightforward blog.

Either way, find a theme with the right combination of ingredients to fit your web building goals.

Content Type

When building out a website, one of the most critical elements in how it will look is how will it be used. Business, ecommerce, blog, and photography sites all have varying needs, and you’ll want to key in on those differences to decide which direction to take your website.

From a professional standpoint, informing and selling are two very different endeavors, so ensure you select a business theme that meets your organizational goals.

If you want your name out amongst the public, look for well-organized themes with robust SEO tools making it easy for people to find you on the web and understand what your company is about. Pushing products? Look for themes that are optimized for ecommerce and provide a secure, enjoyable experience for your customers.

With more personal creations, a blog needs to keep its words front and center and avoid bogging down the reading experience for your site traffic. Along similar lines, photography sites should avoid clutter with the most focus directed to the pictures, while keeping the site speed running as smooth as possible.


You’ll want a theme where making updates isn’t fraught with difficulty or takes too long to make the simplest of changes. This holds especially true if your plans include managing most of the website yourself.


If your focus is on online selling, plenty of WordPress themes offer an experience tailored to ecommerce. Another option, should you find a great theme without the built-in tools you need, is to verify the template is compatible with an ecommerce plugin to help fill the sales need.

Feature Set

With a wide variety of themes comes an extensive array of feature sets within each one. Narrow down what you need and want so you’re not wasting time previewing themes that don’t fulfill your website’s requirements.

Plugin Compatibility

Plugins extend a theme’s functionality. They not only make your site faster and more secure but add additional features to create a better looking and more user-friendly experience. Be sure your chosen theme will integrate effectively with plugins.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Finally, you’d never want to overload your site with unnecessary content that weighs down its performance, so don’t pick a theme that does so right out of the gate. Less is indeed more when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme. Select one that is nimble and gives you what need instead of a lot of excess baggage that you don’t.

Free WordPress Themes

Written by Alex Jasin

Last Updated: June 3, 2019