Choosing a theme for your WordPress site is similar to picking a WordPress host. You want to take your time and consider your needs before you make a selection. However, the wide selection of free themes on the market – both on the WordPress Theme Directory and third-party sites – makes it difficult to narrow your options down to the very best.
While we certainly can’t offer you a look at all available themes for your site, we can highlight some of the best free WordPress themes from around the web. Our selections all offer you variety as well as functionality. You can find themes for just about any niche in this list, including e-commerce, news, business, and photography.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of proper theme selection. Then we’ll give you a look at forty of the best free WordPress themes you might want to consider for your site in 2018. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What to Look for in a WordPress Theme
- 40 of the Best Free WordPress Themes for 2018
- 1. Sydney
- 2. Flash
- 3. Shopera
- 4. Llorix One Lite
- 5. Spacious
- 6. Striker
- 7. Virtue
- 8. Shapely
- 9. Customizr
- 10. iFeature
- 11. Optimizer
- 12. IsleMag
- 13. MH Magazine Lite
- 14. Moesia
- 15. Corporate Plus
- 16. Vantage
- 17. Storefront
- 18. Writers
- 19. OceanWP
- 20. One Page Express
- 21. Athena
- 22. Edge
- 23. Make
- 24. ShopIsle
- 25. The Minimal
- 26. Pictorico
- 27. FlatOn
- 28. Freesia Empire
- 29. Accelerate
- 30. Portfolio Lite
- 31. TheFour Lite
- 32. EightyDays Lite
- 33. Yosemite Lite
- 34. Riba Lite
- 35. Orfeo
- 36. Zerif Lite
- 37. Ashe
- 38. Kale
- 39. Freddo
- 40. Elara
What to Look for in a WordPress Theme
Simply put, a theme is a collection of files that control the way your site’s contents are displayed. Without a theme in place, your website would essentially appear as a skeleton. It would include the main components, such as your content and features, but it wouldn’t have any accompanying ‘skin’ controlling its appearance.
You can find website themes appropriate to many niches and purposes, especially for WordPress sites. Some are free (such as those we’ve featured below), while others are premium (containing more advanced features at a cost). Choosing a theme can seem overwhelming, however, especially with the thousands of options available. To provide you with a little guidance, here are some things you should look for during your search:
- Key features and functionality. While you’re looking for themes, keep in mind the various features and functionality your site will need. For example, an e-commerce site requires integration with shopping cart plugins. For a business theme, a powerful landing page template would be very useful.
- User reviews and ratings. The reviews of previous and current users can give you insight into each theme, including its benefits and drawbacks. While you shouldn’t take each review as gospel, it helps to consider as many as possible before making a decision.
- Developer support and frequent updates. Without the proper support in place, it is possible for a theme to become obsolete. Choosing a theme with frequent updates and consistent developer input is important if you want to maintain your site’s integrity.
To make your search even easier, we recommend that you firstly consider the features you’ll need for your site. Next, find some themes that include those features, and whittle the list down using our other two criteria (reviews/ratings, and support/updates).
40 of the Best Free WordPress Themes for 2018
With the above list of criteria in mind, the forty themes below have been chosen for their wide variety of features and functionality. Plus, they all have ratings of at least four out of five stars and have been updated within the past six months. These options are a great place to start if you’re not sure where to begin your theme search. Let’s jump right in!
For freelancers, agencies, and companies looking for a business-focused and highly customizable theme, Sydney is an excellent choice to consider. Incorporating a full-screen slider, sticky navigation, and logo upload feature, this theme offers plenty of elements catering to professional-looking websites. However, with access to all Google Fonts and full control over layout and color options, there’s also plenty of customizations to help match your design to your specific brand.
Additional features include mobile responsiveness, social icon integration, and full translation abilities – essentially, everything you’ll need to run a full-featured and functional business website.
If you need a theme packed full of premium features – including custom widgets, a drag-and-drop page builder, and a built-in portfolio – but without the price tag, Flash should top your list. This unique free theme offers multiple pre-built demos that you can easily install on your site with the ThemeGrill Demo Importer. Of course, you also have the option (and the tools necessary) to build your own site. With Flash, you can create a blog, business website, or one-page portfolio site to highlight your work.
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced developer, you’ll also benefit from the free documentation. It highlights the theme’s various features and design options, and you can reference it to get your site up and running as quickly as possible.
Sometimes all you need is a simple web shop to display your products and make sales. With Shopera, you get just that. This is a modern-style and responsive store theme that integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce. It also incorporates a number of beneficial e-commerce features, including an optional Scroll to Top button, shop breadcrumbs, and the ability to upload your own brand logo.
Getting started with Shopera is simple, making it a great starter theme for beginner online store owners. However, the available development and design options are also complex enough to be suitable for more advanced WordPress users and developers.
When creating a professional website, a touch of elegance can go a long way. With Llorix One Lite, you can create an elegant website with a modern and minimalist twist. This theme incorporates a full-screen featured image on the front page, and integrates with a variety of popular plugins (such as WooCommerce, MetaSlider, and bbPress). In fact, its offerings are impressive for a free theme.
Llorix One Lite delivers premium features out of the box, so you can create a functional website quickly. However, you can also take the time to customize the site to your exact needs. In the end, you’ll have created a premium-looking site with minimal effort and investment.
A clean and minimalist layout can go a long way towards impressing website visitors and possible clients. That’s where Spacious excels, although minimalism isn’t its only selling point.
With its access to premium options, Spacious can be used to seamlessly create a professional looking site for businesses, agencies, freelancers, and more. This is a theme with some serious versatility, including pre-built page layouts, templates, and 13 custom widget areas. Plus, you can use the customizer to add a brand logo, incorporate social links, and even personalize the front page slider. You’ll be impressed at all you can do with Spacious.
While you may be tempted to choose a theme with all the bells and whistles, sometimes simple is the way to go. Striker is one such theme, perfect for newbie website owners and bloggers looking for a solid start.
Striker offers a crisp design that you can use as-is, or personalize as you’d like. Customization options include the ability to add your own logo, header, background, and social links. You can also incorporate your brand’s color scheme, and you even have the option to add in featured areas. A built-in slider tops the pages, and the theme’s responsiveness means it looks great on all devices. If you’re a total beginner, you may also find the theme’s extensive documentation very helpful.
Both beginners and advanced users will appreciate the simplicity and customization options offered by this Bootstrap-based theme. You can create just about any site you want with Virtue, whether you’re a marketer, agency, or blogger. It lets you build a full-blown e-commerce store (or incorporate smaller store elements into your site), display your latest and greatest projects, or simply keep the focus on your blog.
Perhaps one of this theme’s most useful features is the Schema microdata integration. This will not only help search engines crawl your site more efficiently but, as a result, you’ll rank better on search engine results pages.
Shapely is a one-page WordPress theme that enables you to build stunning landing pages, portfolio sites, or personal websites with the assistance of flexible widgets. Essentially, Shapely is designed as a one-stop shop for WordPress themes.
As users scroll down the page, you can feed them bite-sized chunks of information via widget sections. Options include testimonials, portfolios, service and product information, and more. This free theme also includes plenty of documentation that will teach you how to properly install the theme, set up your page, and incorporate each widget section effortlessly.
As the name suggests, Customizr is an easy-to-customize theme that’s suitable for beginners and professionals alike. With it, you can create beautiful and mobile-friendly websites, whether it’s for your blog, e-commerce shop, or business. You can also incorporate premium features into your site – including blurbs (which feature an icon and descriptive text) and social media icons – and integrate the theme with popular plugins such as WooCommerce and bbPress.
Not sure where to begin? Customizr offers documentation that makes it easy to learn how to properly use the theme – and its wide array of features – to the fullest.
While created with online store owners and business agencies in mind, iFeature is a versatile theme that you can use for almost any purpose. If you can drag-and-drop, you can build a website with iFeature. Design options can be applied globally, or you can customize your site on a page-by-page basis – which offers you nearly endless possibilities.
In addition, iFeature is fully responsive across popular touch-friendly devices, including smartphones and tablets. Users can fully interact with all elements of your website, and you can ensure their experience is as smooth and compelling as possible.
Optimizer is a free WordPress theme that enables you to create essentially any website – full-width or boxed – with no experience necessary. Built with HTML5 & CSS3, this responsive, SEO-friendly, and mobile-optimized theme is ready out of the box. Plus, you can use the live editor to customize your site fully.
For a beautiful landing page, you can incorporate the image slider or use the powerful theme options to create a portfolio site that shows off your best work. Almost anyone can benefit from the features Optimizer has to offer, including small businesses, agencies, freelancers, and more.
Offering a carousel slider, a place for display ads, and even a review system, IsleMag can help you create the modern and eye-catching magazine website you require. With its standard magazine home page template, this theme enables you to build a powerful site dedicated to your industry of choice.
In addition, you can add your own social links to encourage visitors to engage with your content. What’s more, this theme easily integrates with many other popular plugins, such as SiteOrigin Page Builder, Jetpack, and Contact Form 7 (just to name a few). These plugins will further expand your site’s functionality.
13. MH Magazine Lite
Another option for magazine-style sites is the fast-loading MH Magazine Lite. By using its handy category tabs, advertisement placements, and front-page slider, you can easily take your website to the next level.
This theme enables you to create a dynamic and versatile site with its drag-and-drop design modules and 13 widget areas (including placements within the footer and sidebar). You can create almost any layout you might imagine, for virtually any niche. If you want, you can upgrade to the premium theme, MH Magazine, but we find that the free version has almost everything you’ll need for your magazine site.
Modern meets traditional in this fully customizable theme for your business website. Moesia offers much in the way of flexibility and professionalism, and it’s a great beginner theme for when you’re just getting started.
The heart of Moesia is the home page. You can choose from 11 dedicated, pre-built blocks – all of which can be individually designed – and organize them as you’d like. In addition, you have two blog layouts to choose from, and access to a selection of Google Fonts. Finally, this theme comes with social integration options so your visitors can connect with you across your social media profiles. Of course, this also means there’s no need for a separate social icon plugin.
15. Corporate Plus
The quintessential theme for your business or professional portfolio, Corporate Plus is a minimal and attractive option for your all business website needs. You can incorporate a full-width slider, about section, service section, and contact section into your home page for a fully functional one-page site. Alternately, you can add these features onto different web pages for a multi-page experience.
If you’re looking to expand your business offerings, you’ll also be glad to learn Corporate Plus is WooCommerce-compatible. That means you can sell both physical and digital products, all from the comfort of your very own site.
If you want to build a portfolio or a company site, you’ll want a clean, professional theme to work with. That’s where Vantage comes in, offering a crisp and modern look for creatives and business owners alike. Perhaps Vantage’s most powerful feature is its close integration with powerful plugins, including Page Builder and Meta Slider, which enables you to build an engaging and interactive site.
In addition, business owners can benefit from Vantage’s seamless integration with WooCommerce. Other notable features include a filterable grid display option for photographs, artwork, and published works, and threaded comments so your visitors can easily engage with you and each other.
With so much growth potential in selling online, it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon and create your very own e-commerce store – and Storefront can help you out. Since this theme comes from the developers of WooCommerce, you can effortlessly integrate the e-commerce platform into your site and begin selling straight away.
Plus, with the myriad of WooCommerce extensions available, you can add subscriptions or bookings to your product listings, work out a dynamic pricing table, and much more. In addition, you can incorporate a stunning parallax background on the front page, and create customized product galleries using the various options at your disposal.
Writers is a blog-style theme that is perfect for bloggers, journalists, and aspiring authors who want to let their creativity flow. It’s a minimal theme that makes use of ample white space for an uncluttered look. This style also means it’s mobile-friendly, and easily optimized for quick page loading.
The theme also enables you to add widgets to your sidebar – such as archives, search, and categories – to make your site more user friendly. Additionally, the theme is optimized for search engines, so your site can be found more easily within Google results pages.
OceanWP is a versatile theme with a wide variety of uses, including for e-commerce, business, blogging, and portfolio sites. In particular, developers will enjoy the flexibility this beautiful yet professional theme provides. It features a full-width static header and front page featured image, as well as 13 demo options and over a dozen extensions. As such, OceanWP is perhaps the most flexible option on our list.
Whether you need to incorporate product displays, highlight your latest blog posts, or outline the products and services you offer, this theme is an option you may want to explore more fully.
20. One Page Express
One-page themes are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. By choosing this theme, you’ll have full control over what visitors see, as well as when and how they experience it.
One Page Express offers a pre-designed home page, as well as the option to add more than 30 content sections. Plus, you can use the drag-and-drop editor to further customize your site. While you can use a one-page theme like this for essentially any purpose, it’s ideal for landing pages, business sites, and portfolio pages.
If you’re looking to bring your website to life, check out Athena. It’s a feature-loaded, parallax WordPress theme that’s great for businesses, creatives, and bloggers. It incorporates a featured image slider and animated callouts, along with a useful grid-style blog layout – and you have many additional customization options (including color choices, widget areas, menus, and social media links) at your disposal.
However, perhaps the most useful feature Athena offers is the live customizer. This saves you significant time while editing, since it enables you to see changes in real time, and is a valuable addition to a free theme.
Edge is a responsive and minimal theme that can help you turn your blog into a beautiful website worthy of envy. It offers a simple and uncluttered look, and the customizable templates help you create a site that’s professional and well-designed. There’s also a smart use of white space that further adds to the theme’s overall aesthetic.
This theme is a great option for a corporate or agency blog, especially because it includes contact and gallery templates, both of which can be used to optimize your company’s website. In addition, support for this free theme is readily available and responsive. That’s not something you’ll see for many non-premium themes!
Many free themes are built with just one design in mind. However, Make is a theme that lets you customize your site to your exact needs. Offering a powerful drag-and-drop page editor and countless customization options, this theme really is yours to customize as you see fit. You can take full control over page layout, and organize your content to match your vision.
With Make, you can build a professional portfolio, create an e-commerce store, or even just design a minimal and content-focused blog. Plus, Make provides numerous design elements you can use to distinguish your site, such as full-width banners, columns, and galleries.
If you’re looking for a free WooCommerce-compatible WordPress theme, you won’t find much better than ShopIsle. With Shop Isle, you can have a professional-looking e-commerce store without the price tag, and incorporate features such as parallax effects, customizable content sections, and full screen images.
ShopIsle enables you to dress your theme up or down. For example, you can use the theme as a one-page website – whether to highlight your products or to create a landing page – or build a fully functional online store. You can even integrate this theme with dozens of website-enhancing plugins, including Jetpack and SiteOrigin Page Builder.
25. The Minimal
Just as its name implies, The Minimal is a clean and simple WordPress theme. As such, we recommend it mainly for bloggers, journalists, and authors (though many sites can benefit from its clutter-free design). With The Minimal, you can bring your content fully into the spotlight.
By taking advantage of this theme’s blog-friendly widgets – such as those for recent posts, popular posts, and social links – you can organize your website as you’d like and make your best content visible to your readers. In addition, it also has a search engine-friendly structure, making it easy for your site to rank highly.
Pictorico’s unique and stylish single-column layout enables you to show off your latest work – whether that is art, photographs, or published articles. An online portfolio doesn’t need to be stuffy or crisp. Instead, you can bring the focus to your work with this grid-based theme that displays your posts and media in a stylish way.
What’s more, Pictorico gives you plenty of options for customizing the rest of your site. With custom headers, backgrounds, and an icon display area, you can create a beautiful website in minutes.
With minimalism on the rise, it’s no wonder that flat-design websites have become all the rage in recent years. After all, they offer simplicity and elegance while also ensuring the focus remains solely on your content. FlatOn is a theme designed with this very style, and can be used to create a variety of compelling websites with little effort.
Using a grid framework and incorporating seamlessly with the Jigoshop plugin, FlatOn is an excellent choice for business owners, agencies, and freelancers. The theme options panel also opens up a number of other possibilities, such as using this theme to create a blogging site. Advanced developers can even incorporate custom CSS into the theme. Simply head to the theme options panel, where you can add code without needing to fidget with the stylesheet.
28. Freesia Empire
There are lots of multipurpose themes available, but it can still be hard to find a really quality option. However, Freesia Empire fits the bill. It offers much in the way of customization, and its seemingly limitless options support many different website styles.
Freesia Empire enables you to create a website with a light but functional design. The theme works effortlessly with many popular plugin options – including WooCommerce, bbPress, Newsletter, and Breadcrumb NavXT – which means you can sell to, connect with, and deliver the best user experience for website visitors. This theme also offers various templates for pages such such as contact information and image galleries. Each offers special widgets and sidebars with its specific niche in mind, so you can design to your audience.
Accelerate is a good match to its name, since it enables you to speed up the website design process. This multipurpose theme can be used to create almost any website, including business sites, e-commerce stores, blogs, and portfolios. Its options let you display visuals throughout your site as featured images, and the use of white space is refreshing and keeps the focus on your content.
Additionally, Accelerate offers plenty of helpful support options and easy design tools. Beginners and advanced developers alike can benefit from this theme’s ease of use and flexibility.
30. Portfolio Lite
For artists, designers, photographers, and other creatives looking to put their best foot forward online, the Portfolio Lite theme offers a minimal and modern website style that comes highly recommended. You can show off your best work with the theme’s slideshow display template, for example, or use a multi-column portfolio layout for a more traditional look. You can even incorporate both approaches.
31. TheFour Lite
In addition to the usual theme customization options, you’ll also have full control over your background, headers, and menus. This enables you to create a site that truly complements your work.
If you’re looking for a modern and elegant theme for your business website, then TheFour Lite is the right choice. TheFour Lite helps you build your portfolio website, business website or even your personal blog website fast and easy.
TheFour Lite has a wide and attractive hero area where you first introduce your visitors to your business. It also supports three built-in sections on the homepage to highlight what you have to offer: portfolio, testimonials and my client sections.
The theme is very simple to setup and customize. It provides a flexible customizing options to change the site the way you want.
32. EightyDays Lite
EightyDays Lite is a great choice for travel and personal blogs. The name eighty days comes from the novel “Eighty days around the world”. You can use this theme to show the places you visit, the food you eat or the memories you have.
EightyDays Lite has a beautiful layout with an impressive tiled gallery in the homepage, where you can show your most important posts. The theme also focuses on the typography, and let your readers enjoy reading long content with comfort.
EightyDays Lite is responsive and works perfectly on all devices. It’s very fast, lightweight and super easy to use.
33. Yosemite Lite
Yosemite Lite is a clean and minimalist WordPress theme for personal blogs. It has a classic layout, stylish typography and is a perfect choice for personal, lifestyle, fashion, or travel blogs.
With the minimalist design, Yosemite Lite puts the focus on your content, where you can show text with photos in a beautiful way.
In addition, the theme is fully responsive and works great on all devices. It also has a great documentation that shows you how to install and customize the theme.
34. Riba Lite
Riba Lite is a simple and stylish theme for blogs or story-telling type websites. If your primary focus are blog posts or stories, this WordPress theme will display them beautifully on the home page. It also supports lazy loading for images and lots of other features that will enhance speed and performance.
Last but not least, this theme simplifies social media integration. If you rely a lot on social media, linking them to your website will be a walk in the park!
Orfeo is an elegant theme with minimalistic design. This will give lots of freedom and options if you decide to customize it. Blogs, restaurants, personal portfolios are just a few uses for this WordPress theme.
Furthermore, the Orfeo theme is SEO optimized and mobile friendly, which will help boost your online presence. You can even use it with WooCommerce and implement a store.
Overall, Orfeo is a worthy theme to try due to its simplicity, easy customization, and smooth appearance.
36. Zerif Lite
Zerif Lite is a one-page free WordPress theme. It gained quite a popularity and has over 100,000 active installations so far. The theme is constantly updated and improved for the best performance.
This WordPress theme is suitable for corporate business, personal portfolio, freelancer, and photography websites. It is also WooCommerce compatible, thus you’ll always be able to monetize your site in case the need arises. Lastly, it’s SEO friendly, which ensures that your website will have an easier time gaining search engine rank.
Ashe is an elegant choice which deserves a spot in this collection of the best free WordPress themes. It’s a marvelous pick for content-focused websites, such as fashion, travel, food, or photography blogs.
This theme features a clean, responsive, and stylish design. In turn, it makes your content eye-catching and unique. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is publishing as much of it as possible!
Kale is a simple, yet stylish WordPress theme. It’s uncluttered, minimalistic and most importantly multipurpose. Use it for blogs, recipes, fashion tips, or even shopping sites. With easy WooCommerce integration, you’ll be able to monetize the website in no time.
What makes it even more versatile is easy social media integration. Top it off with optimization and SEO for a strong foundation to build a stunning website.
Freddo is another worthy contestant in our collection of the best free WordPress themes. It is a multipurpose template that you can use to build a fully functional website on one page. The theme is a superb option for any blog, whether it’s about photography, food, traveling, or lifestyle.
Also, Freddo is compatible with WooCommerce. Thus, the option of creating a store and monetizing your site will always be within arm’s reach. You may even customize it with page builders (SiteOrigin, Beaver Builder) to create something truly outstanding and eye-catching.
Elara is a stunning and elegant blogging theme. It’s best suited for food, clothing, or fashion blogs due to its stylish design and presentation. However, you can use it for a variety of other purposes too.
The theme has inbuilt social media icons and easy feed integration. This will ensure that your visitors can quickly join your social media circle, thus further increasing your online influence. Overall, Elara encompasses all the essential features that a successful blogger needs.
The best WordPress theme for your website needn’t cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, free themes can prove just as effective as premium options, and often provide you with most or all of the features you’ll need. Once you pick the right template, the remaining part will be starting a WordPress blog and pumping out some quality content.
In this post, we’ve discussed the importance of selecting a quality theme for your site, and highlighted forty of the best free WordPress themes to choose from. These include professional themes (such as Corporate Plus and Sydney), blog-style themes (such as Accelerate and Writers), and even e-commerce themes (such as ShopIsle and Shopera). The options available are nearly endless, which means you can create any type of site you’d like.
Which of the above free themes will you be using on your WordPress site? Let us know in the comments section below!