Best free WordPress themes

WordPress provides one of the best content management systems (CMS), a simple but powerful platform that can be used to create and publish many different types of website.

At the heart of WordPress is the ability to create dynamic content using only basic rules. Applied to both post and pages makes it an incredibility versatile platform for publishing content to the web.

WordPress is just as comfortable being used to develop small static websites as it is for large news websites, or even a mixture of both.

Originally developed as a blogging platform, the free and open source nature of the project over time has led to a huge supporting community of developers.

There are a huge number of plugins to offer additional functionality – and an even bigger number of customized themes, many of which are available for free, which can all be simply and easily added to a website.

Here we feature some of the main websites that offer free WordPress themes, allowing you to not just create a customized website for free, but also its look and appearance.

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Wordpress Theme Directory

(Image credit: WordPress Theme Directory)

1. WordPress Theme Directory

Huge number of themes

Sort by type or style

A lot to sort through

As you might expect, the most popular place to find free WordPress themes is the official WordPress.org Theme Directory, which you can access straight from your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress.org has a volunteer theme review team who review and approve all submissions, and only those that meet quality and security requirements make it through.

With a current total of 4,486 themes to choose from, there are a number of ways to drill down to the specific theme you’re looking for. The Featured, Popular and Latest tabs at the top of the page are self-explanatory, while the Feature Filter button allows you to specify what kind of layout, subject and/or functionality you’re looking for in a theme. Or you can just enter appropriate keywords into the search box on the top right.

themegrade

(Image credit: themegrade)

2. themegrade

Over 2,000 themes

Each theme rated

Editorial views

What sets ThemeGrade apart from other sources of free WordPress themes is summed up in its tagline: “We grade WordPress Themes so you don’t have to”.

Launched in 2009, this site offers comprehensive review of WordPress themes, both for their visual design and their SEO value. 

There are currently 1,628 free themes and 926 paid themes on the site, which have all been ranked Gold, Silver or Bronze by the team of reviewers. There are also detailed editor reviews of more than 40 WordPress theme providers.

To find what you’re looking for quickly, you can either use the search bar or the Friendly Theme Search, which helps you drill down by layout, subject category and ranking. 

JustFreeThemes

(Image credit: JustFreeThemes)

3. JustFreeThemes

Over 1,000 themes

Themes are graded

Most popular sorting

JustFreeThemes currently has 1178+ free WordPress themes to choose from, which are rated out of 10 for design, speed, support, code quality and customisation. The site’s owners say they limit the ones they include to “well-coded and lightweight themes that can have a good visibility on the web”. 

Click the Best Themes menu option to see the 10 most popular free WordPress themes of the year. You can also search for themes in the (slightly difficult to see) search box in the top right, and sign up for a free email service that notifies you once a week of last week’s best free themes.

FabThemes

(Image credit: FabThemes)

4. FabThemes

Curated listings

No hidden link footers

Ratings and reviews

Many sites are good at curating good-looking free WordPress themes, but FabThemes makes a point of only including themes that are also technically well made, and won’t end up causing nasty surprises down the line. 

Promising no junk code, FabThemes promises that “Unlike other free themes spawning out there, we do not encrypt our theme footer files. We keep it clean and transparent so that you can use our themes with the confidence that your site will be safe.”

You can see themes arranged by popularity or date added. There are specially curated collections of wedding and photography-related themes, and you can search by subject and/or color. Ratings are attached to each theme based on user reviews, and users can leave comments on the page too.

aThemes

(Image credit: aThemes)

5. aThemes

Includes own themes

Best practice standards

Easy translation options

aThemes creates and collects a wide range of WordPress themes together on its website, providing both free and paid-for themes. There are a number available, spread across different sectors, such as business, magazine, ecommerce, blog, or portfolio websites.

Each theme appears in category listings, and each theme has its own dedicated page in which features and functions are described and explained. There are demo versions available for each, and documentation is provided.

All themes come with regular updates and support, which can mean fixing bugs or adding features according to changes to the WordPress code base.

Additionally, aThemes develops its own themes to WordPress best practice standards, which means that they are easy to translate into languages other than English, and also provide live previews through the WordPress customizer.