32 best free WordPress themes

The WordPress community is big. Really big. We're talking thousands of designers and developers, tens of thousands of writers, and millions of users, all contributing to pushing WordPress forward. And one very popular way to do this is designing and developing free WordPress themes.

Free Wordpress themes are a great way to get a blog or website off the ground – and there are countless WordPress tutorials online to help you do just that. You might want to start writing about a topic but don't want to invest the money in a custom site design on top of hosting and a domain. And once your site is up and running, there's nothing to stop you dissecting them, building on top of them and learning from them.

01. Mallow

Mallow is designed with writers in mind

Aimed at writers of all kinds, Mallow is a well-balanced and flexible theme designed to be a blank canvas to express what’s on your mind. Perfect for blogging and case studies, it's fast and fully responsive with complete browser support and regular updates; upgrade to the Pro version for a live theme customiser and unlimited colour choices.

02. Bandana

Bandana is responsive and versatile with plenty of useful features

Featuring responsive layouts and Font Awesome support as well as custom menus, widgetised sidebars, custom background, featured images and more, Bandana is a free, clean and simple WordPress theme that's tested in modern browsers and fully optimised for SEO. And if you don't mind getting handy with code, you can fork it on GitHub to create your own version.

03. Sydney

Set your business up for success with Sydney

If you're looking to improve your online presence and attract customers or clients, Sydney is an excellent choice. It was built with business owners and freelancers in mind, and provides a wide array of customisation options that will help your website stand out. Sydney is also fully responsive, supports translation, and makes social media integration a cinch.

04. Illdy

Illdy boasts plenty of plugin support

Built on the Bootstrap framework and fully responsive and mobile-friendly, Illdy is a fantastic-looking multipurpose theme. All the heavy lifting is done via the WordPress Customizer, enabling you to build your site on the fly using preview mode, and it's entirely compatible with popular plugins such as Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms and Yoast SEO, with WooCommerce support coming soon.

05. Hemingway

Classic blog template with large text

Classic blog template with large text

Unless you want to change themes every year it's best to pick something that won't look dated as design trends evolve, and Hemingway is a good option in that regard. It's a simple, elegant two-column layout with classic typography and large, readable text. Bloggers will find it ideal. Hemingway is built to be responsive, so will work on desktop and mobile.

06. SKT Full Width

Fill the browser with your large images

Fill the browser with your large images

This is a nice one if you've a site whose main purpose is to display images; it uses the whole browser window and lets you add discriptions via overlay text. The only thing to watch out for is whether your images will stand up to being displayed on very large screens.

07. Origin

Origin beautiful type for long reads

Origin, beautiful type for long reads

If you want to fit a lot of text onto your homepage, Origin does a good job of that without looking messy or cluttered. Your articles are arranged in a column that gives each one space for a decent intro length, and the type looks great. A good choice for a site with a lot of reading.

08. Upright

Free WordPress themes Upright

Upright is a free Wordpress theme that can be used for portfolios

Upright is a fully responsive blog magazine theme for WordPress that leverages big imagery and portfolio functionality to present content effectively. Featured sliders, sidebar colour pickers, and custom background images allow users to create unique websites without having to code. Upright is search engine optimised from the get-go which helps increase traffic.

09. Fashionista

Bold headlines for a magazine blog

Bold headlines for a magazine blog

Fashionista is another type-driven theme that's good for magazine-style blogs. We like the bold headlines and pleasingly busy layout that will look good on both desktop and mobile.

10. Hatch

The image grid shows visitors your work with no clicking or scrolling

The image grid shows visitors your work with no clicking or scrolling

Illustrators, photographers and artists will love this theme: the layout has one slot for your main image and then a grid of 12 that instantly gives visitors a sense of what your work is like. It's a great use of space that fits a lot of content into one screen.

11. Future Lite

future lite

Creative agencies might want to check out this smart, feature rich theme

A clean, creative, feature-rich and multipurpose theme that would be perfect for creative agencies, creative portfolios or freelancers. The responsive layout of this WordPress theme adapts well to the screen size of different device your visitors are using. Future is also retina ready and will look sharp on high resolution displays. It's powered with custom menu, custom header, sidebar widget, featured image, theme options, nice typography and built-in pagination features.

12. Lightly

Free WordPress themes Lightly

This free WordPress theme is another that can be used for portfolios

Lightly is a clean, minimalist blog magazine theme for WordPress that puts your content centre stage. The theme's refreshing design features a home page slider and a widgetised home page that allows users to create custom layouts by simply dragging and dropping everything into place and high quality coding ensures your site performs optimally every time!

13. Longform

longform

Tell all your stories with Longform

Great for storytellers, Longform is a free WordPress theme designed to be fully compatible with the powerful Aesop Story Engine plugin. It includes beautiful styles for all Aesop story modules with no code snippets or extra configuration required. Fully responsive, retina-ready and super easy to customise.

14. Moesia

moesia

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...

Moesia is perfect for building your business's online presence. Choose from eleven predefined blocks and build the homepage that best suits your company. Each of the homepage blocks can have a parallax background image and its own set of colours. Featuring a good selection of Google Fonts, two types of layouts for the blog page, cool animations and effects, a parallax header and much more... Make sure you have a great header image to grab attention!

15. TA Dailyblog

ta daily

A great blogging template for the avid blogger!

TA DailyBlog offers a simple and clean design with full optimisation for smartphones, tablets, desktops and any other devices. This free WordPress theme would be ideal for blogging, especially for daily or hobby bloggers who love to share their stuff. It's very flexible and fully customizable with 16 color schemes and smooth and fast user experience. What’s more, the theme is SEO friendly, with a Schema compatible structure that will make Google love your website. It supports most popular plugins, too.

16. InterStellar

Free Wordpress themes InterStellar

InterStellar is a clean, sophisticated design

Create and manage your portfolio or blog with ease with this clean and sophisticated InterStellar design. With multiple portfolio page layouts, this theme's options allow you to change the layout, colour scheme, logo and add your Google Analytics code, buttons, Google maps, columns and more.

17. Arcade

Free Wordpress themes Arcade

Create a stand-out site with fully responsive HTML5 theme Arcade

Create a stand-out website with Arcade, a lightweight and fully responsive HTML5 theme. Customise it to your taste by adding your own header image, page layout, site width and more. Each post can be distinguished with one of the eight supported formats; video, image, aside, status, audio, quote, link and gallery.

18. vFlex

Free WordPress themes vFlex

vFlex was designed specifically with designers and bloggers in mind

Designed specially with bloggers and designers in mind, vFlex is a stylish, free, responsive WordPress theme. Its main features include an inbuilt FlexSlider so you can simply select featured images, and an integrated VibeOptions panel, which supports logo upload, import and export settings and many other features. vFlex's responsive layout also means the theme looks great on iPad, iPhones, and other devices.

19. Meeta

Free WordPress themes Meeta

Don't overlook this 'plain Jane' theme

Sometimes "Plain Jane" themes like Meeta get overlooked. However themes like this are easily converted and modified to fit your site and content. With two navigations, a featured graphic and a responsive layout, this free WordPress theme will act as a great foundation for your site or blog. However you will need to dedicate the time to customise it a bit.

20. Folder

Free Wordpress themes Folder

Free WordPress theme Folder is perfect for showcasing projects and products

Folder is a free WordPress theme with a slight retro feel to it. With a design dominated by images, this responsive theme is perfect for displaying projects and products. Features include custom project posts and admin panel, five different widgets included (video, latest work, contact form, twitter feed, recent posts), and more.

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