When you want to build a new website, finding the right theme is imperative. It sets the tone and lays the foundation for success. Making a bad choice can have serious ripple effects. That’s why knowing the best free WordPress themes for 2017 is such a good idea.
Not only will this list give you an idea of what’s currently available, it’ll also let you in one what themes we like and what features are currently trending.
Do Free Themes Lack Features?
In some cases? Sure. But after even just a quick browse through this list, you’ll find that many have as many or more features than some premium themes. They’re easy to set up, delightful to look at, and provide an excellent user experience on both the back-end and the front-end.
What Can I Expect on This List?
Here are our favorite new free WordPress themes from the year. You will find a great selection of WordPress themes with a variety of awesome features, including slider layouts, custom post formats, and portfolios. Enjoy this roundup of the great WordPress themes from around the web! All free!
Best Free Themes to Consider This Year
Do we miss your favorite free theme? Let us know in the comments below.
Hestia not only offers tons of features for startups and established businesses, it provides exceptional support by way of the Help Desk, support tickets, written documentation, live forum threads, and video tutorials. If you ever need help, the team at ThemeIsle is there to help. After all, their overall goal is to help you build a business with a strong online presence, not just sell you a WordPress theme.
Hestia does come with some great features that all businesses can make good use of. For example, you can easily integrate WooCommerce and build an online shop using the SiteOrigin Page Builder plugin. Or, you can create a lengthy mega menu that organizes your entire site into understandable parts for a better user experience. Better yet, add a custom background supporting multiple media types, change every web element using the Live Theme Customizer, and never worry about mobile-friendliness, responsiveness, or SEO optimization, as Hestia includes all of that as well.
Newsmag Lite is a fully responsive, cutting-edge theme best suited for an online magazine or a news site. The theme has a beautiful slider that you can use to feature the latest breaking news or your most popular stories. The rest of the homepage has a very clean and organized grid-based layout so you can add plenty of stories without cluttering the design. Organize the stories by categories so readers can quickly jump to the news that appeals to them the most. Plenty of ad space is also available so you can monetize your website and social media icons are there so you can grow your online presence and connect with your audience on places like Twitter and Facebook.
Social sharing is also integrated so your visitors can help spread the news through their social media platforms and you can upload your own logo. Cross-browser compatibility helps your content to be seen no matter which browser your visitors are using while the translation files make it possible to translate your website and make the news available to a wider audience who may not speak your language. Along with extensive documentation, Newsmag Lite has all the tools you need to get you started with your online magazine.
When looking at free WordPress themes, it’s nice to know that the theme coding is lightweight and compatible with the various plugins you may end up implementing on your website. It’s also wise to know that the free theme has some premium features that you wouldn’t be able to generally get when opting for a free solution. Well, ShopIsle has all of this, considering the code is clean and many of the features are the same as those usually found in premium themes. The theme includes localization files that make it easy to translate your website. The WooCommerce plugin integrates well with the ShopIsle theme so you can start selling your items without worrying about the coding aspect. This allows you to quickly upload your products and connect your payment processors. The About Us page provides wonderful tools that you wouldn’t typically find in a free theme. Each of your team members’ photos can reside on this page, along with their names and job titles. This area gives your company a more personal look and feel.
The easy contact form works well with the Contact Form 7 plugin, allowing your customers to easily get in touch with you. Not to mention, the responsive layout looks wonderful on all smaller devices. Parallax background images look stylish in the header while the buttons and text options in the header slider improve your chances of conversions. A blog is typically included with all free themes, but this one has various post formats to add more variety. Much of the theme has widgetized sections, allowing you to add social media modules and lists for things like recent products and categories. Overall, the ShopIsle WordPress theme includes plenty of features, all of which are impressive considering you don’t have to pay a dime.
Sirius is a free WordPress theme keeping up with the trendy Material Design concept. Multipurpose in nature, this theme comes packed with features you would only expect to see in high-quality premium themes. For instance, Sirius has multiple homepage and blog feed displays so readers will be intrigued and know just where to click. In addition, it comes as a one-page theme complete with parallax banners and backgrounds adding that element of animation that most free themes do not.
In addition, this mobile-friendly theme gives website owners the ability to encourage site visitors to take action with the use of two CTA sections featured on the website’s front page. Moreover, the top navigation section has social media icons for spreading the word about great content, each post has a large featured image, and all content can easily be translated using the free qTranslate X plugin. In the end, Sirius has all of the major components you might expect from a premium WordPress theme – but for free.
Whenever we think about free themes, we expect a small package with limited features and simple design. But that is not true with Underwood Lite. This free WordPress theme enjoys gorgeous designs with all the necessary features for creating regular blog sites.
First of all, you can choose any of the three eye-catching homepage designs. Each of these layouts puts the primary focus on your content. As the theme supports nine post types, you can publish text, audio, and video posts on your blog. There are dedicated page templates to help you create the necessary pages.
There is a featured posts slider to showcase the most read or most popular contents on the home page. Underwood Lite enables you to show up to four menus in different places of the website. The mobile-optimized theme also includes custom sidebar and shortcodes.
If you haven’t heard of the Ember theme, you’re missing out. It’s one of the hottest new themes, with a one-page layout and a variety of sections for you to customize to include all the information on the homepage. The theme is completely responsive and looks great on smaller devices. In addition, all of your services can be featured towards the top of the website, with some simple icons and a column-based format for the ultimate professional look. One of our favorite parts of the Ember theme is the parallax header. Although the premium version of the theme has several parallax backgrounds as people scroll down on the homepage, the free theme only has the header parallax animation.
The parallax header is combined with a few other settings for overlaying text and buttons. If you’d like to send folks to blog posts or landing pages, all you have to do is add a few words to go on top of the parallax item. After that, use the button to link to one of your landing pages or even one of your blog posts that outline your products or services. The theme has an interesting “Meet the Team” section, so you can highlight the top talent in your company. Add their social media profiles along with images. Along with testimonials, social media buttons, contact forms and more, the Ember WordPress theme is a gem, especially since you don’t have to pay for it.
The Simple WordPress theme is free, and you can upgrade to receive a few additional features such as parallax backgrounds and typography customization. That said, the theme is rather powerful as a free solution, so let’s take a look at what it comes with. The theme has a beautiful front page layout since it’s based on the one-page design, and you can share information such as testimonials and team photos. The catch is that you can’t rearrange these modules without upgrading to the paid theme.
The options panel is one of the most powerful you’ll find in a free theme; considering you gain access to several shortcodes, you can change colors and play with sidebars to make your content look more professional. A full blog is included with the Simple theme and your blog feed shows up on the homepage, which is similar to something you would generally have to pay for with a premium theme or plugin. This is a completely responsive theme, meaning that you can view it on mobile devices. Not to mention, the content rows are quite impressive, with options for contact forms, galleries, portfolios, call to actions, and more.
Everly is a clean and modern WordPress theme with ample white space, which draws attention to your content. Ideal for magazine sites and ordinary blogs, the template brings some awesome features including one-click demo content installation to get you up and running faster, social media integration, and newsletter functionality so you can easily start connecting with your audience through email.
The Everly theme looks elegant even on mobile phones and tablets since it’s responsive. Last but not least, you’ll have access to over 700 hundred Google Fonts and dedicated support from the theme developers.
Ragnar is another clean and minimal WordPress theme on our list that puts emphasis on your website’s content. Suitable for personal blogs, creative sites, and magazines, the template comes packed with a variety of powerful features, such as six homepage and blog layouts, SEO optimization, Instagram feeds, and five post templates, including video, gallery and audio post types.
You’ll also find widgets for displaying various different elements on your sidebar, such as your newsletter subscription form, author profile, categories, and most popular blog posts complete with thumbnails. The theme’s other features include social media integration, fast loading code, and a responsive design.
A list of the best free WordPress themes wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Simpleshift theme. Yes, it’s free, and yes, you can upgrade to gain even more features. The overall design is focused on the one-page layout, with several sections to configure and include the important information about your company. The header has a parallax effect and you can even have parallax backgrounds throughout the entire homepage. Our favorite part of the parallax settings is that you can include several call-to-action buttons, which are known to be more effective when you place them on top of parallax backgrounds. Along with that, the theme includes a “Meet the Team” module, which is great for featuring members of your team. Add their images and link to their social media profiles along with a short bio. This area is great for adding a human touch to your brand.
The contact form is a huge bonus for a free theme since you don’t have to find a third party plugin to make this work. Also, you can post some testimonials without installing a different plugin or trying to format the quotes yourself. One of the biggest features of the Simpleshift WordPress theme is the recent posts module that shows quite a few of the latest blog posts, giving your customers a way to quickly reference your blog. The blog also helps with boosting your search engine optimization because search engines are always looking for good content to show users. Finally, the social media buttons work wonders for building your social media presence, which could lead to more sales.
Consider the Venture Lite theme if you’re short on cash and would like premium features without breaking the bank. As with most free Nimbus Themes options, some of the features aren’t included, but you can always upgrade if needed. However, the Venture Lite theme has some wonderful settings for changing the colors and adding your own logo. The front page highlights a beautiful header image with overlaying text and buttons, while the nine content modules can be customized from the back-end to display things like contact forms and team members. You can also add social media buttons and use the navigation menu at the top to send people directly to the right sections of the homepage.
As you may have noticed, this is a one-page layout, and it looks great on mobile devices, considering visitors no longer have to jump from page to page to see all of your best content. Showcase your product features with icons and provide your company history. Several call-to-action buttons can be placed throughout the page, along with the testimonial modules that have both quotes and images from the people you’ve worked with in the past. Overall, if you’re looking for a beautiful free theme without sacrificing features, this is a solid choice.
The Simple Business option is free and ready to be used on mobile devices. Although this is becoming more of a norm in the WordPress theme world, many free solutions are lacking in this area. Additionally, FontAwesome icons are available to add extra visual appeal and highlight particular sections. You can also change the color combinations. As a one-page WordPress theme, most of the content sits on the front page, which is nice for keeping a modern look and preventing people from leaving because they can’t find something.
As for supporting media, the Simple Business theme has plenty of features for posting your images and arranging them in professional layouts. The multiple front-page layouts support sliders, images, and videos, and you can even implement the Revolution Slider plugin, which is a premium item that you usually have to pay for. That said, when looking for a free theme, you want to get the best value. When it comes to value, the Simple Business theme has the settings and tools to make you happy with your final product.
Juniper would be a great choice for any business that wants a creative and modern theme but doesn’t want to spend a lot of time designing their website. It’s a one-page theme with several predefined sections for all of your business information as well as a few calls to action that encourage visitors to buy your product or book your services. The best part about those calls to action is that they are strategically placed over parallax backgrounds which are known to draw visitors’ eyes. The homepage sections allow you to include information about your company’s history and feature people who work behind the scenes, as well as present your creative projects.
A testimonial section is sure to help out with your credibility while the blog is a wonderful opportunity to share valuable content with your visitors and improve your search engine rankings. Several social media icons are also included with the theme so you can connect with your audience on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platforms. A contact form makes it easy for potential clients to inquire about working with you. The theme looks gorgeous even on smaller devices and it can be customized on the back-end to match the rest of your brand. Finally, the Juniper theme is SEO optimized to improve your search engine rank even further.
Parallax One is another one-page theme with the popular parallax effect, but this theme also integrates with WooCommerce so if you’re interested in selling digital or physical products directly from your site, give it a go. Various homepage sections have plenty of space to provide a list of your services in a clear fashion and you can feature your employees for a more personalized touch. A Testimonial section is also provided as well as a beautiful contact form followed by a Google Map so potential clients can easily find directions to your physical location.
The back-end of the theme allows you to easily update website settings like logo, social links, colors, and layout, all from an easy to use interface and without the need to delve into code. A custom background is also available to make you stand out from the competition and a mega menu is perfect if you plan on selling a lot of products and want to add a lot of pages to your menu. The responsive design ensures your website looks great on just about any device. On top of that, you can also translate the theme and connect with a worldwide audience.
The Zerif Lite theme offers unlimited potential for businesses and individuals that are looking to build a cutting edge website using WordPress. With Zerif you’ll get a one-page theme that’s a perfect example of the modular row-based layout that became incredibly popular during 2014 and 2015. Zerif is one of the more popular downloads on the free theme directory at wordpress.org and for very good reason. It’s an exceptional theme that’s cleanly coded and offers premium level design for free!
RokoPhoto Lite is a free theme from ThemeIsle that delivers far more than most free themes available for WordPress. Look for a beautiful flowing blog layout with high-contrast image opportunities and elegant typography. This theme is fully responsive so it will shine on all devices regardless of screen size, resolution, or aspect ratio. Like all ThemeIsle products, this theme is masterfully coded and thoughtfully supported.
CherryFramework is an exceptionally beautiful free WordPress theme created by TemplateMonster. A detailed installation guide makes the process very simple so you’ll create your dream website with minimal effort. CherryFramework is a free theme with a fully responsive layout, which means that your website will display perfectly on screens of any size. Also, the theme is Retina-ready, so there’s no doubt that all the photos and pictures will look great. Clean design and useful features allow you to create a quality, visually-appealing, and user-friendly website for various purposes.
Albar is a free business theme for WordPress that is suited for agencies, portfolios, blogging, and online sales sites. You can integrate popular plugins like WooCommerce, ContactForm7, Page Builder, and others. The theme is translation-ready and has received rave reviews on WP.org.
One of the best new free WordPress themes, this free eCommerce theme is not to be overlooked! Since it’s designed by the WooThemes team, the theme integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce. Its simple layout is easily customized to fit your colors and branding. The design is responsive, so it will look great on browsers of all sizes, including mobile.
From MageeWP comes Torch, a free WordPress theme that includes an awesome full-screen slider (with additional editable text areas), tons of custom widgets like testimonials and contact forms so you can customize the home page as much as you want, a portfolio, custom sidebar layouts, and more. The theme was built on Bootstrap and is responsive; it is well suited for businesses, restaurants, travel, and other related industries.
Life is Good
Life is Good, from Daniel Klose, is a well-designed, blogger-friendly, responsive, and free WordPress theme. It features a variety of post format layouts, as you can see in the theme homepage preview. There is a simple slideshow that spans the width of the content area, which can be integrated on any page, and even audio/video can be easily integrated! The one-column WordPress theme is built off of the TwentyThirteen theme and is translation ready.
Kuorinka is a business-friendly free WordPress theme that has a unique front page layout, with a front page slider and post format designs, as well as 1- and 2-column layouts. The theme includes a portfolio and custom layouts for team members and includes a full blog design.
From Venkat Raj comes FlatOn, a responsive WordPress theme with a row-based front page layout and two out-of-the-box color schemes that are perfect for a corporation, business or blog-style website. A loaded theme options panel gives you tons of customizable features and widgetized footers and sidebars allow you to integrate your own content or advertising. The full-width slideshow allows you to wow your audience with high-impact graphics, and parallax effects throughout the design further enhance the dynamics of the site.
The Candour theme provides a beautiful and elegant design with flat and simple square modules for displaying your content and encouraging your visitors to stay on your site longer. The free and responsive theme can be used for just about any business or blog since it doesn’t have specific designs for a certain industry. The fast and well-optimized code is perfect for anyone who wants to move up in the search engines and make their customers happy with fast page load times.
Looking similar to a premium theme, the Candour theme provides a few stunning widgets for capturing email addresses and convincing people to subscribe to your RSS feed. Latest article modules are available and the custom social widgets ensure that readers follow you on Facebook and Twitter.
Bubbly comes from the folks at WP Dean and the free, responsive design is ideal for people who are planning on building personal or corporate blogs. The theme code is written to load your website as fast as possible, which is a good thing for your users and for your SEO. Bubbly provides an interesting header area that zooms in and out when someone scrolls over the image.
Every featured image has this effect, which is great for grabbing the attention of your visitors and showing them your best content. The mega menu allows for hundreds of navigational options, and the custom menu features make it easy to move these items. The headers are bold and intriguing while the social media icons help with building your social media presence.
Engross is a fully responsive and free WordPress theme for personal websites, blogs, and magazine sites. The homepage displays the post excerpts in a unique, boxed format, so you can fit plenty of content on the first page and encourage them to click through to the full post. The custom navigation menu is easy to move around and customize while the column sidebar area works nicely for including your favorite custom widgets such as Facebook Like boxes.
The sidebar also works well for showing your categories, recent articles, and more. Each featured image is revealed on the checkerboard homepage, and people can also see a little snippet of your article. The background is black by default, and the foreground is a simple white.
The Photum WordPress theme is all about providing a free and responsive way for photographers to display their best work. The main portfolio area reorganizes itself depending on the browser and device size. The theme options are as simple as they come, allowing you to upload a logo and add a tracking code.
The two widget areas both use the default WordPress menu builder, so most moderately experienced WordPress users will not have any problems with this. The navigation menu shows up on the left-hand side and it stays in place as you scroll, making your navigation easily accessible. The free theme caters to high-resolution images, so you don’t have to spend tons of money just to see your awesome photos in a good light.
The SKT White theme is a wonderful choice for those interested in a free WordPress theme since it provides premium features all packaged into a free download for your business. To start, the responsive theme is animated, which adds an interesting visual appeal to your website. In addition to that, the supersized slider is a nice way to showcase some of your work or to reveal company promotions. The default gallery has a slider for displaying your photos in an attractive layout, and the drop-down navigation supports up to five levels for numerous pages on your site.
The SKT White theme provides full social media integration with dozens of social icons for various social media networks. Standard pages are included such as 404, search, and blog pages. Several popular plugins are supported such as WooCommerce and Contact Form 7, and the clean homepage area has modules for everything from clients to staff, as well as posts and services.
Soliloquy is a modern and flexible business theme with a beautiful parallax effect that’s sure to capture the attention of your visitors. It offers an impressive set of features for a free theme. Several homepage layouts are included for a little variety in your design. The featured slider is a great way to visually describe your services or a product along with a text overlay and a call to action that directs visitors to a sales page. You can also include all the features and benefits you offer to your customers highlighted by FontAwesome icons.
Several page templates are included and they provide creativity for your page designs while the blog feed features a list of your posts with stunning, large, featured images. The entire footer is widgetized so you can include a list of your posts, a search bar or calendar in case you have an event coming up for your company. The theme is fully customizable and you can change design colors and fonts, sizes, choose layouts, or add or remove sidebars. Several shortcodes come in handy for adding buttons, columns, lists, and more without touching a single line of code. Responsive design and photo-friendly layout are also included in this great theme so give it a try for your business.
The Allure WordPress theme is a free theme perfect for those looking for a fashion blog design. The grid-based layout is filled with images all pieced together for the ultimate visual presence. The theme is rather easy to set up, which is ideal for webmasters who don’t have much experience with development. It’s also not a bad choice for more experienced developers who want a simple and quick way to get their clients set up with solid websites. A custom logo is supported by the theme, and you can even upload a favicon for better user experience. The typography is a strong point with Allure since it offers Google Web Fonts for customizing the fonts on your website.
Built-in pagination is a nice touch and the social icons provide a way for you to send people to your most popular social media pages. The theme has a simple SEO setup for improving your search engine rankings and bringing more people to your blog or company website. Stats are supported, meaning you can see exactly where people are coming from and why they may be interested in your content. Not to mention, the custom menu is fairly easy to set up for a clean and easy-to-use browsing experience.
Jane Morris - Photography/Portfolio WordPress Theme
Jane Morris, designed by TemplateMonster, has an engaging appearance and rich functionality. It would be a perfect choice for a photography-related website. 100% responsive design allows browsing your site comfortably from any device while parallax effect and lazy load ensure your website loads fast. The theme is fully customizable. It has custom post types and post formats, 80 shortcodes, fantastic sliders, custom widgets—everything you need to create the website visitors won’t want to leave.
With unlimited color variations and hundreds of font choices, the Opulus WordPress theme is a beautiful free theme to choose. The stunning design and layout feature a modern and responsive look with business elements for showcasing your company in a way that will make customers see you as a reputable choice. Change the colors and add your own logo and create slideshows to highlight things like promotions and events. The shortcodes are great for items like buttons and columns, which is especially nice since shortcodes don’t often come with free themes. The page templates work well for adding pages like portfolios and other designs, which is often a necessity for businesses that need to show how they have performed on their past work.
A full blog is included with the Opulus theme and you receive an email subscription form to accumulate subscribers and connect with them in the future. As with many the other widgets that come with the Opulus theme, this email subscription form is something you would generally only find with a paid theme. Some of the other items you can implement in your footer and sidebar are popular post lists, maps, and About Us information. Not to mention, the branded social media buttons allow you to connect with your customers on social media platforms. Overall, this is one of the best free themes you can find, so feel free to give it a try.
The Cirrus WordPress theme is all about a simple user experience, standing above many other free themes that you’ll encounter. One of the main reasons a UX can fail with a free theme is because some of the code may be put together sloppily or the developer may not be around to help out much with updates and support. The Cirrus theme, however, seeks to make it much easier for the admin. It all starts with the responsive photo friendly layout, which allows you to share images without having to edit them much or worry about your site slowing down. The shortcodes work wonders for customizing your site, and the various fonts and colors are great for branding.
Keep in mind that this is a lite version of a paid theme, so you do have the option to upgrade to attain many additional features. That said, some of the best features that come with the free version are social media widgets and design customization. There’s also quite a bit of typography changes you can make without needing to upgrade to the paid version. The theme includes a beautiful header and a logo upload area. The social media buttons can go above your header, and the other widgets allow for items like recent posts, comments, and more. The true standout feature is the blog since it focuses on simplicity which is great for placing more focus on your content.