Trends come and go in the web design world, but minimalism seems to be sticking around. In fact, every type of design industry seems to somehow make its way back to the simpler times, allowing for more functionality and less flair. The point of a minimal website is to put most of the focus on the content that matters, as opposed to having flashy animations, 3D-looking web elements, and too many moving parts.
If you’re not interested in building your own website, we recommend looking for a free minimal WordPress theme. These are the simplest you can find. Not to mention, you don’t have to spend a dime to test them out and see if you like them. Along with that, the minimal themes work wonders for all types of businesses. For example, a blogger could use one for daily posts, while a small business could share services and products.
The Basics Behind a Quality Minimal WordPress Theme
A minimal theme often aligns with the traits you would find with a flat theme. This means you’re going to find web elements that actually look flat, as opposed to having movements or 3D effects. In addition, you’ll find that minimal themes have plenty of white space, cutting out some of the messy sidebars or other items that may take away from the cleanliness.
Minimal WordPress Themes: Who Should Consider Them?
Our first thought for a minimal theme ties into the blogging world. Any type of writer, blogger, or even photographer would do well with a minimal theme. It’s all because you want to maintain reader focus. We also like the themes for any businesses that would like a tidier, more modern look for their websites. After all, the whole point of having a website is to make it easy for your customers to find things.
The Best Free Minimal Themes
Now that we’ve had a chance to uncover the benefits of minimal themes, the top features to look for, along with who might be interested in them, keep reading to learn more about your best options. Also, let us know in the comments if any other free minimal WordPress themes catch your eye.
Meet Olsen Light, a clean and minimalist WordPress theme for bloggers. Designed and developed by CSS Igniter, this template takes on a blog style with a bold logo at the top, and large, attractive banners featuring your latest blog posts on the front page. The design includes lots of negative space, which puts the focus on your text and images.
Another feature that makes the Olsen Light theme awesome is its social media integration. It includes prominent social media icons which make it a lot easier for people to follow you and share your content. Furthermore, the theme comes with a drag-and-drop page builder, allowing you to create your web pages without touching code. You’ll also find widgets to easily add elements to your sidebar and footer, a contact form, and much more.
Pure is a clean and simple WordPress theme suitable for portfolios and blog sites. Its minimalist and well-thought design makes it a prime choice for creating a modern and professional website. Visitors to your site will have no problem focusing on your content thanks to the ample white space and minimum distractions.
The Pure WordPress theme comes with plenty of features and customization options as well. You’ll find 3 header types to choose from, and typography choices to brand your site. The blog and portfolio layouts include grid and masonry as well as single images, slider, or video pages. These allow you to display your content in a variety of ways. The template’s other features include social media integration and shortcodes to help you add more functionality to your site.
Simple Business is a slick and professional free WordPress theme for businesses. It offers an elegant design and useful features to establish a modern and effective online presence for your business or organization. The front page includes different sections to highlight your services, team members, and blog posts or news items. A simple contact form is also included on the homepage so potential customers can easily get in touch.
In addition, the Simple Business theme integrates nicely with social media, featuring social links at the top so people can easily connect with you. The large and attractive full-width banner on the front page is great for highlighting your business photos and reeling in visitors. And just below the header section, you’ll find an action text area for adding your call to action and urging people to do business with you.
The Minimal theme has a solid name for this list, as it provides everything from spacious pages to simple blog posts. We like the theme for magazines and blogs, from travel to food niches. Minimal has beautiful typography for laying out your stories and expressing your thoughts. The main reason we enjoy the theme is because of the basic widgets that make it easy to construct your website.
For example, the Minimal theme provides a recent posts widget, along with a widget for sharing your popular posts. The social links are certain to push people to your social pages, while the author widget gives credit while also keeping things simple. Several post formats are included, like galleries, images, audio, and more. However, you can always rest easy knowing that they are quick to set up and they go along with the minimal design.
Emotions Lite is from the folks at Shaped Pixels, and it has a minimal design allowing you to either write simple blog posts or display business information without all the frills. The theme provides an elegant setup with somewhat feminine colors and icons. You’ll notice that changing around these colors is no problem, and that the header styles are easy to manage as well. The responsive theme contains a custom error page, along with social media menu icons.
You can show or hide page elements and use the four page templates for adding a little variety to the site. Overall, this is an extremely customizable theme for how basic it looks on the frontend. You can adjust sidebar positions and change around the backgrounds. The menu positions can be moved depending on how unique you would like it to look. In addition, you gain access to tools for managing post styles.
Clean Business is just what the name says. I wouldn’t necessarily use this for anything but a business site since it has more of a focus on presenting services and products on the homepage. The glory of the theme is that it can adapt to any niche, and the native, responsive theme presents one of the cleanest options on the market. The myriad of features includes items like sliders, breadcrumbs, and custom widgets.
Utilize the promotional headlines for when you have a new product or promotion, and tap into the translation tools for making it even easier for people to understand what’s on your site. The blog looks minimal and easy to manage, while the custom colors are nice for branding your site to look the way you want. Along with that, you get threaded comments, sticky posts, sidebars, and custom menus. It’s also nice to have a custom header.
Vega offers a sleek business presentation, with a responsive one-page layout and a simple, clean design for all industries. The whole point of the theme is to configure and display beautiful website elements, all without the need to go through tricky coding or messy settings. The pre-built color choices include orange, blue, and green. That’s not a ton of colors, but it’s a good start for any free WordPress theme.
The full-screen image banner combines nicely with the multiple homepage displays. You can also display your blog feed in multiple areas. What’s more is that the custom CSS options provide handy design tools for the more advanced developers out there. The Vega theme integrates with WooCommerce for a sleek and simple online store. It also has support for multiple languages, expanding the number of people who can actually read your content.
Tography Lite is a great free WordPress theme for creating a photography blog or portfolio site. The frontpage looks awesome, featuring your images in a masonry layout with stunning hover effects that will capture visitor attention. The images are filterable, which is great for organizing your portfolio items. In addition, the Tography theme features a smooth slide-out menu which combines well with the large logo at the centre for a fresh modern look.
Thanks to the template’s responsive design, your site will look beautiful and work correctly on all devices and screen sizes. You can also reach people in different languages without a problem since this theme is multilingual ready. Last but not least, you’ll have access to theme updates so your site can stay compatible with new WordPress releases.
SKT Simple sells for free, but it has a more premium look than some of the other free minimal themes you will see. For example, the elegant and responsive design provides social media sharing tools and a page builder for organizing website elements without any problems. A default slider comes with the theme, which is nice for uploading banner images in an organized presentation. Homepage sections are included, and the background is easy to change.
Link and button colors are all pretty basic, and it lets you adjust them without having to touch any coding. As you’ll notice with many of these themes, the minimalism resides on both the front and backend parts of the themes. SKT also offers 27 ready to use widgets for the page builders. Therefore, you can insert the widgets in either the sidebar or the footer. Along with standard pages like 404, search, archives, and more, the SKT Simple theme has a strong feature-set.
The Shudh WordPress theme has both free and paid versions, so you have the chance to try out the free one and upgrade if needed. The minimalist theme is compatible with CSS plugins for quickly changing around colors and other elements. Not to mention, the sidebar works well with widgets for adding and removing additional tools whenever you want.
Many other plugins combine nicely with the theme, such as page builders, social media plugins, and gallery options. Many developers utilize the NextGen Gallery plugin as well. A few other areas to take note of include the five levels of dropdown menus, just in case you’re selling online with lots of products. Along with a rudimentary blog, slideshows, and standard pages like 404, archives, and search, the feature set is pretty strong with Shudh.
The Clean theme boasts a set of slides, social media buttons, and colors. We mainly like the theme because it works with a customizer to ensure that the webmaster doesn’t have to spend much time configuring and adjusting the site. This is an SEO friendly theme, and the button colors are all interchangeable throughout the theme. Clean is also compatible with several gallery and portfolio plugins, along with SEO plugins for boosting the amount of exposure you receive online.
One thing to remember is that the Clean theme integrates well with the WooCommerce plugin. Therefore, you can start selling products on your site and collect the money from your customers. You’ll also notice that the theme is compatible with various shortcodes, and it has a default slider for presenting information in a professional way. Along with translation tools, a beautiful footer for placing widgets, and minimal graphics all over the theme, Clean stands out in our minds.
Zillah is a simple and elegant WordPress theme for bloggers and writers who want a clean and well-organized website that lets readers focus on their content. It has a modern look and feel with plenty of negative space, so your text and images will always be the centre of attention. The front page features a large and bold logo at the top as well as a beautiful slider to highlight your best content and drive visitors further into your site.
The Zillah theme is mobile-friendly and integrates nicely with social media. You’ll find social links at the top menu and within your site content, allowing people to easily follow you and share your content. Also, this template is easy to style and use thanks to the drag-and-drop site building tools and the live customizer that makes it a lot easier to control your site’s appearance.
Consider the Amadeus WordPress theme if you’re a blogger, writer, or hobbyist who’d like to clear out all the clutter and make your site look similar to a regular book. This is a free, responsive WordPress theme with a parallax effect, sidebar, and social media buttons. That sounds like a lot for a minimalist theme, but the entire design is free of drastic colors, and the blog posts are focused towards the center for easy reading.
The header modules provide bold text and an area to change around the logo and description. This way, you can explain what your site is all about while still keeping the design simple. The clean and validated code ensures that the site keeps running fast at all times, while the localization tools can come in handy if you ever need to adjust the language settings.