Looking for the best free WordPress themes? We’ve been searching for the best free WordPress themes for years, so we’ve assembled a list of our personal favorites and a nifty guide to help you choose the very best one for your website!
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What does it take to be one of the best free WordPress themes?
The best free WordPress themes are fast, responsive and easy-to-use. They have to be functional for your intended purposes and built with clean, efficient coding. There are thousands of themes that meet one or two of these criteria. The secret to real blogging success is finding one that meets all these requirements!
Speed is critical.
The longer your page takes to load, the more people are going to “bounce” or leave before it even loads. According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of consumers expect a website to load in under two seconds.
You need a fast-loading website to keep your traffic. Unfortunately, this means you may need to sacrifice fancy features for a more functional theme.
Responsive layouts are mandatory.
A responsive theme adapts to screens of all sizes, including smartphones and tablets. Now that the vast majority of website visitors are coming from mobile devices, a responsive theme is absolutely mandatory.
At Low Income Relief, over 80 percent of my traffic comes from mobile devices and another 4 percent comes from smartphones. Just less than 16 percent of my traffic comes from desktop computers. If my theme didn’t adapt to all screens, I would lose the vast majority of my traffic!
Keep it simple and easy to use.
It’s important to choose a simple, easy-to-use theme. Your users need to be able to navigate easily through your content and find what they’re looking for.
Minimalist themes with white backgrounds and clear, uncluttered formatting are always best.
Pick a theme that offers the functionality you need.
What do you want your website to do? As we said before, WordPress can do essentially anything. There are themes that have built-in appointment scheduling, sliders, contact forms, directory maps, store interfaces and more.
If you’re looking to design a business website, these are all things you need to consider… but as a niche blogger, you don’t need to worry too much about most of those features.
The one question I would encourage you to consider is whether or not you would like to add a storefront to your niche blog.
A storefront can be useful for selling craft items, affiliate items and other things. If this is something you’re interested in, consider a theme that is compatible with WooCommerce. We’ll discuss that in greater detail later.
Clean code is seriously important – and it’s a mistake you won’t notice until it’s too late.
Issues in your theme coding can damage your SEO and prevent your website from ranking well on Google. This is a problem that many people don’t realize until it’s too late.
Google loves clean, well-organized code. Remember that the search engine is indexed by bots, not people. Clean code helps the bots understand your website better, which results in a more favorable and accurate SEO rank.
WordPress is free open-sourced software so themes can be created by anyone who thinks they can handle the code. Many of the free themes (and even some of the premium themes) you find will be coded in a way that is not favorable for your website.
For that reason, it’s important to find a theme designer you can trust. If you find a theme you love that performs well, you can reasonably expect that the other themes will perform well, too.
That’s why MyThemeShop is my go-to resource for the web’s best free WordPress themes!
The 3 best free WordPress themes are…
In my opinion, the three best free WordPress themes all belong to MyThemeShop. I’ve been in love with MyThemeShop’s fantastic themes since the first time I installed one. They’re responsive, functional and easy-to-use. Best of all, they’re cleanly coded and lightening fast.
Point is clean and easy to use.
Point was is the absolute best free WordPress theme of all time, in my opinion. It is clean, lightening fast, user-friendly and beautifully responsive. In terms of functionality, I’ve never found a better free theme. That’s why I used the free version of Point until March 2018 (when I upgraded to the HowTo premium theme)!
One of my favorite things about Point is that it lets you highlight your four best posts on the homepage. I also love that it has a large ad space and a button you can customize. That button converts effectively for email newsletters and social media pages!
SociallyViral is great for shareable content.
I used SociallyViral on Low Income Relief for about a year before I moved on to Point’s cleaner layout. I consider this one of the best free WordPress themes of all time (although I will admit that I loved this theme so much I bought the pro version fairly soon after installing the free one!).
This theme features a grid layout that emphasizes bold, square images. It’s designed to increase social shares, which helped my brand grow dramatically while I used it.
Any blog that is looking to grow quickly can benefit from SociallyViral. However, I will caution you that the layout looks a bit wonky until you have a few dozen posts on the website.
On Page is best for business-style blogs.
On Page is one of the best free WordPress themes. It’s an elegant, business-style theme with a dedicated homepage. It includes portfolio, services, testimonials and contact page features. You can also include call-to-action buttons.
Instead of “View Services” and “Request Quote,” a niche blogger could use these buttons to connect with their audience on Facebook and Twitter. It could also be used to link to an Etsy or WooCommerce store.
While certainly best for business-style niche blogs, On Point is beautiful, elegant and customizable.
If you don’t like these, MyThemeShop offers 16 more of the best free WordPress themes on their website!
Installing one of MyThemeShop’s best free WordPress themes is simple.
To install one of these themes, you will need to download it from the MyThemeShop website and upload it to your WordPress installation. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just follow the steps in this thorough video tutorial from the MyThemeShop Youtube channel!