The best WordPress themes: free and premium

WordPress is by far the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. A large part of its popularity has to do with the many different designs it offers, also called themes or templates. With a WordPress theme, you can completely change the design of your website with just a few clicks. The numerous WordPress themes differ not only in design but are also suitable for different web projects.

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Note

All featured themes have a responsive and mobile first design.

This article was last updated in July 2021.

Theme

Suitable for

Price

Advantages

Hello Elementor

Blogs and small websites

free

loads especially fast,

editable via drag & drop with Elementor Page Builder

GeneratePress

Blogs, websites, online stores

free

loads particularly fast,

compatible with various editors,

also available as Premium

Astra

Online stores, blogs, small websites

free

loads especially fast,

supports SEO,

compatible with WooCommerce

Storefront

Online stores

free

specially developed for WooCommerce,

combinable with add-ons,

templates for important store subpages

Inspiro

Photo and video websites, online stores

free

gallery function,

special video features,

compatible with WooCommerce,

also available as Premium

ColibriWP

Websites and blogs

free

design elements and content blocks,

video features,

page builder

OceanWP

Blogs, websites (also for companies), online stores

free

very flexible,

compatible with different editors,

supports SEO

Kayn

Artist and media websites, portfolios

$ (one-off payment)

minimalist and flexible,

design elements and fonts,

supports SEO,

Neubau

Blogs, editorial websites, multilingual websites, portfolios

$ (one-off payment)

magazine look,

customizable text and photo elements,

supports multilingualism

EcoCoded

Blogs, websites

$$ (one-off or annual payment)

loads particularly fast and saves resources,

very flexible design,

supports SEO

Foodica

Food blogs, merch-websites

$$$ (one-off or annual payment)

supports large format images,

flexible design,

integrated shop function,

placeholder for ads

Eimear

Online stores

$$$ (one-off payment)

versatile image design,

compatible with WooCommerce,

accessible

Divi

Websites, online stores

$$$ (one-off or annual payment)

drag & drop builder,

page templates and marketing features,

compatible with WooCommerce

Best free WordPress themes in detail

WordPress is not only the most popular CMS, but also one of the most popular open-source projects. The community creates WordPress plugins and themes to support the CMS. Also known as WordPress templates, the designs range from minimalist landing pages to extensive websites.

The free WordPress themes can all be downloaded from WordPress.org or from your website's dashboard.

Note

The most popular templates also include the official free WordPress themes released annually by the development team. These are also very well put together and are great for getting started. However, it makes sense to make use of other WordPress templates in the long run. The default themes, which can be recognized by the fact that they are named after the respective year of release, are very generic and many users have already grown tired of them.

Hello Elementor

If you're looking for a simple theme that's easy to use, HelloElementor is a great solution. The template has a lightweight design and provides both good performance and an uncluttered look for blogs and smaller websites. The theme is designed to work in conjunction with Elementor Page Builder. This is a plugin that provides you with an alternative editor that allows you to change the look of the website using drag & drop.

Features:

  • simple, elegant design
  • fast speed
  • works with Elementor Page Builder

GeneratePress

GeneratePress can also be used with Elementor Page Builder but is also compatible with other editors. This WordPress theme presents your content to readers as elegantly as possible, and most importantly, as quickly as possible. Similar to other themes in this list, the team surrounding GeneratePress prefers to work with small file sizes, which leads to fast loading speeds. Besides the free theme, there is also a premium version with additional features on the official website.

Features:

  • high performance
  • compatible with many different page builders
  • customizable - also suitable for online stores

Astra

E-commerce makes its own demands when it comes to website design. The WordPress theme Astra makes light work of the challenges that online stores sometimes bring with them and also offers some interesting ideas. First and foremost, the template has a very slim design. This guarantees a fast-browsing experience that customers want when shopping online. Offering high performance and many other elements, the theme also supports you with search engine optimization (SEO). The many customization options round off this template nicely. With the theme you can create not only powerful web stores, but also blogs or other small projects.

Features:

  • designed to be combined with WooCommerce
  • minimalistic & fast
  • optimized for search engines
  • premium add-ons available
Note

If you want to create a website, you first need a domain. Then you need to install the CMS on your server. To make it as easy as possible for you to get started with WordPress, two of IONOS’ packages actually have the system already pre-installed. WordPress hosting from IONOS is particularly suitable for beginners and already includes the required domain. You can get more features and higher performance with WordPress Pro. If you want to create an online store, WooCommerce hosting could be an option for you. Here you get WordPress including the popular shop extension.

Storefront

Another theme to help your e-commerce business take off is Storefront. It is especially popular among users of WooCommerce, the comprehensive online store extension for WordPress. It's not surprising though, since it was developed by the WooCommerce team. All the features of the store plugin and its many add-ons can be implemented with this WordPress template. Besides the product pages, you can of course also create an about us page and other useful subpages with Storefront.

Features:

  • specially developed for WooCommerce
  • also combinable with add-ons
  • various customization options

Inspiro

With Inspiro, you can create websites that showcase both images and - this is what makes this template special - videos very well. You can play videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or from your own server. In principle, this can also be done in other themes by integrating them with the Gutenberg editor, but Inspiro displays videos in a nicer layout on your website. Video backgrounds can be easily integrated, for example in headers or footers. The manufacturer WPZOOM also offers a paid version with greater functionality.

Features:

  • gallery functions for photos and videos
  • various video features
  • combinable with WooCommerce
  • page builder

Colibri WP

You can also add video backgrounds to your website with Colibri WP by Extend Themes. But the WordPress template has even more interesting features - the theme comes with different design elements and 35 pre-made content blocks. Moreover, you can also create your own blocks by simply dragging and dropping different objects. This means the theme technically becomes a page builder.

Features:

  • many templates
  • video backgrounds
  • page builder

OceanWP

The free WordPress theme OceanWP is characterized above all by its high customizability. Whether you want to create a simple blog, a compelling corporate website, or an online store with many features, OceanWP allows you to realize any web project. In order to do this, you can work with different page builders. The development team has also prepared the theme for search engine optimization.

Features:

  • can be adapted to different projects
  • works with many page builders
  • set up for search engine optimization
Summary

Even with free WordPress themes, you can create very professional websites. The templates shown here have already been used by thousands of users and can still be customized to give you an individual design. Thanks to regular updates, your design will remain compatible with newer WordPress versions.

Premium WordPress themes in detail

Especially for those new to WordPress, the free themes are a good way to quickly get started on the web. For long-term and professional projects, however, it is worth looking at paid themes. These are usually created by design agencies and have a unique look so your website can stand out from the crowd.

Kayn

Artists, photographers, and media designers will be especially thrilled at how well Kayn shows off their work. The minimalistic design does not distract from the actual content of the website but rather highlights each portfolio. In addition, the theme contains dynamic navigation elements, functions for search engine optimization, and many design options.

Features:

  • perfect for portfolios
  • elegant design
  • search engine optimization
  • professional web design elements
  • large color selection and many fonts included

Price: $ / one-off payment

Note

Since WordPress theme prices can change quickly, we only give you an approximate indication of the price by using a scale from $ to $$$ in order to compare the templates better. Always check the current price on the provider’s official website or on the different theme platforms.

Neubau

Most blogs have a clean, but somewhat uninspired layout. The WordPress theme Neubau by Elmastudio offers a more interesting way of presenting content. Just like in a magazine, articles are displayed above one another and next to one another. This gives the blog a more dynamic look. You can customize each post and easily add elements like quotes and text boxes. Therefore, this theme is suitable for passionate hobby bloggers as well as professional editors. Photographers can also use Neubau to present their portfolio.

Features:

  • magazine design
  • options for adjusting posts
  • set up for multilinguism

Price: $ / one-off payment

EcoCoded

Running a server costs energy and even more so if elaborate applications are being hosted. The SuperbThemes team tries to change that with EcoCoded. The theme's source code is built so lightweight that hardly any processing power is required from the server. The slim WordPress template is also available for free, but search engine optimization features and the option to customize each design element are only available in the premium version, for example.

Features:

  • resource-saving source code
  • fast loading times
  • search engine optimization
  • very adaptable

Price: $$ / one-off or annual payment

Foodica

Foodica is primarily aimed at website operators who deal with the topic of food in all its glorious forms. Large format images with slider functions ensure that dishes and food are presented in a tasty way. In addition, there are many different display options and color schemes. Since bloggers are usually dependent on advertising revenue, Foodica already has preset placeholders for advertisements. A small web store is also part of the theme's scope, which can be used to sell merchandise, for example.

Features:

  • prepared image presentation
  • many customization options
  • placeholder for advertisements
  • integrated online store

Price: $$$ / one-off or annual payment

Eimear

With the Eimear theme by WebMan Design, you can give your online store a very modern and interesting design. Decide how many products should be next to each other and how they should be arranged. What's great is that you do not have to use only square thumbnails with this theme. The design template has a mask for the small thumbnails, which loosens up the look of overview pages. The developer of the WordPress theme also places special emphasis on accessibility. The theme is therefore completely aligned with WCAG 2.1.

Features:

  • developed for e-commerce
  • compatible with WooCommerce
  • more relaxed look
  • special thumbnails
  • accessibility

Price: $$$ / one-off payment

Divi

If you choose the very popular premium theme Divi, you get a small website builder. You can drag and drop elements and with a few clicks you can customize the entire look - without having to master CSS. If you want to create new pages, you can choose from several templates and then easily customize them to your liking. Divi works perfectly with WooCommerce and also has various marketing measures included. The split testing is very useful because it enables you to compare the impact of different designs.

Features:

  • website builder
  • multiple page templates
  • marketing features
  • compatible with WooCommerce

Price: $$$ / one-off or annual payment

Summary

Premium WordPress themes not only give you a unique design, but also usually come with extensive support options. When buying the theme, however, pay attention to how long you can take advantage of support and regular updates. The licenses also differ depending on the use - some premium templates can only be used for one domain whereas some can be used for an unlimited number of domains.

Want even more information about WordPress? You'll find lots of tips in the Digital Guide:


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