Following on from my recent post featuring premium wordpress themes, I’ve decided to put together a list of what I consider the top 10 free themes for your blog. All of the below have been tried and tested over time and all of them whilst looking visually stunning all come with feature rich admin panels meaning that you can customise each depending on your needs.
Some of the free Wordpress themes below do come with “pro” versions should you require additional functionality but out of the box, the free versions alone stack up when compared to their premium counterparts. So here is the run through.
Sydney is a fantastic clean looking, minimalistic style theme aimed at business users. It has a ton of features to choose from and an admin panel that allows for customisation of the most common elements. Sydney comes bundled with a Google Fonts module meaning you can style the text to suit your brand and also comes with all the colour customisation options you’d expect.
The theme itself is fully responsive and features customisable front page blocks/widgets so you can add your own unique touch to the design. It also comes with a choice of visually stunning parallax backgrounds.
Hestia is a highly optimised, material design theme. It is also WooCommerce compatible should you wish to use it for a storefront as opposed to a traditional blog. It is fully responsive and renders perfectly on both mobile phones and tablets.
My favourite feature of Hestia has to be the drag and drop interface meaning once you’ve created each of your elements you can literally drag them around the page to fit your design.
The theme itself is branded as SEO friendly, partly due to its clean code and fast load times. The mega menus feature is also notable.
If you’re looking for a truly flexible multipurpose Wordpress theme you won’t go far wrong with Flash. It is claimed it is one of the most popular free themes on the market and is currently being used by 9,000+ sites at the time of writing.
Like most themes these days it comes with a drag and drop page builder from SiteOrigin and is bundled with 18+ custom widgets.
There is also a pro version of the theme available for around £50 if you find the features too limiting.
4. Great Mag
As the name suggests, Great Mag has to be the theme of choice if you’re looking for a free magazine, news or traditional blog theme. It has all the customisation options you’d expect and like with most premium magazine things you also have a choice of blog layout.
Options include the traditional blog or a modern card based layout. It also comes with all the usually bells and whistles such as colour changes, Google fonts integration and full language support.
If review sites are your thing, the best theme for you is most definitely ReviewZine. Whilst it can be used as a traditional magazine style theme, it’s qualities like in the advanced review type widgets such as it’s fancy graphs, star ratings and voting systems.
The theme also comes with a beautiful responsive slider which can make the products you review extremely eye catching. The advanced rating charts are also worth mentioning as they can transform your what would be bland review into a helpful and informative resource.
Another popular magazine theme is ColorMag. It is currently powering around 80,000 blogs so you can understand what I mean when I say popular.
What sets ColorMag apart from its competitors is most definitely its customisation options. There are so many layouts to choose from, regardless as to which style you’re looking for, ColorMag can accommodate.
A nice feature is the ability to colour categorise your sections. It also comes with RTL support and an advanced typography plugin. There is also a pro version should you feel the need.
A feature I simply love of Allegiant is its “complete layout control”. What this means is that you’re not limited to the look and feel of one solitary design as you are with most themes. You can effectively have a new page layout for each of your blogs pages should you desire. All the while being fully responsive.
The theme is also compatible with WooCommerce should you wish to use it to output products and you can also create custom shortcodes with ease which can say you a lot of time if you’re using repeated elements across your design.
Back to the news themes now and we have ionMag. The developers realise that users of magazine themes tend to want lots of layout options for their articles and front page so they accommodate this perfectly. They also provide you with a live page builder should you wish to give it your own personal touch.
Unlike other themes in this category, ionMag does feature some fun widgets that can truly bring your blog to live. The social counter and instagram widgets for example can truly take your blog to the next level.
9. Everly Lite
When it comes to personal blogs, Everly Lite has to be my favourite. It’s clean, simple, lots of white space, features crisp fonts and beautiful minimalistic post layouts.
It comes with full width and grid designs as standard and the black, white and grey base style compliments each other perfectly. Especially when coupled with stock photography and such.
The developers of Everly claim it is designed for readability and that couldn’t be more true. Too many themes these days go over the top on the design front when sometimes all you need is a page, a nice photo and some nicely styled text. Everly fits that bill.
Point is the free version of the popular Point Pro theme from MyThemeShop. As you’d expect from such experienced developers, it is feature packed and as far as magazine themes go, it’s visually perfect.
Like with most MTS themes, the real beauty is in the back end with virtually every element being customisable. Whether you’re building complex menu trees, changing the colour/background/fonts or even modifying the core grid design – the back end makes it a breeze.
It also comes with some well placed ad blocks should you wish to make money from your blog.
Is It Worth Going Free?
Given the cost of most premium themes, less then £40 in most cases, some would argue that it’s simply not worth the time and effort to bother with a free option. But there are those amongst us who don’t see the need in spending money if they don’t have to also.
I think you’ll agree the the 10 themes I’ve picked out above are more than good enough in terms of look and features but like with all things, you’ll need to put your own stamp on it if you want to stand apart from your competition.
Next week we’ll be putting together a list of free themes for Joomla which I’ll link from here in due course.
And while I’m here, be sure to check out some of the other offerings from the designers who have created the above. Wordpress theme designers and developers seldom create just one theme and if the above isn’t doing it for you then you may just find what you’re looking for by browsing their other creations.