WordPress, the popular website builder and web hosting service, has so many themes available, to customise the look of your site, that it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve already checked out various options for you depending on what kind of presence you wish to have online, but what if your main concern is cost?
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there are hundreds of free themes out there - but how do you navigate through the maze of options and find the one that offers the best features? With that I mind, we’ve rounded up five free WordPress themes we believe you should definitely take a look at.
- Also check out our roundup of the best WordPress plugins
Deep Free is a parred down version of the premium Deep Pro theme, but it still has more than enough features to satisfy website builders on a budget. It comes with 28 free demos, website templates you can apply to your own site with the click of a button. We liked the various specific builders available, like the Header Builder which lets you fully customise the header to suit your needs. The same applies for the Footer, and of course, the main section of your site. Deep Free also comes with various widgets, to help further customise your site, and even has some online store features (powered by the WooCommerce plugin).
We really like its use of adaptive images, which means your images are rescaled automatically to fit the best resolution for whichever screen your site is being viewed on - not only does this keep your site looking great, but it also reduces bandwidth use.
GeneratePress boasts a small footprint and a focus and dedication to speed. It has a premium version which contains numerous features, but its free version is ideal for those with more basic needs (not everyone needs to set up an online store, for instance). Its blocks and elements work with WordPress’ Block Editor, allowing you to build your webpages with drag and drop ease. You can alter the layout, colours and typography too, helping you create a more unique presence. If you’re a fan of blogs, you’ll find the usual display options, such as columns, masonry and infinite scroll, ready for you.
As you’d expect, it is optimised for search engines, but perhaps more interesting is its focus on accessibility, and is proud to follow the WCAG 2.0 standards. It also supports RTL (right to left) languages.
Hestia Pro is a powerful theme with immense power and versatility, but its Free sibling is no slough either. It’s a good theme for beginners are well as professionals, and as there’s no need to learn to code, you can get into the creative side of website design instantly. You can alter the design on the fly, and one of the features we liked was the ability to add parallax images in the header, to make for a more visually striking website. If you fancy writing a blog, Hestia’s got you covered with various layouts and the ability to organise your posts by categories. The theme is responsive, meaning it will adapt to whichever screen its being viewed on, and even integrates with the WooCommerce plugin, if you fancy opening a small online store.
Mesmerize advertises itself as being so customisable that no two sites will look alike. It comes with many pre-designed sections to help you create your page quickly, with no coding experience required, as is customary for the best and most versatile themes out there.
We really like its live content feature, enabling you to edit your page’s elements while seeing the results live - no need to click on that preview button any more. It also comes with a few different navigation layouts so you can choose the one that works best for you. As you’d expect, it’s also fully responsive, and even allows you to add a video background to your page. If there’s a limitation, it’s that the free version restricts you to creating single page sites.
Neve is an excellent theme for beginners, especially those who’d rather do as little as possible to have a great looking site. To that end, Neve comes with starter sites - templates that have all blocks and elements ready to go - all you have to do is replace the placeholders with your own text and images. 32 of these starter sites are free to use, and therefore complement the free version of this theme well. You can of course customise these starter sites, but they’re pretty well done, and will look great as is. Another good design feature of Neve is its focus on mobile platforms, making sure your site will look good whichever screen it’s being viewed on, and will load fast, even on a mobile or tablet.
- We've also highlighted the best premium WordPress themes