In order to create a WordPress website, you'll need to choose a theme. It determines the aesthetics and effectiveness of your website. A beautifully designed project is essential as visitors can easily abandon your website if the content and layout are unappealing.
The official WordPress directory contains about 8,000+ themes with basic and specialty designs, which plays a significant part in taking your website to the next level. Nevertheless, with so many WP templates to choose from, finding the right one for your project can be difficult.
By the end of this guide, you'll be able to pick a WP theme that will perfectly compliment your brand style.
What Is WP?
WP is a free, open source, and the most widely used content management system (CMS). It's extremely adaptable and configurable. WP can be used for multiple purposes such as blogging, creating online portfolios, and ecommerce stores. WP welcomes developers and beginners alike. To help them out, the official WP library and third-party repositories provide a cornucopia of theme and plugin options.
Big Choice of WP Themes
For many users, the abundance of free and premium WP themes can be overwhelming. As a result, finding the ideal responsive layout can be a time-consuming process.
For this reason, we've handpicked the 10 best WP themes you can rely on and use for every niche.
Astra is a free and highly flexible WP theme, created by Brainstorm Force. It powers starter sites for a variety of purposes, including portfolios, personal and business blogs, community portals, and even ecommerce.
On the frontend, Astra’s file size is less than 50 KB, making it a very lightweight theme. It also works seamlessly with different page builders like Beaver Builder, Elementor, Divi, and SiteOrigin. When it comes to SEO, Astra supports Schema code and is Native AMP compliant. Translation options, Google fonts, a react-based customiser, and Jetpack are among the major features.
Astra offers a premium version called Astra Pro if you want to add even more functionalities.
If speed is your highest priority, GeneratePress is one of the quickest free WP themes available. The template installs as a 10 KB gzip to your page, with performance and accessibility in mind.
You can set up the layout with bbPress, most common page builders, and a multitude of other third-party plugins like WooCommerce. GeneratePress is mobile-friendly and employs HTML/CSS. You also have access to a diverse palette of colors and customizable typography.
This theme can be translated into more than 20 languages. Furthermore, it offers advanced blogging capabilities through image modification settings, unlimited scrolling, and column controls. You can also use different hooks and filters to enhance the overall functionality of your WP site. Similar to Astra, GeneratePress has a paid version available for those seeking more options, such as block-based theme building.
Divi is one of the most popular multifunctional and exceptionally adaptable solutions on the market for freelancers. This is largely due to its vivid visual style and wonderful drag-and-drop page builder. There are over 1,300 pre-built templates in the Divi library, neatly divided into packs (categories) depending on your website purpose.
You can use Divi as a regular theme and customise the header, footer, and layouts using its customiser features. Alternatively, you may start from the ground up with the Divi theme builder to create your blog, ecommerce store, or portfolio. Think of the Divi builder as Wix or Squarespace, but for WP. You don’t need coding skills to make custom designs, which is a huge plus for this platform. You can get Divi by subscribing to elegant themes. A free trial is also available to test its waters before deciding whether or not to buy it. The customer support is one of the best in the business as well.
With more than four million downloads, OceanWP offers free and premium subscriptions that appeal to developers and beginners alike. This resourceful theme comes with over 200 demos for different products, 21 extensions, and support for page builders like Elementor and Gutenberg. OceanWP is fast, responsive, and can adjust to any screen size, making it easy for your visitors to use their mobile devices or tablets to navigate your website.
OceanWP is famed for its extensive integrated WooCommerce features. You'll have access to a plethora of Woo plugins built right into the theme, including shopping cart popups, floating bars, quick view mode, and off canvas filters. The setup wizard will assist you in configuring your preferred styling options and site settings. Additionally, you can utilise the WP theme customizer to make additional edits from top to bottom. OceanWP is also translation-ready and SEO-friendly. It provides you with addons for social media, a sticky navigation menu, and more.
Neve is a free product of ThemeIsle, a company known for its diverse business WP themes, dependable customer support, and frequent updates. Neve is excellent for startups, suits different skill levels, and the fastest from ThemeIsle.
With a minimalist layout, customisable fonts and colors, Neve adds a professional touch to your website. Browsing is a breeze through an intuitive navigation menu and the search bar helps with any common queries. There are also integrated social sharing buttons and support for popular page builders.
Editing content is a fairly smooth process. You can use the one-click import feature to retrieve everything you want from the preset templates. Moreover, Neve is lightweight, mobile-ready, and compatible with Google AMP. This helps you speed up load times and enhance your website performance on mobile devices.
Flatsome is a multipurpose responsive theme that is compatible with both WooCommerce and WordPress. The developers from UX-Theme, offer two types of licenses — regular and extended. Both come with six months of free support, but you can pay extra to get a full 12 months of support. The theme is Gutenberg and SEO-ready, and assistance is available in multiple languages. Its overall performance is more than satisfactory.
Flatsome is one of ThemeForest's best-selling themes. It includes its own live page builder with modules for creating online stores. The theme also comes with a one-click demo mode for testing the appearance of your website before publishing it in its final form.
Hestia is a free WP theme, created by ThemeIsle. It's a multipurpose template that's best suited for small businesses, magazines, and blog websites. It includes a free plugin that adds client testimonials, services, and a homepage section to your site. Hestia is compatible with all major page builders, including Elementor, Visual Composer, and WPBakery, which is great considering it lacks built-in functionality for that. It's also WooCommerce and translation-ready.
Hestia's interface is simple to use, and the live customiser helps you modify even the slightest details of your page. The only disadvantage is that you will have to pay for professional assistance should you need support from the theme developers.
Bento is a free, user-friendly WP theme that is often used for creating websites for small and medium-sized businesses. The template comes with a number of professional layouts as well as plenty of useful features. Configurable widgets, vector icons, limitless colour combinations, and Google Fonts are among the capabilities available in Bento. The theme is mobile-friendly, retina-ready, speed-optimized, and incorporates some of the best SEO practices.
Still, the sole way to get help for Bento is through a forum, which isn't always as quick as dedicated support channels like email, phone, or chat.
Gutentype is a straightforward WP theme, designed mostly for personal blogs. The theme is based on the Gutenberg page builder and was created by Ancora Themes. It's compatible with WooCommerce, despite being optimised mostly for blogs and informational websites.
Regarding the price, Glutentype costs a one-time fee starting from $59 which includes free updates for life and six months of technical support. You can also pay a little extra and extend that period to 12 months.
Ultra is a robust theme, developed by Themify, for users who want to create stellar magazines and newspaper websites on WordPress. This template includes pre-built demos and design skins you can use to improve the appearance of your website or create a sample page in a matter of minutes.
The drag-and-drop builder lets you design a live preview on the frontend. It features useful effects such as animations, background videos, and parallax scrolling. You can effortlessly duplicate the demo setup afterwards and use it as a live site.
In addition, you can customise practically every aspect of the Ultra theme, from header to footer. When you’re done, simply point and click to see it in real time on the preview screen – no CSS coding needed.
Ultra supports more than 600 Google web fonts, exquisite color palette, social icons, WooCommerce integration, SEO optimisation features, and many more.
How to choose a theme
Choosing the proper template is paramount for showcasing your content and giving your website a more professional appearance. Let’s go over some key points to consider when selecting a WordPress theme for your project.
The nature of your online business, whether it’s an online store (ecommerce) or an informational/entertainment website, is the first factor to consider when choosing the right theme.
Your next goal is to determine your target audience including their age, location, and gender. Knowing your potential visitors will determine which WP theme might be more appealing. You can even research which similar websites attract the most viewers and use the information to choose the appropriate design for your website.
Reviews and ratings
Checking the reviews and ratings of existing users is vital for any product you're purchasing. This is often a good source of information on the theme's overall advantages and disadvantages. This includes any technical concerns that other users encountered. The level of support is often a point of discussion as well.
Design and ease of use
The design of your website and how easy it is to navigate is often one of the first impressions for visitors that land on your page for the first time. This often has a significant impact on the success of your online business. This is why it's critical for your theme to be visually appealing while also simple to navigate for visitors.
Plugins and features
Plugins are in charge of extending the functionality of your theme. While some themes come with numerous built-in features, it is always preferable to have options for more. This is where compatibility comes into play.
The best type of theme is one that includes a plethora of useful features in addition to being compatible with a wide range of add-ons.
In the realm of WP themes, there are both free and paid options to choose from. At the end of the day, how much you're prepared to pay for the theme, or whether you're willing to pay at all, is entirely dependent on your budget and website requirements.
Which criteria to follow
There are some other aspects you should consider when choosing your WordPress theme to avoid wasting time, money, and effort by making the wrong choice.
Reliable web hosting
Investing in a WP optimised hosting service has many benefits. Firstly, you will safeguard your WP website from cyberattacks. Boosting page loading speed is another advantage, especially when you have a lightweight theme. Finally, a staging environment is an excellent feature provided by many WordPress hosts to help you test and make changes on an offline copy of your website.
Social Media integration
Whether you have a personal or a business WP project, getting connected with social media platforms is no longer an option, but a must have. It drives traffic to your page and helps improve conversion rates. It’s essential to ensure your theme offers social sharing options.
A responsive theme is a necessity nowadays if you want to reach your target audience on all devices. Even though the majority of WP templates are designed to be mobile-friendly, some older layouts lack this functionality.
You can easily test a theme's responsiveness to ensure it looks great on all screens. In Chrome Browser, navigate to the theme demo page, right-click on it, and select Inspect. To view the page in different mobile device modes, click the ‘Toggle device’ icon at the far left of the inspect window.
For your website to succeed, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical component. Choose a theme that is SEO-friendly and has tools to help you improve your search engine rankings. To be sure, use the demo to run an SEO scan and a W3C validation code, which examines the markup authenticity of web documents in SMIL, XHTML, HTML, and MathML.
Web browser compatibility
You should always consider that your website visitors use a variety of web browsers when accessing your pages. While they may look good on one browser, they may be completely unrecognisable on another. Accordingly, the theme of your choice must be compatible across multiple browsers.
If the template developer does not indicate whether or not their design supports cross-browser compatibility, you can test the demo on the most popular platforms, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera.
WP updates are vital because they include security upgrades, new features, and bug fixes to ensure the safety and functionality of your website. If you decide on a theme that isn’t in active development, you’ll be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and site malfunctions.
When searching for a theme, look for reputable developers who provide constant updates for their products. It doesn't matter if the theme is old as long as it is updated on a regular basis.
It's a great relief to know that someone is there to help you regardless of what happens to your website. A great WP theme should include options like tutorials, FAQs, forums, installation guides, and human support.
In this regard, premium themes have an advantage over many free options because they offer dedicated assistance for WP issues.
One of the best things about WP is its flexibility and broad spectrum of personalisation options. A WP theme is fantastic for those who want a simple solution that doesn’t necessitate any coding experience. The above tips will help you choose the right template for your website.