Ranking the top 20 free WordPress themes

WordPress theme
1 Parallax One Coming from the ThemeIsle’s stable, Parallax One is counted amongst the most modern-age and top-rated responsive WordPress themes for the portals that need to stay abreast with the latest trends in the web development world. Not only are you able to offer the most optimum browsing experience to the visitors, you also make sure that your website enjoys a stunning appearance on all the devices and computers, regardless of their screen sizes.
Parallax One free WordPress theme has been created on a solid coding foundation and has a fairly well-validated and clean code. The theme’s Options panel facilitates easy modification of the website’s appearance to the Webmasters, without the need of any coding.
A smooth scrolling parallax effect which renders dynamically loading images with subtle animations (using lightweight technologies) serves as the standout feature of the Parallax One theme. It’s one-page design can be termed as incredibly lightweight and crafty to say the least. All in all, you get amazingly quick page loads with this theme.

Main features:
- An inbuilt latest news feature
- 100% responsive web design
- Easy integration of Google Maps allowing for an easy-to-use navigation guide
- Single page parallax design

2 Lightly Another free of cost WordPress theme that is widely used across the Internet, Lightly is a responsive WP theme offered by Fancy Themes. One look at it and you know how stylish and visually stimulating this theme is, despite being simple in its own unique way. All in all, it makes the task of WordPress site development a breeze.
It allows you to keep every bit of your content on the forefront, using minimalist layout, and helps you reach your visitors across multiple devices and platforms, thanks to its fully responsive grid.
This WordPress theme is optimized for maximum speed. In fact, a test carried out with GT Metrix showed a PageSpeed score of 88% for it. That’s brilliantly fast by any standards! The page load time for the theme was also very impressive at 1.4 seconds and 40 server requests.
Other than that, you can easily customize this theme and incorporate your own colors and logos. You are also offered a widgetized homepage with a fancy slider, regular updates and full localization support among various other benefits.

Main features:
- A related post section
- A premium level design
- 100% responsive
- A good number of social media buttons

3 Palmas This one’s another elegant, minimalist and simple WordPress theme offered by WPKube’s Dev Sharma. Anyone who has interacted with him knows how nice Dev is and the Palmas WP theme has his character imprinted in every bit of it.
Its layout is pretty clean, allowing you to focus on things that matter the most, which is your content. Preferred by a large majority of photographers, poets, creative agencies, writers, bloggers and other professionals who are heavily into content, Palmas has an excellent sidebar and head mast with a couple of useful widget areas that can hold all your social buttons, archives, related posts and more.
There is an interactive and beautiful post slider located at the top, apart from a cool post grid and a popular articles section as well. As expected, this WP theme is 100% responsive in nature. The single post template deserves all the praises and offers regular features that allow for fun blogging, including related post section, comment box and author bio. The user is allowed to add extra menus as well as call to actions (in the footer section).
In simple terms, the Palmas free WP theme is targeted at colorful creative professionals who appreciate a good amount of white space on their websites.

4 Meridian One This one’s a pretty stylish one-page WordPress business theme which can be easily made your own, all thanks to the way in which it intelligently uses `the WordPress Customizer.
Meridian One has a smooth scrolling one-page web design, apart from a sticky header that enables the visitors to easily slide down to whichever section they want to access on the page. An important unique aspect of this free WordPress theme is how it is completely powered by the WP Customizer. Thus it can be customized very easily, even if you have zero knowledge about the WP coding.
You can easily disable/enable or edit any section of your website’s homepage, right from within the real-time WP Customizer. It also offers a live review of every change you make to the website. Other than that, Meridian One WP theme offers all important sections required by any business. These include the different services, features, contact forms, Google Maps, team members, testimonials and more. All in all, you’re provided with 11 distinct homepage sections.
Despite being just a one-page WordPress theme, you’re are offered a highly stylish blog page too where you can share all the latest news regarding your business/organization.

Main features:
- A dedicated blog page
- An ultramodern one-page design featuring smooth scrolling and a sticky header
- Offers 11 prebuilt sections which can be disabled or enabled as per your requirement
- Allows you to edit each section of your website’s homepage, using the WordPress Customizer

5 Twenty Sixteen Well, you might be thinking what’s the point of including this WP theme on this list when we’re well past 2016! However, look closely and you’d be surprised by the many things you can pull off using this widely acclaimed free WordPress theme. To begin, Twenty Sixteen was created specifically choosing the mobile first approach, and therefore looks phenomenal regardless of the screen size and platform.
This WP theme provides a very solid foundation for creating any type of WordPress based website or blog, using its widget areas, color schemes and a good number of customization options that can be easily adjusted through Live Customizer. And because this WordPress theme was created by the WordPress team itself, you can be assured of regular updates, amazing support and the highest web standards.
The WordPress 4.5 ‘Coleman’ allows you to take a quick peek at your website across multiple devices; and every site created with Twenty Sixteen theme comes out to be an absolute beauty, easily adaptable to various screen sizes. You are even allowed to add your own customized logo to the theme, an improvement from the earlier WordPress versions.
In a nutshell, the Twenty Sixteen WordPress theme is easily customizable and can give you whatever look you want for your website, by clicking just a few mouse buttons.

6 Activello Counted amongst the most popular and top-rated free themes at the platform, Activello from Colorlib can be considered a minimal WP theme ideal for designers, bloggers, writers and other professionals belonging to the creative arena.
Its design is fairly straightforward and simple, proving to be very effective in keeping the distractions away. In addition, Activello is compatible with WooCommerce, implying that you can easily integrate and eStore into your website in no time at all!
Furthermore, this WP theme comes with a good number of customization options that allow you to create a website you always wanted. It’s fully responsive and SEO friendly attributes mean that you won’t even break a sweat while trying to get high rankings in the Google search engine. Your visitors will enjoy a pleasant experience on the portal, whether they are visiting it from their smart phone or a desktop computer.
Some of the other prominent features of Activello free WP theme include featured sliders, unlimited colors, effective support, theme documentation, impressive icons, theme documentation, WPML support and infinite scroll among many others.

7 eStore Why should anyone have to struggle while trying to sell his/her digital downloads or physical products on the Internet?! Using the eStore free WordPress theme, that’s been created specifically for Woo commerce, doing all that becomes child’s play for the users.
eStore WP theme makes organization of an e-commerce store an extremely easy task, all thanks to its unique custom widgets and premium features hardly available with any other theme of this kind.
eStore enjoys full compatibility with the YITH WooCommerce Wishlist and WooCommerce plug-ins, thus making the task of online selling extremely easy. In fact, you can set up and start running your online store within 24 hours flat!
ThemeGrill’s eStore offers many other features, for instance, multicolor categories, four footer widgets, multiple sidebars, custom CSS, Ajax technology and a 728 x 90 header ad space among many others. A quick look at it on the WordPress website would tell you that it enjoys an impressive average rating of 5.0 and has more than 7000 active installs.

8 Sauron Averaging in the range of 600 downloads per alternate day, Sauron is a comparatively intriguing and new-age multipurpose WordPress theme offered by WebDorado. Considering the fact that it’s a free of cost WP theme, Sauron has a good number of features included in it. While the title Sauron might conjure up images of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series in many people, stay with us for a minute and you’d know what this theme is exactly about.
While using Sauron, you can be assured of easily customizable features, for instance, social sharing, layout editor, Front Page builder, full width posts grid and lightbox slideshows (full screen). It’s a SEO friendly WordPress theme that effectively uses the parallax technology, sticky menus and one-page scroll feature to deliver a delightful experience to the website visitors.
In addition, the theme is compatible with all the top-rated WordPress plug-ins, for instance, Photo Gallery, BuddyPress, Contact Form 7, bbPress, Jetpack, WPML and couple of excellent e-commerce plug-ins.
You get 100% responsiveness on all the devices and platforms, apart from a flat and retina-ready design. It’s just the right theme to depend on if you’re building a high-end photography, corporate, portfolio, commercial, health or some other type of website.

9 Education Hub Everyone knows that education is a fairly lucrative industry no matter what time and age it may be. The last estimated worth of this industry was an overwhelming $ 1.3 trillion. That’s an incredibly good amount of gravy if you ask anyone! However, the goodies don’t just end there! The most exciting part about the education industry is that anyone and everyone can get in on the action by creating his/her own informative and useful education portal.
However, setting up a complicated and informative education website is no child’s play and is a fairly expensive affair. And we aren’t even talking about the selling courses yet.
This is where the Education Hub free WordPress theme comes into the picture and makes this easy for the users. It’s an extremely feature rich WordPress theme offered by WEN Themes. At core Education Hub is a modern day and clean WordPress Theme ideal for universities, colleges, educational institutions and online courses.
Courtesy its wide range of features, Education Hub allows you to further customize the theme depending on your unique needs, whether they be commercial or personal in nature. Putting it another way, it’s a multipurpose theme that can be used any which way you like.
Some of the features that are shipped along with this theme include advanced theme options, featured sliders, custom header images, custom widgets, custom CSS, customizable layouts, responsive design and much more.

10 SuperMag If you’re someone who is contemplating launching an online magazine sometime soon, or are already running one, but wish to rebrand it for some reason, Supermag free WordPress theme developed and offered by Acme Themes can make this task a walk in the park for you! It’s a very powerful WordPress theme in every aspect, providing developers the required layouts and tools needed for creation of a professional magazine in a matter of few minutes!
One quick look at its screenshot would tell you which section belongs to which category. There is an intricate news ticker situated at the top of the page and an easily customizable menu right below the logo. Other than these you have featured content boxes, an intuitive slider, ad areas and much more packed inside one single theme which is fully responsive, regardless of the platform and device you access it on.
Some of the other prominent features of Supermag free WordPress theme include unlimited colors, Google fonts, social media integration, breadcrumbs, advanced level widgets and more.

11 OnePress Well, no one would have thought that one-page WordPress themes would have made it to our Top 20 WP Themes ranking! Well, the whole idea is if something is good enough, it should definitely be here in our rankings!
OnePress is an amazing and highly creative free WordPress theme, that as evident from its name, has just one page, and is ideal for small businesses, digital agencies, portfolio websites and freelancers in general. The theme offers you every single tool you require to create an exceptionally sleek website within few minutes.
Courtesy its inbuilt theme customizer, it allows you to change any pertinent details of your website, at any point of time, without any hassles. All you need to do is point and click and you’re done!
One-pagers are widely known for their extensive use of the parallax effect, however, OnePress WP theme uses this technology in a manner that it benefits the website to the maximum level. The developers of this free WordPress theme have perfected the parallax effect to the extent that they have created a very smooth and unobtrusive experience for the visitor, which works equally well across different devices, especially because the theme is 100% responsive in nature.
Some of the other prominent features of this WP theme are a SEO ready code, excellent page speeds, full localization, exceptional customer support, CSS3 and HTML 5. Although the free version of this theme gets the job done with aplomb, you can even opt for the Pro version that comes with many more goodies.

12 Olsen Light In most instances, if not all, all you require to score loyal readers is simple and easy to navigate website design. Frankly, a clean web design brings out the relevance of the content beautifully, enabling the website to separate itself from the crowd. That is exactly what Olsen light, a top-ranked free WordPress theme developed by Anastis Sourgoutsidis does for you. In fact, it’s one of the most regularly picked WP theme and a popular hero at the CSSIgniter portal.
Although the Olsen Light free WP theme was released on December 28, 2015, it’s considered a relatively new-age blogging theme which has gained a good amount of traction over a period of time. A quick look at its’ statistics reveals that it had well over 8K installs within three months of its release.
However, what is it that makes this theme the most preferred one by the website owners everywhere?
To begin, it has a clean responsive web design which makes sure that all the visitors enjoy their time on the website, regardless of the device or computer they may be using. There are a good number of custom widgets (more than normally needed by the web developers) capable of supercharging your website with Flickr, pop-ups, content snippets, social networking widgets and much more.
This free WordPress theme comes equipped with a flexible customizer that has a wide range of options. In addition, Olsen Light WP theme is SEO-optimized, and considering the fact that it features an effective Instagram slider, you can expect your cool pics to go viral in no time! It’s the ideal theme for fashion, beauty and other types of bloggers. Please also note that you get continuous updates and excellent customer support if you choose to download and use this theme.

13 Comicpress An ideal WordPress theme for comic enthusiasts, Comicpress not only allows you to regularly publish your comic related posts and articles, but also offers the right platform to publish your comics on the Internet. Unlike the other vast majority of commercial WP themes, this one is entirely dedicated to one single task, that is publishing of online comics.
Available both as a free and premium WP comic publishing theme, comic press is already in use by a good number of popular web comic publications including Nuklear Power, Dr. McNinja, Octopus Pie, Foxtrot, Starship and Player vs Player. You can visit the official websites of these online comics and see this free WP theme in action!

Following are some of the popular features of the Comicpress WP theme:
- 5 different page layouts including standard, graphic novel, three-column, vertical three column and vertical
- Easily customizable sidebars through comic-specific widgets
- A very easily styled and clean web comic theme
- Excellent customer support
- The visitor can read an easily browse-able comic as he/she would get comprehensive navigation features like previous page, first page, last page and next page. The navigation can be done chapter wise too
- Comic transcription and inbuilt search features
- Allows for infinite hierarchy storylines (using the ComicPress Manager plug-in) thus making the comics even more interesting. As a result, comics can be categorized based on volumes and chapters, to any depth

14 Emmet An efficient WordPress theme worth its name normally has the potential to inspire a developer to push his/her abilities and create something exceptional! There is nothing better if that theme comes free of cost and challenges you to step out of the box, making your creative juices flow!
Although Emmet WordPress theme may not be very easy to customize, particularly for the beginners, once you start exploring it a bit, it can offer you design ideas that’ll blow your mind, even if you’re a seasoned graphic designer! Many web developers report having multiple lightbulb moments while using this WP theme!
Talking about its features and how they stack up against similar WP themes, the first thing worth mentioning is that it’s fully responsive in nature. It comes with a front page customizer as well which allows you to easily alter the required sections on the front page.
The visual page builder allows you to easily drag and drop different elements into their place, without the need of any coding knowledge. You also get unlimited colors and a good number of blog layouts, that give you a wide range of options to choose from.
Emmet has full compatibility with WooCommerce, bbPress and BuddyPress. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it enjoys an impressive rating of 5.0 and has more than 1K active installs already.

15 WP Premium Developed and offered by Templatic, this WP Premium WordPress theme is the kind that doesn’t try too hard to impress the web developer community. Please don’t get confused by the ‘Premium’ in its name as it is 100% free of cost. The premium in its name is only a reflection of the features it offers and what all you can do with it.
Based on the Foundation framework, the WP Premium theme can withstand anything that’s thrown at it, whether it is a travel portal, a personal journal, a detailed corporate blog or anything else. To begin, the homepage is a clear reflection that the theme uses the content-first approach when it comes to popping up the posts. There are extra widget areas that allow you to shape the website any which way you want. On top of that, you’re allowed to use even more widget areas in the other theme areas.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the WP Premium is a fully responsive theme and works with all the popular WordPress plug-ins including contact forms, SEO plug-ins, WPML and much more. Some of the other well-known features of this free WP theme include multiple page templates, embedded videos, custom CSS editor, share buttons and more.

16 Leaf Developed by a reputed theme creator in the WordPress industry, Leaf is your go-to free WP theme if you’re looking for a magazine style appearance for your website. This theme allows you to display large amounts of content in a well-laid-out manner, making it easy for your readers and visitors to go through your work.
The design is very clean and light, enabling the content to be displayed in a very elegant manner. As the theme is customizable and flexible in nature, with a good number of features, you can easily set up your website with this theme in a matter of few minutes. On the whole, it’s ideal for online news portals, magazine style blogs and for anyone seeking a simple appearance for his/her web presence.

Some of the other noticeable features of this theme include:
- A fully responsive design which works well on small screens (of the mobile devices) as well as wide desktops
- Customized menus that exactly fit your requirements without making any compromises on the design and functionality aspect
- Super fresh menu effects that allow you to make the most of the drop-down menus, without any coding knowledge
- SEO optimized, thus helping your website come up in the search engine rankings
- Child theme compatibility makes sure that the theme inherits all the functionalities and properties of the parent WP theme
- Google fonts to incorporate all the new age and exciting web fonts on your website
- Custom backgrounds to help you add, create and/or edit attractive fresh backgrounds for your portal
- RTL language support to help you extend your website’s reach to a global audience
- and many more

17 Elegant Talk to any seasoned blogger and he/she would have used Elegant theme at some point of time during his/her blogging journey. Using this free WordPress theme is quite like owning a premium one, as apart from the various premium level features, it is very easy to setup and customize. The theme is developed and supplied by the impressive experts at WPExplorer.
Anyone who isn’t familiar with WPExplorer should know that they are the same guys who are behind the well-known Total Multipurpose WordPress theme, which is one of the most frequently downloaded themes at ThemeForest.
This theme proves to be the ideal free WP theme for small businesses, developers and freelance professionals. You get inbuilt custom post types and hence adding different homepage features, staff pages and portfolio pages becomes as simple as point-and-click affair. Addition of slides to the website is also as simple as A, B, C!
The WordPress theme customizer allows you to easily change the home page selection, backgrounds, logos and footer text. In addition, as the theme allows you to use custom CSS3 without any hassles, sky is the limit when it comes to what you can accomplish with this theme. You can even check out their premium version if you’re on the lookout for more advanced level features.

18 Sparkling A quick look at the Sparkling WordPress theme would tell you that Colorlib, its creators mean business when it comes to the development of WordPress themes. Having a very clean and crisp appearance, it won’t ask you to clank away at your laptop/desktop for number of endless hours to create a professional website. It makes website creation a fairly easy process, allowing your content to be noticed effectively.
The Sparkling WordPress theme has some highly interesting features that deserve a special mention. These include, but are not limited to, responsive web design, full screen slider, amazing customer support, advanced level theme options, SEO friendly code, neat and flat design (Bootstrap 3 based), infinite scroll and amazing widgets.
The Sparkling WP theme works very well with majority of premium as well as free WP plug-ins like Yoast SEO, Gravity Forms, W3 Total Cache and others. It’s extremely easy to customize and hence once you start working with it, you’d automatically come across various possibilities of creating awesome designs.

19 Jane Morris This one comes from TemplateMonster and is a fully responsive and free WP theme for photographers. It effectively leverages big imagery and boasts of a minimalist and clean design, capable of delivering stunning and artistic images to the website’s visitors.
Jane Morris comes equipped with all that you could possibly require for creation of a captivating and attractive portfolio for your photography profession, or any other occupation that involves plenty of images.
The theme is based on the Cherry Framework. You get a wide range of customization options, much desired by the Webmasters who like spicing up their designs with bold typography and loud colors. As it’s a fairly image intensive WP theme, you get to see lazy image loading effects which optimize the browsing experience of the visitor.
Furthermore, apart from all these excellent features, Jane Morris WP theme comes with pre-installed translation capabilities, allowing the photographers or similar businesses to reach global audience with ease. Add to that the parallax scrolling feature and this WP theme emerges as one of a kind that works as an impressive free alternative to the premium photography WP themes.

Main features:
- Portfolio style layout
- Parallax scrolling
- 100% responsive web design
- Lazy loading functionality

20 Dyad Automattic, the developers of Dyad WP theme deserve lots of applause for a job done exceedingly well. This WP theme is what sci-fi movies and fairytales are made up of! Considering and despite the fact that it comes free, it enjoys a diehard following in the web development community throughout the world.
A quick look at this feature would reveal that it effectively combines two very important elements, which explains its name Dyad. The text and images are very well coupled for the creation of visually appealing and engaging homepages.
Apart from that, it comes pre-equipped with some nifty layouts and features that highlight the astute design work put in by the Automattic team. It boasts of some very attractive features like custom menus, customizable widget areas, social media integration, featured images and more. Some of its other offerings include a sticky posts, RTL language support, responsive design, custom logos, unlimited colors and infinite scroll.



Picking the best free WordPress themes is quite like picking the right WordPress host for your website. It’s important to take enough time and consider each one of your requirements before coming to any decision. But the wide range of free WordPress themes available in the market, both from the third party websites as well as the WordPress theme directory, can make the task extremely difficult. One quick look at the official WordPress theme repository would reveal that there are thousands of so-called best free responsive WordPress themes as well as regular kinds to choose from. These free templates are submitted by developers from all parts of the world.

Furthermore, WordPress is continuously improving and becoming more and more user-friendly with each passing month. That’s also the reason that the WP content management system has successfully evolved into becoming the best in its category, coming out of shadows of being just a simple blogging platform. The modern day WordPress offers you amazing capabilities, unlimited resources and extreme ease of usage. On top of all that, you get to use a great multitude of free resources including free WP support, plug-ins, themes and more. Hence, creating a WordPress website today is no longer a difficult puzzle. All you need to do is pick a free WP theme, play around with it a bit and make your website ready for the visitors!

Although we can’t offer you every single WordPress theme available out there, we have carried out thorough research and highlighted some of the best free WordPress themes from different sources on the Internet. The WordPress themes detailed in our top 20 list offer a great amount of functionality as well as variety. You’d be able to find a WordPress theme for almost any niche, including the popular ones such as photography, business, news, blogging and e-commerce.

Things you should look for in an ideal WordPress theme

In simple terms, a WordPress theme is nothing but a collection of files which control the manner in which your website’s content is displayed. In the absence of a good WordPress theme, your website would be no better than a skeleton. Although it would have the primary components of a website, for instance, all the features and content, it won’t have any skin to show how it appears.

WordPress themes can be very different depending on the purposes and niches they are used for. While there are a good number of free WordPress themes available on the Internet, some are premium, which can be purchased by paying a certain sum of money. The latter offer a few more advanced features that may be necessary for specific websites. As also highlighted earlier, selecting the right WordPress theme can be a very overwhelming task.

Following are the things you must look for in an ideal WordPress theme:

See the ratings and user reviews – The reviews left by present and past users of the theme would offer you a good insight into the theme, including its pros and cons. Although you shouldn’t blindly follow every single review, they’d give you a fair idea about what you can expect from the theme.

Primary features and functionality – It’s very important to pay heed to the primary features and functionality of your website while looking for the ideal WordPress theme. For example, it’s very important for an e-commerce portal to have shopping cart and payment gateway integration. On the other hand, a business theme cannot do without an appealing landing page template.

Frequency of updates and developer support – It doesn’t take much time for WordPress themes to become obsolete in the absence of proper support. Therefore, you must ensure that the WordPress theme you’re planning to use receives frequent updates and enjoys regular developer support in the background. Ensuring this can go a long way in maintaining your website’s integrity.

Is a free WP theme any good?

People often wonder if using so-called best free themes for WordPress is good for the long-term success of their websites. After all, it’s a common saying that free stuff is often low quality, useless and so on. Although, there is some truth to this saying, the fact that free WordPress themes already power millions of successful websites on the Internet, cannot be ignored. As free WordPress themes are pretty basic, easy to use and simple, they make the perfect platform for every non-technical and regular Internet user.

The icing on the cake is that there are a good number of free WordPress themes that are actually at par with the premium ones in terms of their user experience, simplicity and beauty. To tell you the truth, premium WP themes can sometimes be too complicated for the regular WP users. Many of them are often overstuffed with features that aren’t used 95% of the times.

Following are some important points that justify the selection of best free WordPress themes for the modern day websites:

Low quality is only a myth – If you look closely you’ll see that there’s actually no such thing as a useless WordPress theme. This is because each and every WordPress theme needs to pass the latest and strict WordPress guidelines and standards, before being added to the WP repository. Any theme with a cluttered code and poor appearance may doesn’t stand any chance against the huge number of better WP themes out there.

It’s free! – The biggest pro of free WordPress themes is that you don’t need to pay a dime for them! They can help you get started with your website on a limited or zero budget. Even if not for that, using free WordPress themes can save you a lot of money, which can be used for other business purposes.

Freemiums are excellent – A good number of free WordPress themes actually fall in the category of freemiums – a mix of free and premium themes, implying a premium version of the free theme. You can upgrade to the theme’s premium version at any point of time if you require better support and more number of features. The freedom offered by such freemium themes is nothing short of amazing!

The theme providers are usually reliable – In most cases, the development companies offering these free WordPress themes are actually million-dollar organizations that are dedicatedly focused on WP theme development. They have millions of happy users across the world and hence can be trusted about their offerings.