WordPress is one of the popular CMS (content management system) in the world. It is expected, that in 2020 about 35% of existing websites will be working on WordPress. This CMS is attractive for users not only due to its easiness; you do not need any programming skills and you can find good templates and themes. Due to this a young business that enters a network can create a website with good design and usability at low cost and find the first customers.
Types of templates and websites suitable for using these plugins
All WordPress templates can be divided into 2 categories:
Both types of themes are thoroughly analyzed before adding to wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Fee-based themes have more extended functionality. There are many templates, thousands of them.
Also, themes can be classified by:
- type of layout – in form of a grid (1-4 columns) with wide units and different menu arrangement;
- functionality – a user-defined background, color set, user-defined logo, widgets in the lower part of the page, menu settings;
- target audience – developers choose the templates depending on their needs. E.g., an online store theme is different than the one for the blog.
In general, there are no limitations to WordPress templates for websites. They can be used for quick creation of a blog, an online store, or a portfolio. Even the White House website has been designed on WordPress.
What is the difference between fee-based and free templates
The obvious difference is the price, but there are also other differences. Let us start with free themes – their main advantage is that they are free and are thoroughly tested before adding them to the WordPress database. But there are some drawbacks also:
- their functionality and flexibility is worse than fee-based ones have;
- they are not unique, popular templates are used by tens of websites so it is hard to distinguish on their background;
- support is not guaranteed. The developers answer the users’ questions on a forum, but there is no customized approach.
As for fee-based templates, they have more flexible settings and support. They are updated regularly, the competition in this segment is rather high so developers try to cater to their customers as much as possible.
The drawbacks of fee-based themes:
- possible incompatibility with some WordPress plugins;
- excessive functionality can throw a wobbly at the buyer. If s/he is inexperienced, the websites slow down due to wrong template settings.
As for the choice, it depends on your experience, website requirements, and budget. For checking out WordPress you can use free themes.
How to install a WordPress template from an official container
- find the “Appearance” menu on the control panel;
- select “Themes”;
- click “Add New”;
- after selecting the suitable theme press “Install” and don’t forget to enable the theme after installing.
If you have downloaded the template in an archive from an unofficial website, make the installation manually:
- the beginning is the same as in the first case;
- find the “Upload Theme” button in the theme section;
- choose the archive downloaded before;
- the installation is completed, just click the “Activate” button. If there is a preview, you can check out how does the website looks like with the new theme before its activation.
The template can be also installed with an FTP client. This is made as follows:
- connect to the hosting account via an FTP client;
- the folder from the downloaded archive with the template is stored in the wp-content-themes path;
- open the “Themes” section and enable the installed theme.
You can use any above-listed method.
50 best WordPress templates
All templated listed below are free. They can be loaded on the official WordPress website.
Twenty Twenty is a template for blogs, but it can be used for creating company websites. The element contrast is provided automatically when the color set is selected; the colors of separate elements are corrected automatically. The material is given in one column in the middle.
By the middle of December 2019 on average, this template was downloaded 1300 per day. After this, the template popularity has increased to 6000+ downloads.
Twenty Nineteen is a theme created for 2019. Every unit is configured, the material is placed in 1 column. It is suitable both for blogs, business, and non-commercial online resources.
The popularity of the Twenty Nineteen theme fell in 2019. At the rise of January 2020, it was loaded 3000 times per day.
Twenty Seventeen themes are intended for business websites. Videos can be placed in the upper part of the page. It contains some tabs, has elaborate navigation and the widgets are located properly. The information is given in 2 columns.
At the rise of 2020 the template was loaded 3300 times a day.
Astra has been developed for creating blogs, portfolios, business websites and WooCommerce landing pages. The theme was created considering SEO; also Astra is compatible with popular page designers. There is a possibility to extend the functionality of the free Astra by purchasing the premium extensions.
At the rise of 2020, this template became more popular and now it is downloaded about 5000 times a day.
Hello Elementor is a very simple template used for creating blogs and portfolios. It can’t be used for business websites due to too simple design. The theme is adapted for working with the Elementor page designer. The color set and menu can be configured.
At the rise of 2020 on average, Hello Elementor was downloaded 2400 times.
The OceanWP theme is universal and does not have strict requirements towards application. It is suitable both for blogs, portfolios, and online stores. OceanWP is adapted for working with the most popular page designers. Also, SEO requirements were considered when creating it. If you have programming skills, you can extend the OceanWP functionality as the developers have added the feature of code extension.
On average, the theme is downloaded 2750 times a day.
Twenty Sixteen template is intended for blogs and non-commercial online resources. The content is divided into 2 columns, first of all, the configurable menu is placed into the right. Developers have added the feature of configuring the color set, such a page can be also adapted for mobile devices of any type.
The average download rate – 3340 times per day.
Colibri WP is suitable for creating portfolios and company websites. The theme is supplied with the design of the main page, 5 different headers, and 35 units. Also, it can be customized, “drag and drop” is supported, i.e you can simply drag the unit to the required arrangement and the setup will be completed. It is well suitable for mobile devices.
On average, the template is downloaded about 680 per day.
Neve is a theme with unlimited applications. It can be used for creating blogs, portfolios, company websites, and a full-scale online store. Neve has been created considering SEO requirements, it has a high loading speed and can be easily adapted for all types of devices with different CRT size. The developer guarantees smooth work with popular page designers (such as Gutenberg, Elementor, Beavy Builder, etc).
On average, the template is downloaded 1330 per day.
The Twenty Fifteen theme was designed in 2015. It is recommended to use it for blogs. Special attention was paid to fonts, they have been matched rather well, are readable on any devices. The background, headers, and color set can be customized. The information is divided into 2 columns, the menu is located in the left part.
It is not a new theme, but it is downloaded about 3200 times per day.
Hestia is another universal solution. It is suitable for portfolios, blogs, art studios, and small businesses. It is a one-pager, widgets are located in the lower half, 2 columns and wide units. Hestia is SEO-optimized and suitable with Travel Map, Elementor, Photo Gallery, and Flat Parallax Slider plugins.
On average, it is downloaded more than 2000 times per day.
Lyrical is a very simple theme, there is a focus on the visual component. There are some configurable menu items and the fonts are well-matched. The template has a configurable color set.
On average, the theme is downloaded 230 times per day.
Shapely on WordPress is claimed to be one of the best free themes underlining its setup features. Due to this the template is suitable for small online resources, blogs, portfolios, e-commerce, small and medium businesses. It has SEO optimization, supports free and premium WordPress plugins. Websites with this theme can be easily adapted for mobile devices.
The average download rate is 800 times per day.
Uptown Style is a simple and elegant WordPress theme. It is suitable both for small business and non-commercial online resources. The header, background, color set, and menu can be configured and the content can be displayed in 3 columns.
The average download rate is 200 downloads per day.
Velux is a great template example with a clear design. It is oriented on blogs, non-commercial websites, and small businesses. So as in the case with the previous theme, you can configure the color set, headers, choose your images and configure the menu.
At the rise of 2020 Velux was downloaded about 200 times per day.
Storefront has been created by создавалась разработчиками ядра WooCommerce kernel developers, so it is perfectly suitable for business websites. It has pretty well setup features such as different widget arrangements, several page layouts out of the box, color, header, image, menu settings. The code can be easily extended and if needed, Storefront functionality can be extended individually.
On average, this WordPress theme is downloaded 1800 times per day.
Sydney is a WordPress template for business and freelancers. Sydney has plenty of settings, the required color set can be configured, a required font and a logo can be uploaded (important for business). Also, this template has convenient navigation.
On average, the theme is downloaded about 1040 per day; at the rise of January 2020, this rate was 3000+ downloads.
Generate Press can be used for creating blogs, e-commerce, non-commercial online resources. The free version of this WordPress template allows changing the widget arrangement, includes some variants of side panels and the color set settings. It is compatible with official WordPress plugins and smooth work with page designers is guaranteed. besides the free version, there is also a premium version of the theme with extended functionality.
On average, the download rate is about 1800 times per day.
The free Zakra theme is suitable for creating blogs, portfolios, online stores, niche projects. Besides the templates, developers offer 10 free examples that can be used as a baseline when developing a design. The theme was SEO-optimized, is compatible with page designers and WordPress plugins.
On average, this template is downloaded 850 times per day.
Twenty Fourteen theme has been developed in 2014 but is still popular. Using this template a website with an online magazine design can be created. It is suitable for non-commercial informational online resources. Widgets, menu, colors, way of presenting information can be configured (number of columns).
On average, this WordPress theme is downloaded about 2375 times per day.
Ascension is a business-oriented free WordPress theme. It is also suitable for non-commercial niche websites. Everything can be configured – from the color of the main elements and to the headers, menu, and widget arrangement. The design allows leaving comments.
The template is downloaded about 130 times per day.
Newsium is a news WordPress template. It is perfectly suitable for blogs, information websites, and business projects. The background, headers, arrangement of the main units, and colors can be configured. On the website, the developer gives examples of the design involving this free theme.
According to the statistics, on average, this template is downloaded 620 times per day.
The Varuna template is designed in the retro style. Bright colors are used and the design resembles old websites from the mid-2000s. Varuna can be applied for non-commercial e-commerce projects, online stores. The main thing is that the specific design should be relevant. The background and header style can be configured, there are several navigation types. The basis Varuna version is free, but there is a premium variant involving the fee-based Varuna plugin.
On average, this theme is downloaded 40 times per day.
Futurio is an easy and convenient free theme. Futurio is universal as it can be used for creating landings, blogs, information resources, or e-commerce websites. It is compatible with most free and premium plugins so as with popular page designers. Another useful option: the developer offers to download the examples of using the template from its website and import them with 1 click.
Average download rate – 400 times per day.
Highlight is perfectly suitable for restaurant, entertainment, art studio website. If compared with other themes, it is very flexible and simple. “Drag & drop” settings are available. You can just drag the unit to the right place and leave it there. You can also set up automatic video reproduction on a background, image slideshow, or use beautiful gradients. For making the process easier the theme designer offers 5 ready homepage layouts and 30 templates for other pages.
On average, this WordPress theme is downloaded 375 per day.
Twenty Twelve is a free theme designed in 2012 mainly for blogs and non-commercial projects. Its features include a ready homepage template, widget arrangement, several fonts, menu, image, and color set settings.
On average, this template is downloaded 1400 times per day.
Ashe is a free theme for all types of blogs, e-commerce and niche projects (cooking, photographer’s portfolio, traveling, lifestyles). It does not slow down the load speed, supports Instagram widget, and is compatible with page designers. This theme considers the SEO requirements of search algorithms.
This WordPress template is downloaded about 800 times per day.
Mesmerize is completely free, but this does not affect the theme functionality. Its main advantage is extreme settings flexibility as header types, main unit arrangement, and the menu can be configured, background video reproduction, slideshows, gradients can be added. The template is supplied with 5 variants of the homepage and 30 examples of the website tabs. For setting up it is enough to drag and drop the unit.
On average, the theme is downloaded 1000 times per day.
Twenty Eleven is intended for bloggers and non-commercial informational websites. The designers offer three layout variants, a separate widget for showing the most important bits of your materials (key points, quotations), 6 record designs. Also, the design color set so as material print and publication styles can be changed.
Every day the template is downloaded for 840 times.
Customify speaks volumes as the developers tried to make this WordPress template as flexible as possible. It can be used for making any website – from a niche one (e.g., for a church or a university hub) to an e-commerce resource. WYSIWYG Header & Footer page designer was developed especially for Customify. It is compatible with most WordPress plugins and popular page designers.
Average download rate – 600 times per day.
Free Orchid Store template is intended for e-commerce projects, but blogs can be also created using this template. It should be noted that Orchid Store is based on the WordPress WooCommerce plugin. The widget arrangement can be configured, a logo can be added and the color set and main element arrangement can be configured. Also, developers offer Orchid Store designs.
This theme is downloaded about 440 times per day.
Escapade is a general theme. It is suitable for blogs, company websites, and niche online resources. This template has the following peculiarities: side navigation panel, configurable menu, headers, color, background.
On average, the Escapade theme is downloaded 240 times per day.
Popularis Hub is a fast free WordPress theme. it has a configurable background, logo, menu, and color design. Initially Popularis Hub was developed considering SEO. The template is suitable not only for blogs or non-commercial projects but also for e-commerce.
On average, Popularis Hub is downloaded 500 times per day.
ColorMag template has been developed mainly for the press (newspapers and magazines), but it can also be used for creating blogs, non-commercial, and e-commerce resources. ColorMag has the following peculiarities: configurable menu and post format, color set, headers, and a feature of using your images. The developer’s website contains examples of design using ColorMag.
The average download rate is about 1200 times per day.
The name of the Envo eCommerce WordPress template means the “commercial” sphere of this plugin. The theme was mainly created for e-commerce. It can be used for making websites (e.g., of an online store). Other variants of Envo eCommerce are suitable for creating blogs The theme is very simple and works quickly. This is critical for commercial projects.
On average, Envo eCommerce is downloaded 310 times per day.
OnePress is perfectly suitable for creating portfolios, company websites, and blogs. One press is suitable for WooCommerce so it is suitable for e-commerce. The menu and colors can be configured and their images can be used.
On average, this free template has been loaded 650 times per day.
Total is a WordPress theme that allows creating a full-scale website in a few clicks. There is no strict specialization. It is suitable both for e-commerce and non-commercial online resources. The template provides “About us”, “Portfolio”, “Team”, “Store”, “Blog” sections. You can import the developers’ demo and see how is the Total theme used for setting up. It is compatible with page designers and main plugins (both free and premium ones).
On average, the theme is downloaded 450 times per day.
Dosislite was designed as a WordPress theme for bloggers. Here you can use your background, images, add your logo, and set up the menu. The theme is ready for translation.
On average, Dosislite is downloaded 220 times per day.
Bam is another free WordPress theme for bloggers, developers underline the extended setup features. Different header layouts, extended color settings so as social media settings are available.
Bam is downloaded about 250 times per day.
Zefir Lite is a simple and free WordPress theme with a flat minimalist design. It is suitable for creating blogs, e-commerce, and portfolios. Besides the settings of all key elements of the website, parallax effect, compatibility with WooCommerce and other WordPress plugins should be noted.
In average, Zefir Lite is downloaded 570 times per day.
Rife Free belongs to the best WordPress themes for portfolio, e-commerce, and niche projects. Moreover, it is completely free. In total, 450 parameters can be configured and the template is supplied with 7 typography examples. Its peculiarities include Google font support, a photo and video slider, support of Schema.org, and common page designers.
Rife Free theme is downloaded 475 times per day.
NewShop eCommerce theme for WordPress allows creating a full-scale online store with a convenient catalog of goods, a blog, and other necessary sections. This theme is intended for e-commerce resources, it supports WooCommerce and other plugins by WordPress. The designer allows checking out 4 demo variants for checking out the methods of using the NewShop eCommerce template.
In average, the template is downloaded 260 times per day.
Mins is a very simple theme for WordPress. It is used for creating niche websites and portfolios. A design color set, background images, and headers can be configured.
On average, Mins is downloaded 90 times per day.
Twenty Ten is suitable for designing blogs, is very readable, and has simple settings. Widgets can be displayed either in the lower half or on the side of the page if there is a template with a disabled side panel. The color set, background, menu, and widgets can be configured. There are separate styles for the gallery and notes.
Twenty Ten is downloaded 750 times per day.
Twenty Thirteen is a theme for WordPress that is completely free. It is intended for creating blogs. If compared to others it has a bright color set, the combination of contrast colors is very attractive for the reader. It has good typography and header images.
In average, Twenty Thirteen is downloaded about 1700 times per day.
Stout theme is used for creating non-commercial informational projects, company resources, portfolios, and freelancers. It contains configurable headers, menu, background images, and sticky post function.
On average, the Stout WordPress template is downloaded 75 times per day.
Azuma is a free theme for WordPress. It is intended for creating e-commerce resources. Azuma allows creating full-scale online stores and filtering goods by category and adding the items to the cart. Colors and images can be configured, videos can be added, the range of products is updated automatically. The template supports WooCommerce and WordPress.
It is downloaded 250 times per day.
EmpowerWP is suitable for business (entertainment industry, niche projects, and small companies). Although this template for WordPress is free, it still has flexible settings. Menu and colors can be changed, there are a background video reproduction and slideshow functions. As an example, the developers give 5 examples of the main page and 30 variants of page section design.
EmpowerWP theme is downloaded 200 times per day.
FreeNews is a theme for creating a blog, informational website (magazine, newspaper, or other outlets), online resources devoted to different reviews. The block position, color, used images, menu, widget arrangement can be configured. Smooth work is guaranteed for all browsers and mobile devices.
This free theme is downloaded 175 times per day.
Building Construction Architecture
The Building Construction Architecture theme is used for creating company resources in the sphere of construction and architecture. But this free template is also suitable for creating educational resources, furniture companies and other organizations operating in the sphere of building and architecture. The theme is based on the Bootstrap framework. It is SEO-optimized and compatible with popular page designers. The settings are also very flexible.
The template is loaded 130 times per day.
Free WordPress templates is a real catch for small companies. The budget does not always allow spending much on developing a resource and without proper design and good usability, it is difficult to find the first customers in the network. Free themes allow solving this problem as you don’t need to search for a freelancer, but set up the main sections yourself and minimize the costs for entering the network.
The fact that the themes are free does not affect their efficiency or convenience. So if you are still starting an online business or just wish to develop an online resource, please pay attention to them.