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Top 40+ Best Free WordPress Themes 2018 – Based On User Reviews And Popularity!

You want a great WordPress theme but you don’t want to pay, huh? With other platforms, that would be nigh-on impossible. But, thanks to the generosity of WordPress developers, you can actually find a ton of great free WordPress themes.

To go along with our post on the best free WordPress plugins, we’ve collected 40-plus of the best free WordPress themes for your viewing pleasure.

You may be wondering what makes a theme one of the ‘best’ free WordPress themes? That’s the tough part about writing a post such as this — design is subjective, so it’s hard to come up with an objective way of defining something as the best.

I’m going to try to mitigate that by bringing in social proof from WordPress.org’s active install numbers and ratings. That way, you’ll know it’s not just me who thinks a theme is the best — it’s thousands of other people as well!

40-Plus Best Free WordPress Themes for 2018

1. Astra

Active Installs: 80,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

astra

Astra is a massively popular multipurpose theme that has a focus on performance. With less than a 50KB file size, it’s incredibly lightweight — but it still packs tons of features, and lets you customize your site with the native WordPress Customizer. The coolest thing is the free companion plugin, which lets you easily import sites built with Elementor or Beaver Builder.

Demo | Download

2. Hestia

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

hestia

Hestia is a free material design WordPress theme that can be used for a wide variety of niches. It’s based on the WordPress Customizer, which means easy customizations, and you can also find a bunch of different free Hestia child themes that make it easy to switch up the theme’s looks.

Demo | Download

3. OceanWP

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

oceanwp

OceanWP is another lightweight, flexible multipurpose theme, which you can make to look like… Pretty much anything. Because it integrates so well, most people choose to pair OceanWP with a page builder, and, like Astra, it also allows you to import free prebuilt demo sites to quickly get started.

Demo | Download

4. GeneratePress

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

generatepress

GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading free WordPress themes I’ve ever used. I switched to it on my portfolio site, and it instantly cut my page load times by ~40%.

But it’s not just about speed — it’s also incredibly flexible, and its multipurpose approach means you can use it for pretty much any type of WordPress site. That is, the demo above is by no means the limit of what you can do with GeneratePress.

Demos | Download

5. Sydney

Active Installs: 200,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

sydney

Sydney is a massively popular free WordPress business theme that’s a great option for both businesses and freelancers alike. Its built-in content blocks mean you can easily customize your homepage design — even if you don’t know any code.

Demo | Download

6. Storefront

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

storefront

An official theme from Automattic, Storefront is one of the best free WooCommerce themes you’ll find. Because it comes from the same team that actually develops the WooCommerce plugin, you can be sure it follows best practices — and it’s also easy to customize and extend as needed.

Demo | Download

7. Writee

Active Installs: 30,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

writee

Writee is a great free blogging theme that’s an especially good fit for anyone writing about food or travel (although you can use it for other topics as well). It also includes built-in related posts and social share button functionality, which eliminate the need for some external plugins.

Demo | Download

8. Mesmerize

Active Installs: 30,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

mesmerize

Mesmerize is a gorgeous multipurpose theme that helps you to build your website using live editing in the WordPress Customizer. The design quality of this one is really impressive, so it’s easy to see why it’s so highly rated.

Demo | Download

9. Zerif Lite

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

zerif lite

Zerif Lite is a popular free one-page WordPress theme that makes a great option for freelancers, agencies and other businesses. Built on Bootstrap, it offers easy customization via the WordPress Customizer and a neat parallax effect.

Demo | Download

10. Kale

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

kale

Kale is a free WordPress theme that’s great for food, travel, fashion or lifestyle blogs. It features a minimalist design with a heavy focus on imagery, as well as lots of little customization options.

Demo | Download

11. One Page Express

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

onepage

As you can probably guess from the name, One Page Express is a free one-page WordPress theme that helps you to build your page using simple drag and drop. You can choose from lots of content sections to create your homepage, including video backgrounds, slideshows and plenty more.

Demo | Download

11. Ashe

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

ashe

Ashe is a great free theme for lifestyle or fashion bloggers, as well as other related niches. It has a clean look with lots of spots to highlight your images and featured content, and it also makes it easy to bring in your Instagram content.

Demo | Download

12. ColorMag

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

colormag

ColorMag is a popular free magazine WordPress theme from ThemeGrill. It features a neat multisize grid layout, and also includes prebuilt sections to house AdSense or banner ads. As a result, it’s a great option for any type of publishing site.

Demo | Download

13. ShopIsle

Active Installs: 40,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

shopisle

ShopIsle is another popular free WooCommerce theme. It has a clean look, and the native WooCommerce product filter widgets look wonderful. If you need to build a WooCommerce store on a budget, this is a good starter.

Demo | Download

14. Total

Active Installs: 60,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

total

Total is a free multipurpose theme that includes a detailed homepage, complete with parallax scrolling effect. It’s also WooCommerce-ready, and works great with page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder.

Demo | Download

15. NewsMag

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

newsmag

NewsMag is another stellar free WordPress magazine theme that makes a great option for publishers. Like ColorMag, it includes built-in slots for banner or AdSense ads, and it also offers four different blog page styles for you to choose from.

Demo | Download

16. Spacious

Active Installs: 70,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

spacious

Spacious is a free responsive WordPress theme from ThemeGrill — the same makers of the popular ColorMag theme. It’s well-suited to creating a business or portfolio site, and includes a variety of layouts and templates.

Demo | Download

17. Vantage

Active Installs: 70,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

vantage

Vantage is a free multipurpose theme from SiteOrigin, the developers behind the massively popular SiteOrigin Page Builder plugin. As you’d expect, it integrates well with the page builder, and it’s also WooCommerce-ready and integrated with Smart Slider 3.

Demo | Download

18. Customizr

Active Installs: 100,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

customizr

Customizr is a flexible, lightweight theme from Nicolas Guillaume, of Press Customizr. It offers nice parallax scrolling, and is easy to customize via the live WordPress Customizer (hence the name!).

Demo | Download

19. Primer

Active Installs: 30,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

primer

Primer is a free multipurpose theme from GoDaddy (yes, that GoDaddy — they make themes now). There was some controversy when this theme was released, but it’s quickly grown in popularity, and it makes for a great base theme. GoDaddy have also released some free child themes to offer a different look.

Demo | Download

20. Hemingway

Active Installs: 30,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

hemingway

True to the name, Hemingway is a free theme that’s especially popular with bloggers and writers. It offers a clean design that really puts the focus right on your words.

Demo | Download

21. Checathlon

Active Installs: 500-plus | Rating: 5 stars

checathlon

Checathlon isn’t very popular at WordPress.org, but I’m overruling the crowd because I love all of Sami Keijonen’s themes, and this one deserves more attention. It has clean code and makes for a great business website. It also integrates well with Easy Digital Downloads, should you want to sell digital products.

Demo | Download

22. Lightning

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

lightning nagoya

Lightning is a free Bootstrap-based WordPress theme that’s great for any type of site. One neat thing is that it’s designed to work well with custom post types and taxonomies, which makes it a good option if you’re planning to use non-standard post types.

Demo | Download

23. Olsen Light

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

olsen light

Olsen light is a free blogging theme that works especially well for fashion and lifestyle bloggers. It includes built-in social sharing icons, as well as custom widgets and a dedicated Instagram integration.

Demo | Download

24. Make

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 4-stars

make

Make is a free theme from The Theme Foundry that comes bundled with its own lightweight page builder. When I first created my writing portfolio, it was with Make, so this theme has a special place in my heart. Easy to customize and control, it’s still a great option for creating any type of WordPress site.

Demo (this site is built with Make) | Download

25. Hitchcock

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

hitchcock

Hitchcock is a free portfolio theme for designers, photographers, and other visual creatives. The homepage features a great-looking image grid to showcase work, and the bold full-screen background adds a nice effect. Also, if users hover over an image in the grid, they’ll see the title and meta information.

Demo | Download

26. Travelify

Active Installs: 20,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

travelify

Travelify is a free travel blogger theme from the Colorlib family. The top features a bold post-slider, and all of the individual blog posts also have large featured images to help you to showcase your travel photography.

Demo | Download

27. Nikkon

Active Installs: 7,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

nikkon

Nikkon is a multipurpose creative theme that features a neat masonry grid on the homepage. If you want to switch things up, it also includes multiple page layouts, as well as different footer layouts.

Demo | Download

28. AccessPress Parallax

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

accesspress parallax

As you’d expect, AccessPress Parallax’s defining feature is the built-in one-page parallax design. Beyond this, it also features a variety of sections for services, team members, portfolios, testimonials and more.

Demo | Download

29. Edge

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

edge

Edge is a free WordPress blogging theme from Theme Freesia. It features a clean design, and uses the native WordPress Customizer for easy code-free changes. Like some of the other themes, you can also find free Edge child themes that offer a different look. For example, the Alternative child theme.

Demo | Download

30. Vertex

Active Installs: 7,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

vertex

Vertex is a responsive creative theme that makes great use of white space in its minimal look. It also offers a unique header, which sits as a vertical menu in the full-width hero image.

Demo | Download

31. Baskerville

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

baskerville

Baskerville is a free retina-ready masonry theme that’s great for sharing all different types of media — from quotes and images to full posts. It’s lightweight, minimal and, thanks to the masonry layout, great for displaying lots of content.

Demo | Download

32. Ultra

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

ultra

If you want something clean and lightweight for a business or portfolio website, Ultra is a solid option. It uses the free SiteOrigin Page Builder for easy layout control, as well as Smart Slider for sliders.

Demo | Download

33. xMag

Active Installs: 6,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

xmag

A free WordPress magazine theme, xMag offers a simple design for blogs or news websites. It includes built-in social follow icons, as well as eye-catching styling for each post’s category.

Demo | Download

34. Flat

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

flat

Flat is a free blog theme that offers a vertical navigation menu on the left side of your screen. This approach really puts the focus on your blog’s text, which is great if you’re writing lengthy posts.

Demo | Download

35. Fukasawa

Active Installs: 10,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

fukasawa

Anders Norén has already made a few appearances on this list with the Hemingway, Hitchcock, and Baskerville themes, and Fukasawa is another of his popular free themes. It features a minimalist masonry grid that makes it a great option for photographers or other visual artists.

You can also embed galleries directly into the masonry grid, which is a neat effect.

Demo | Download

36. Himalayas

Active Installs: 8,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

himalayas

Himalayas is a free one-page parallax theme that’s a great option for businesses, portfolios and even travel blogs. The one-page design features a variety of sections for you to control, and the blog layout has a big featured image that’s perfect for travel photos.

Demo | Download

37. Modern

Active Installs: 3,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

modern

Modern is a free portfolio theme that’s accessibility-ready and built for readability. It gives you a bold full-width slider up top, with a filterable portfolio below to show off the different areas of your work.

Demo | Download

38. Flexia

Active Installs: 1,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

flexia

Flexia is a relatively new offering (at the time of writing), but it’s got a great modern design and comes with lots of customization options in the WordPress Customizer. All in all, the styling of this one is great, and it’s also WooCommerce-ready should you want to make a store.

Demo | Download

39. Pixgraphy

Active Installs: 3,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

pixgraphy

Pixgraphy is a free photography WordPress theme that’s designed to help you to display or sell your images. The homepage features a great-looking masonry grid, and it’s also WooCommerce-ready should you want to integrate photography sales into your site.

Demo | Download

40. Hueman

Active Installs: 70,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

hueman

Hueman (not human) is a popular free magazine and blog theme that comes with a ton of customization options via its free companion plugin and the WordPress Customizer. It’s also got a nice colorful look that stands out from many other magazine themes.

Demo | Download

41. Virtue

Active Installs: 60,000-plus | Rating: 5 stars

virtue

Virtue is a free multipurpose offering from Kadence Themes. It has built-in schema.org microdata to help you to get rich snippets in Google, as well as a clean Bootstrap-based design and WooCommerce capability. It’s also packed with tons of customization options if you want to switch things up.

Demo | Download

42. Responsive

Active Installs: 70,000-plus | Rating: 4.5 stars

responsive

Responsive is designed to be a flexible framework that you can build on with a huge variety of page templates, widget areas, menu positions and other controls. It’s all grid-based, easy to customize, and — you guessed it — responsive.

Demo | Download

Used/using any of these themes? Any other top-notch free WordPress themes you’d like to recommend?

By Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing and WordPress. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.
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