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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+ of the best free WordPress themes for your viewing pleasure.

You might be wondering, what makes a theme one of the “best free WordPress themes”? That’s the tough part about writing a post like this – design is subjective, so it’s hard to come up with an objective way to define 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 that it’s not just me who thinks a theme is the “best” – it’s thousands of other people, as well!

40+ Best Free WordPress Themes For 2018:

1. Astra

Active Installs: 80,000+ | Rating: 5 stars

astra

Astra is a massively popular multipurpose theme with a focus on performance. At less than 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 that lets you easily import sites built with Elementor or Beaver Builder.

Demo |Download

2. Hestia

Active Installs: 100,000+ | 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 Hestia’s looks.

Demo |Download

3. OceanWP

Active Installs: 100,000+ | Rating: 5 stars

oceanwp

OceanWP is another lightweight, flexible multipurpose theme that you can make look like…pretty much anything. Most people choose to pair OceanWP with a page builder because it integrates so well with page builders. And like Astra, you can also import free pre-built demo sites to quickly get started.

Demo |Download

4. GeneratePress

Active Installs: 100,000+ | Rating: 5 stars

generatepress

GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading free WordPress themes that 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 that 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+ | Rating: 5 stars

sydney

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

Demo |Download

6. Storefront

Active Installs: 100,000+ | Rating: 4.5 stars

storefront

An official theme from Automattic, Storefront is one of the best free WooCommerce themes that 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+ | Rating: 5 stars

writee

Writee is a great free blogging theme. I think it especially fits anyone in the food or travel niches, though you can use it for other topics as well. It also includes built-in related posts and social share button functionality, which eliminates the need for some external plugins.

Demo |Download

8. Mesmerize

Active Installs: 30,000+ | Rating: 5 stars

mesmerize

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

Demo |Download

9. Zerif Lite

Active Installs: 100,000+ | 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+ | 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+ | 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 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+ | 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. It also makes it easy to bring in your Instagram content.

Demo |Download

12. ColorMag

Active Installs: 100,000+ | Rating: 5 stars

colormag

ColorMag is a popular free magazine WordPress theme from ThemeGrill. It features a neat multi-size grid layout and also includes pre-built 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+ | 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+ | 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 like Elementor or Beaver Builder.

Demo |Download

15. NewsMag

Active Installs: 20,000+ | 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 4 different blog page styles for you to choose from.

Demo |Download

16. Spacious

Active Installs: 70,000+ | 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 for creating a business or portfolio site and includes a variety of layouts and templates to help you build your site.

Demo |Download

17. Vantage

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

customizr

Customizr is a flexible lightweight theme from Nicolas Guillaume of Press Customizr. Customizr 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+ | 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 makes for a great base theme. GoDaddy has also released some free child themes to offer a different look.

Demo |Download

20. Hemingway

Active Installs: 30,000+ | 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+ | 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 if you want to sell digital products.

Demo |Download

22. Lightning

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

olsen light

Olsen light is a free blogging theme that fits especially well with 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+ | 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+ | 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 your work, and the bold full-screen background adds a nice effect. 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+ | Rating: 5-stars

travelify

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

Demo |Download

27. Nikkon

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

accesspress parallax

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

Demo |Download

29. Edge

Active Installs: 10,000+ | 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 help offer a different look. For example, the Alternative child theme.

Demo |Download

30. Vertex

Active Installs: 7,000+ | 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+ | 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 on all the way up to images and full posts. It’s lightweight, minimal, and great for displaying lots of content thanks to the masonry layout.

Demo |Download

32. Ultra

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

ultra

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

Demo |Download

33. xMag

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

xmag

xMag is a free WordPress magazine theme that 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+ | 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+ | Rating: 4.5-stars

fukasawa

Fukasawa is another popular free theme from Anders Norén, who’s already made a few appearances on this list with the Hemingway, Hitchcock, and Baskerville themes. It features a minimalist masonry grid which makes it a great option for photographers or other visual artists.

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

Demo |Download

36. Himalayas

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

himalayas

Himalayas is a free one-page parallax theme that makes a great option for businesses, portfolios, or 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+ | 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+ | Rating: 5-stars

flexia

Flexia is a relatively new offering (at the time this post was published), 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 if you want to use it to make a store.

Demo |Download

39. Pixgraphy

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

pixgraphy

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

Demo |Download

40. Hueman

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

virtue

Virtue is a free multipurpose offering from Kadence Themes. It has built-in schema.org microdata to help you 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+ | Rating: 4.5-stars

responsive

Responsive is built 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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