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The 15 Best Free WordPress Themes (2021)

The 15 Best Free WordPress Themes (2021)The 15 Best Free WordPress Themes (2021)

When you’re building or re-vamping your website, choosing a great free WordPress theme is crucial.

A website visitor takes just milliseconds to form an opinion of your site. Then, they decide to stay, giving you the opportunity to convince and convert. Or they click that back button and say goodbye.

That vital first impression is formed on the basis of visual input: your website design. No matter how amazing your content is, the first deciding factor is how you present it.

Fortunately, having a professional-looking website design is easier than ever. A multitude of WordPress themes is available for any conceivable purpose and industry, from eCommerce to consulting.

But the quality, price, and capabilities of WordPress themes vary widely.

A WordPress theme should not just look great. Ideally, themes are responsive, quick to set up, offer integrations for your favorite page builders, and provide plenty of customization options. In the best-case scenario, they’re also free.

The wide range of choices can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re new to building websites.

We’ve got your back. Based on a meta-review of listings which encompass over 1,200 themes, we’ve compiled a list of the best free WordPress themes available in 2021.

Here are our Top 15, complete with summaries of their most important specs.

1 – Hestia

First on our list is Hestia, a general-purpose theme. Created by ThemeIsle, it is based on Google’s material design philosophy.

Hestia is excellent for building one-page sites. Whether it’s a business website, a portfolio, or an e-commerce platform you’re aiming for, Hestia has you covered.

The theme is compatible with all major WordPress plugins. It integrates seamlessly with Gutenberg, Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin, and Divi Builder. Design is customizable with live preview in WordPress Customizer.

Furthermore, Hestia is inherently responsive, which ensures that your website will display perfectly on all devices.

Hestia’s free version is a solid basis for building your website, even allowing a WooCommerce store. Still, many features are premium-only: sliders, video backgrounds or animations, section reordering, enhanced top bars, blog options, as well as extended WooCommerce and multi-language website support.

The premium version also offers a number of starter templates to use as a foundation for your website, or as inspiration.

2 – Airi

Airi wordpress theme screenshot

If you’re looking for a lightweight multipurpose theme, aTheme’s Airi is the ticket. Powerful and versatile, this theme is Elementor-based.

One of its main advantages is that it comes with a large number of free demo sites. You can import these starter templates, then edit them with Elementor.

The subject variety of these templates is impressive. They include demo sites for agencies, magazines, bands, and restaurants. Plus, their design quality is stellar, with even free starters looking professionally-made.

In addition, Airi offers WooCommerce support, making it a breeze to launch a web store.

However, you can only access some of Airi’s more advanced at the premium level. Pro features include more blog layouts, demo sites, and WooCommerce shop options.

Overall, though, even the free version of this free WordPress theme is an excellent choice if you’re looking for professional design and ease of use.

3 – Astrid

Designed by aThemes, Astrid is a business-focused, flexible, and responsive WordPress theme. No matter which industry you’re in, Astrid is a top choice  for business websites.

It includes modules for business testimonials, client listings, teams – everything a business page needs. This is notable because other themes often limite these modules to premium versions.

A core feature of Astrid are its full-width headers with a prominent place reserved for call-to-action (CTA) buttons, which can boost conversion rates.

Astrid is generally compatible with major WordPress plugins, and page builders. Plus, you can access theme options  WordPress Customizer, which makes live customization previews possible.

Another big plus is Astrid’s easy setup. By following the demo, you can have it up and running within five minutes.

4 – Neve

Neve by ThemeIsle is currently one of the most popular free WordPress themes out there. While optimized for mobile, the theme looks just as good on a widescreen.

One big advantage of Neve is its focus on mobile, speed and SEO. It offers SEO-friendly mark-up and is fully AMP-compatible, which enables attention-grabbing results on search engine pages and instant mobile views.

Another plus of Neve is its light weight and speed. Its default install amounts to a mere 28 KB, and loads in just over half a second.

Finally, Neve has a dozen free starter templates you can customize or use for inspiration, ranging from book shops to pages for personal trainers. Besides support and updates, Neve PRO brings over 80 different starter templates.

5 – Sydney

free wordpress theme sydney design

One of the best free WordPress themes available in 2021 is Sydney. Created by aThemes, this theme was built with Elementor and is officially recommended by the company.

Sydney’s purpose is to serve as a powerful business theme. It helps companies and freelancers establish a professional, well-designed online presence.

One of Sydney’s major plus points is that it offers a wide array of customization options. For example, it gives users access to all 600 Google Fonts and hands them free rein over colors and layouts. In addition to that, Sydney also offers construction blocks for rapid site building.

Going further, this theme also offers extensive options for headers, sliders, and backgrounds. For instance, it features visually stunning parallax backgrounds, and lets users take their pick from header options like full-screen slider or full-width static image.

If you’re looking to launch an international site, Sydney is translation-ready.

It also comes with a ready-to-go set of social icons.

Feeling somewhat overwhelmed with all these possibilities? No worries. You can pick one of three starter sites to get you going.

A slight negative for anyone wanting to include a store on their site: only Sydney’s pro version is WooCommerce-compatible. In addition, the premium plan also unlocks additional starter sites, and options like video headers, pricing tables, and a latest-news carousel.

6 – GeneratePress

GeneratePress, designed by aThemes, is simple, fast, stylish, and highly customizable.

It is accessible for all skill levels, and is suitable for many industry websites, although it is particularly adapted to the needs of bloggers. The setup is fast, and you can start posting within minutes.

GeneratePress integrates with all major WordPress plugins, and is compatible with the most popular page builders.

The theme is easy to customize and comes with a number of widgets and nine different spaces to place them. Several sidebar and menu layouts are also included.

Another big plus are the localization options. It is fully compatible with translation plugins, and the theme itself comes in as many as 20 different languages.

However, there are some important options that only become fully available in the premium version. Among these are advanced WooCommerce support, social media integrations, advanced menus, and section layouts.

7 – Spacious

Spacious by ThemeGrill is one of the most downloaded themes on WordPress.org – with good reason.

It offers an elegant, flowing design with plenty of appealing white space. It’s suitable for blogs, business pages, and e-commerce websites.

Furthermore, it provides 10 free fully-featured starter templates, with more available in the premium option.

Compatibility with Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Brizy, Elementor and SiteOrigin is provided. The same goes for all major WordPress plugins.

At just under 2 MB, Spacious is not the lightest option on this list. However, it is still pretty quick to load and navigate.

Like for other themes on this list, the range of options in the free version of Spacious is limited. Most WooCommerce features, updates and support are premium-only.

8 – Newsmag Lite

newsmag lite theme screenshot

Are you looking to launch an online magazine, personal blog, or news portal? Then, Newsmag Lite by MachoThemes is another great choice.

According to its developers, this theme’s ultimate goal is to command your readers’ attention.

Its design is clean and modern. An eye-catching full-page slider will help you showcase your content with style.

In addition, Newsmag includes several options to make your life easier. Apart from being flexible and customizable, it features a built-in banner system for advertising. Plus, it already comes with native social media integrations for easy sharing.

Newsmag’s free version doesn’t come with any limitations on features or elements. Its pro version, though, is somewhat faster, Retina-ready, and more SEO-friendly. And, it offers support for translation with the WPML plugin.

 

9 – SuperMag

Designed by Acme Themes, SuperMag is an excellent choice if you’re looking to start a news page, or a multi-author blog. It offers outstanding magazine-style templates with clean navigation and visuals.

The theme includes features such as article search boxes, breaking news sections, related article suggestions, and integrations for all major social media.

Unusually, this free WordPress theme comes ready for monetization, providing several slots to place advertisements.

SuperMag offers drag-and-drop support for quick widget arrangement. Theme options are designed with a view to user experience, featuring user-friendly selectors and sliders. Where that isn’t enough, you can use custom CSS.

The free version of the theme is perfectly functional, although premium unlocks many more options, which also allow for more fine-grained control. Most importantly, the WooCommerce integration also requires a premium subscription.

10 – Flash

ThemeGrill’s Flash theme is geared towards building comprehensive, fully-responsive business pages.

This free WordPress theme includes modules for about pages, team presentation, testimonials, portfolios, service offers, and everything else you need to professionally present your business to potential customers.

There are also options for blog layouts and social media integrations. Flash offers multiple eye-catching header designs, and more than 10 custom widgets.

In terms of installation, Flash offers a one-click demo import to get started quickly. Part of the parcel are 7 free starters you can base your site on. Another plus: the free version is WooCommerce-compatible.

Flash comes with a Toolkit plugin and its own drag-and-drop builder – which is very rare for a free theme. However, it is also compatible with external page builders such as Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Brizy, Elementor and SiteOrigin.

While the free version is already comprehensive, upgrading to premium gives you access to support, updates, and additional options (like more extensive WooCommerce features).

11 – Punte

punt free wordpress theme screenshot

Created by AccessPress Themes, Punte is a beautifully designed multipurpose theme. Plus, it is carefully optimized for speed and SEO.

Punte’s free edition features 12 starter templates. It’s compatible with all major WordPress page builders, like Elementor, Gutenberg, and WPBakery. Additionally, it integrates well with WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, and Slider Revolution plugins.

Another point in favor of Punte is that it’s fully responsive. Visitors will be able to enjoy your site on all their devices.

All in all, Punte’s free version is a solid choice for both general-purpose and niche industry websites. Its premium plan unlocks more demos, additional design options (headers, typography, sidebar elements), and advanced WooCommerce options.

12 – Zakra

Zakra is another multi-purpose theme, and offers options for just about any niche. The theme aims to give equal consideration to beautiful design, functionality, and performance.

Despite extensive customization options, Zakra is blazing fast, and can make mobile views near-instant with AMP support.

Over 20 starter templates are included in the free version – more than with any other theme on this list.

Zakra also supports multi-language displays and major WordPress translation plugin. It was designed with the global market in mind, and so includes support for languages written right-to-left, like Arabic.

A drawback of this theme is that many features come with limitations in the free version. Blog functionality in particular is restricted, as are header options, WooCommerce features, and a number of design limitations.

13 – Ashe

WP Royal’s Ashe theme is among the top choices if you’re looking to set up a spectacular blog.

Ashe’s elegant, sparse design features a lot of white space, which puts the focus on your visual content. As such, it’s a good fit for visual-heavy niches like fashion, beauty, food, travel, and photography in general.

This free WordPress theme offers WooCommerce support, as well as an unusually extensive documentation. In general, the theme is mobile- and SEO-friendly, and translation-ready.

Customization options are straightforward, and perhaps less overwhelming than those of the more general-purpose themes on this list.

The theme is compatible with most drag-and-drop page builders, such as Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, Elementor, Divi and SiteOrigin, as well as popular WordPress plugins.

14 – MaddMagazine

screenshot of madd magazine free wordpress theme

Next up, MaddMagazine by Dessign Themes is an excellent choice for professional bloggers and online magazines. It’s straightforward to use and set up, fast-loading, and SEO-friendly.

This theme’s design centers around a grid-based layout. By default, this makes it easy to share featured stories from various categories.

It also makes it a breeze to monetize your site: There are several spots already reserved for third-party ads.

Plus, MaddMagazine also accommodates various video and audio formats.

Another advantage is that this free WordPress theme is fully responsive, even including an image and video slider. Consequently, your readers will be able to enjoy your content no matter which device they’re on.

Finally, MaddMagazine also offers a menu of customization options. These range from sidebars and fonts to widgetized areas on your site. 

The free version of this theme has no limitations. If you opt for Pro though, you also have access to demos, updates, and support.

15 – Education LMS

Finally, another specialized free WordPress theme is Education LMS by Fila Themes. As its name suggests, this is a feature-rich theme custom-built for designing learning platforms.

Education LMS’ design philosophy is clean, material-inspired and functional, but still sleek and visually appealing. Its modules include social media sharing options, featured courses, a wide array of sliders, and news sections, among others.

There is also a choice of e-commerce options for monetization of online courses.

One big plus of Education LMS is that it implements internationalization best practices. It allows you to easily translate your courses and learning platforms, and lets you take localization further than most other themes.

In terms of page-builders, Education LMS is compatible with most options out there, but has a special focus on Elementor.

The premium version offers more layouts, header and color options, support, and updates.

If you’re looking to start building no-nonsense online courses and learning platforms, then Education LMS is a great choice for you.

Final Thoughts

In 2021, more websites are online than ever before – a mind-boggling 2 billion.

Even if only a tiny fraction of them relate to your industry, this still means that competition is tougher than ever. Having a visually appealing, clean, responsive website will help you stand out from the crowd.

In this, free WordPress themes are your ally. Choosing the right theme for your website will save you a lot of time and design headaches, and help you to wow visitors.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dan

    11/06/2020 at 12:17 am

    This is a great list. I use beaver builder so I’ll have to recommend these to my clients who want to keep it on the cheap. Thanks!

  2. Liza

    12/06/2020 at 4:06 pm

    Really useful article! I am looking for a theme with custom blocks for Gutenberg. Could you recommend one?

    • Christina Orieschnig

      13/06/2020 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Liza! Glad you enjoyed the article. For Gutenberg, Hestia and Neve are particularly well-suited. Hestia is Gutenberg friendly, and Neve was originally built as a lightweight Gutenberg theme. Apart from that, there is also Astra, Essentials, and Altitude that I can recommend to go with Gutenberg. Good luck with designing your website!

    • Mariia

      16/06/2020 at 7:49 pm

      Liza, try Gutenix! The best one for me – https://webcodebuilder.com/

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