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 crucial first impression is formed on the basis of visual input: your website design. No matter how amazing your copy is, the deciding factor is how you present it.
Fortunately, having professional-looking website design is easier than ever. A multitude of WordPress themes is available for any conceivable purpose and industry.
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 2020.
Here are our Top 10, complete with summaries of their most important specs.
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 WP 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.
The theme also offers a number of starter templates to use as a foundation for your website, or as inspiration. Even more starters are available in the premium version.
Hestia’s free version is a solid basis for building your website, but many features are premium-only: sliders, video backgrounds or animations, section reordering, enhanced top bars, blog options, as well as WooCommerce and multi-language website support.
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 out there for business websites.
It includes modules for business testimonials, client listings, teams – everything a business page needs. This is notable because these modules are often limited to premium versions in other themes.
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. Theme options can be accessed in 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.
Neve by ThemeIsle is currently one of the most popular 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 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.
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 can be displayed 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 WooCommerce support, social media integrations, advanced menus, and section layouts.
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.
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, SuperMag 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, custom CSS can be used.
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.
ThemeGrill’s Flash theme is geared towards building comprehensive, fully-responsive business pages.
The 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).
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 Elementor support.
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.
Ashe 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.
Finally, another specialized 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.
In 2020, 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, 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.