Looking for the best free WordPress themes? We’ve been searching for the best free WordPress themes for years, so we’ve assembled a list of our personal favorites and a nifty guide to help you choose the very best one for your website!
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What does it take to be one of the best free WordPress themes?
The best free WordPress themes are fast, responsive and easy-to-use. They have to be functional for your intended purposes and built with clean, efficient coding. There are thousands of themes that meet one or two of these criteria. The secret to real success is finding one that meets all these requirements!
Speed is critical.
The longer your page takes to load, the more people are going to “bounce” or leave before it even loads. According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of consumers expect a website to load in under two seconds.
You need a fast-loading website to keep your traffic. Unfortunately, this means you may need to sacrifice fancy features for a more functional theme.
Responsive layouts are mandatory.
A responsive theme adapts to screens of all sizes, including smartphones and tablets. Now that the vast majority of website visitors are coming from mobile devices, a responsive theme is absolutely mandatory.
At Low Income Relief, over 80 percent of my traffic comes from mobile devices and another 4 percent comes from smartphones. Just less than 16 percent of my traffic comes from desktop computers. If my theme didn’t adapt to all screens, I would lose the vast majority of my traffic!
Keep it simple and easy to use.
It’s important to choose a simple, easy-to-use theme. Your users need to be able to navigate easily through your content and find what they’re looking for.
Minimalist themes with white backgrounds and clear, uncluttered formatting are always best.
Pick a theme that offers the functionality you need.
What do you want your website to do? As we said before, WordPress can do essentially anything. There are themes that have built-in appointment scheduling, sliders, contact forms, directory maps, store interfaces and more.
If you’re looking to design a business website, these are all things you need to consider… but as a niche creator, you don’t need to worry too much about most of those features.
The one question I would encourage you to consider is whether or not you would like to add a storefront to your niche platform.
A storefront can be useful for selling craft items, affiliate items and other things. If this is something you’re interested in, consider a theme that is compatible with WooCommerce. We’ll discuss that in greater detail later.
Clean code is seriously important – and it’s a mistake you won’t notice until it’s too late.
Issues in your theme coding can damage your SEO and prevent your website from ranking well on Google. This is a problem that many people don’t realize until it’s too late.
Google loves clean, well-organized code. Remember that the search engine is indexed by bots, not people. Clean code helps the bots understand your website better, which results in a more favorable and accurate SEO rank.
WordPress is free open-sourced software so themes can be created by anyone who thinks they can handle the code. Many of the free themes (and even some of the premium themes) you find will be coded in a way that is not favorable for your website.
For that reason, it’s important to find a theme designer you can trust. If you find a theme you love that performs well, you can reasonably expect that the other themes will perform well, too.
That’s why MyThemeShop is my go-to resource for the web’s best free WordPress themes! As a WP Engine customer, I also rely on the StudioPress themes that I get free with my WP Engine account.