We have seen another step up in the quality of free wordpress themes this year. Many of the themes in this article could easily have been premium themes a year or two ago and I am sure many of the authors could get many people willing to part with their hard earned cash for them today. You don’t necessarily need to splash the cash to get yourself on the web with a professional looking site. You’ll find a great many options in this article that incorporate many features usually only available with premium themes, such as page builders and full width sliders.
Most include many high quality in built features and several have a responsive design which is becoming increasingly popular given the exponential growth of mobile browsing. They are all free of charge and a few offer a free version of their more feature rich paid versions. Ok, enough of the preamble – here are our best free wordpress themes of 2014 in no particular order.
Updated: 12th March 2014
Gridster Lite is a super little portfolio theme perfect for graphics and images displays, created by ThemeFurnace. It has a responsive Grid-based Layout, portolio style design, custom menus and of course is 100% free!
Built on a flexible foundation with a fluid grid system that adapts your website, this professional site is responsive to mobile devices and the desktop or any other viewing environment. Features include nine page templates, eleven widget areas, six template layouts and four menu positions. It’s also WooCommerce compatible, multilingual ready (WPML), retina-ready, search engine friendly and cross-browser compatible. Help on Responsive is also free.
A free theme for small businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to create a website including images and video and with social links and well set out blog space. Supports free and premium plugins. The theme would be well suited to agencies, businesses and artistic and design studios.
ThemeSmarts has released this new and chic theme with an impressive look and layout. Would certainly suit well business, corporate, services, portfolio or other related niches. If you’re looking for a supper multi-purpose theme, then Finale could be the theme for you. Each page can be designed and set using the internal page functions. This theme has a number of options and you can fully customize the design, including changing the logos, uploading a default header image, choosing a default color and even setting up your social media icons!
Its free, it’s minimal and it has an awesome looking masonry feature to make your site look beautiful. It’s easy to use, comes with eight different layouts, 9 smooth color styles to choose from and much more including a big homepage slider, featured posts section and supports the latest version of WordPress.
Created by Athemes, Hiero is an awesome magazine theme for your WordPress site featuring bold colours and a classic but well set out blog and features section. It has a responsive layout, post thumbnails support, threaded comments and a few more bits and bobs to enable you to create a simple yet stunning and professional website. For good reason, it comes highly rated.
Built by Site Origin, Vantage is their most revolutionary theme to date. It has both a free and premium version and even the free version can stand feature to feature together with some of the top premium WordPress themes. It operates with Page Builder and comes with a circle icon widget that can be used to great effect on the homepage and testimonials section. The theme also integrates with Metaslider, comes with basic WooCommerce support and uses FontAwesome which gives hundreds of icons to choose from, or you can choose your own.
Frau, developed by Lizard Themes, has a great variety of functionalities such as easy to follow code, social networking features, YouTube and Flickr integration. It comes with easy to modify widgetized sidebar and an extremely versatile layout scheme for easy modification. It’s easy-to-use Theme Options Page allows you to set-up your new theme in just a few minutes, no more file edits or hundreds of drop-downs and check-boxes.
Vantage really is a top notch free wordpress theme. The creators of the theme, SiteOirgin, said it is the most advanced free theme they have produced to date. It is better than many premium themes out there at the moment so it is definitely worth checking out. It is another one that is redefining what the standards of free themes. The theme comes equipped with their solid and time saving Page Builder functionality. This is such a bonus for those who don’t have advanced CSS, PHP and HTML skills – it allows so much flexibility in creating new layouts without touching any code as it is all done in the admin area. They have also included a great home page slider, MetaSlider. SiteOrigin say the theme plays nicely with WooCommerce but they hope to build upon this further to give advanced WooCommerce integration and flexibility.
Gridly is an stunning pinterest style premium free theme designed by the guys as Eleven Themes. It has a minimum design with a responsive layout to adapts to iphone, ipads and other mobile devices. It has wordpress 3.0 menus, jquery masonary and a simple options panel.
Current is a free creative wordpress theme designed by the nice folks at SiteOrigin. It has an attractive flat design and the home page comes with a placeholder to show off apps, software or a product with a tablet border (ipad, Samsumng Galaxy or iphone available). This would suit creative types or app developers wanting to show off their new creation. It also has neat blog post area on the homepage which is somewhat pinterest in style. All in all, a very nice design – especially considering it is free.
Typesense is a very minimal free wordpress theme that is all about the words on the page. Simplicity is the watchword and writers will undoubtedly be the main users of this theme due to it clean and uncluttered design. It has no sider, plugins or scripts meaning the lines of code and load times are kept to a minimum. This is a big plus given google is now using web site load times as one of its ranking factors. If you want your site to be all about the written content on the screen rather than images (which you can add by the way) then this may be a good choice. Especially if you don’t want to spend a penny.
Corpo is predominantly focused towards businesses although they are also pitching it towards creatives due to its portfolio functionality. It is nice to see a free wordpress theme released that is responsive – the extra work involved in making a theme fluid depending on display device (i.e. able to adapt automatically to different screen sizes and still look ace) normally means you will need to part with some cash to get the functionality. As well as a responsive layout this theme has 5 custom widgets, 5 colours to chose from, a home page slider and several theme options. The reviews look good but unfortunately there was no demo so we have not had a chance to test it out.
This is a pretty cool free theme designed to appeal to social creative types who want to show off their images and videos. The home screen shown above shows the 10 different types of pages available. This gives the user a load of options how they want to display their content. There is also an alternative home page which is darker. You can embed SoundCloud tracks and video easily and the portfolio pages have the images nice and big – perfect for high resolution photographs.
The photogram theme design is heavily based on a Pinterest style and also has the functionality to connect directly to Pinterest and Picasa to pull in the images stored within your accounts. The theme is very much a portfolio and photography type theme with images given the spotlight and text areas kept to a minimum. It has many customization options so you can get the post layout you want. Photogram is a responsive theme and the default home page has a masonry tiled effect with infinite loading effect which seems to have become very popular in 2013. All in all, this is a great free photography and portfolio theme from colorlabs.
Pinzolo has a theme customizer which allows easy editing of the header, background, colours and text. It has a responsive layout (drop down menu for mobile browsing) and ajax loading for blog posts.
Hanamoto is a responsive theme built on bootstrap with custom menu and background options. It has a front slider (Flexslider), JQuery elements and an admin panel designer by the author Malvouz.
Ameyso is a fantastic free responsive wp theme designed by ChrisamDesigns. The home page incorporates an attractive flex slider and the images use Aqua-Resizer meaning you don’t have to go through the annoying process of resizing images you upload – the will be automatically resized to fit the theme design. Lovely. The theme comes with a range of standard features you would expect from a premium theme but maybe not a free one (i.e. custom menu, featured thumbnails, unique theme option panel).
This is a minimal and well designed responsive theme with lefthand side custom menu bar. It supports Jetpack’s endless scroll, Mosaic galleries and Carousel. The focus of this theme is the content on the page so widgets areas are non existent. The author has also generously included 6 free backgrounds.
ShprinkOne is a free responsive wordpress theme built on Bootstrap 3. It has 10 theme style choices, a home page slideshow, the option to have posts as pins in a masonry layout, infinite posts scroll and many widgets. It is open source and shared on GitHub.