If you’re looking for free WordPress themes that are well-coded, fast, and beautifully designed — look no further. These themes are proven, popular and gorgeous.
But first impressions aren’t all that matter. We also prioritized flexibility and extendibility. Because you want a theme that can grow with you.
With out further delay, these are the best free WordPress themes available right now.
The Best Free WordPress Themes (2022)
These all-purpose themes will be suitable for nearly any type of site. Whether you’re building a blog, an affiliate site, an e-commerce shop or business website, these themes are up to the job.
They are developer friendly, highly customizable, well-supported and easy to use. And that’s what separates them from the 4,629+ themes in the official repository.
Criteria to be included:
- Mobile-friendly and responsive
- Coding best-practices
- Active developer support
We’ve tested dozens of top-rated free WordPress themes. These are the best.
Blocksy is a new entry on this list, but this freemium theme belongs right at the top. That’s because it packs more features into the free version than anyone else on this list. It’s got a modern, 100% responsive design with tons of visual styling controls. And with dozens of prebuilt layouts, Blocksy is beautiful right out of the box.
The free version is so good, in fact, that most users may never need to upgrade. That’s because it includes functionality you usually only find in premium theme upgrades. You can use Blocksy to create blogs, e-commerce stores, a portfolio, membership sites or anything else you can think of. It’s all-purpose (and awesome).
Top features include:
- Multiple layout designs for blog/archive pages
- Multiple card layouts & post grids
- Multiple featured image locations for single posts
- Page header module with optional parallax effect
- Customizable loop templates
- Drag-and-drop post templates (w/ custom post type support)
- Complete Typography controls using Google Fonts, Adobe Typekit or even self-hosted fonts.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another free WordPress theme that includes any (never mind all) of the above features. And all of this power is accessible controlled from the front-end using the WordPress customizer. Blocksy is in a class of its own which makes you wonder what’s even left for the pro version (spoiler, it’s awesome).
OceanWP has quietly become one of the best (and most popular) free themes in the repository. Like Blocksy, OceanWP delivers more value in the base version than most competitors.
You get full control over colors and typography, layout control, and markup that is SEO-optimized from the ground up.
While you may eventually want to purchase the pro upgrade, the lite version includes 7 free extensions which are enough for most users just starting out.
OceanWP is a multipurpose theme. It’s a great choice to start an online store, membership site or business site. And it’s more than capable enough for the average blogger. OceanWP has 100% page builder compatibility and would perfect in combination with Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy or Gutenberg.
OceanWP Free features:
- Sticky elements
- Per-post layout control
- Post slider widget
- Unlimited custom sidebars
- WooCommerce Optimized
Kadence Theme is a fantastic free option developed by a small US-based team from Bozeman, Montana. The developer behind Kadence is also responsible for Kadence Blocks, a must-have free block addon for Gutenberg.
Kadence is 100% responsive, speed-optimized and incredibly flexible. And while there is a pro upgrade available, most users won’t need it. The base version has tons of valuable features that make it easy to build custom sites for your blog, store, or business.
Kadence is an especially good option for Woocommerce shops.
Kadence free features:
- 20+ Starter Templates
- Clean, modern design
- Visual header builder
- Footer builder
- Sticky Navigation
- Global Typography & Colors
- Advanced Woo-Commerce integration
- LMS integration (Learndash, LifterLMS, Tutor)
Kadence’s structure will be very familiar to fans of Astra and GeneratePress. You control the main layout settings, typography and color via the front-end customizer. You can also control the layout template for your blog and individual posts by rearranging or removing components.
There’s also a drag-and-drop header builder that lets you create unique and fully-custom site headers and menus. Or you can use one of the gorgeous starter sites to launch a site in hours.
Astra is the most popular free theme in the history of WordPress, and with good reason. Astra offers a solid combination of usability, features and flexibility.
And Astra’s Free version includes more features than many competing freemium themes.
For example, Astra Free includes importable starter sites from 3 page builders (Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg). It also includes a header and footer builder, breadcrumbs, and dozens of hook locations that allow you to insert custom content anywhere in the template.
The free version is capable enough to use on productions sites, especially if you’re using it in conjunction with a page builder like Elementor Pro.
There’s also a premium theme upgrade called Astra Pro which adds more styling & typography control, an advanced header builder, grid layouts and an excellent visual hooks module. Astra can grow with you, and is a fantastic option for high-traffic blogs, affiliate or business websites.
Astra Free features:
- Basic typography & styling controls
- Multiple layouts (sidebar-left, sidebar-right, full-width, dual-sidebar etc…)
- Drag & Drop header builder which supports widgets & Gutenberg blocks
- Dozens of hook locations (inject custom content anywhere on your site)
- 100% responsive theme
- Page-builder ready
Neve checks a lot of boxes for an intro-level theme. The free version includes a global color palette, basic header & footer customization, and multiple blog layouts. Neve also includes a mega menu (usually a pro upgrade in competing themes).
Neve is also multi-language ready, SEO optimized and lightweight for faster load times.
Neve is designed with flexibility in mind and would be perfect to create a personal blog or small business website. It features a responsive design that looks great (and loads fast) on mobile devices and PCs alike.
Like others on this list, Neve uses a ‘freemium’ pricing model, where the best features are reserved as a paid extension to the base theme. Unfortunately, most of Neve’s full capabilities aren’t included in the base version. That’s fine if you eventually plan to upgrade as your site grows, but if you’re looking for maximum functionality from a free theme, Blocksy or OceanWP might be better fits.
Hestia is another excellent theme from Themeisle (the makers of Neve). Though many of its core features are similar to Neve, there are some fundamental differences that might make you prefer one over the other.
For example, Hestia prioritizes modern material design principles, where components have not just color but also depth and motion for a cohesive UI. If you like box-shadow and simple but beautiful design, you’ll love Hestia.
Hestia is 100% page-builder compatible and WooCommerce ready, while still keeping all of the design controls accessible from the customizer for live-view design editing.
GeneratePress is one of my all-time favorite themes and I’ve been a proud lifetime license holder since it launched in 2014. It’s an ultra lightweight theme, uses VanillaJS (no jQuery required) and helps my site achieve awesome gtmetrix scores (100/99 last time I tested).
GeneratePress was one of the first mainstream hook-based themes (in the mold of Genesis Framework). While it’s beginnings were barebones, GeneratePress is anything but ordinary. It’s one of the most flexible, fastest, best-supported themes around. In fact you’ll find more high-traffic WordPress blogs running GeneratePress than almost any other theme (except maybe Genesis).
Even BTW is built on GeneratePress, and I’ve migrated several of my other sites to it as well.
That said, the lite version of GeneratePress is relatively bare-bones compared to the other themes on this list. It includes simple typography, color and layout controls that are more than enough to customize a basic site. But most of the excellent features are only available with the premium upgrade.
Things like the visual hook system, block-based templating, post-level layout control and post grid layout are left out of the free version.
But if you’re looking for a free theme that can grow with you, others on this list are more capable and user-friendly.
8. Twenty Twenty Two
Twenty Twenty Two is the latest official WordPress theme (they release a new one every year). While the reviews aren’t exactly glowing (so far) this theme is still worthy of consideration.
That’s because it’s the first official theme compatible with Full Site Editing (FSE). Traditional themes require you to edit PHP files to customize theme templates (not for beginners). But FSE-compatible themes let you edit every area of your site with blocks, rather than PHP.
In fact, FSE template files are completely HTML based (zero-php) which means you won’t break your website if you forget a semi-colon.
While FSE is in the early stages, themes like Twenty Twenty Two are worth playing around with to get familiar with the FSE era. It’s also a viable choice for simpler projects like a blog or personal website.
9. Color Mag
ColorMag has been a top-rated free theme for years (1300+ five-star reviews). It’s one of the best free magazine-style themes in the repository.
And what’s great about ColorMag is it has a look right out of the box. You don’t have to spend hours trying to customize the layout and design with customizer controls or CSS.
It looks like, well, a magazine. And that’s perfect for magazine-style blog, review, or news sites.
There are multiple pre-built skins available, including dark-mode. It’s worth taking a minute to browse all 27+ ColorMag demos.
The free version has multiple header layouts, basic branding controls and even a sticky header and news ticker widget. There is a pro upgrade available with more layouts and customizer controls but you may never need it. ColorMag’s free version is excellent in its own right.
10. Hello (Elementor only)
Hello is a fully responsive WordPress theme from the team behind Elementor page builder. It’s 100% free with no paid upgrades.
Hello isn’t right for everybody, but it’s a terrific option if you’re already using Elementor Pro as your page builder. That’s because Hello is designed as a blank canvas that you can customize with Elementor.
Hello is ultra-light and only loads 6kb of resources per pageview. It’s light on features too, with almost no customizer-controls for design and layout.
So if you use Elementor Pro and want the perfect companion theme to design a site from scratch, Hello is perfect.
But if you don’t use Elementor Pro, Hello is nearly unusable. Consider yourself warned.
Free special-purpose Themes
The top ten themes listed above are all very flexible themes. That is, they’d work well for almost any type of site. But they aren’t purpose-built for a specific type of site.
But sometimes you want a specialist rather than a jack-of-all-trades. And that’s where these themes come in. They’re designed from the ground up for a specific type of website or blog.
Best Travel Theme: Blossom Travel
Blossom Travel is an elegant WordPress theme for travel bloggers and influencers. With subtle design touches, upscale typography and playful colors it’s the perfect backdrop for your travelblogs and photo galleries.
With built in custom widgets, gorgeous full-width hero sections and integrated social sharing, you can hit the ground blogging with minimal design tweaks.
Best WooCommerce Theme: Botiga
Botiga is a gorgeous free WooCommerce theme from aThemes. It’s Gutenberg ready and fully customizable to match your DTC brand or ecommerce shop.
The free theme includes styling controls for WooCommerce components for a consistent color pallet across your site. Built-in WooCommerce features include: product cards, product filters, recommended products, and a customized checkout design.
The optional Pro upgrade adds wish list functionality, multiple sidebar layouts and an enhanced product gallery if you want to upgrade your shop in the future.
Best Food Blogging Theme: Kale
Kale (199 5-star reviews & 10,000 installs) is the perfect theme for budding food bloggers. It features simple (yet elegant) design that lets you put the food first. There’s even an included top slider widget the showcase your top post and recipes.
It’s fully responsive and mobile-ready, just bring your recipes. The only thing missing is recipe schema which you can add with 3rd-party plugins (or by upgrading to Kale Pro).
Freemium vs. Free
There are two types of themes in the WordPress repository. There’s 100% free themes, and then there’s Freemium themes. Freemium themes have a completely free base version (the one in the repository) and sell an upgraded version separately (usually as a plugin extension).
While the most of the themes in the repository are 100% free, nearly all of the most popular themes are freemium.
Before selecting a theme for your site, it’s good to be aware of which category your choice falls into. It also helps to have an idea of whether you plan to upgrade to the pro version in the future or stick it out with the base version.
Advantages of Freemium Themes
Disadvantages of Freemium Themes
How to choose a theme
When you’re first starting a site, don’t feel the need to choose a theme immediately a stick with it. There’s no need to get locked-in early.
Install a bunch of themes on your site (or a testing server) and play around with them. Test their capabilities & limitations. Also consider how intuitive the theme UI is for you.
If you have long-term plans for the site, it’s also good to consider the developer’s philosophy on Full Site Editing and how/when the theme will add FSE functionality as it matures.
Other tips for selecting a theme:
- Check other sites: use a site like wpthemedetector to see what theme other WordPress sites are using. This will give you an idea of what sort of layouts, design & performance you can expect.
- Consider the business model: Do you prefer Freemium or completely free? Getting this right up-front will save you a theme migration in the future.
- Be honest about your design skills: Are you a natural designer? Are you good with color & layout? Or do you want a theme that handles these things for you and has a look right out of the box. Many people who use ‘flexible’ themes just end up with a site that looks generic (or worse, amateurish).
Your theme is the first impression your site makes on visitors and the choice is an important one, but don’t overthink it. The most important thing is to get started. You can always upgrade in the future if you have to.
But to minimize the risk of making a bad choice, it’s good to stick with popular, proven, capable themes from the repository. Themes with 10,000+ installs is a good starting point.
My favorite free themes:
- Blocksy – Great for any time of site and perfect for beginners
- Kadence – Flexible, fast, and very customizable.
- GeneratePress – Well-supported, lean and superfast. I use it personally but it’s good to know at least a bit of CSS before committing to GP because it has fewer design options than competitors.
Which theme is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!