We have spend more than 30 hours on testing the top 300 most popular free WordPress themes, we have rated & ranked them according to their loading time, search engine optimization (SEO), design, features and widget areas. All themes mentioned are fully responsive & comes with support for all of their users – we will not be rating all of the themes we have tested, only the best ones.
Editors Pick – Best overall theme
Divi PREMIUM THEME
This is the only paid WordPress theme we will be mentioning. Divi is a very unique WordPress theme, it’s both a page builder & theme. It currently has more than 800.000 active users, which really says something about its complexity and quality. It comes fully translated to 25+ languages & 500+ customization options. Divi is one of our favourite premium theme due to its features and possibilities.
Gutenshop is a next generation Gutenberg webshop theme. You can build any design you can imagine using only the WordPress 5.0 editor: Gutenberg. The entire theme is based around it, so it’s of course 100% compatible with it and uses every inch of the new editor to give you the flexibility to create your dream shop. The theme uses no external code libraries & page builders, which makes the theme blazing fast. The theme is fully SEO optimized and responsive.
Lighthouse is a free theme created for websites that rely on great SEO. Speed tests shows that it has a 350 milliseconds load time, which is very impressive. It comes with more than 60 settings, SEO plugins and full on-page SEO. The theme has 4 widget areas which makes it easy to insert advertisement such as AdSense.
Bloggist is a minimal and search engine optimized (SEO) responsive blog theme. It’s easy to set up & looks exactly like the screenshot when you install it. The code & design is great, so is the page speed – we recommend this theme for people whos looking for a clean blog design, especially beginners since it’s very easy to set up.
Business X is a feature rich WordPress agency theme which supports WooCommerce, slideshow, portfolio sections and much more. The theme is known for its flexibility and design. The theme is SEO optimized and the pagespeed is above average. Business X opens up for the opportunity to have a webshop on your business site.
OceanWP is a feature rich WordPress business and shop theme. It is one of the best rated WordPress themes on WordPress.org. It’s lightweight and has great written code, it is of course fully SEO optimized. The theme is free and fully responsive.
Writers Blogily is a theme made primarily for blogs and news websites. It’s a theme with focus around SEO and fast loading time. The customization is limited but everything else is top notch. The theme has a right sidebar where you can place advertisement, information about the author and much more. It’s compatible with most plugins such as Easy Google Fonts, which allows you to increase the customization further.
Astra is a very popular WordPress theme, it was released in 2017 and grew a large user base quickly. The theme has a lot of customization options, actually it has more customization option than any other theme on this list. The theme falls a bit behind on page speed, but beside that the SEO is top notch. The design is good looking as you install it, but first becomes incredible when you spend the time on customizing it exactly how you like it. The theme has a decent amount of widget areas as well.
Minimalist Blogger has a unique design, it’s extremely simple. It’s all black & white with borders, keeping it minimalistic. It has a 7 widget areas which is above average, all widgets have been designed to each widget area which makes the design looks complete. The theme is lightweight and SEO optimized, the only thing it lacks is customization – It’s very limited what options of changing the design you have, so the theme is only useful for those who love the minimalist design style.
Bulk is a highly customizable business and e-commerce theme. It comes with a ton of features, for example it supports landing pages, portfolio section, photography section and page builder. It’s pagespeed is fine, so is its SEO – overall this is a great theme.
Publishable Mag is a highly customizable newspaper theme. The layout is set in stone, you can customize colors and a bit of the structure, but generally the design structure is set. The theme comes with a unique “About the author” section and a “Related Posts” section which is beautifully designed. The theme is SEO optimized, the code is lightweight and the amount of widget areas are very decent.
Hestia Lite is a very popular WordPress theme created by ThemeIsle. The design is a great fit for most business and online shop websites. The theme is fully responsive and has a great loading time. It’s of course full search engine optimized and support most page builders so you can create most designs.
PhotoBlogster is a unique image based theme, the design doesn’t work great without nice images, but luckily there is lots of great free images all over the internet. It comes with a good amount of customization, it’s lightweight and SEO optimized which is awesome. The place where this theme falls behind is it’s amount of widget areas. The theme is on the list since it’s according to us one of the best designed out of the box, free themes available on WordPress, meaning that when you install it, it looks like on the demo. It requires a low amount of customization and is extremely great for beginners.
If you need to make a quick business website then Astrid is a great choice. It has a decent amount of features, SEO and pagespeed. Like all other themes on this list its responsive and comes with a great amount of advertisement space, where you can place ads, banners or custom content.
One Pageily is a free SEO optimized WordPress theme made for business & landing pages. The theme is simply and comes with a lot of features and widget area. It’s load time is quick and the design looks great. The best part about this theme is that it looks beautiful out of box.
Colormag is a famous newspaper theme. It has a lot of loyal users and is known for great theme support – the theme was originally created by a married couple, they still update the theme and keep it high quality, in fact it’s updated every few month. The theme has an extreme amount of customization and perfect on-page SEO. The only downside of this theme is it’s out of box design and page speed, it doesn’t load as quick as smaller themes. This is most likely because of the high amount of features.
PersonalBlogily is a very minimal personal blog theme. It’s design is mainly borders and typography based, it looks like a modern fashion blog. The theme is highly customizable which is unique for a lot of free themes. The SEO and loading time is top notch, so it’s great if you’re a one-man (or woman) army trying to take over the blogging market. Sadly it doesn’t have a lot of widget areas beside a sidebar and footer widgets.
Envo Magazine is a magazine WordPress theme with an advanced design. The best part is that it’s SEO optimized and has a fast loading time, so it’ll give you a good opportunity to rank well in search engines if you optimize it correctly. It also has a big amount of advertisement space, there is almost too much of it, so you can go nuts with filling your website with ads!
Top 3 Premium WordPress Themes
There is thousands of free WordPress themes to choose from, sadly most of them are low quality – we have picked the best themes available in our opinion, we have even taken us the time to look through all of their code to judge them by that too. If none of them worked for your purpose, you might want to have a look at some premium WordPress themes. A classic place to look for premium themes is ThemeForest, we also have a big section with premium WordPress themes which has themes for every kind of purpose
Avada has more than 500.00 customers, it’s currently the most sold theme on ThemeForest – The theme reviews sums it up nicely, 4,7/5 average based on 21088 ratings which is very high. It comes with 45 pre-made designs, 5+ premium plugins. The theme is fully responsive, seo optimized and loads fast.
BeTheme is famous for its 380+ pre-built websites you can import and use as foundation for your own design. The theme has more than 60.000 users who often mention their great support in their reviews. The theme is compatible with almost every popular plugin you can think of. In 2019 the theme got re-coded completely making it lightweight & 3x faster. It’s fully responsive, seo optimized and has a short loading time.
Bridge is known for its amount of complete websites you can install instantly, it has more than 375 designs you can import & use as a foundation to create your own website design. It comes with great documentation and support, if you have issues their support will deal with it quickly. The theme author claims it’s the most user friendly theme on the market, which lots of people will agree with.
Where To Download The Best Safe Free WordPress Themes
We have looked through most “Top X free WordPress themes” on the internet to create our story. Beeside that we have looked through more than 150 themes from WordPress.org. We looked through every themes code where we have judged their SEO & code quality. Beside that we installed every theme & had a look at their amount of widget areas, which is very important if you run a website with an affiliate/advertising program such as Google AdSense. As you have seen from our ratings we went through their loading time, design and much more as well to create the best possible list over the best free WordPress themes.
Mobile Friendly WordPress Themes With Fast Page Speed & Low Loading Time
Finding a mobile friendly WordPress theme isn’t always easy, for some this means the WordPress theme has to work with AMP plugins, for others it simply means that they need to look awesome on mobile devices. When we looked through the themes on the list, we made sure all of them worked perfectly on mobile.
We tested all the themes on the list with Pingdom Tools and Google Insight Pagespeed Tool to check their loading time and page speed quality. All of them are way above average, some of them are the industry leaders in page speed optimization. If your website has to be mobile friendly & load fast you can pick any theme from our list.
SEO Optimized & Responsive WordPress Themes
self-proclaimed SEO Optimized WordPress themes are hanging on the trees these days, sadly it’s a very few of them which are actually SEO optimized. It’s impossible to find a SEO optimized theme if you don’t know how to code, since it’s in the code where it all happens – most themes claim they are SEO optimized but it’s hardly the truth. We looked through over 300 themes, most of them had written that they were SEO optimized, but only a very small portion of them didn’t have basic errors.
One of the biggest factors in SEO is responsiveness, if a website doesn’t work on mobile it’s simply not gonna rank very well on Google. Since Google switched over to mobile-first indexing, it’s been more important than ever, to explain it shortly Google crawls the mobile version of your website and rank it, so if your website does not work on mobile, it’s not gonna do very well. All themes in the list are fully responsive and SEO optimized, so you can relax and enjoy your website ranking well and looking great.
Free Gutenberg & Block Compatible WordPress Themes
Since WordPress released the new Gutenberg editor in beta, back in 2017, most professional theme creators started developing themes for it & making their old themes compatible with it. Gutenberg is gonna be the new standard very soon, users get used to it quickly, once you’re used to it it’ll be hard to go back to the old limited WordPress theme editor.
All themes we mention above in the article is compatible with Gutenberg and allows you to use blocks. Most themes are from WordPress.org, it’s disallowed to create custom blocks in themes released there, so there’ll be no custom blocks in any of them, but they works great with the new editor beside that.