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.
Having a responsive website is a must these days, especially since Google does mobile-first indexing now, which means your website will be judged and ranked according to the mobile version, not the desktop version like in the old days. We have gone through all popular tools and tested them with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool to ensure that they’re fully mobile friendly. We have also checked their code quality, search engine optimization (SEO), loading time and much more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Responsive WordPress Themes
Most themes which gets released now are responsive, most websites experience that more than 60% of their visitors come from mobile devices, so a website being mobile-friendly is critical. If you have reached this point in the article, you most likely didn’t find any of the free themes appealing, this is most likely because you have high demands for features & design. We have picked our favourite top 3 premium responsive WordPress themes, most of the themes are picked from ThemeForest. If you don’t find any of the themes appealing, we recommend that you take a look at our premium WordPress themes as well, they are all mobile-friendly and fully responsive.
Avada is one of ThemeForests oldest, best rated and most sold multi-purpose WordPress theme. It is fully responsive and works for all kind of websites, it comes with pre-build designs you can install for your website, blog or business website. Avada is still updated weekly, which is incredible. We recommend that you have a look at Avada if you didn’t find any of the free themes appealing.
When talking about popular themes available, Divi is the first that comes to mind. This is one of the most used themes in the world, it’s being developed by Elegant Themes and has more than 800.000 users. It’s a page builder and theme mixed together into one piece of awesomeness. The theme can be used for any kind of website, it comes with an almost limitless amount of customization and pre-build designs.
If you aren’t much of a designer yourself, then BeTheme might be the best theme for you, BeTheme comes with 380+ pre-built websites you can import easily 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. It’s fully responsive, seo optimized and Woocommerce compatible.
Where To Download More Responsive, SEO Optimized, Light Weight & Safe WordPress Themes
After looking through multiple WordPress theme directories to find the best responsive WordPress themes, we can tell with certain that the best place to look for themes is WordPress.org/themes/ – we looked through Creative Market, Envato Freebies and many other lists, but the only place where we found proper ratings for themes and a clear listing by popularity was in the organisations directory. That being said, most of the themes, both popular and non-popular are very low quality, some of them are simply very old and have a lot of users due that, but being old doesn’t really mean being good in this context.
We recommend if you did not find what you’re looking for that you search on Google for other things such as: SEO optimized wordPress themes, responsive WordPress themes, lightweight WordPress themes etc… A lot of other websites have lists where they mention their favourite themes, and most of the lists are just as good as ours.
Don’t forget to be critic, it’s important to find a well coded theme, with great SEO optimization so you can beat your competitors on Google. Best of luck with your website, we hope you’ll find a theme that’s perfect for your needs.