10 Best Free WordPress Themes

Nile Flores

Written by WordPress Expert

August 10, 2022
10 Best Free WordPress Themes

When you’re building a website with WordPress, one of the things you’ll want to do is give the design a unique look. In the WordPress community, there are well over 9,000 free themes available, and even more premium paid themes. So, what makes a good WordPress theme? Well, you’ll learn that and even about some of the best free WordPress themes to choose from.

What is a WordPress Theme?


A WordPress theme is the frontend design of a website. A theme has styling and sometimes images, or gives the user the ability to customize the look of a website. You can also change the theme to another and for the most part, not lose your content.

Consider a theme much like makeup. You can change your makeup any time, and even make it look different.

What should you look for when choosing a good WordPress Theme?


  • Compatibility with most plugins

  • Compatibility with both Gutenberg content block editor and Classic Editor

  • Fast loading out of the box

  • SEO-ready

  • Well reviewed and popular

  • If the theme has features that you need.

  • Compatibility with ecommerce plugins

  • Easy to set up after installing

  • Easy to use

  • Theme offers some customization settings

Compatibility with most plugins

Themes and plugins should work hand-in-hand with each other, without slowing the website down, or causing errors. Make sure to test your WordPress plugins with your preferred theme until you can be assured that your site will function as expected.

Compatibility with both Gutenberg content block editor and Classic Editor

WordPress by default comes with the Gutenberg content block editor, but if you’re an older WordPress user, you might still be using the old Classic Editor. If you don’t know if the issue is a conflict with your theme, you can always temporarily activate a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-Two.

Fast loading out of the box

Your theme shouldn’t have a ton of pre-built scripts turned on by default, that could slow down your website. Hopefully the theme developer uses all the recommended WordPress.org theme basics, and keeps in mind speed optimization.

SEO-Ready

If you’re wanting your WordPress website to have a chance to rank well, it’s important that your theme is developed with a proper structure that search engines like Google can easily crawl and index.

Well reviewed and popular

Most of the themes that are the best, are pretty popular. While you might be deterred by the fact that a lot of people use a popular theme, and that there may be a lot of sites that look similar, you should be able to do some customizations to make that theme your own, so it coincides with your brand.

If the theme has features that you need

Choose a theme that has features you might need. Some example previews of themes can give you an idea of how you can place your own content. If the theme has a lot of what you need, but there are a few design elements or areas you need to add, you should be able to add them - whether you do it, or you hire someone.

Compatibility with eCommerce plugins

Your theme should be compatible with WordPress plugins for ecommerce out there, especially WooCommerce. You shouldn’t have to add too much styling, unless you have particular design needs for branding purposes.

Easy to set up after installing

If you’re new to WordPress, and you have a theme that you have to manually set up so it looks like the design preview, then you might get a bit frustrated. You should look for themes that have a wizard setup or one-click install process to get the theme up and going right away. This gets you many steps closer to launching your website. You can replace the dummy content and images with your own.

Easy to use

Your theme should be easy to use, even better if the theme comes with well-written documentation. You also should be able to find where to customize your theme’s looks.

Theme offers some customization settings

Your theme should offer some type of customization settings in some areas. For example, you should be able to change your title’s text to an image, if you have a logo, or be able to change some of the colors within the theme.

Free WordPress themes: Top 10


  1. Twenty Twenty-Two

  2. Twenty Twenty-One

  3. Hello Elementor

  4. Astra

  5. OceanWP

  6. Neve

  7. Kadence

  8. GeneratePress

  9. Twenty Sixteen

  10. Bravada

1. Twenty Twenty-Two

Twenty Twenty-Two Theme

The Twenty Twenty-Two theme is one of the WordPress.org team's creations, and it’s included by default with every WordPress installation. This theme plays well with the Gutenberg content editor, while also utilizing full site editing. The theme has a nice header area that you can customize, and the content areas are simple and easy for people to read, on any device.

2. Twenty Twenty-One

Twenty Twenty-One Theme

Twenty Twenty-One is a unique WordPress.org team project that bridges simple design geared for a more full website look, rather than a blog look. You can customize the entire page, and add areas using the content block editor, to achieve a more full website experience.

3. Hello Elementor

Hello Elementor Theme

Hello Elementor is a basic theme that you can use with the Elementor page builder plugin. While the theme comes pretty plain, with Elementor, you can do whatever you like to brand it as your own. Of course, Hello Elementor is also compatible with Gutenberg, when you want to write content, but for design, let the page builder help you with that part of the job.

4. Astra

Astra Theme

Astra is a theme that is fairly versatile. It’s compatible with most page builders. Astra is pretty popular and a solid theme. When you install it, you can use one of the free starter child themes. Just make sure you use the Astra Walkthrough guide when you want to set up the theme.

5. OceanWP

OceanWP Theme

OceanWP is another theme that is fully compatible with most page builder plugins. When you install it, you might see a super plain looking blog site. However, don’t fear! You can use their documentation section to learn how to set up your theme, and import the sample data so you can get your site to look cool. If you want something more complex and more aesthetically pleasing, they have a lot of starter templates.

6. Neve

Neve Theme

For agencies and small businesses, Neve is a great free WordPress theme to start with. It has all the areas you need to display who you are and what your business offers. Neve works with Gutenberg and most page builder plugins, and even says it has a 1-minute install and import tool to make it easy to launch your theme.

7. Kadence

Kadence Theme

Kadence is another free theme that is just beautifully made and is an example of what people may want for a more polished and sophisticated eCommerce or business website. It’s important to note that when you install the theme, you will want to use their guide, as you will need to choose a starter template to get it to look the way you want. The default installation is pretty plain Jane.

8. GeneratePress

GeneratePress Theme

GeneratePress says it’s super lightweight, and focuses on site speed performance. Like many of the themes in this article, it is responsive in design, and compatible with many of the popular page builders in the WordPress community. The only downside of this theme is the lack of good documentation for setting up the free version. You might need to install one of the free child themes listed in the WordPress.org theme directory.

9. Twenty Sixteen

Twenty Sixteen Theme

The Twenty Sixteen theme is another WordPress.org project that embraces the inspiration behind the typical blog look. Out-of-the-box, this theme is very minimalistic, but it has the potential for you to turn it into what you need it to do for you. You can change link colors, background, the logo and title area, and more. Because this theme is simple, it’s fast loading.

10. Bravada

Bravada Theme

Bravada delivers a beautifully designed theme. The cute hamburger menu has a unique design to help set you apart from other websites. You can use this theme for both blogging and for a small business. The theme has multiple theme layouts to choose from, and has a lot of customization options. The theme also has support for WooCommerce too! A note - you’ll probably want to use the Bravada theme documentation to guide you through setting up this theme.

In Summary


Whatever theme you choose, make sure to decide on one that you’ll be happy to show the world. And remember, if you want to change your theme down the line, whether just to have a fresh look, or you want to re-brand, you’re never stuck with one theme. Happy theme choosing!

Frequently Asked Questions


Are WordPress-free themes safe?

People often think that free themes have low quality. However, free WordPress themes actually have high quality and are free to use.

Can I afford a website builder?

Yes. Besides paid website builders, there are also free ones; however, they come with fewer options.

Are website builders easy to use?

One of the easiest ways to build a website is with a website builder. Using a website builder doesn't require any programming and coding skills.

Why choose WordPress hosting?

WordPress is so popular because it allows people to create websites with total customization. With hundreds of apps available for one-click installations, creating something that’s eye-catching and unique is much easier with a CMS like WordPress .

Nile Flores
About the Author
Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time professional blogger, as well as WordPress website designer and developer from the St. Louis Metro East. Nile blogs at Blondish.net, where she’s passionate about helping website owners, whether they’re small business owners or bloggers. She teaches about Blogging, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, and WordPress. Additionally, Nile loves to speak at WordCamps (WordPress conferences) across the United States. When Nile isn’t knee-deep in coding, she’s a proud mom of a college student, and enjoys oil painting, cigar smoking, nail art design, and practicing traditional Okinawan kempo karate.

View all posts by Nile Flores
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