Where To Find The Best WordPress Themes

This tutorial shows you where to find many great free or premium WordPress themes for your online business, e-commerce store, website, or blog.

WordPress

In a previous post, we provide a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you haven’t yet discovered themes and what makes WordPress themes so attractive to website owners, then make sure to check out our article: An Introduction to WordPress Themes

In this blog post, you will learn where you can search for free and paid themes for your WP site. You will also learn about the different types of WordPress theme resources and get tips on how to make sure that you get the right themes for your needs and avoid experiencing problems like lack of customer support and poor theme coding.

As we’ve explained in our previous post, a WordPress theme is a unique type of web design template that is used on WordPress-powered websites and designed to work specifically with WordPress in mind.

Many professional website designers and website development companies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, members of the WP community enjoy access to thousands of professional-quality WordPress themes covering a wide-range of applications.

Themes are designed to cover many website uses.

Where To Find Great WP Themes: How To Avoid Information Overload

Let’s say you were to browse over to Google and search for the following:

  • best themes for WordPress
  • best premium WordPress themes
  • best responsive WordPress themes for artists (or whatever your business, area of interest or website is about)

Chances are that you are going to get an overwhelming amount of information to sort through in the search results.

So, to help you save time and make things easier, we’ll just cut through the clutter and make the process of finding great WP themes simple.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Themes

Before we get started, you need to know that WordPress offers users both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll explain these differences in another post. In this post, please note that we will only cover themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this article, as these give you more freedom, more options and more control over the design of your site.

Free vs Paid Themes

Next, it’s important to know that you will easily find many Free and Paid WordPress themes being made available. Free WP themes are normally distributed as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they can be licensed for use as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

Theme Marketplaces And Directories & WP Theme Development Firms

There are 2 kinds of places where themes can be found. The first is in theme marketplaces and theme directories. The second type of place are the commercial and independent WordPress theme stores.

Theme marketplaces and WP theme directories are large aggregators of themes. WP theme developers (both commercial and independent) list their themes (both free and paid) in the marketplace or directory and visitors shop for these just like they would if they were shopping for apps on an app store or software directory.

Some of the bigger directories don’t just sell WordPress themes. They can also sell WP plugins and templates for other web applications (e.g. Joomla, Drupal, etc.)

Commercial and independent WP theme agencies typically will develop both free and premium themes, and can vary in size, from an individual designer or a small team of theme developer, to large theme development companies.

Most commercial or independent theme design firms sell themes exclusively on their own web sites, but some will also list their themes in marketplaces and directories, or even create a free or “lite” version of their themes for free directories .

Let’s now show you where to search for great themes for your website or blog.

Finding Responsive Themes For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - WordPress Themes Repository

(WordPress.org – Free WP Theme Directory)

The official WordPress.org theme directory is the biggest and best place to find WP themes for free. In fact, it’s probably the only free WordPress theme directory you should use when looking for free WordPress themes. The reason why, is because –as many free software users have discovered– downloading free software, add-ons, apps, templates or themes from untrustworthy places can put your computer, digital presence and even your entire business at risk.

The WordPress directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your website, but it also relies on a theme review team to review and make sure that each theme uploaded to the directory complies with certain standards of quality and security.

To browse thousands of professionally-designed FREE WordPress themes from the official Themes Repository, go here:

http://www.wordpress.org/extend/themes

Tip

You Don’t Even Have To Leave Your WordPress Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress.org directory and not only find what you are looking for, but also easily install and start using it directly from inside your WP admin panel with a few mouse clicks.

Look For Free WP Themes Inside Your Own WordPress Dashboard!

Use The Theme Filters

WordPress has a built-in filtering function inside the admin area that lets you narrow down your search for themes based on criteria like Colours, Layout and Features …

Use Theme Feature Filters

This makes it easier to find what you are looking for. For example, you could search for themes with a light colour design, with a 4-column layout and a full-width template, or themes that support custom menus, etc.

Note: in the post mentioned earlier where we present an overview of WordPress themes and discuss the importance of choosing “responsive” themes, we explained how responsive themes allow your site to be viewed correctly across all devices (e.g. your PC, smartphone and tablet) …

Use The WP Theme Filters

It’s a good idea to use responsive themes, and the WordPress theme filter lets you search across its entire database of free themes …

Use Theme Feature Filter

… and find only themes that use “responsive” design standards …

Use The Theme Feature Filters

Pros & Cons Of Using Free WordPress Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free themes is that there is no cost to download and use the theme. Additionally, many free themes are professionally designed and come with a number of built-in customizable settings, giving you great flexibility and choice in how you configure all of its various layout elements.

The downside to using free WP themes are that your themes may not get updated as often with new features and bug fixes, and you shouldn’t expect the developer to provide urgent support, especially if they are not getting paid. Many freely distributed themes ask for donations to help cover their costs of providing support.

When downloading free themes, therefore, check to see when the theme was last updated. If it’s been more than a year since any changes were made, then think carefully about downloading it, as the WordPress software changes quite often and this can result in conflicts or errors with older code.

If you’re just getting started and your site is still relatively new, it’s a good idea to start with a free theme until you have a better idea of the kind of site design that would work best for your site before spending any money on a theme. Who knows, the theme you downloaded for free could be exactly what works for you and for converting your site visitors into customers.

Now that we’ve seen how to find free WordPress themes in the WordPress.org theme directory and how to filter your search for themes that meet your specific requirements, let’s turn our attention to finding paid WordPress themes.

Premium WP Themes

If you are looking for themes with stunning web design, or professional quality yet highly affordable WordPress web design themes with a distinctive look, unique customizable options and responsive support, you can search through the WordPress theme galleries of the “Premium” theme design agencies listed below:

Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest theme marketplace

ThemeForest is one of the largest and well known theme directories online.

ThemeForest allows many professional WordPress theme designers to showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are over 15,000 premium WP themes to choose from (you can find great themes from as little as $3) …

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

(click on the above images to view more ThemeForest themes)

If you visit the ThemeForest theme marketplace, you will be able to browse for specific WordPress themes in a range of categories, such as:

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and administration sites, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for legal sites and advertising purposes.
  • Creative – themes for portfolios, kindle book authors, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites related to employment opportunities, holiday rentals, tourism directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for online shopping, membership sites, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to tutoring, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for fashion blogs, music venues, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. mobile-switching themes.
  • NonProfit – themes for nonprofit organizations, churches, etc.
  • Real Estate – themes for real estate and real estate listings (e.g. commercial property, etc.)
  • Retail – themes for shopping, trades or professionals (repairers, legal practitioners, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to technology, affiliate marketing, seo, product reviews, direct sales, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and marriage counselling blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for writing or discussing political issues, parenting sites or blogs … even themes you can use if your site is still under-construction!

Tip

When you purchase WordPress themes from ThemeForest, you will receive email notifications when a new update is available for your theme …

ThemeForest emails you theme update notifications

(ThemeForest emails you theme update notifications)

Browse lots of great premium WP themes in the ThemeForest theme directory here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Marketplace

(click on the images above to view all themes on Creative Market)

Creative Market is another leading WP theme directory where you can browse many quality premium themes from independent theme creators.

As stated on their website …

“Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted, mousemade design content from independent creatives around the world.”

Creative Market doesn’t just sell WP themes in its directory, but you can easily browse hundreds of themes for WordPress and narrow your search using theme categories from their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market WordPress themes directory

Browse through hundreds of great premium themes crafted by independent WordPress theme developers in the Creative Market themes marketplace here:

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WP Themes Directory

(click on the images above to browse more WordPress themes at Mojo)

Mojo is a directory for premium-quality WP themes where theme vendors are strongly encouraged to provide customers with lifetime support and upgrades.

According to their website …

“Mojo is a marketplace where anyone can find, rate and buy quality themes & templates in one trusted place.”

Like Envato and Creative Market, Mojo doesn’t focus exclusively on WordPress themes, but you can easily go through all of their themes for WordPress and narrow your search with theme categories from the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo WP themes directory

Visit the site to find quality premium themes in the Mojo directory here:

Now that we have looked at WP theme directories, let’s take a look at commercial WordPress theme development firms.

Commercial And Independent Theme Shops

SoloStream

SoloStream provides WordPress users with a great selection of professional quality themes and the option of accessing all themes through a WordPress theme membership.

Solostream - WP Themes

(click on images above to view all themes from SoloStream)

Woo Themes

Woo Themes creates functional themes for WordPress and offer a membership option that gives you access to all themes in their growing theme portfolio.

Woo Themes - WP Themes

(click on the above images to view more themes from WooThemes)

StoreFront

StoreFront specializes in creating e-commerce themes for WordPress. StoreFront themes also integrate well with some of the most powerful e-commerce platforms and plugins available.

StoreFront Premium WP Themes

(click on the above images to see more StoreFront themes)

StudioPress

StudioPress builds WordPress themes based on a framework that allows you to quickly and easily build a professional and search optimized WordPress site, and provides a self-updating design architecture, turn-key site designs with beautiful frames for the content and unprecedented control of the framework.

Many website developers prefer using this framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps this framework consistently updated to reflect best coding practices and to make sure that themes remain always compatible with the latest version of WordPress, but because you can update your themes without losing any customizations you have made to your theme.

This is because themes built with the Genesis framework use something called “child themes,” which are like a paint job that sits on top of the theme framework and gives your site its unique design.

If this sounds too technical, there’s no need to feel concerned about it. StudioPress themes are easy to work with, just like all other WordPress themes. The great thing about choosing StudioPress themes is that you pay just one low price to receive unlimited support and updates, and you can install your themes on unlimited domains.

For more details, click here: StudioPress.

StudioPress

(click on the images above to browse more themes from StudioPress)

WP Theme-Checking Tools

Here are a few more useful WordPress theme-related tools worth keeping in mind:

What WP Theme Is That? WP Theme Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That? - WP Theme Search Tool

What WordPress Theme Is That is a free web tool that allows you to easily detect what WordPress theme a website or blog is using.

This is a great resource if you have come across a WordPress site that you like and would like to know what WordPress theme is being used on the site.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know whether a site uses WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that shows you how to tell if a website uses the WP CMS platform: How To Check If Your Website Was Built Using WordPress

Using this tool is very simple. Just enter the site’s domain name into the field and click the search icon or hit “Enter.” The tool will then not only confirm if a site is powered by the WP CMS platform, but it will also list the WordPress theme being used on the site and list any plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker - Plugin

Useful Information

We suggested this before and it’s worth repeating it again: If you decide to use FREE themes for your WordPress site, we recommend sticking with the WP themes listed in the official WordPress theme directory.

A tactic that is commonly used by many hackers and cyber criminals is to put up sites offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and distribute modified themes and plugins with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even display on Google’s search results for phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress.org repository, or use well-known and reputable theme download sites.

If you are concerned about whether a WordPress theme that you have installed on your blog may be infected with potentially malicious or unwanted code, you can use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to run a scan of your WordPress theme files. The TAC plugin searches the source files of every them you have installed on your site for signs of malicious code and presents you with a report as shown in the screenshot below …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

(Theme Authenticity Checker Report Page – Screenshot: Plugin)

We hope that you have found the information on how to find great WP free and premium themes useful.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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