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 have written a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you haven’t yet discovered WP themes and what makes themes unique, then make sure to check out our post here: An Introduction to WP Themes

In this blog post, we explain where to find loads of great free and paid themes for your site. You will also learn about the different types of WordPress theme resources and get tips on how to ensure that you get the right themes for your needs and how to avoid experiencing problems like lack of support and poorly-coded themes.

As we’ve explained in our previously-mentioned article, a WordPress theme is a unique type of web design template that is used on WordPress-powered websites and designed specifically with the WP platform in mind.

Many website designers and website development firms create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users can access thousands of exciting WordPress themes designed to cover a wide range of purposes and needs.

WP themes cover a wide-range of uses.

Where To Find Responsive Themes: Let’s Simplify Things!

If you were to browse over to Google and search for the following:

  • best themes for WordPress
  • WordPress themes free
  • best responsive WordPress themes for business (or whatever your business, area of interest or blog 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 your life 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 should know that WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll explain these differences in a different article. To keep things simple, we’ll only cover the topic of finding themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this article, which gives you more freedom, more options and more control over your web design.

Free vs Paid WP Themes

Next, it’s important to know that there are thousands of Free and Paid themes made available. Free themes are normally distributed as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they will be listed as Premium (paid) themes.

WP Theme Marketplaces vs Theme Design Companies

There are two types of places where you can find WordPress themes. The first place is in WP theme marketplaces and WP theme directories. The second type of place are the commercial and independent WordPress theme development firms.

WordPress theme marketplaces and WP theme directories are large theme stores. WordPress theme developers (both commercial and independent) list their themes (both free and paid) in the marketplace or directory and buyers 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 theme agencies can design both free and paid WordPress themes, and can vary in size, from an individual theme developer or a small team of theme developer, to large web and theme design and development companies.

Most commercial or independent theme stores sell their 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 the best WordPress themes for your blog.

Where To Find A Theme For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Theme Repository

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the largest and best place to download WordPress 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 for this, is because –as some free software users have learned– 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 site, but it also relies on a review team to review and ensure that each theme listed in the directory complies with specific 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

Useful Tip

Find WP Themes Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every WP theme in the WordPress directory and not only find a great theme for your website or blog, but also easily install and start using it directly from inside your WP admin panel with just a few mouse clicks.

Look For Free WP Themes Without Leaving Your Own WordPress Dashboard!

Use WordPress Theme Feature Filters

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

Use The Theme Filtering

This makes it easier to find what you are looking for. For example, you could search for themes with predominantly gray color design, with a 2-column layout and a full-width template, or themes that support custom menus, etc.

Note: in the article where we discuss the importance of using “responsive” themes, we explained how these allow your site to be viewed correctly on all devices (e.g. your visitors’ computers, tablets and smartphones) …

Use Theme Filters

You should use responsive themes, and the WordPress theme filter lets you do just that …

Use The Theme Filters

… and bring back only themes that are “responsive” …

Use The WordPress Theme Feature Filters

Pros & Cons Of Using Free Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free themes is that it costs you nothing to download and use the theme on your site. An added plus, is that many free themes are professionally designed and offer a number of customizable options, giving you great flexibility and choice in how you configure all of its various layout elements.

The ”cons” to using free WP themes are that your themes may not get updated as often with new features and bug fixes, and it’s unrealistic to expect the theme developer to provide personal support, especially if they are not getting paid. Most freely distributed themes will ask you for a donation to help cover their costs of providing support and updates, bug fixes, etc..

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 last made, then think carefully about downloading it, as WordPress is frequently updated and these changes can result in conflicts or errors with older code.

If you’re just getting started and your website is still quite new, there is nothing wrong with using a free theme until you have a better idea of the kind of site design that would work best for your site before spending money on paid themes. Who knows, the free theme you’ve downloaded may just be the thing that works for your site and for converting your site visitors into customers.

Now that we’ve seen how to find free themes in the WordPress.org theme directory and how to narrow down your search for themes that meet your specific requirements, it’s time to turn our attention to premium WP themes.

Paid Themes

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

Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest - marketplace of WordPress themes

ThemeForest is one of the biggest and best-known WordPress theme marketplaces online.

ThemeForest allows many professional WP theme developers to showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are well over 15,000 premium WordPress themes to choose from (some starting from as little as $3) …

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

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

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and activism blogs, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for government sites or advertising purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for portfolios, writers, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes suitable for sites related to travel, classifieds, , etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for ecommerce, event bookings and registrations, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to tutoring, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for film & tv blogs, nightlife, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. retina-ready themes.
  • NonProfit – themes for nonprofit organizations, churches, etc.
  • Real Estate – themes for real estate and real estate listings (e.g. home sales, etc.)
  • Retail – themes for stores, trades or professionals (electricians, engineering, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to hosting, affiliate marketing, seo, product reviews, direct sales, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and romance tips and advice blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for topics related to activism, green living 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 sends you theme update notifications

(ThemeForest emails you theme update notifications)

Browse thousands of quality premium themes in the ThemeForest themes marketplace here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Directory

(click on the images above to see more Creative Market themes)

Creative Market is another leading WP theme marketplace where you can search through 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 marketplace, but you can easily find WordPress themes and search through their theme categories from their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Themes Marketplace

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

Mojo is a marketplace for premium-quality WordPress 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 browse hundreds of themes for WordPress and search through their theme categories (e.g. Landing Page or eCommerce themes and theme frameworks, etc.) by using the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo WP themes directory

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

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

Commercial Theme Vendors

SoloStream

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

Solostream Themes For WordPress

(click on images above to browse more themes from SoloStream)

Woo Themes

Woo Themes creates functional WP themes that are very popular and highly sought after by website users and also offer a membership option that lets you access their entire theme portfolio.

WooThemes Premium WP Themes

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes creates beautiful WordPress themes for e-commerce. Their themes also integrate well with some of the most powerful e-commerce platforms and plugins available.

StoreFront Themes For WordPress

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

StudioPress

StudioPress develops WordPress themes based on a framework (called the “Genesis” framework) that lets you quickly and easily build a professional and search optimized WordPress website, and provides a self-updating design architecture, turn-key designs with beautiful frames for the content and unprecedented control of the framework.

Many web developers like the Genesis framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps the framework frequently updated to reflect best coding practices and to ensure that it is always compatible with the latest WordPress version, but because you can update your themes without losing any customizations you may have made to your theme.

This is because StudioPress themes use something called “child themes,” which are like a paint job that sits on top of the framework and gives your site its unique look and feel.

If this sounds way 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 themes from StudioPress is that one low price entitles you to receive unlimited support and updates, and you can install your themes on unlimited domains.

For more details, click here: StudioPress.

StudioPress Premium WP Themes

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

Theme-Checking Tools

Here are some useful WP theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WordPress Theme Is That.com

What WordPress Theme Is That WP Theme Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That? is a free online tool that lets you easily detect what WordPress theme a site is using.

This is a great resource if you ever come across a WordPress site that you like and would like to know what theme the website uses.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you can’t tell if a site was built using WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that shows you how to tell if a website was built using WordPress: How To Tell If Your Web Site 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 WordPress, but it will also list the theme being used and list any plugins detected.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) – WP Plugin

Important

A word of warning: When choosing FREE themes for your WordPress site, we recommend sticking with the themes listed in the official WordPress theme repository.

A commonly-used strategy employed by many hackers and syndicates that engage in cyber-crime is to put up sites offering “Free” WP themes all over the web and then distribute themes with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even display on Google for phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress theme repository, or use established and trusted theme download sites.

If you are in doubt about whether a WordPress theme that you have installed on your site may contain potentially malicious or unwanted code, use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to run a scan of your 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 …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) - WordPress Plugin

(TAC Report Page – Source: Plugin, WordPress.org)

We hope that you have found this information useful.

***

"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com

***