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 would like to learn more about the benefits of using themes and what makes themes so attractive to web site owners, then go here to read our article: An Overview of WordPress Themes

In this blog post, you will learn where you can search for free and paid themes for your WP website or blog. You will also learn about the different types of WP 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 product support and poor coding.

As explained in our previously-mentioned article, a WordPress theme is a special kind of web design template that is used on WordPress-driven websites and designed specifically for the WordPress CMS platform.

Many individual website designers and web development agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users can access thousands of exciting WordPress themes covering a wide-range of uses.

WP themes cover an extensive range of uses and applications.

Finding Great WordPress Themes: Let’s Simplify Things!

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

  • best themes for WordPress
  • best responsive themes for WordPress
  • best responsive WordPress themes for churches (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 your search listings.

So, to help you save time and make your life easier, let’s just cut through the clutter and make the process of finding great WordPress 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 later post. For now, please note that we will only focus on finding themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this post, as these give you more freedom, more options and more control over the design of your website.

Free vs Paid WP Themes

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

Theme Directories vs Commercial WP Theme Developers

There are 2 places where themes can be found. The first is in WP theme marketplaces and theme directories. The second are the commercial and independent WP theme stores.

WP theme marketplaces and theme directories are big theme aggregators. 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 marketplace.

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

Commercial and independent theme design houses can also create both free and paid WordPress themes, and can vary in size, from an individual developer or a small team of designer, to large web and theme design companies.

Most commercial theme shops 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 WP theme directories .

Let’s now show you where to find the best WP themes for your website.

Finding The Best Themes For Your WordPress Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Free WordPress Theme Repository

(WordPress.org – Theme Directory)

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

The WP directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your WordPress site, but it also relies on a review team to review and ensure that each theme uploaded to the directory meets 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

Look For Free Themes Without Leaving Your Own WP Dashboard

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

Look For Free Themes Without Leaving Your Own WP Dashboard!

Use WordPress Theme Filters

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

Use The Theme Filters

This makes it easy to find what you are looking for. For example, you could search for themes with a pink colour design, with a four-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 using “responsive” WP themes, we explained how responsive themes ensure that your theme will display without problems on all devices (e.g. computers, tablets and smartphones) …

Use WP Theme Filtering

It’s a good idea to use responsive themes, and the WordPress theme filtering option lets you do just that …

Use Theme Feature Filters

… and find only WP themes that are “responsive” …

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free Themes

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

The ”cons” of using free themes are that your themes may not get updated as often with new features and bug fixes, and you shouldn’t expect the theme developer to provide personal support, especially if they are not getting paid. Many free themes will ask you for a donation to help cover their support costs.

When downloading free themes, therefore, check to see when the theme was last updated. If it’s been over one year since any change was last made, then you should think twice about downloading it, as the theme may have been abandoned by its developer.

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 free theme you’ve downloaded may just be the thing that works for you and for your business.

Now that we’ve seen how to find free themes in the WordPress theme directory and ways to narrow down your search for themes that meet specific criteria, let’s turn our attention to finding premium themes.

Premium WordPress 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 responsive support, then search through the WordPress theme galleries of the “Premium” theme design agencies listed below:

Theme Marketplaces And Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest - directory of WP themes

ThemeForest is one of the largest and most popular WordPress theme directories online.

ThemeForest allows many professional WordPress theme developers to showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are over 17,500 premium WordPress themes listed (some starting from as little as $3) …

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

(click on the images above to see all themes on ThemeForest)

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 bloggers and green living blogs, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for medical sites or marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for design, writers, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes suitable for sites about directory listings, buy & sell, business directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for selling products online, membership sites, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to training, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for photo gallery blogs, music venues, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. retina-ready themes.
  • NonProfit – themes for nonprofit organizations, charities, etc.
  • Real Estate – themes for real estate and real estate listings (e.g. home sales, etc.)
  • Retail – themes for specialty stores, trades or professionals (plumbers, legal practitioners, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to apps, affiliate marketing, seo, product reviews, direct sales, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and wedding advice blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for writing or discussing environmental issues, parenting sites or blogs … even themes you can use if your site is still under-construction!

Useful 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)

Go here to browse many great premium WP themes in the ThemeForest themes site:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

Creative Market is another leading WP theme directory where you can search through thousands of quality premium WordPress 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 WordPress themes and search through their theme categories (e.g. Blog or Popular themes, etc.) from the site’s dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market theme directory

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

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

Mojo WordPress themes directory

Visit the site to find quality premium WP themes in the Mojo theme marketplace here:

Now that we have looked at WP theme marketplaces, let’s turn our attention to commercial theme developers.

Commercial WP Theme Design Companies

SoloStream

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

Solostream Premium WordPress Themes

(click on images above to browse all SoloStream themes)

Woo Themes

Woo Themes designs functional WordPress themes and offer a membership option that allows you access to all themes in their WordPress theme collection.

WooThemes WordPress Themes

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

StoreFront

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

StoreFront Themes

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

StudioPress

StudioPress develops WordPress themes based on a framework (called the “Genesis” framework) that allows users to quickly and easily build a professional and search optimized WordPress site, and provides an auto-updating design architecture, turn-key site designs with beautiful frames for your content and unprecedented control of the framework.

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

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

If this sounds too technical, don’t worry about it. StudioPress themes are easy to work with, just like all other WordPress themes. The great thing about choosing StudioPress themes 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 Themes

(click on the above images to view all StudioPress themes)

Theme-Checking Tools

Here are some useful WordPress theme-related tools worth keeping in mind:

What WordPress Theme Is That? WordPress Theme Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That - WP Theme And Plugin Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That is a free WordPress theme and plugin search tool that allows you to easily detect what WP theme a website is using.

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

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know if a site runs on WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that helps you tell whether or not a website is WordPress-driven: Was My Website Built Using WordPress? How To Tell

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 whether or not the site has been built on the WP CMS platform, but it will also list the theme being used on the site and list any plugins detected.

Theme Authenticity Checker - Plugin

Important Info

A word of warning: If you decide to use FREE themes for your WordPress site, we recommend sticking with the approved WordPress themes listed in the official WordPress theme repository.

A well-known tactic used by a number of hackers and cyber criminals is to put up sites and directories offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and distribute modified themes with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even come up on search engine results for search phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free themes for WordPress”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to only download free WP themes from the official WordPress repository, or use established and trusted theme vendors.

If you are concerned about whether a WordPress theme installed on your site may be infected with malware or unwanted code, you can use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to scan your WP theme files. This plugin scans the source files of every them you have installed on your site for signs of malicious code and then outputs 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 the best WP useful.

***

"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

***

Translate »