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 another article, we have written a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you haven’t yet discovered themes and what makes WP themes so attractive to web site owners, then make sure to check out our article here: A Non-Technical User’s Guide To Understanding WordPress Themes

In this article, we show you where to browse hundreds of free and paid themes for your WordPress website or blog. 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 avoid dealing with problems like lack of support and poor coding.

As explained in our previous article, a theme is a special kind of web template that is used on WordPress-driven sites and designed to work specifically with the WordPress platform in mind.

Many talented website designers and web design companies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users can access thousands of professional-quality WordPress themes designed to cover a wide range of purposes.

Themes are designed for many purposes and needs.

Where To Find Great Themes For WordPress: Too Much Information … Where To Begin?

If you were to open up Google and search for a key phrase like the following:

  • best premium WP themes
  • WordPress themes free
  • best free WordPress themes for artists (type in whatever your business, search topic or blog is about)

Chances are that you are going to get an overwhelming amount of disorganized information to sort through in the 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 need to know that WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll explain these differences in another article. To keep things simple, please note that we will only cover the topic of 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 your web design.

Free vs Paid WordPress Themes

Next, it’s useful to know that there are both Free and Paid WordPress themes made available. Free themes for WordPress 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.

WP Theme Directories vs Commercial Theme Vendors

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

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

Some of the bigger theme stores 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 companies typically develop both free and commercial themes, and can vary in size, from an individual developer or a small team of designer, to large web and theme development companies.

Many commercial or independent theme developers 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 WordPress theme directories .

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

Choosing Responsive Themes For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Themes Directory

(WordPress.org – WordPress Theme Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the biggest and best place to search for free WordPress themes. 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 learned– 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 theme directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your website or blog, but it also relies on a review team to review and ensure that each theme listed in the directory complies with certain quality and security standards.

To browse thousands of great-looking FREE WordPress themes from the official Themes Directory, go here:

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

Tip

Search For Free WordPress Themes Without Leaving Your Own WP Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress theme directory and not only find what you are looking for, but also easily install and activate it directly from within your WP dashboard with only a few clicks.

Search For Free Themes Without Leaving Your Own WP Dashboard!

Use WP Theme Feature Filters

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

Use WP Theme Filters

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

Note: in another article where we present an overview of WordPress themes and discuss the importance of choosing “responsive” themes, we explained how these allow your site to be viewed correctly on all devices (e.g. the PCs, smartphones and tablets used by visitors to browse your site information) …

Use The WordPress Theme Filters

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

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

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

Use Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free Themes

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

The downside of 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 developer to provide personal support, especially if they are not getting paid. Most free themes will ask you for a donation to help cover support costs.

When downloading free themes, therefore, check to see when the theme was last updated. If it’s been over 1 year since any changes were last made, then you should think twice about using it, as the WordPress software changes quite frequently and new features can result in conflicts or errors with older code.

If you’re just getting started and your website or blog 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 money on a paid theme. Who knows, the free theme you’ve downloaded could be exactly what works for you and for your business.

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

Premium WP 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 Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest theme marketplace

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

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

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

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

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and green living blogs, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for government sites or marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for design, writing professionals, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites about employment opportunities, holiday rentals, business directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for selling products online, membership sites, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to tutoring, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for entertainment blogs, restaurants, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. responsive themes.
  • NonProfit – themes for nonprofit organizations, charities, etc.
  • Real Estate – themes for real estate and real estate listings (e.g. rentals, etc.)
  • Retail – themes for catalogs, trades or professionals (repairers, engineering, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to software, affiliate marketing, seo, product reviews, direct sales, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and dating advice blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for topics related to activism, 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 sends you theme update notifications)

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

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

Creative Market is another leading WP theme marketplace where you can browse thousands of 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 WordPress themes in its marketplace, but you can easily browse hundreds of WP themes and narrow your search using theme categories (e.g. Blog or Commerce themes, etc.) from their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market - themes for WordPress

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Themes Marketplace

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

Mojo is a marketplace 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 browse hundreds of themes for WordPress and search through their theme categories using the site’s dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo WP themes marketplace

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

Now that we have looked at WordPress theme aggregators, let’s turn our attention to commercial and independent theme stores.

Commercial WP Theme Vendors

SoloStream

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

Solostream Premium WP Themes

(click on images above to browse more SoloStream themes)

Woo Themes

Woo Themes designs eye-catching premium themes that are very popular and highly sought after by web users and offer a membership option that allows members to access all themes in their growing theme portfolio.

WooThemes - WP Themes

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

StoreFront

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

StoreFront Themes For WP

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

StudioPress

StudioPress develops WordPress themes based on a framework (called the “Genesis” framework) that lets users quickly and easily build a professional and search optimized WordPress website, and provides an auto-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 frequently up-to-date to reflect best practices for coding and to ensure that it always remains 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 themes built using the Genesis framework 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 very 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 Themes

(click on the above images to see all themes from StudioPress)

Theme-Checking Tools

To round things up, here are some useful WordPress theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WordPress Theme Is That?

What WordPress Theme Is That?

What WordPress Theme Is That.com is a free web tool that lets you easily detect what WP theme and plugins a website or blog uses (including parent and child themes).

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 or blog is using.

Tip

Tip: If you don’t know whether a site was built using WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that shows you how to tell whether or not a website is WP-driven: Is It A WordPress Site?

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 not only confirm whether or not a site has been built on WordPress, but it will also list the theme being used by the site and list any WP plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker - WordPress Plugin

Note

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

A commonly-used tactic employed by a number of hackers and cyber criminals is to put up sites offering “Free” WordPress themes all over the web and distribute themes with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even display on search engine results for search phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free themes for WordPress”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress.org directory, or use established and reputable theme vendors.

If you have any doubts about whether a WordPress theme installed on your site could be infected with malware or unwanted code, you can use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to run a scan of your WordPress theme files. This plugin searches the source files of every installed theme on your site for signs of malicious code and then presents you with a report as shown in the screenshot below …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) - Plugin

(Theme Authenticity Checker Report Page – Screenshot: Plugin)

We hope that you have found the information on how to find the best WordPress useful.

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

***