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 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 WP themes so revolutionary in terms of web design, then go here to read our article: An Introduction to WordPress Themes

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

As we’ve explained in another article, a theme is a unique type of web template that is used on WordPress-driven websites and designed specifically in WordPress.

Many web designers and website development agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users can access thousands of great WP themes designed for a wide range of purposes.

Themes are designed for many website uses.

Finding Great Responsive Themes For WordPress: Let’s Keep Things Simple!

If you were to fire up Google and type a key phrase like this:

  • best free themes for WordPress
  • best free themes for WordPress
  • best free WordPress themes for artists (type in whatever your business, search topic or website 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 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 start, you should know that WordPress offers users both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in a later article. To keep things simple, we’ll only be covering the topic of finding themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this post, which gives you more freedom, more options and more control over the design areas of your blog.

Free vs Paid WordPress Themes

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

Theme Marketplaces And Directories Commercial And Independent WP Theme Design Houses

There are mostly 2 kinds of places where you can find themes. The first type of place is in theme marketplaces and theme directories. The second place are the commercial and independent WP theme companies.

Theme marketplaces and 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 visitors 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 WP plugins and templates for other web applications (e.g. Joomla, Drupal, etc.)

Commercial and independent theme vendors typically will develop both free and commercial themes, and can vary in size, from an individual developer or a small team of developer, to large web and theme design companies.

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

Where To Find The Best Responsive Themes For Your WP Website

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Theme Directory

(WordPress.org – Theme Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the biggest and best place to find free WordPress themes. In fact, it’s probably the only free 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 contain malicious code and place your computer, digital presence and even your entire business at risk.

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

You Don’t Even Have To Leave Your WordPress Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every WP 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 clicks.

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

Use WP Theme Filtering

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

Use The Theme Filtering

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

Note: in an earlier post where we present an overview of WordPress themes and discuss the importance of using “responsive” themes, we explained how responsive themes allow your site to be viewed without problems on all devices (e.g. computers, tablets and smartphones) …

Use Theme Filtering

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

Use The WP Theme Filters

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

Use The WordPress Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free WP themes is that it costs nothing to download and use the theme. Additionally, many free themes are professionally designed and provide a number of customizable settings, giving you great flexibility and choice in how you configure all of its various layout elements.

The ”cons” to 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. Most free themes ask users for donations 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 over a year since any change was made, then it’s best to think carefully about downloading it, as the WordPress software changes quite often and new features can create conflicts and errors with older code.

If you’re just getting started and your site is still quite 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 paid themes. Who knows, the theme you downloaded for free could be exactly what works for your site and helps to convert 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 specific requirements, it’s time to turn our attention to finding premium 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 ongoing support, then search through the WordPress theme galleries of the “Premium” theme design agencies listed below:

WP Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest WP themes marketplace

ThemeForest is one of the biggest and well known theme marketplaces online.

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

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

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

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and news editorials, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for legal sites and marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes for portfolios, galleries, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes ideal for sites related to employment opportunities, buy & sell, tourism directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for e-commerce, event bookings and registrations, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to teaching, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for film & tv blogs, dining out, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. mobile-switching 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 health products, trades or professionals (plumbers, legal firms, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to apps, landing pages, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and dating advice 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!

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 find great premium WP themes in the ThemeForest directory:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

Creative Market is another leading WP theme marketplace where you can browse many quality premium WP 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 directory, but you can easily find themes for WordPress and narrow your search using theme categories (e.g. Landing Page or Wedding themes, etc.) using their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market - marketplace premium WP themes

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Themes Marketplace

(click on the above images 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 browse hundreds of WP themes and search through their theme categories by selecting the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo

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

Now that we have looked at WordPress theme directories, let’s look at commercial and independent theme stores.

Commercial Theme Shops

SoloStream

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

Solostream Themes

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

Woo Themes

Woo Themes designs eye-catching themes for WordPress and offer a membership option that lets you access their entire WP theme collection.

Woo Themes Premium Themes

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

StoreFront

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

StoreFront - WP Themes

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

StudioPress

StudioPress provides WordPress themes based on a framework (called the “Genesis” framework) that enables users 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 like the Genesis framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps this framework regularly updated to reflect best practices for coding and to ensure that it is always compatible with the latest version of WordPress, but because you can update themes built using the Genesis framework without losing any customizations you 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 design.

If this all sounds way 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 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 Premium WordPress Themes

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

Theme-Checking Tools

Let’s finish this post with some useful WordPress theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WP Theme Is That? – WP Theme Search Tool

What WordPress Theme Is That

What WordPress Theme Is That? is a free WordPress theme and plugin search tool that allows you to easily detect what WordPress theme a website or blog uses.

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

Tip

Tip: If you can’t tell if a site runs on WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that shows you how to tell whether or not a web site is powered by WordPress: The Easy Way To Tell If Your Web Site Runs On The WP CMS Platform

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 if the site is built using WordPress, but it will also list the theme being used by the site and list any WordPress plugins detected.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) – WP Plugin

Note

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

A commonly-used method employed by a number of hackers and networks that engage in cyber criminal activities is to put up websites and directories offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and distribute themes and plugins containing malicious code. In fact, some of these sites even come up on Google for key phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress repository, or use well-known and trusted theme download sites.

If you are in doubt about whether a WordPress theme that you have installed on your blog could 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 theme files. This plugin scans the source files of every them you have installed on your site for signs of malicious code and then presents you with a report as shown in the screenshot below …

Theme Authenticity Checker - WordPress Plugin

(TAC Report Page – Screenshot Source: Plugin)

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

***

"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org

***

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Add A WordPress Site To FacebookHow To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Learn how to add your WordPress site to Facebook. Learn how to obtain and set up a free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your WordPress site, how to change your site protocol from "http" to "https" (secure site) and how to set up a Facebook app and import your entire WordPress site into Facebook.

More info: How To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Design, Develop & Sell WordPress ThemesHow To Design, Develop & Sell WordPress Themes

Learn how to design, develop, and sell your own WordPress Themes.

More info: How To Design, Develop & Sell WordPress Themes

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use CSSHow To Use CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allows you to control how web pages and page elements display on your screen. This video course shows you how to use CSS.

More info: How To Use CSS

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use FTPHow To Use FTP

This video course shows you how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer and upload files between your hard drive and your server using a free FTP program called Filezilla.

More info: How To Use FTP

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPressBuild An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Learn how to set up an e-commerce store on your WordPress site using e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.

More info: Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using S2 MemberUsing S2 Member

Learn how to set up and configure a WordPress membership site using the S2 Member free WordPress membership plugin.

More info: Using S2 Member

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Set Up WordPress On LocalhostHow To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Learn how to install, set up, and locally host a fully functioning WordPress site on your computer.

More info: How To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Install, Set Up & Use WordPress MultisiteHow To Install, Set Up & Use WordPress Multisite

Learn how to quickly and securely set up an online community of websites or blogs using the powerful WordPress Multisite feature.

More info: WordPress Multisite

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Set Up A Forum On WordPressHow To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

Learn how to set up a forum for your visitors, prospects, customers, members, or affiliates using WordPress.

More info: How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using Layers WPUsing Layers WP

Learn how to use Layers WP, a powerful, flexible and user-friendly WordPress theme that lets you build professional and stunning websites easily using point-and-click.

More info: Using Layers WP

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as Where To Find The Best WordPress Themes.