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.

For the most up-to-date version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.

WordPress

In a previous article, we provide new WordPress users with a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of using WP themes and what makes WP themes unique, then make sure to check out our article here: A Newbies’ Guide To WordPress Themes

In this blog post, you will learn where you can look for free and paid themes for your website. 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 theme coding.

As explained in another post, a theme is a special kind of web template that is used on WordPress-driven websites and blogs and designed specifically with the WordPress CMS platform in mind.

Many professional website designers and website development agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, members of the WP community can access thousands of great WordPress themes covering an extensive range of applications.

WordPress themes are designed for many purposes.

Finding Responsive Themes For WordPress: Let’s Simplify Things!

If you were to fire up Google and type something like the following:

  • best themes for WordPress
  • best paid themes for WordPress
  • best responsive WordPress themes for musicians (enter 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 listings.

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

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Themes

Before we start, you need to know that WordPress offers users both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in a later post. 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, which gives you more freedom, more options and more control over the design areas of your website.

Free vs Paid WP Themes

Next, it’s important to know that there are thousands of Free and Paid themes being 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 Marketplaces & Theme Development Firms

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

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 find these just like they would if they were shopping for apps on an app store or software marketplace.

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

Most commercial theme design houses 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 great themes for your blog.

Finding The Best Themes For Your WordPress Website

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - WP Themes 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 WP themes. The reason why, is because –as some free software users have discovered– downloading free software, add-ons, apps, templates or themes from untrustworthy places can contain malicious code and place your computer, digital presence … even your entire business at risk.

The WordPress directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your WordPress site, but it also uses a theme review team comprised of dedicated and code-savvy volunteers to review and ensure that each theme in the directory meets certain quality and security standards.

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

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

Tip

Find WP Themes Inside Your Dashboard

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

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

Use Theme 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 The WP Theme Filtering

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

Note: in the post where we discuss the importance of choosing “responsive” themes, we explained how responsive themes allow your site to be viewed without problems across all devices (e.g. laptops, tablets and smartphones) …

Use WP Theme Feature Filter

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

Use The WordPress Theme Filters

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

Use Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free 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” of 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 dedicated support, especially if they are not getting paid. Many free themes will ask you for a donation to help cover 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 changes were 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 website or blog 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 any money on a premium theme. Who knows, the free theme you’ve downloaded could be exactly what works for you and your business.

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

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

Theme Marketplaces And Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest WordPress themes directory

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

ThemeForest lets many professional WP theme creators showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are well 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 images above to view more themes on ThemeForest)

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

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for bloggers and parenting blogs, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for business sites and marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes for creative work, freelancers, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites about directory listings, dining out & restaurants, social directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for online shopping, membership sites, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to training, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for celebrity blogs, dining out, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. responsive 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 boutiques, trades or professionals (electricians, legal firms, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to hosting, landing pages, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and wedding advice blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for writing or discussing environmental issues, 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 great premium WordPress themes in the ThemeForest themes marketplace here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Directory

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

Creative Market is another leading WordPress theme directory where you can search through 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 WP themes in its directory, but you can easily go through all of their WP themes and search through their theme categories (e.g. Blog or Photography themes, etc.) using the site’s dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market theme directory

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Theme Directory

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

Mojo is a directory 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 narrow your search with theme categories from the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo

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

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

Commercial And Independent Theme Design Companies

SoloStream

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

Solostream Themes

(click on images above to see more SoloStream themes)

Woo Themes

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

WooThemes WordPress Themes

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes specializes in 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 above images to see more StoreFront themes)

StudioPress

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

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

If this all 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 allows you to receive unlimited support and updates, and you can install your themes on unlimited domains.

For more details, click here: StudioPress.

StudioPress Themes For WP

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

Theme-Checking Tools

To round things up, here are a few more useful WP theme-related tools worth keeping in mind:

What WordPress Theme Is That

What WP Theme Is That - WP Theme Search Tool

What WordPress Theme Is That.com is a free online tool that allows you to easily detect what WordPress theme 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 WordPress theme is being used on the website.

Tip

Tip: If you can’t tell if a site runs on WordPress or not, we have posted a a great tutorial that shows you how to tell if a site is powered by WordPress: Does My Blog Run On 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 whether or not the site is powered by WordPress software, but it will also list the WP theme being used and list any WordPress plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

Disclaimer

We suggested this earlier and it’s worth repeating again: When choosing FREE themes for your WordPress site, we highly recommend sticking with the approved themes listed in the official WordPress theme directory.

A commonly-used tactic employed by a number of hacking groups 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 then distribute modified themes 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 themes for WordPress”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to only download free WordPress themes from the official WordPress.org directory, or use well-known and reputable theme vendors.

If you have any doubts about whether a WordPress theme that you have installed on your blog could contain malicious or unwanted code, 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 injected code and then presents you with a report with the results …

Theme Authenticity Checker - WP Plugin

(Theme Authenticity Checker Report Page – Source: Plugin)

We hope that you have found this information useful.

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For the most up-to-date version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.
Originally published as Where To Find The Best WordPress Themes.