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 provide a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you would like to learn more about WordPress themes and what makes themes unique, then make sure to check out the article here: About WordPress Themes – A Handy Guide

In this article, you will learn where to browse hundreds of 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 make sure that you get the right themes for your needs and how to avoid experiencing problems like lack of product support and poorly-coded themes.

As we’ve explained in our previous article, a WordPress theme is a unique type of web design template that is used on WordPress-driven sites and designed specifically with the WP content management system in mind.

Many professional website designers and web design firms create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users enjoy access to thousands of professional WordPress themes designed to cover a wide range of purposes and needs.

Themes cover a wide-range of applications.

Finding Themes: Too Much Information … Where To Begin?

Let’s say you were to open up Google and type the following:

  • best free themes for WordPress
  • best responsive themes for WordPress
  • best paid WordPress themes for musicians (or whatever your business, search topic or website is about)

Chances are that you are going to get an overwhelming amount of junk to sort through in your search results.

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 both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in another article. To keep things simple, let’s just 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 WP Themes

Next, it’s useful to know that there are both Free and Paid themes being made available. Free themes for WordPress are generally 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 Commercial WP Theme Shops

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

WP theme marketplaces and WordPress theme directories are big theme aggregators. WordPress 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 directory.

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

Most commercial or independent theme companies 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 themes for your website.

Choosing Responsive Themes For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Themes Directory

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

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

The WordPress.org directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your website or blog, but it also relies on a theme review team to review and ensure that each theme uploaded to the directory complies with certain standards of quality and security.

To browse thousands of professionally-designed FREE WordPress themes from the official WP Themes Repository, go here:

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

Useful Tip

Search For Free Themes Inside Your Own WordPress Dashboard

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

Find Free WordPress Themes Without Leaving Your Own WP Dashboard!

Use The WordPress Theme Feature Filters

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 WP Theme Filters

This makes it easier to find what you are looking for. For example, you could search for themes with a light color design, with a 3-column layout and a full-width template, or themes that support custom menus, etc.

Note: in the article mentioned earlier 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 correctly on all devices (e.g. your visitors’ laptops, smartphones and tablets) …

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

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

Use The Theme Filtering

… and bring back only themes that have been built using “responsive” design standards …

Use WP 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. An added plus, is that many free themes are professionally designed and provide a number of built-in customizable settings, giving you great flexibility and choice in how you configure all of its various layout elements.

The downside 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 developer to provide dedicated 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 more than 1 year since any changes were made, then we advise you to think carefully about using it, as the WordPress software changes quite frequently and this can create conflicts or errors with older code.

If you’re just getting started and your site 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 any money on paid themes or even on custom theme design. Who knows, the theme you downloaded for free could be exactly what works for you and helps to convert your site visitors into customers.

Now that we’ve seen how to find free WP themes in the WordPress.org theme directory and how to narrow down your search for themes that meet your specific criteria, it’s time to turn our attention to paid WP 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 ongoing support, then search through the WordPress theme galleries of the “Premium” theme design agencies listed below:

WP Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest theme directory

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

ThemeForest allows many professional WordPress theme developers to showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are over 17,000 premium themes to choose from (you can find great themes from as little as $3) …

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

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

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and e-magazines, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for government sites or marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for visual galleries, writers, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites related to travel, holiday rentals, community resources, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for selling products online, event bookings and registrations, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to tutoring, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for photo gallery blogs, nightlife, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. mobile-switching 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 retail stores, trades or professionals (repairers, medical centers, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to technology, newsletters, 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!

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 lots of quality premium themes in the ThemeForest theme directory here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

Creative Market is another leading WP theme marketplace where you can browse many 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 themes for WordPress and search through their theme categories from their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WP Theme Directory

(click on the above images to browse all Mojo themes)

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 WP themes, but you can easily go through all of their themes for WordPress and search through their theme categories from the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo WordPress themes marketplace

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

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

Commercial And Independent Theme Vendors

SoloStream

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

Solostream - WordPress Themes

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

Woo Themes

Woo Themes designs great themes for WordPress and offer a membership option that gives you access to their entire WP theme portfolio.

Woo Themes For WordPress

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes specializes in e-commerce themes for WordPress. 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 browse more StoreFront themes)

StudioPress

StudioPress designs WordPress themes based on a framework that enables users to quickly and easily build a professional and search optimized WordPress website, and provides a self-updating design architecture, turn-key site 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 frequently updated to reflect best practices for coding and to ensure that themes are 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 “skins” that sit on top of the framework and gives your site its unique look and feel.

If this all 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 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 - WP Themes

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

Theme-Checking Tools

Let’s finish this article with a few more useful WP theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WP Theme Is That – WP Theme And Plugin Search Tool

What WP Theme Is That? WordPress Theme Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That is a free WordPress theme-checking 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 theme the website or blog uses.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know whether a site runs on WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that helps you tell if a web site uses WordPress: Is My Web Site 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 the site was built using WordPress software, but it will also list the theme being used and list any plugins detected.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) – WP Plugin

Useful Information

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

A commonly-used method employed by a number of hacking groups and cyber criminals is to put up sites and directories offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and then distribute modified themes and plugins 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 themes for WordPress”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress.org repository, or use well-known and reputable sites.

If you are in doubt about whether a WordPress theme installed on your site may contain malicious or unwanted code, use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to scan your theme files. The TAC plugin searches the source files of every installed theme on your site for signs of malicious code and outputs a report …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

(TAC Report Page – Screenshot Source: Plugin)

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

***

"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

***

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

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

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 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 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

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 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

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

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

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.