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

If you haven’t yet discovered WP themes and what makes themes so revolutionary in terms of website design, then make sure to check out this article: An Introduction to WP Themes

In this article, we show you where you can search for free and paid themes for your WP 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 having to deal with problems like lack of customer support and poor coding.

As explained in our previously-mentioned post, a WordPress theme is a special kind of web template that is used on WordPress-driven sites and designed to work specifically for WordPress.

Many professional website designers and website design firms create themes for WordPress. Consequently, members of the WordPress community enjoy access to thousands of high quality themes covering an extensive range of uses and applications.

WP themes cover an extensive range of applications.

Where To Find Responsive WordPress Themes: Let’s Simplify Things!

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

  • best responsive themes for WordPress
  • best responsive themes for WordPress
  • best free WordPress themes for business (type in whatever your business, area of interest or blog is about)

You are probably going to get an overwhelming amount of junk to sort through in your 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 get started, you need to know that WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in a different article. To keep things simple, we’ll only be covering themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this article, as these give you more freedom, more options and more control over your web design.

Free vs Paid Themes

Next, it’s useful to know that there are both Free and Paid themes being made available. Free themes are generally distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they are made available to users as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

Theme Marketplaces & Theme Stores

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

Theme marketplaces and theme directories are big theme aggregators. theme developers (both commercial and independent) list their themes (both free and paid) in the marketplace or directory and buyers shop for 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 WordPress theme development firms can also create both free and paid WP themes, and can vary in size, from an individual theme developer or a small team of developer, to large theme design and development companies.

Many commercial 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 search for the best themes for your website or blog.

Finding A Responsive Theme For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Free Theme Directory

(WordPress.org – WP Themes Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the largest and best place to search for 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 many free software users have discovered– 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 theme directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your site, but it also relies on a team of theme reviewers to review and ensure that each theme listed in the directory meets their quality and security standards.

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

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

Useful Tip

You Don’t Even Have To Leave Your WP Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress.org 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 dashboard with only a couple of mouse clicks.

Find Free WordPress Themes Inside Your Own WP Dashboard!

Use The 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 Theme Feature Filter

This makes it easy to find themes with specific features. For example, you could search for themes with predominantly orange color design, with a 4-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 choosing “responsive” WP themes, we explained how responsive themes allow your site to be viewed correctly on all devices (e.g. the laptops, tablets and smartphones used by visitors to view your web content) …

Use The WordPress Theme Filtering

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

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

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

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free WordPress Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free WordPress themes is that it’s free to download and use the theme. An added plus, is that 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 downside to using free themes are that your themes may not get updated as often with new features and bug fixes, and it’s unrealistic to expect the theme developer to provide dedicated support, especially if they are not getting paid. Most freely distributed themes ask users for donations to help cover support costs.

When downloading free themes, therefore, check to see when the theme was last updated. If it’s been more than a year since any changes were made, then you should think carefully 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, 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. 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 filter your search for themes that meet specific requirements, let’s turn our attention to paid WordPress themes.

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

WordPress Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest WordPress themes marketplace

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

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

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

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

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and blog magazines, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for corporate sites or advertising purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for creative work, writers, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites about directory listings, holiday rentals, , etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for selling products online, event bookings and registrations, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to tutoring, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for gossip 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. home sales, etc.)
  • Retail – themes for catalogs, trades or professionals (electricians, legal practitioners, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to hosting, newsletters, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and wedding advice blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for writing or discussing political issues, green living 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)

Browse lots of great premium themes in the ThemeForest themes directory here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Directory

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

Creative Market is another leading WordPress theme directory where you can search through 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 WordPress themes and narrow your search using theme categories using their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market WordPress themes marketplace

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

Mojo is a marketplace for premium 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 find themes for WordPress and narrow your search with theme categories by choosing the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo

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

Now that we have looked at WP theme aggregators, let’s look at commercial WordPress theme shops.

Commercial WordPress Theme Design Houses

SoloStream

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

Solostream Premium Themes

(click on above images to browse more SoloStream themes)

Woo Themes

Woo Themes creates eye-catching themes for WordPress and offers a membership option that lets you access all themes in their theme collection.

WooThemes WordPress Themes

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes specializes in creating e-commerce themes for WordPress. StoreFront themes also integrate well with some of the most powerful e-commerce platforms and plugins available.

StoreFront

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

StudioPress

StudioPress builds WordPress themes based on a framework that enables 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 the content and unprecedented control of the framework.

Many web developers prefer using the Genesis framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps the framework frequently up-to-date to reflect best coding practices and to ensure that themes remain always compatible with the latest version of WordPress, 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 theme framework and gives your site its unique design.

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

For more details, click here: StudioPress.

StudioPress

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

WordPress Theme-Checking Tools

Let’s finish this article with a couple of useful WordPress theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WordPress Theme Is That

What WP Theme Is That? - WordPress Theme Search Tool

What WordPress Theme Is That.com is a free WordPress theme and plugin-checking tool that lets you easily detect what WP theme a website is using (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 WP theme is being used on the website.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know whether a site was built using WordPress or not, we have posted a a great tutorial that shows you how to tell if a website is powered by WordPress: The Easy Way To Tell If Your Blog Was Built Using 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 then not only confirm whether or not a site is powered by the WP CMS platform, but it will also list the WordPress theme being used by the site and list any plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) – WordPress Plugin

Useful Information

A word of warning: 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 strategy employed by a number of hackers and cyber criminals is to put up websites offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and distribute modified themes and plugins with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even come up on Google’s search results for search phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to only download free themes from the official WordPress.org repository, or use well-known and trusted sites.

If you are in doubt about whether a WordPress theme that you have installed on your site could contain 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. The plugin searches the source files of every installed theme on your site for signs of malicious code and 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 free and paid responsive themes for WordPress useful.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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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.