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

If you haven’t yet discovered themes and what makes WP themes unique, then make sure to check out our post: About WordPress Themes – A Practical Guide

In this blog post, you will learn where to look for 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 make sure that you get the right themes for your needs and how to avoid dealing with problems like lack of product support and poor coding.

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

Many web designers and web design agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, members of the WP community can access thousands of uniquely-designed WordPress themes covering a wide-range of uses and applications.

WordPress themes are designed to cover a wide range of purposes.

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

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

  • best free WordPress themes
  • WordPress themes free
  • best responsive 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 junk to sort through in your search results.

So, to help you save time and make things 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 start, you should know that WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in another post. For now, 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 site’s 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 for WordPress are generally distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they will be made available to users as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

WP Theme Marketplaces And Directories & WordPress Theme Development Firms

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

WP theme marketplaces and WP theme directories are big aggregators of themes. WordPress 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 marketplaces 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 agencies typically will create both free and commercial WordPress themes, and can vary in size, from an individual theme developer or a small team of theme designer, to large web and theme development companies.

As you will see, many commercial or independent theme stores 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 or blog.

Choosing The Best Responsive WP Themes For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Free Theme Directory

(WordPress.org – Theme Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the biggest and best place to download free WP themes. In fact, it’s probably the only free WP theme directory you should use when looking for free WP themes. The reason why, is because –as some 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 WordPress 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 comprised of dedicated and code-savvy volunteers to review and make sure that each theme uploaded to the directory complies with certain 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

Look For Free Themes Without Leaving Your Own WP Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress 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 just a few mouse clicks.

Look For Free Themes Inside Your Own WordPress Dashboard!

Use WP 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 WordPress Theme Filtering

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

Note: in another article where we discuss the importance of choosing “responsive” themes, we explained how these ensure that your theme will display without problems across all devices (e.g. your computer, tablet and smartphone) …

Use The Theme Filtering

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

Use The Theme Feature Filter

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

Use The WordPress Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free WP Themes

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

The ”cons” to 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 theme developer to provide dedicated support, especially if they are not getting paid. Many freely distributed 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 a year since any updates were made, then it’s best to 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 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 money on a theme. Who knows, the theme you downloaded for free may just be the thing that 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 theme directory and how to filter your search for themes that meet specific requirements, let’s turn our attention to finding premium WordPress themes.

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

Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest - themes for WordPress

ThemeForest is one of the biggest and most popular WP theme marketplaces online.

ThemeForest allows many professional WP theme creators to showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are well over 17,500 premium themes to choose from (some starting from as little as $3) …

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

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 personal blogs and administration sites, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for legal sites and advertising purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for portfolios, kindle book authors, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites about travel, buy & sell, community resources, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for online shopping, membership sites, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to teaching, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for entertainment blogs, dining out, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. retina-ready 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 shops, trades or professionals (repairers, legal practitioners, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to technology, affiliate marketing, seo, product reviews, direct sales, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and marriage celebrant 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!

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 discover great premium themes in the ThemeForest website:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WP Theme Marketplace

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

Creative Market is another leading WordPress theme directory where you can search through 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 WordPress themes in its marketplace, but you can easily find WordPress themes and narrow your search using theme categories using their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market - marketplace premium WordPress themes

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WP Themes Marketplace

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

Mojo is a directory 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 WP themes, but you can easily go through all of their WP themes and narrow your search with theme categories (e.g. Blog or Business themes and theme frameworks, etc.) by using the site’s dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo - marketplace of WP themes

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

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

Commercial Theme Vendors

SoloStream

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

Solostream Premium WordPress Themes

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

Woo Themes

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

WooThemes For WordPress

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes 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 - WordPress Themes

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

StudioPress

StudioPress builds WordPress themes based on a framework (called the “Genesis” framework) that allows users to 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 web developers like the Genesis framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps this framework consistently up-to-date to reflect best practices for coding and to make sure 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 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 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 StudioPress themes 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 images above to browse more StudioPress themes)

WP Theme-Checking Tools

Here are a couple of useful WordPress theme-related tools worth keeping in mind:

What WordPress Theme Is That? – WordPress Theme And Plugin Search Tool

What WordPress Theme Is That? WP Theme Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That is a free web tool that allows you to 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 WP theme the website uses.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you can’t tell if a site was built using WordPress or not, go here for a great tutorial that shows you how to tell whether or not a site was built using WordPress: How To Check If Your Website Was Built With 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 not only confirm whether or not the site is powered by the WP CMS platform, but it will also list the theme being used and list any plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

Useful Information

A word of warning: When choosing FREE themes for your WordPress site, we highly recommend sticking with the reviewed and approved themes listed in the official WordPress theme repository.

A commonly-used strategy employed by a number of hacking groups and cyber criminals is to put up sites offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and distribute themes and plugins 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 WordPress themes”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to only download free themes from the official WordPress theme repository, or use established and reputable sites.

If you are in doubt about whether a WordPress theme installed on your blog may be infected with potentially malicious or unwanted code, use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to scan your theme files. This plugin searches the source files of every them you have installed on your site for signs of malicious code and presents you with a report …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

(TAC Report Page – Source: Plugin Site, WordPress.org)

We hope that you have found the information on how to find the best WP free and paid themes useful.

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

***

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

***

Originally published as Where To Find The Best WordPress Themes.