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 know more about WP themes and what makes themes so attractive to web site owners, then make sure to check out the post here: About WordPress Themes – A Guide For New WP Users

In this article, we show you where you can search 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 ensure that you get the right themes for your needs and how to avoid experiencing problems like lack of product support and poor coding.

As we’ve explained in our previously-mentioned article, a theme is a special type of web template that is used on WordPress-powered websites and blogs and designed specifically with WordPress in mind.

Many individual website designers and web development agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users enjoy access to thousands of professional themes designed for many website uses.

Themes are designed for many purposes.

Where To Find Responsive WP Themes: Let’s Keep Things Simple!

If you were to open up Google and type the following:

  • best paid WP themes
  • best free WordPress themes
  • best responsive WordPress themes for artists (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 your life 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 get started, you should know that WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in a separate article. To keep things simple, let’s just focus on finding themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this article, which gives you more freedom, more options and more control over the design of your site.

Free vs Paid WP Themes

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

WP Theme Marketplaces And Directories vs Commercial Theme Shops

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

WP theme marketplaces and theme directories are large aggregators of themes. WP theme developers (both commercial and independent) list their themes (both free and paid) in the marketplace or directory and buyers search for these just like they would if they were shopping for apps on an app store or software marketplace.

Some of the larger marketplaces 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 WP theme vendors typically design both free and commercial 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 design firms 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 WP theme directories .

Let’s now show you where to find great WordPress themes for your website.

Finding The Best Themes For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - WP Themes Directory

(WordPress.org – WordPress Themes Directory)

The official WordPress.org 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 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 WP directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your site, but it also uses a review team to review and ensure that each theme listed in the directory complies with 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 WordPress Themes Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

Look For Free WP Themes Inside Your Own WordPress Dashboard!

Use WordPress Theme Filters

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

Use Theme Filters

This makes it easy to find themes with specific features. For example, you could search for themes with predominantly orange colour design, with a three-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” themes, we explained how responsive themes allow your site to be viewed correctly on all devices (e.g. your laptop, smartphone and tablet) …

Use The WP Theme Filtering

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

Use Theme Filters

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

Use The WP Theme Filters

Pros & Cons Of Using Free WordPress Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free WordPress themes is that there is no cost to download and use the theme. Additionally, many free themes are professionally designed and come with a number of customizable options, 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. Many free themes will ask you for a donation 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 one year since any changes were 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 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 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 themes in the WordPress.org theme directory and how to narrow down your search for themes that meet specific criteria, it’s time to turn our attention to premium WP 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:

WordPress Theme Marketplaces And Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest - directory of WP themes

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

ThemeForest allows many professional WordPress theme designers to showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are well over 17,500 premium themes to choose from (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 WP themes in various categories, such as:

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and political blogs, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for medical sites or marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes for video galleries, kindle book authors, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites related to travel, buy & sell, community resources, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for selling products online, event bookings and registrations, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to teaching, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for music and bands blogs, music venues, 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 retail stores, trades or professionals (plumbers, chiropractors, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to software, newsletters, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and romance tips and 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!

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 great premium themes in the ThemeForest directory here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Directory

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

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

Creative Market theme marketplace

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WordPress Themes Marketplace

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

Mojo is a marketplace for premium-quality 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 WordPress themes and narrow your search with theme categories by selecting the site’s dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo - marketplace premium WordPress themes

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

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

Commercial Theme Design Companies

SoloStream

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

Solostream Themes

(click on above images to view all SoloStream themes)

Woo Themes

Woo Themes creates stunning premium themes that are very popular and highly sought after by website users and offer a membership option that allows you to access all themes in their theme portfolio.

WooThemes Premium WP Themes

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

StoreFront

StoreFront 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

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

StudioPress

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

Many website developers prefer using the Genesis framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps this framework frequently up-to-date to reflect best coding practices and to ensure that it always remains compatible with the latest version of WordPress, but because you can update your themes 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 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 - WP Themes

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

WP Theme-Checking Tools

To round things up, here are a few more useful WP theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WordPress Theme Is That? – WordPress Theme Search Tool

What WordPress Theme Is That.com

What WordPress Theme Is That is a free web tool that lets you easily detect what WP theme and plugins a website uses.

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 site is using.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know whether a site runs on WordPress or not, we have published a a great tutorial that helps you tell if a site is WP-driven: Was My Website Built Using WordPress? How To Tell

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 has been built on WordPress software, but it will also list the theme being used and list any plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

Important Info

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

A commonly-used method employed by many hacking groups and networks that engage in cyber-crime is to put up sites offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and distribute modified themes with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even display on Google for key phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to only download free WordPress themes from the official WordPress directory, or use well-known and reputable theme download sites.

If you have any concerns about whether a WordPress theme installed on your blog could contain potentially malicious or unwanted code, use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to scan your theme files. The TAC plugin scans the source files of every installed theme on your site for signs of injected code and then presents you with a report …

Theme Authenticity Checker - WP Plugin

(TAC Report Page – Screenshot Source: Plugin)

We hope that you have found the information on how to find great WP useful.

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"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

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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.