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 a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you haven’t yet discovered WordPress themes and what makes WordPress themes so attractive to website owners, then make sure to check out the article here: An Overview of WP Themes

In this blog post, you will learn where you can browse hundreds of free and paid themes for your website or blog. 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 avoid experiencing problems like lack of product support and poor coding.

As explained in another article, a WordPress theme is a unique kind of web template used on WordPress-powered websites and blogs and designed specifically on the WP platform.

Many website designers and web design agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users have access to thousands of professional-quality WordPress themes designed for a wide range of purposes and needs.

Themes cover a wide-range of uses and applications.

Finding Great WordPress Themes: Too Much Information … Where To Begin?

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

  • best paid themes for WordPress
  • WordPress themes free
  • best paid WordPress themes for writers (type in whatever your business, search topic or blog is about)

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

So, to help you save time and make things easier, we’ll just cut through the clutter and make the process of finding great WordPress themes really 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 another article. For now, please note that we will 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 the design of your site.

Free vs Paid WP Themes

Next, it’s important to know that there are both Free and Paid WordPress themes being made available. Free themes for WordPress are normally distributed as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they can be made available to users as Premium (paid) themes.

WP Theme Marketplaces And Directories vs Theme Shops

There are two different types of places where WordPress themes can be found. The first place is in theme marketplaces and theme directories. The second type of place are the commercial and independent WordPress theme development firms.

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

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

Most 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 WP theme directories .

Let’s now show you where to find the best themes for your website or blog.

Finding Great Themes For Your WP Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - WP Themes Repository

(WordPress.org – Theme Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the biggest and best place to download WP 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 place your computer, digital presence … even your entire business at risk.

The WordPress.org directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your WordPress site, but it also relies on a theme review team comprised of dedicated and hard working volunteers to review and make sure that each theme listed in the directory meets specific standards of quality and security.

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

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

Tip

Search For Free WP Themes Without Leaving Your Own WordPress Dashboard

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

Look For Free Themes Without Leaving Your Own WordPress Dashboard!

Use WP Theme Filters

WordPress provides a filtering function inside the admin area that lets you narrow down your search for themes based on criteria like Colors, Layout and Features …

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

This makes it easier 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 article where we present an overview of WordPress themes and discuss the importance of choosing “responsive” WordPress themes, we explained how these allow your site to be viewed without problems across all devices (e.g. laptops, tablets and smartphones) …

Use The Theme Feature Filter

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

Use The Theme Filters

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

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

Pros & Cons Of Using Free Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free themes is that it costs you nothing to download and use the theme on your site. 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 ”cons” 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 developer to provide urgent support, especially if they are not getting paid. Many freely distributed themes ask 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 change was last made, then we advise you to think twice about downloading it, as the theme may have been abandoned by its developer.

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 a premium theme. Who knows, the free theme you’ve downloaded may just be the thing that works for you and for converting your site visitors into customers.

Now that we’ve seen how to find free themes in the WordPress theme directory and how to narrow down your search for themes that meet specific requirements, it’s time to turn our attention to finding paid WordPress themes.

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

WordPress Theme Directories

ThemeForest

ThemeForest theme marketplace

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

ThemeForest lets many professional WordPress theme creators showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are currently over 17,000 premium themes listed (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 directory, you will be able to browse for specific WP themes in a range of categories, such as:

  • Blog/Magazine – themes for general blogs and green living blogs, etc.
  • Corporate – themes suitable for medical sites and advertising purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for portfolios, ebook authors, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes ideal for sites related to travel, dining out & restaurants, business directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for e-commerce, 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, 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, chiropractors, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to software, landing pages, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and romance tips and advice blogs
  • Miscellaneous – themes suitable for writing or discussing political issues, 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 emails you theme update notifications

(ThemeForest sends you theme update notifications)

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

Creative Market

Creative Market - WordPress Theme Marketplace

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

Creative Market is another leading WP theme marketplace where you can search through thousands of 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 WP themes in its directory, but you can easily go through all of their WordPress themes and search through their theme categories (e.g. Landing Page or Business themes, etc.) from their dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market WordPress themes directory

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WP Theme Directory

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

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

Mojo

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

Now that we have looked at WP theme directories, let’s look at commercial WordPress theme design companies.

Commercial WP Theme Agencies

SoloStream

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

Solostream Themes

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

Woo Themes

Woo Themes creates stunning themes for WordPress that are very popular and highly sought after by web users and also offer a membership option that gives you access to all themes in their WP theme collection.

Woo Themes Premium Themes

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes creates beautiful 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 above images to browse all themes from StoreFront)

StudioPress

StudioPress develops WordPress themes based on a framework that lets users 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 prefer using the Genesis framework not only because it’s well-coded and well-supported (the development team at StudioPress keeps the framework regularly updated to reflect best coding practices and to make sure 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 a paint job that sits on top of the theme framework and gives your site its unique look and feel.

If this sounds too technical, don’t worry about it. StudioPress themes are very easy to work with, just like all other WordPress themes. The great thing about choosing StudioPress themes is that you pay one low price to receive unlimited support and updates, and you can install your themes on unlimited domains.

For more details, click here: StudioPress.

StudioPress Themes

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

Theme-Checking Tools

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

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

What WordPress Theme Is That.com

What WordPress Theme Is That.com is a free WordPress theme and plugin search tool that allows you to easily detect what WordPress theme a website is using.

This is a great resource if you ever come across a WordPress site that you like and would like to know what WordPress theme the website uses.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know whether a site runs on WordPress or not, we have published a a great tutorial that shows you how to tell if a web site is WP-driven: Is My Website Built With WordPress? Tell-Tale Signs & WordPress-Checking Tools

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 is powered by WordPress software, but it will also list the WordPress theme being used and list any plugins detected.

Theme Authenticity Checker - WordPress Plugin

Warning

We suggested this before and it’s worth repeating again: If you decide to use FREE themes for your WordPress site, we strongly recommend sticking with the approved themes listed in the official WordPress theme directory.

A commonly-used method employed by many hackers and syndicates that engage in cyber criminal activities is to put up sites 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 WordPress themes”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress theme directory, or use established and trusted theme download sites.

If you have any doubts about whether a WordPress theme installed on your blog may be infected with malicious or unwanted code, you can use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to perform a scan of your WordPress theme files. This plugin scans the source files of every them you have installed on your site for signs of suspicious code and then presents you with a report with the results …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

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

We hope that you have found this information useful.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

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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.