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 post, we have written a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.

If you haven’t yet discovered themes and what makes themes so revolutionary in terms of web design, then make sure to check out our post: An Overview of WP Themes

In this blog post, you will learn where you can find loads of professional free and paid themes for your website or blog. 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 avoid experiencing problems like lack of product support and poorly-coded themes.

As explained in another article, a theme is a unique type of web template that is used on WordPress-driven websites and blogs and designed to work specifically in the WP content management system.

Many talented web designers and website design companies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users can access thousands of professional WordPress themes designed for a wide range of purposes.

WP themes are designed to cover many purposes.

Finding Great Themes For WordPress: Let’s Simplify Things!

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

  • best free themes for WordPress
  • WordPress themes free
  • best free WordPress themes for authors (enter whatever your business, search topic or website is about)

You are probably going to get an overwhelming amount of junk to sort through in the 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 WordPress themes 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 separate post. For now, let’s just cover the topic of finding 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 site’s web design.

Free vs Paid Themes

Next, it’s important to know that you will easily find many Free and Paid themes being made available. Free WP themes are normally distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they will be licensed for use as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

Theme Directories & Theme Developers

There are mostly two places where WordPress themes can be found. The first is in WordPress theme marketplaces and theme directories. The second are the commercial and independent WordPress theme companies.

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

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 shops typically design both free and paid WordPress themes, and can vary in size, from an individual designer or a small team of designer, to large theme design companies.

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 great themes for your website.

Where To Find Themes For Your Website Or Blog

WordPress.org

WordPress.org - Free WordPress Theme Directory

(WordPress.org – WordPress Theme Directory)

The official WordPress theme directory is the largest and best place to search for free WordPress themes. In fact, it’s probably the only free theme directory you should use when looking for free WP themes. The reason for this, is because –as some free software users have discovered– 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.org directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your WordPress site, but it also relies on a team of theme reviewers comprised of dedicated and hard working volunteers to review and ensure that each theme uploaded to the directory complies with certain quality and security standards.

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

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

Tip

You Don’t Even Have To Leave Your WP Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress theme directory and not only find what you are looking for, but also easily install and start using it directly from inside your WordPress dashboard with only a couple of clicks.

Search For Free WP Themes Inside Your Own WP Dashboard!

Use The WP 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 Feature Filter

This makes it easy to find what you are looking for. For example, you could search for themes with a pink colour 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” themes, we explained how these allow your site to be viewed correctly on all devices (e.g. your computer, smartphone and tablet) …

Use WP Theme Filters

It’s a good idea to use responsive themes, and the WordPress theme filter lets you search across its entire database of free themes …

Use The WordPress Theme Filtering

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

Use The Theme Filters

Pros & Cons Of Using Free WordPress Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free WP themes is that there is no cost 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” of using free WordPress 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 immediate support, especially if they are not getting paid. Many free 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 more than a year since any updates were made, then it’s best to think carefully about downloading it, as the theme may have been abandoned by its developer.

If you’re just getting started and your website is still quite new, it’s a good idea to start with 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 paid theme. Who knows, the free theme you’ve downloaded could be exactly what works for your site and your business.

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

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

WordPress Theme Marketplaces

ThemeForest

ThemeForest

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

ThemeForest lets many professional WordPress theme designers showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are currently over 17,500 premium WP themes listed (you can find great themes from as little as $3) …

ThemeForest - Premium WordPress Themes

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

If you visit the ThemeForest theme marketplace, 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 legal sites or marketing purposes.
  • Creative – themes suitable for video galleries, kindle book authors, etc.
  • Directory Listings – themes that suit sites about travel, buy & sell, social directories, etc.
  • eCommerce – themes for e-commerce, membership sites, etc.
  • Education – themes that suit sites related to teaching, etc.
  • Entertainment – themes for photo gallery blogs, cafes, etc.
  • Mobile – e.g. responsive themes.
  • NonProfit – themes for nonprofit organizations, churches, etc.
  • Real Estate – themes for real estate and real estate listings (e.g. rentals, etc.)
  • Retail – themes for travel, trades or professionals (repairers, dentists, etc.)
  • Technology – themes related to apps, landing pages, etc.
  • Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and marriage consellor 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!

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 WordPress themes in the ThemeForest directory here:

Creative Market

Creative Market - WP Theme Directory

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

Creative Market is another leading WP theme directory where you can browse 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 WP themes in its directory, but you can easily find WP themes and narrow your search using theme categories (e.g. Blog or Photography themes, etc.) using the site’s dropdown “Themes” menu …

Creative Market WP themes marketplace

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

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes - WP Theme Marketplace

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

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 find themes for WordPress and narrow your search with theme categories (e.g. Portfolio or Business themes and theme frameworks, etc.) by using the dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

Mojo WP themes marketplace

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

Now that we have looked at WordPress theme directories, let’s take a look at commercial and independent theme design companies.

Commercial And Independent Theme Design Houses

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 Themes For WP

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

Woo Themes

Woo Themes designs stunning themes that are very popular and highly sought after by website users and offer a membership option that lets you access all themes in their theme collection.

WooThemes WordPress Themes

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

StoreFront

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

StoreFront Themes For WP

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

StudioPress

StudioPress designs WordPress themes based on a framework that allows users to quickly and easily build a professional and search optimized WordPress website, and provides a self-updating design architecture, turn-key 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 this framework consistently up-to-date to reflect best practices for coding and to ensure that themes are always compatible with the latest version of WordPress, but because you can update your themes without losing any customizations you may have made to your theme.

This is because themes built with 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 very 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 see all StudioPress themes)

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.com

What WP Theme Is That? - WordPress Theme And Plugin Checker

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

This is a great resource if you have come across a WordPress site that you like and would like to know what WordPress theme is being used on the site.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you don’t know if a site was built using WordPress or not, we have published a a great tutorial that shows you how to tell whether or not a site is WP-driven: Is My Website Built Using WordPress? Tell-Tale Signs & WP-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 whether or not a site has been built using WordPress, but it will also list the WordPress theme being used and list any WP plugins detected.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)

Disclaimer

We suggested this earlier and it’s worth repeating again: When choosing FREE themes for your WordPress site, we highly recommend sticking with the WordPress themes listed in the official WordPress theme directory.

A tactic that is commonly used by many hacking groups and networks that engage in cyber criminal activities is to put up sites and directories offering “Free” themes for WordPress all over the web and then distribute themes and plugins containing malicious code. In fact, some of these sites even come up on Google’s search results for key phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress.org directory, or use established and reputable sites.

If you are concerned about whether a WordPress theme installed on your site may be infected with 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 outputs a report with the results …

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) - WP Plugin

(Theme Authenticity Checker Report Page – Source: WordPress.org Plugin)

I hope that you have found this information useful.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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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.