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Where To Find The Best WordPress Themes

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

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of using themes and what makes WP themes so special, then make sure to check out the article here: An Introduction to WP Themes

In this article, you will learn where you can look 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 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 explained in our previously-mentioned article, a WordPress theme is a unique type of web template that is used on WordPress-driven sites and designed to work specifically with the WordPress platform in mind.

Many skilled web designers and web development houses create themes for WordPress. Consequently, members of the WP community have access to thousands of high quality themes designed for a wide range of purposes.

Where To Find Responsive Themes: So Many Choices … Where To Begin?

If you were to launch Google and type the following:

You are probably 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 users both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll cover these differences in a later article. To keep things simple, we’ll only be covering 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 important to know that there are both Free and Paid WP themes made available. Free themes for WordPress are normally distributed as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they will be listed as Premium (paid) themes.

Theme Marketplaces And Directories Commercial And Independent Theme Vendors

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

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

Some of the bigger 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 WP theme agencies can create both free and premium themes, and can vary in size, from an individual designer or a small team of developer, to large theme design and development companies.

Most commercial 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 find great themes for your blog.

Choosing The Best Responsive Themes For Your WordPress Website

WordPress.org

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

The official WordPress.org theme directory is the largest and best place to search for WP themes for free. In fact, it’s probably the only free directory you should use when looking for free WordPress themes. The reason for this, is because –as some free software users have learned– 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 relies on a review team comprised of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to review and ensure that each theme in the directory complies with specific quality and security standards.

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

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

You Don’t Even Have To Leave Your WordPress Dashboard

Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress directory and not only find a great theme for your website or blog, but also easily install and activate it directly from inside your WordPress dashboard with just a couple of clicks.

Use WordPress Theme Filtering

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 …

This makes it easy to find themes with specific features. For example, you could search for themes with a dark color 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 using “responsive” themes, we explained how these allow your site to be viewed without problems across all devices (e.g. computers, tablets and smartphones) …

You should use responsive themes, and the WordPress theme filtering option lets you search across its entire database of free themes …

… and display only WP themes that use “responsive” design standards …

Pros & Cons Of Using Free WordPress Themes

The obvious “pro” to using free WP themes is that it costs nothing to download and use the theme on your site. Additionally, many free themes are professionally designed and offer a number of built-in customizable settings, 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. Most free themes ask users for donations to help cover their support costs.

When downloading free themes, therefore, check to see when the theme was last updated. If it’s been well over one year since any changes were last made, then think twice about using it, as the WordPress software changes quite frequently and these changes can create conflicts and errors with older code.

If you’re just getting started and your site 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 any money on premium themes or even on custom theme design. Who knows, the free theme you’ve downloaded could be exactly what works for you and for your business.

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

Theme Marketplaces And Directories

ThemeForest

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

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

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

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

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)

Go here to find great themes in the ThemeForest website:

Creative Market

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

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

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

Mojo Themes

(click on the above images to see more 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 WP themes, but you can easily browse hundreds of WP themes and narrow your search with theme categories (e.g. Landing Page or Business themes and theme frameworks, etc.) by selecting the site’s dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …

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

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

Commercial WP Theme Agencies

SoloStream

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

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

Woo Themes

Woo Themes designs great themes and offer a membership option that allows members to access all themes in their growing WP theme portfolio.

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

StoreFront

StoreFront Themes creates gorgeous WP themes for e-commerce. StoreFront themes also integrate well with some of the most powerful e-commerce platforms and plugins available.

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

StudioPress

StudioPress builds WordPress themes based on a framework (called the “Genesis” framework) that lets you 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 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 make sure that it always remains 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 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 design.

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 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.

(click on the above images to view more StudioPress themes)

Theme-Checking Tools

Let’s finish this post with a few more useful WordPress theme-related tools worth knowing about:

What WordPress Theme Is That? WP Theme Checker

What WordPress Theme Is That? is a free WordPress theme search tool that lets you easily detect what WP theme and plugins a website or blog is using (including parent and child WordPress themes).

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

Tip: If you can’t tell if a site runs on WordPress or not, we have posted a a great tutorial that shows you how to tell whether or not a website uses the WP CMS platform: Tell-Tale Signs It’s A WordPress Web Site And 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 then not only confirm whether or not the site is powered by WordPress, but it will also list the theme being used and list any plugins it detects.

Theme Authenticity Checker - WP Plugin

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

A well-known strategy used by many hackers and cyber criminals is to put up websites and directories offering “Free” WordPress themes all over the web and distribute modified themes and plugins containing malicious code. In fact, some of these sites even display on search engine results for key phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free themes for WordPress”” etc. It’s best, therefore, to stick with the official WordPress repository, or use well-known and reputable theme vendors.

If you have any doubts about whether a WordPress theme installed on your blog may contain malware or unwanted code, use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to scan your WP theme files. The plugin scans the source files of every them you have installed on your site for signs of injected code and then outputs a report with the results …

(Theme Authenticity Checker Report Page – Screenshot: Plugin)

I hope that you have found the information on how to find great free and paid responsive themes for WordPress useful.

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