WordPress theme directory page on a laptop screen

The best themes from the WordPress theme directory

The WordPress Theme Directory is a great feature for anyone just starting their WordPress website.

Currently, there are over 7,000 themes in the theme directory. And the theme review team takes the time to review each of them for code quality and to make sure that they don’t add in any extra functionality that might hurt you down the road.

But the point about just how many themes in the directory still stands. How do you find which ones are the best fit for you and your business?

Well today I’m going to walk you through my four favorite themes from the WordPress Theme Directory that you might want to use for your website. And the best part? They’re all free!


Screenshot of the homepage for OceanWP

OceanWP might just be the best Gutenberg theme out there on the market today.

Unlike the other themes in this list, OceanWP is free out of the box. There are also free templates with some pretty neat designs. that you can install on your site to make it much easier to fill out and create pages on your website

And for those who want to pay a bit extra to get something more fancy, there are premium options that you can look into. But from what I can tell, all of the templates are clean, modern and eye catching, and you’re bound to find something that you like.

Finally, Ocean WP has all of the features you’ll likely need. It has ecommerce support so you can start an online store. It has SEO built in, so you shouldn’t need to worry about if your site’s code is hurting your SEO. And it also has a focus in quick page load times, which can mean a lot for prospective customers and readers.

If you’re looking for a theme so you can use Gutenberg to the best of its abilities, you can’t get any better than OceanWP.


Screenshot of the homepage for the GeneratePress theme

GeneratePress is an extremely powerful WordPress theme that allows you to create a wonderful online store, portfolio website or just a website to let people know about what you do.

The design to this is simple, but elegant. Everything is clean and it’s easy to read the content, whether it’s a blog post, a regular page or a sales section.

One of the best features is that it works with the basic WordPress editor, Beaver Builder and Elementor. That’s pretty versatile for a theme from the directory. Plus, there are a ton of options at your fingertips, from where your navigation resides to how the front page looks like. You won’t have to worry about your website looking like someone else’s that also uses GeneratePress.

And if you want a cool design out the box, GeneratePress offers a number of predesigned templates you can use.

I do want to note that there is a free version and a paid version. As is typical with a situation like this, I would recommend using the free version and then if you like that, you can consider paying for it.

Overall, you can’t really go wrong with using GeneratePress for your website.


Screenshot of the homepage for the Newsup WordPress theme

If you’re looking to create a cool newspaper or magazine website, Newsup is a very good candidate to work for your website.

It has all of the basic elements of a newspaper website. It has content basically everywhere. There’s the standard post slider at the top of the main section. To the right of that is a place where people can read through your latest posts and most popular posts. And beneath the slider you can add in sections for posts from a category.

One of the cool additions that I haven’t seen before is a scrolling ticker at the top that runs your latest posts. Plus above that it has a list of your top tags.

The one drawback to this theme is that there is a lot going on, and that kind of goes against my modernist thinking. And for some readers, it can be a bit too much.

But there’s a lot to like with this theme, and it’s one of the best you can find for free in the directory.

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Screenshot of the homepage for the Koji WordPress theme

Finally, if you’re looking for a more visual website that’s closer to Pinterest or Instagram, Koji is a theme that you really want to look at.

This theme essentially emulates what those social networks are doing or have done in the past, and it looks great. I love the minimalist look to it and how well images pop off against the background.

One advantage this theme gives you over the social networks is that you can include a lot of text in your post with the image. This allows you to go into more detail about what it is and maybe how you were able to take that photo.

Plus, the theme is extremely lightweight. There’s not a whole lot of added scripts or styling that can really bog a website down. So your visitors will be able to load your website and view your photos quicker.

If you want to show off your photography, Koji is probably going to be the theme for you.

So what are your favorite themes in the WordPress theme directory? Is there one that you just love? Or have you had a bad experience with one before? And do you have any questions about a theme in the directory or the process a theme goes through before it’s included?

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