themes, Web Design, websites, WordPress, WordPress themes, WordPress websites
January 14, 2021
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One of the best parts about using WordPress is that you have a wide array of free themes you can use from the theme directory. In fact, there are currently over 8,000 themes you can download and install right now. So let’s take a look at some of my favorite themes that I think can make your website look amazing today!
Hey there and welcome back.
One of the best parts about WordPress is the community around it, and more specifically the community of themes that are on WordPress.org. These are all free themes that you can go ahead and download right now and install on your website in just minutes. And it’s great for creating a great-looking website without spending a whole bunch of money.
So today, let’s walk through some of the best themes that you can find on WordPress dot org that you might want to use for your website. These will range from generic websites to ecommerce websites and portfolio sites and so much more.
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Now let’s get started.
GeneratePress is one of the best overall themes available in the WordPress theme directory. 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.
There is a free version and a paid version of the theme. As with everything like this, I recommend trying the free version first and then paying for the premium version if you like it enough.
Overall, you can’t really go wrong with using GeneratePress for your website.
Moving on to the newspaper/magazine side of themes, we have Diviner.
One of the biggest challenges with websites and themes in this area is balancing the need to show a lot of information, particularly on the homepage, but also not overwhelm the reader or their computer.
And Diviner really finds that balance. You can pack in a lot of stories on the homepage, but they are laid out in as much of a minimalist way as possible. It creates an easy reading experience if you’re going directly to the homepage to see what you need to read today.
There’s also a cool scrolling top bar where you can place the latest and breaking news. And you can easily place an advertising banner in the header next to the masthead.
The two things I wish were better in this theme is the ability to change colors, though you can do that through a child theme, and better font selection.
Still, if you’re looking for a free theme to start your newspaper or magazine style website, Diviner is a theme you’re going to want to try.
Moving into the realm of ecommerce, Top Store is one of the best themes for a generic store that will work for just about every small business that sells products.
You really get a feeling that you’re almost on Amazon’s website when you first load it up, but there are enough positive changes that I kind of prefer it to Amazon. It does a wonderful job of packing in a lot of information and products, but also keeps it from being too much. The white space and separation is well done.
It integrates easily with WooCommerce, which is a major plus. You can create a great online store for basically just the price of a domain and hosting if you need to. And it’s easy to customize.
There are a couple of issues with this theme. First, I’m not a big fan of the sticky sidebars, although that is more of a personal thing. Also, I don’t know if something like this will work with a small number of items, say under 20.
Still, if you need to create an online store for a sizable number of products, Top Store is a great starting point.
Continuing with ecommerce, Izo is a great theme that works with almost any type of business, from an agency to a law firm to a restaurant.
Each type of design is clean, sleek and modern. These are nice, presentable websites that will help you convert people into customers or clients. And there are enough different designs to choose from that you will find something that you like.
Plus, there is importable data based on what type of business you run, which makes it even easier to get the website up, running and looking amazing. Not too many of these free themes can say that.
It’s also easy to integrate it with WooCommerce, easy to customize and relies on no jquery which makes it run super quick.
Seriously, Izo might just be the best and most versatile theme in the directory.
Finally in the ecommerce realm, we have the restaurant themes. And the best that I’ve found in the directory is Restaurant Zone.
This is a very clean looking design that will work great with any restaurant. The layout of the menu is fantastic, aside from the fonts (more on that later). And the homepage allows you to show off your food and menu in brilliant ways.
Plus it’s optimized for page speed and SEO.
I do have some reservations about this theme. The first is that I’m not a fan of the menu fonts. They’re too small to work with that font. So you’ll either want to change the font or make the text larger.
But this is a great theme for any restaurant that is looking to get their name and their menu online for people to look at.
Moving back into the blogs realm, one of the best themes I’ve seen in the directory. It’s gorgeous, and I really don’t think you can go wrong using it for your blog website.
The post slideshow at the top is amazing. Normally, I’m not a big fan of sliders outside of newspaper or magazine websites, but this is near perfect. It allows the reader to go through it at their own pace.
The overall design of this theme is modern and a bit minimalistic. And the social share buttons are perfectly integrated into the single post template. Seriously, I think they’re the best I’ve ever seen.
I’m still not a big fan of the sticky sidebar. But at the same time, I really like the “subscribe” button in the header.
Overall, if you’re starting a blog in 2021, you’ll want to check out Stunning.
Moving on over the photography side of things, FabMasonry is a fantastic theme to show off all of your outstanding photos on the web.
I am a really big fan of the masonry layout design on the homepage. The lack of text before you hover over a photo allows for the images to do all of the talking, if you will. If you take outstanding photos, your homepage is going to be absolutely stunning.
The theme also works great with the block editor and the headers for the category pages are really cool.
The one thing that bugs me a bit with this theme is the full-height element of the single post featured image. It takes a long time to get to the content. It works well if it’s just that image, but if the post is going to be a gallery, that can take a while to scroll down to.
Still, if you’re into photography and want a theme from the directory, FabMasonry is the way to go.
Finally in the portfolio department we have MiNNaK, or at least I hope that’s how you pronounce it.
This is a nice little theme to show off your work, especially if it’s something visual like art, graphic design, photography, etc. There isn’t a whole lot about this theme that is flashy, but it certainly gets the job done.
I absolutely love the sidebar and having the header in that sidebar. And again, the masonry layout is fantastically done.
Plus it’s optimized for page speed, and it still looks great on tablet and mobile screen sizes.
If you’re looking for something simple for your portfolio, it’s worth it to check out MiNNaK.
So what’s your favorite theme in the WordPress theme directory? Be sure to leave your answer down in the comments section below.
If you are tired of dealing with the technical aspects of your WordPress website, like updates, security and the like, I offer WordPress Website Care packages that can take care of that for you, give you web hosting and more. You can learn more about it in a link the description below.
Next week we’ll take a look at whether or not you should be using page builders for your WordPress website.
To see that video and more videos on WordPress, ecommerce, web design, digital marketing and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
Until next time, happy WordPressing!
The Best Themes From the WordPress Theme Directory