I know you have a lot of options both free and paid. I also know that when you’re starting out you may not want to rush right out and purchase a premium theme. The good news is that you DON’T HAVE TOO. There are plenty of great free (and paid themes) you can use and I’m going to share with you my favorites.
Speed and design are critical to me, as well as the ability to edit the theme with ease. I know a lot of premium themes have a lot of bells and whistles and while the demo may look super nice, in practice is just slows down your website. Case in point is the Jarvis theme. Looks awesome, but you can over do the parallax images and the short codes to create a website that becomes one big mess.
So for me, the theme should have a nice blog template with a sidebar and enough area to run ads if I so choose as well as the ability to create nice looking pages with no sidebar. You’re going to want that sort of flexibility as you won’t always want every page to have a sidebar, nor do you want your sidebar free pages to be super wide and weird looking.
You want a theme where the designer has take some time to think about the end product. I typically go with a design that is as simple as possible but also meets the user expectations. So for a website on how to create a website like the one your on, the design needs to be a step up from what I would normally create for a content website.
Anyways, let’s jump into the list. Please note, all links open in a new tab.
These themes are fast and properly coded with an emphasis on speed. They achieve fast load times because they use a minimal amount of lines of code. They are also highly customizabe, particularly if you combine them with a page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder.
Generate Press (Free + Upgrade) – One of the best, if not the best WordPress theme available. Generate Press is fast and is perfect for any sort of blog or content website.
Astra (Free + Upgrade) – Astra markets itself as being one of the fastest themes available and I agree! I use Astra on two content websites I own and the sites load in under a second!
OceanWP (Free + Upgrade) – OceanWP is another good theme with a lot of built in options like Astra and Generate Press. I prefer Astra and Generate Press but OceanWP is still worth a look!
For bloggers, the focus is on the actual blog content design, a call to action, good category and tag pages and the ability to have deep linking with content that is easy to find
Shamrock (Free) – Clean white design, imposing header and a sidebar! You standard blog design. Classic and effective.
SugarBlog (Theme Forest) – The theme I use on EdgeofDavid.com. It’s design can be crafted into something elegant or cool. Again, like a lot of premium themes it has a lot of bells and whistles. Keep the design light and go for speed.
NOVA Blog (Theme Forest) – Made by the same team of the Sugar Blog. I just really like their designs! NOVA Blog is just sexy and customizable.
Maker Pro (StudioPress) – Cool, minimalistic design. Get a fast loading design with a pro look without it being overwhelming.
Pro Blogg (Free) – Heavy focus on the content with a magazine style homepage. I also like the ability to add gorgeous boxes to the top that can link to your “money” posts.
Love Craft (Free) – Sexy feminine design. Perfect for a female oriented blogger.
Authority Pro (StudioPress) – Easily the best personal branding theme out there. If you’re a coach or consultant, or you’re trying to position yourself as such, check out Authority Pro.
Metro Pro (StudioPress) – Masculine, aggressive design.
Multi-purpose themes bridge the gap between blogs and business websites. Maybe you want to blog and sell info products and courses, BUT you want a nice homepage to introduce people to your website, or maybe you have a business and also want to blog. Whatever, multi-purpose themes are these sort of flex themes.
Sydney Theme (Free + Upgrade) – Like the WLOW theme, but a bit more feminine.
X Theme (Theme Forest) – X is a theme that comes with it’s own page building plugin as well as multiple demo content you can download and install.
Avada Theme (Theme Forest) – The best selling theme on Theme Forest is a multi-purpose business theme.
Flash Theme (Free + Upgrade) – A good theme for a content heavy website. It also has a lovely homepage design with a magazine feel and a call to action at the top.
Aspire Pro (StudioPress) – Bold homepage design with the ability to have an optin box and links to whatever pages or post you think are important.
Studio Pro (StudioPress) – Gorgeous homepage, fast loading. Just a very professional, stunning design.
Niche sites or content sites as I like to call theme focus on providing information on a specific topic, narrowed topic. Niche sites make their money primarily from ad revenue and affiliate marketing. For niche websites I like to go for themes that are light, fast and have an overall simple design to get people reading and clicking.
My Blog (My Theme Shop) – A simply awesome theme and one of my favorites. It has a great, fast design that features beautiful images that allow you to link to your money posts.
Rowling (Free) – Simple magazine style layout.
Hueman Theme (Free + Upgrade) – Another, cool magazine style layout with a 3 column design.
HarmonUX Core (Free) – Flexible, magazine style optimized for SEO.
Astra Theme / Generate Press – Already mentioned these two, but I use these themes for content websites that are monetized with Adsense. Why? Because they I can craft them to have a simple, clean layout with a focus on the content. Also, they load fast. Important when you’re running scripts like a contextual advertising program.
Word X (My Theme Shop) – Magazine style layout with the images that “My Blog theme” also has. A great option for any AdSense content publisher.
Daily Dish (StudioPress) – Flexible. Good font styles, easy to read and a nice simple layout. Daily Dish is great for both blogs and niche websites.
Magazine Pro (StudioPress) – Another solid magazine design. Good layout, and optimized for mobile and speed.
Kouki Theme (Free) – Minimal, stylish blog with a heavy focus on the content. Featuring a hamburger menu. Cool!
You can get themes from the WordPress theme database, market places or from design studios. Market places feature designs from multiple design studios and the WordPress database is free.
You should consider getting a paid theme as they are updated and the developer cares about them more as they are making money.
Theme Forest – The only marketplace I ever buy themes from. The have a wide range of themes for pretty much any sort of website.
Download free themes from the WordPress theme directory and only the WordPress theme directory. Themes have to be vetted before thy can be made available for download. Otherwise, if you find other website that offer premium themes for free, it’s because the theme may have malicious code or hidden links to websites you don’t want to link to.
Website Creative Pro currently uses the Jarvis theme. It’s a beautiful one page theme designed for business websites. I use it because I want an impressive homepage so people trust I know what I’m talking about when it comes to making a beautiful, awesome website they can be proud of