Find the best WordPress themes (free or paid)


We’ve been working with WordPress issues for the reason that 2008 right here on the topic Foundry, so we’ve been given a few applicable enterprise know-how and masses of experience. Let’s communicate approximately where to look for WordPress subject matters and a way to discover the great issues when you get there.

It’s crucial to be aware; I’m only discussing self-hosted issues in this post. For hosted WordPress subject matters, head over to the subject listing and market.

In which to discover the excellent WordPress issues

You’ve probably already been to Google and speedily found out it’s a nightmare to organize dependable information on finding the first-rate WordPress themes. Permit reduce through the junk and try to make your lifestyles less complicated.

WordPress themesThere are locations you can discover themes. The primary is marketplaces and directories. Those are large aggregators of topics. Consider them like app stores for WordPress themes. They arrive in principal flavors: loose and business (paid). The second location is unbiased WordPress subject shops. Consider them like your favorite neighborhood espresso shop or garb save. Maximum of these are business, and a few even list their subject matters in marketplaces and directories.

We’ll discuss free directories first, then industrial directories, and subsequently, we’ll round up the independents.

Free directories

The subject listing is the largest and most reputable vicinity to discover loose WordPress issues. In fact, it’s the simplest unfastened directory we’re recommending in this evaluation. The listing has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts over the past few years. That is particularly due to a great effort by way of the theme evaluation group. Every subject inside the listing is now reviewed and meets specific fine and safety standards.

Clear out your manner to something higher

The very best way to locate the excellent WordPress subject matters inside the directory is at once out of your WordPress dashboard. Sign into WordPress and navigate to appearance → subject matters and click the Add new link at the top of the display. Now, click on the quest link (without filling anything in). You’ll be taken to a search consequences page. Now select a keyword from the search dropdown and type “responsive-layout” into the field. You’re now looking at your fine alternatives in the directory.

Wait, why is this filter so important?

With the explosion of mobile devices, a responsive website is a should have. Absolutely everyone growing issues in 2014 must be the use of responsive internet layout techniques. This is a fast way to split the wheat from the chaff. By way of choosing from this choose list of themes, you’ll make sure:

The theme is highly new (past three years or so).
The developer of the topic is using the new trendy for growing web sites today.
It’ll make paintings amazing on drugs, telephones, and computer systems.
Ordinary, it’s an exquisite manner to begin locating the excellent WordPress themes inside the listing.

Critical be aware for WordPress 3.8

With WordPress three. There is now a Responsive checkbox beneath the layout on the feature filter display screen (when you first click add New). As of this writing (January 2014), the clear-out could be very new so that it won’t return any results. I’d suggest the usage of it more and more than time goes on. For now, you could use the above-stated method in mixture with the brand new filter out.

Could you take a look at it for freshness?

After you find a topic you want, it’s critical to discover whilst it became ultimate up to date. The latest updates imply someone is automatically fixing insects and enhancing your topic. Reproduction the name of the subject matter and search for it with Google. Look for the search result (must see scores stars next to it). While you click on via, you’ll see last updated: in the sidebar. Ensure your topic has been up to date someday in the closing 12 months. Anything older than that may be abandoned.

Now that we’ve learned how to locate the excellent WordPress subject matters within the unfastened listing allow’s pass on to a number of the economic directories, in any other case called marketplaces.

Topic marketplaces

The “big 3” in the WordPress theme marketplace area are:

ThemeForest: assume Walmart. Massive choice and low prices.
Mojo topics: think target. Still centered on quantity.
Creative marketplace assumes Etsy. Handcrafted and greater high priced.
Marketplaces are an excellent vicinity to look at via large quantities of topics. The to be had a choice of subject matters virtually can’t be beaten. The disadvantage — they tend to be flooded with low fine subject matters. This will make looking extra tough.

To reduce through a number of the cruft, you should usually attempt to use the responsive, clear out trick noted above. In case you’re using Mojo subject matters, they’ve been given a clickable filter for responsive issues. For the opposite two, you’ll want to perform a real look for “responsive.”


After filtering to show responsive themes, you’ll need to use the type to filter and pick out sales. This can provide you with the high-quality selling subject matters (through extent) in the market. This receives you the effect that remembers for two reasons:

Customers are vote casting with their ft. You’re searching on the issues humans have sold the most—a wonderful location to begin.
You’ll possibly get higher customer support. These quality sellers are going to have extra sales, customers, and cash. This needs to provide them extra assets to offer ongoing help for the product.
Don’t forget to check for freshness within the last update field located in the sidebar.

I’ve normally observed ratings on ThemeForest to be usually useless, as most of the lot on this excessive dealer category has 4 – five stars. It’s probable ThemeForest weights rankings to the excessive aspect to encourage click on throughs on search engines like google. This receives greater human beings clicking via to ThemeForest merchandise. However, it isn’t lots assist whilst you’re looking for high-quality issues. I used to be incorrect in assuming that ThemeForest becomes doing something suspect to weight the scores. It seems like that isn’t the case, as Chris has kindly mentioned in the comments.

Mojo themes

All over again, filter the responsive issues with a brief seek after using the type by income clear out to locate the excellent promoting themes.

One of the matters I don’t like about Mojo issues is the lack of closing updated facts. In a few methods, you’re flying blind. To get around this hassle, have a look at two things:

Changelog: You’ll discover this tab simply under the primary theme image. You should see a few first-rate pastimes (at the least 5 versions) right here (assuming the subject matter wasn’t just launched). In case you do, you already know the author has been fixing bugs routinely.

View paintings: click on the view paintings link within the sidebar. Then, locate look for the internet site within the left sidebar. Click through to the vendor’s internet site and appears for a few interests and signs and symptoms of lifestyles. This can develop a concept of what kind of guide you could assume to get hold of.

creative market

That is truly the smallest of the principal topic marketplaces. However, a smaller collection is simpler to browse, and you could, in all likelihood, turn via the lot in under an hour. A couple of things you’ll want to take note of in the innovative market:

Remarks: every theme has a phase for comments (scroll to the lowest)—test to peer how responsive the theme creator is in the feedback. If you see some accurate responsiveness, it’s a great signal they’ll be helpful post-purchase.

Profile: click on the author’s call/emblem within the proper column and then look for the internet site in the proper column on their profile web page. Click on through and take a spin around their website. You’re searching out some recent hobby, some documentation, and some, in reality, described guidelines.


Suppose of these as your local stores. Lots of them also promote issues on these marketplaces, while some are absolutely impartial (as we’re here at the theme Foundry). Coping with independents can be intricate because there’s pretty a bit of variance inside the assist and topic best. It’s vital to notice that most of the smaller independents have a commercial attitude, and many of them are actually one of man or woman operations. Right here are a few important traits you should be looking for in an unbiased topic keep:

Guide: Do they have assisted? Does it appear to be it’s lively? It’s vital to understand which you’re going to get top-notch support.

Active updates: How are often they update their themes? Common updates show a dedication to fixing insects and enhancing exceptional.

Records: How long has the subject save been in commercial enterprise? Is it a fly with the aid of nighttime operation, or have they been around a while? Keep in thoughts; there’s nothing wrong with shopping for a subject from a brand new corporation; you want to apprehend the risks worried.

I’m not going to undergo a listing of every unbiased subject matter issuer. As an alternative, I’ll provide a few that I recognize meet the criteria above. The isn’t about layout best or different intangibles. I’ll leave that judgment up to you.

In alphabetical order (after us of direction)

The topic Foundry (that’s us!)
Elegant topics
Graph Paper Press
Obox topics
ok issues
natural topics
topic Hybrid
theme believe
by no means is that this an exhaustive listing. Instead, it’s a list of unbiased theme shops that I recognize meet the standards noted above.

A further component to recall — most reliable unbiased subject matter shops will have some form of refund coverage. Having a strict “no refunds” coverage isn’t always an awful aspect. However, it’s something you have to be privy to. Right here at the topic Foundry, we offer a 30-day satisfaction assurance.

Cross forth and locate the pleasant

With any luck, we’ve given you a terrific head begin in narrowing down the excellent WordPress themes. Now it’s your process to locate the ideal theme for you. In case you’ve been given other tips or thoughts for finding the nice WordPress topics, let us understand inside the remarks!

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