In an earlier post, we provide a comprehensive overview of WordPress Themes.
If you haven’t yet discovered WordPress themes and what makes WordPress themes so special, then make sure to check out the article here: A Useful Guide To Understanding WordPress Themes
In this article you will learn where to browse hundreds of free and paid themes for your website or blog. You will also learn about the different types of WordPress theme resources and get tips on how to ensure that you get the right themes for your needs and how to avoid having to deal with problems like lack of customer support and poorly-coded themes.
As explained in our previously-mentioned article, a WordPress theme is a special kind of web design template used on WordPress-driven websites and designed specifically for WordPress.
Many professional website designers and web development agencies create themes for WordPress. Consequently, WordPress users can access thousands of great themes designed for many website uses.
Finding WordPress Themes: Too Much Information … Where To Begin?
If you were to fire up Google and search for the following:
- best free themes for WordPress
- best paid themes for WordPress
- best free WordPress themes for artists (or whatever your business, area of interest or blog is about)
You are probably going to get an overwhelming amount of junk to sort through in the search listings.
So, to help you save time and make your life easier, we’ll just cut through the clutter and make the process of finding great WordPress themes simple.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Themes
Before we get started, you need to know that WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted version. We’ll explain these differences in a different post. For now, we’ll only cover the topic of finding themes for the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org) in this article, which gives you more freedom, more options and more control over the design of your website.
Free vs Paid WP Themes
Next, it’s important to know that you will easily find many Free and Paid themes made available. Free themes for WordPress are generally distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they are sold as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.
WP Theme Marketplaces Commercial And Independent Theme Shops
There are 2 places where you can find themes. The first place is in WP theme marketplaces and theme directories. The second type of place are the commercial and independent WordPress theme shops.
WP theme marketplaces and theme directories are large theme stores. WordPress theme developers (both commercial and independent) list their themes (both free and paid) in the marketplace or directory and buyers shop for these just like they would if they were shopping for apps on an app store or software marketplace.
Some of the larger marketplaces 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 theme developers can also design both free and premium WordPress themes, and can vary in size, from an individual developer or a small team of developer, to large web and theme design companies.
As you will see, 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.
Where To Find A Theme For Your Website Or Blog
(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)
The official WordPress theme directory is the largest and best place to search for free WordPress themes. In fact, it’s probably the only free directory you should use when looking for free WordPress themes. The reason why, is because –as many free software users have learned– downloading free software, add-ons, apps, templates or themes from untrustworthy places can put your computer, digital presence and even your entire business at risk.
The WordPress.org directory is not only a trustworthy and reputable place to download themes for your website or blog, but it also uses a review team to review and ensure that each theme uploaded to the directory complies with certain quality and security standards.
To browse thousands of excellent FREE WordPress themes from the official Themes Directory, go here:
You Don’t Even Have To Leave Your WordPress Dashboard
Useful Tip: You can easily browse through every theme in the WordPress.org directory and not only find a great theme for your website or blog, but also easily install and start using it directly from inside your WordPress admin panel with only a couple of mouse clicks.
Use The Theme Feature Filters
WordPress has a built-in 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 what you are looking for. For example, you could search for themes with predominantly light color design, with a 4-column layout and a full-width template, or themes that support custom menus, etc.
Note: in another article where we discuss the importance of choosing “responsive” WordPress themes, we explained how responsive themes ensure that your theme will display correctly across all devices (e.g. computers, tablets and smartphones) …
You should use responsive themes, and the WordPress theme filtering option lets you do just that …
… and bring up only WP themes that are “responsive” …
Pros & Cons Of Using Free WordPress Themes
The obvious “pro” to using free WordPress themes is that it costs nothing to download and use the theme on your site. An added plus, is that many free themes are professionally designed and offer a number of built-in customizable options, giving you great flexibility and choice in how you configure all of its various layout elements.
The downside of using free themes are that your themes may not get updated as often with new features and bug fixes, and you shouldn’t expect the theme developer to provide immediate support, especially if they are not getting paid. Most free themes will ask you for a donation to help cover support costs.
When downloading free themes, therefore, check to see when the theme was last updated. If it’s been over 1 year since any changes were last made, then think twice about using it, as the theme may have been abandoned by its developer.
If you’re just getting started and your website or blog is still quite new, there is nothing wrong with using a free theme until you have a better idea of the kind of site design that would work best for your site before spending money on premium themes. Who knows, the theme you downloaded for free may just be the thing that works for your site and for converting your site visitors into customers.
Now that we’ve seen how to find free WP themes in the WordPress theme directory and how to filter your search for themes that meet your specific requirements, let’s turn our attention to premium WordPress themes.
Paid WP Themes
If you are looking for themes with stunning design, or professional quality yet highly affordable WordPress web design themes with a distinctive look, unique customizable options and ongoing support, then search through the WordPress theme galleries of the “Premium” theme design agencies listed below:
ThemeForest is one of the largest and best-known theme marketplaces online.
ThemeForest lets many professional WordPress theme developers showcase their designs through their online marketplace. There are well over 17,500 premium themes to choose from (some starting from as little as $3) …
(click on the images above to see all ThemeForest themes)
If you visit the ThemeForest theme marketplace, you will be able to browse for specific themes in various categories, such as:
- Blog/Magazine – themes for bloggers and e-magazines, etc.
- Corporate – themes suitable for legal sites and marketing purposes.
- Creative – themes suitable for portfolios, writers, etc.
- Directory Listings – themes that suit sites about employment opportunities, dining out & restaurants, business directories, etc.
- eCommerce – themes for selling products online, membership sites, etc.
- Education – themes that suit sites related to teaching, etc.
- Entertainment – themes for photo gallery blogs, nightlife, etc.
- Mobile – e.g. mobile-switching themes.
- NonProfit – themes for nonprofit organizations, churches, etc.
- Real Estate – themes for real estate and real estate listings (e.g. rentals, etc.)
- Retail – themes for shopping, trades or professionals (electricians, legal firms, etc.)
- Technology – themes related to apps, newsletters, etc.
- Wedding – e.g. themes for wedding sites and wedding advice blogs
- Miscellaneous – themes suitable for writing or discussing political issues, parenting sites or blogs … even themes you can use if your site is still under-construction!
Browse lots of quality premium themes in the ThemeForest theme marketplace here: ThemeForest
(click on the images above to view more Creative Market themes)
Creative Market is another leading WordPress theme marketplace where you can browse thousands of quality premium WordPress 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 WordPress themes in its directory, but you can easily browse hundreds of themes for WordPress and search through their theme categories using their dropdown “Themes” menu …
Browse through hundreds of quality premium WordPress themes crafted by independent WordPress theme designers in the Creative Market directory here: Creative Market
(click on the images above to view all 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 WordPress themes and search through their theme categories from the site’s dropdown “WordPress Themes” menu …
Visit the site to find quality premium WordPress themes in the Mojo themes directory here: Mojo
Now that we have looked at WordPress theme directories, let’s look at commercial theme design houses.
Commercial And Independent WP Theme Design Houses
SoloStream provides WordPress users with a great selection of high quality premium themes and the option of accessing all themes through a WordPress theme membership.
(click on images above to browse more SoloStream themes)
Woo Themes designs great themes that are very popular and highly sought after by web users and also offers a membership option that lets you access their entire theme portfolio.
(click on the above images to see all WooThemes themes)
StoreFront Themes specializes in creating e-commerce themes for WordPress. Their themes also integrate well with some of the most powerful e-commerce platforms and plugins available.
(click on the images above to browse all StoreFront themes)
Here are some useful WordPress theme-related tools worth keeping in mind:
What WordPress Theme Is That? is a free WP theme and plugin-checking tool that lets you easily detect what WordPress theme and plugins a website uses.
This is a great resource if you ever come across a WordPress site that you like and would like to know what theme the website uses.
Tip: If you don’t know if a site uses WordPress or not, we have posted a a great tutorial that helps you tell whether or not a web site is powered by WordPress: Tell-Tale Signs It’s A WordPress Blog 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 if a site is powered by WordPress software, but it will also list the theme being used and list any plugins it detects.
- To use this tool go here: What WordPress Theme Is That
- To learn how to use this tool go here: Is It A WordPress Blog?
We said this before and it’s worth repeating it again: If you decide to use FREE themes for your WordPress site, we strongly recommend sticking with the approved themes listed in the official WordPress theme directory.
A commonly-used method employed by many hacking groups and cyber criminals is to put up websites offering “Free” WordPress themes all over the web and distribute modified themes with malicious code embedded in their files. In fact, some of these sites even come up on search engine results for search phrases like “free WordPress themes“, “best free WordPress themes”” etc. It’s safer, therefore, to only download free themes from the official WordPress repository, or use established and trusted theme merchants.
If you are concerned about whether a WordPress theme that you have installed on your blog may be infected with malware or unwanted code, use a free WordPress plugin like Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) to scan your theme files. The plugin searches the source files of every installed theme on your site for signs of suspicious code and then outputs a report …
(Theme Authenticity Checker Report Page – Screenshot Source: Plugin, WordPress.org)
I hope that you have found this information useful.
Want more help with WordPress? Feel free to comment below and take a moment to share this post with your friends.
The post How To Find Great Free And Premium Responsive WordPress Web Themes On The Net appeared first on Quick Click Hosting.