My Top 10 Favorite Free WordPress Themes - ManageWP

My Top 10 Favorite Free WordPress Themes

Themes of the Month

At ManageWP we take great pride in showcasing free WordPress themes on a monthly basis with our Themes of the Month series. For eighteen months I have filtered and handpicked up-and-coming themes that you might not otherwise see.

In that time I have reviewed more free themes than I can count. And every now and then I have discovered a theme that I really love. I’m talking about the kind of theme that makes me want to launch a blog just so I can use it (in fact, I did that recently). In this post, I want to reveal those themes.

I have gone back through the Themes of the Month archives and selected just ten (out of a possible 90) that I really love. I’ve picked an eclectic range to ensure that there are options available to everyone from bloggers, to designers, to businesses. They are presented to you below (in no particular order). Enjoy!

Twenty Thirteen + Holi

HOli

Ever since images of the latest WordPress default theme were released, Twenty Thirteen has caused no small amount of controversy in the WordPress community.

It is a sharp departure from the rather plain default WordPress theme style, and speaking personally, I welcome it. After all, Twenty Eleven is an excellent “blank canvas” theme, so why develop yet another iteration?

Twenty Thirteen is a fully responsive single column blogging theme with superb support for custom post formats. It is complimented perfectly by the Holi child themes — a collection of different color schemes and header types.

Demo / Download (Twenty Thirteen / Holi)

Surfarama

Surfarama

Surfarama is a theme focused on visual presentation. It has a wonderful tiled home page that is both clean and colorful and does an excellent job of showcasing photography.

It would be an excellent theme for either travel or magazine style blogs, or indeed any site that uses a great number of images in its posts.

Demo / Download

Highwind

Highwind

This is the aforementioned theme that spurred me into creating a new blog. It has a clean, simple, yet elegant design which is fully responsive and designed to showcase content above all else.

There are plenty of presentation, widget and typography options to allow you to give your site a really unique feel, as well as loads of hooks and filters to extend and customize Highwind via plugins and/or a child theme. I love it.

Demo / Download

Tuesday

Tuesday

Tuesday is a free responsive theme with a minimalistic style that is perfect for bloggers.

There are three layouts to choose from as well as the option to add a blog logo. Header images and background settings are supported and there are also custom widgets and menus. Tuesday is optimized for phones and tablets.

Download

Icy

Icy

Icy is an attractive theme with elegant overtones. It has a responsive layout, is child theme friendly and has easy-to-customize features (including no less than six widget areas).

Demo / Download

Emphaino

Emphaino

Pinterest-style themes still seem to be relatively popular, as demonstrated by the emergence of Emphaino.

The theme is clearly designed for image-heavy sites and is perfect for photographers, illustrators and the like. In fact, it would serve ideally as either an out-and-out portfolio theme for showcasing your work, or a more laid-back blogging theme for images and photos that you create and/or curate.

Download

Chun

Chun WordPress Theme

I’m a big fan of Justin Tadlock’s work so I was eager to take a closer look at his most recent offering. I wasn’t disappointed.

Chun is a responsive HTML5 and CSS3-compliant blogging and portfolio theme. It supports all post formats (a feature that will be even more relevant with the release of WordPress 3.6) and offers a few customization options via the theme customizer.

It is a very simple theme, clearly designed with the intention of allowing the site author’s images to do the talking. If your site features imagery in any prominent way then Chun is an option worthy of serious consideration.

Demo / Download

Clean Retina

Clean Retina

Yet another responsive theme, Clean Retina has a slider like Designfolio but offers a far more “bloggy” experience by default. Having said that, it’s not short on options with no less than nine homepage designs.

If you’re looking for a relatively calm and collected design for your site, this theme is a great option.

Demo / Download

Spun

Spun

This theme really blew me away. I’m not sure how it could be used in terms of practical applications, but I almost want to come up with something just so I can use it.

Spun was developed by one of my favorite independent theme developers, Caroline Moore, and as per usual she doesn’t disappoint. Content is the sole focus here — each image represents a post, which reveal themselves beautifully when clicked upon. You have to see it to really appreciate it.

Celestial Lite

Screenshot of Celestial Lite.

When it came to picking a business theme for this roundup I had no shortage of options. I decided to pick Celestial Lite based upon its simple yet colorful design and intuitive layout.

The theme is also fully responsive and features custom post formats, plenty of widgetized areas, page templates and more.

Demo / Download

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy.co. He has been a huge fan of WordPress since he first laid eyes on it, and has been writing educational and informative content for WordPress users since 2011. When he's not working, you're likely to find him outdoors somewhere – as far away from a screen as possible!

34 Comments

  1. Brenda Blagdon

    Icy appears to have everything I want. Thank you for all your information in so many areas.

  2. bwpthemes

    Awesome collection!
    The themes are looking good and they require lots of customizations to be looking more attractive.
    Thanks,

  3. rahul

    Nice collection of themes. Celestial Lite is my blog next theme!
    Thanks for sharing

  4. James Foster

    Nice collection, thanks a lot.
    here is the one I love most:
    http://www.mageewp.com/cubby-theme.html

  5. Madiha

    nice themes, keep it up and thanks for sharing

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Madiha :-)

  6. Sanat

    Cool collection ! I’m going to use Tuesday and Icy themes for my projects …

    1. Tom Ewer

      Great to hear Sanat!

  7. wefightms

    Thanks for this great list Tom, but I’m a true newbie who needs additional direction. SMILE Tom do you have a recommendation for a good ‘community’ theme that could support a philanthropic, interactive, writers group for people battling Multiple Sclerosis? ‘We Write For The Fight’ at wefightms.org, but need a good free WP theme to better facilitate our great community project. Thanks in advance. Tracy

  8. Xuhair Raxa

    but the question is these are free r not i have not check it ?

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hey Xuhair. Yes, all the themes are free. :-)

  9. Shahzad

    Because of the attractive design and features, i am going to use Surfarama theme on my blog. Anyway thanks for sharing the list of top and free wordpress themes.

    1. Tom Ewer

      No problem Shahzad!

    2. Neha Nair

      Shahzad @ this is one of the best list of Free WordPress theme but using free theme is not good idea for long term in blogging when it is using as business.

  10. Faith

    Great list. I think I haven’t written about these yet and yet to add them on my list. Thanks! http://themesales.com/best-free-wordpress-themes/

    1. Tom Ewer

      Wow — that’s a seriously long list Faith!

      1. Faith

        Yes it is. I’m certainly writing reviews about these themes especially the free ones and its features although they don’t have most of the features the premium themes have, there are also free themes out there that outshine premium ones! :)

  11. Hebergeur web 2013

    Great list. I’d prefer seeing Celestial Lite at the number one rather than number 10 :(.
    thanks a bunch:)

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hey, it’s in there, that’s an achievement in itself!

  12. Cesar Falcao

    Very good collection of free WP themes

    1. Tom Ewer

      Glad you like them Cesar :-)

  13. jjsararas

    Tom you’re my go-to resource from now on for free themes.

    1. Tom Ewer

      That’s great to read — I won’t let you down!

  14. wordpress info

    visual apears is good

  15. maiyeuem.thanhluan

    I like Surfarama, Icy, Emphaino

    1. Tom Ewer

      I love Icy’s clean lines. Would like to use it one day.

  16. Arun

    Geat List :)

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Arun!

  17. Bob Wilson

    Thanks for the list. I also like SmartAdapt. http://netbiel.pl/smartadapt/

    1. Tom Ewer

      Looks good!

  18. ThemeSquirrel

    These are all great themes. I especially like the spun theme. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Tom Ewer

      No problem!

  19. Faraz Ahmad

    Nice collection, good work :)

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Faraz :-)

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