Top 5 Free WordPress Themes of the Month – May 2012 Edition - ManageWP

Top 5 Free WordPress Themes of the Month – May 2012 Edition

Top 5 Free WordPress Themes of the Month – May 2012 Edition

Picking the top 5 free WordPress themes was pretty tough this month. Compared to prior months, there was a veritable wealth of great designs to pick from.

After much deliberation, I picked what I consider to be a wide range of designs – there should certainly be something for everyone here. And with the growing popularity of mobile devices, each theme is adjudged not only by its “standard” design, but also by how it adapts to mobile platforms.

As always, all of the themes you will see below are either brand new, or newly updated. As such, they are compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Enjoy!

5. Sunspot


A theme by Automattic has featured in every edition of this series to date, and today is no exception.

Although most (if not all) usability experts will argue that dark text on a light background is by far the best option in terms of readability, Sunspot is a rather “dark” theme. I have a feeling that reading long posts on this theme would put a strain on the eyes, but it has to be said that it is an attractive layout.

As you would expect from Automattic, the theme is fully responsive, but it does tend to lose its impact on mobile screens. The customization options are all but non-existent, so what you see is what you get.

View Demo / Download

4. Silesia


This is the only theme amongst this month’s picks that really focuses on a traditional weblog-style design, with the focus very much on the text content and its associated meta data. Some might consider it a little bland, but for those who are not looking for a particularly striking theme will be drawn to its simple functionality.

Silesia is not a responsive theme, but with such a clean design, it remains readable on all but the smallest of screens. There is also more than meets the eye, with pretty extensive customization options (for a free theme) and a selection of shortcodes.

View Demo / Download

3. Ascetica


This month’s number one theme is rather unique in that the sidebar floats alongside the logo. This rather individualistic design perhaps makes it a “love or hate” experience.

Its focus on images (the gallery post format is especially impressive), whitespace and typography is well-executed, and its responsive design is adequate on mobile devices (if not quite as clean and functional as its bigger brother).

View Demo / Download

2. Buttercream


A glance at this theme will tell you that it is rather unique and only suits a very specific type of site, but regardless of that, it definitely merits inclusion on this month’s list.

Buttercream is a cute single column design and is beautifully responsive on mobile devices. Although you’re not going to get away from the cake theme without some manual customization, it does come in three different flavors:

  1. Confetti – as seen above
  2. Chocolate Orange
  3. Red Velvet

View Demo / Download

1. Zenon Lite

Zenon Lite

This month’s top pick is the closest we have to a business theme, and it looks fantastic on the big screen. The homepage is nicely put together, with attractive styling. The navigation bar sticks to the top of the screen as you scroll down (although if this doesn’t suit your tastes, you can turn the feature off).

Post and page screens don’t disappoint either, with a boxy but interesting design. Where the theme does let itself down a bit is with its responsive design, which could look better.

Customization options are extensive, and if you like what you see, you have the option to upgrade to the premium version.

View Demo / Download

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of 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!

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