For the spontaneous – A selection of free and paid WordPress themes. Most Popular Free WordPress Themes
WordPress Theme Astra
Image: One million downloads and over 5,000 ratings make the Astra theme the absolute favorite of the community. Image source: WordPress.com
WordPress Theme Ocean WP
Image: With over 700,000 installations and 5000 ratings, OceanWP is one of the most popular WordPress themes. Image source: WordPress.com
WordPress Theme GeneratePress
Image: Free WordPress theme GeneratePress has over 400,000 installs and 1300 reviews Image source: WordPress.com
Most Popular Paid WordPress Themes
WordPress Theme Thrivethemes
Image: To get the theme plus PageBuilder you have to dig deep into your pocket. There is a quarterly usage fee of $90 for the entire suite. However, you get a lot in return. Image source: Thrivethemes
The most popular WordPress themes for one pagers
Parallax WordPress theme
What is a useful WordPress theme?
In the software area, themes are new optical packaging for existing software. Such extensions are available, for example, for desktop applications such as media players, which can be given a new, fresher look.
Themes are much more important in the area of content management systems. After all, you don’t want your website to look exactly like millions of other sites on the web. Themes were therefore already one of the most important features of the software in the first WordPress versions.
At first, themes were just a collection of files that changed the header, footer, sidebar, and other elements of any WordPress blog. In the meantime, WordPress themes have become much more complex: Freely definable page elements can be adapted via a theme. With many themes, the elements can be freely positioned on the page using simple drag-and-drop interfaces. As an end user, you can customize these elements for many themes afterwards via the WordPress backend.
Themes for WordPress are often offered for free download, other so-called premium themes have to be licensed for a fee. Whether investing in a premium theme is worth it depends on several factors, which we will discuss below.
WordPress themes for free and still good?
The easiest way to download free WordPress themes is to install them automatically from the WordPress backend. With just a few clicks, thousands of free themes are available to you directly from a catalog maintained by WordPress developer Automattic. Top themes such as the Astra WordPress theme are also easy to obtain from here. The installation function automatically downloads all required files in the background, after which the theme can be activated via the backend and deactivated again with just a few clicks. You can then also make adjustments via the configuration interface.
Obtaining premium themes and free WordPress templates that are not provided via the Automattic catalog is a bit more complex. But it’s not complicated either. Premium designs are mainly offered via external offers such as the Themeforest WordPress catalogue. But themes are also often offered for sale on the websites of designers. After purchase, your desired theme will be made available for download. You can then upload it to your WordPress server via the WordPress backend and then activate it in the same way as a theme downloaded from the Automattic catalogue.
Premium WordPress theme with premium support
Paid WordPress premium themes are often offered for 30-50 euros, but there are also themes that can cost several hundred euros. Whether investing in such a comparatively expensive theme is worthwhile for you depends on a whole range of factors. In practical terms, if you just want to run a private website, free WordPress blog themes are usually good enough. Here, too, there are often already many setting options and if you have enough time, you can create a chic website with a free theme.
However, if you want to set up a business, professional website, investing in a premium theme is highly recommended. Premium themes often offer more customization options. In addition, from a purely technical point of view, they are often better designed for search engine optimization than free themes. Among other things, because they behave more responsively and dynamically adapt to the display of the visitor.
Mobile-optimized pages have been preferred by Google and Co. for a long time, pure desktop pages are penalized in the ranking. In addition, premium themes often offer extensive tutorials and instructions for optimal setup. The sales price often includes several months of support. For example, most premium themes purchased through the ThemeForest WordPress catalog come with six months of support included.
Choosing the perfect theme
What do you want your WordPress site to do?
While there are of course excellent customizable themes (both free and paid), there isn’t one or more best WordPress themes. The demands that website operators place on a theme are too different.
Before you start looking for the right theme, you should first make it clear what you actually want to achieve with your site.
- Do you want to present your company and maybe even connect a small shop via WooCommerce?
- Are you planning to establish an online magazine to keep your visitors up to date on a specific topic?
- Or do you want to market a single product that should be offered on a fancy microsite without a lot of frills?
The second key factor is that you should think about some very basic design decisions. The image you want to communicate via your site plays a particularly important role in this. Should everything appear factual and serious or can it be a little colourful, lively and playful? A lawyer’s website works differently than a punk band’s.
Choose and try
Now the actual search for a suitable theme begins. The best thing to do is to look around in the free Automattic directory as well as providers of paid premium themes.
You can find some of the best WordPress themes at ThemeForest, for example, but other catalogs also offer a good selection. Now that you have a clearer idea of what you want your finished site to look like, it will be easier for you to choose a suitable theme.
You can try free themes directly in a WordPress test installation. The providers of premium themes usually offer a demo site where you can familiarize yourself with the design. In some cases there are also free light versions of premium themes that you can download for testing and install in your own test WordPress.
If you haven’t worked much with WordPress yet, take the time to explore different designs. Nothing is more annoying than choosing the wrong theme and then investing a lot of time in customization and customization – only to end up having to switch to a different design.
Customize and personalize the WordPress theme using a template
A premium WordPress theme also usually has the advantage that it is used less frequently than free themes. This makes your site look less interchangeable than sites that come in a standard WordPress theme or use a popular free WordPress theme.
Really unique themes can only be implemented as individual developments. Web design agencies offer the development of their own themes. For companies of a certain size, it should be a matter of course to have their own website designed individually. For smaller businesses and the self-employed, however, this is not always financially possible. After all, those who are new to the business in particular don’t have any deep pockets.
However, special developer themes such as the Astra WordPress theme make it easier for beginners to create their own professional theme. Astra in particular relies on an exciting mixture of small-scale adaptability of the theme with WordPress on-board resources and simple interfaces for web developers who want to work directly with the PHP, HTML and CSS code of the theme.
This makes the theme, which is available in both a free and a paid version, ideal for getting started with the development of a WordPress theme. but
Caution: A professional website requires more work than you might expect at first glance. There are good reasons why high-quality themes and the services of web agencies are more in demand today than ever. Even with very good WordPress templates, building a website is not child’s play.
Develop microsites with one pager WordPress theme
As described, WordPress is an extremely flexible CMS that has long since outgrown its original purpose as blog software. In addition to large websites with numerous sub-pages, WordPress is often used to set up so-called one-pagers. One pagers are websites that only consist of the start page.
This concept is suitable, for example, for smaller companies that can already provide all important information on one page. But a one-pager can also be useful for the presentation of new products.
In online marketing, one pagers are often used to set up sales funnels. With a single page like this, you have more control over the page narrative and the order in which your content is presented. Basically, you can use almost any WordPress theme to create a one pager. However, classic WordPress blog themes or magazine layouts are less suitable than more flexible designs.
Special one-page WordPress themes such as Parallax, Montblanc or Divi are designed to significantly simplify the construction of microsites. The Astra WordPress theme is also ideal for developing your own one page. As with more complex, multi-part pages, Astra allows you to put together a successful page with the help of the drag-and-drop page builder without any programming knowledge.