If you’ve been looking for the best free WordPress theme providers this will show you some of the most popular.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list but as always it’s focused on quality not quantity.
Having said that if you think we’ve omitted an important source of free WordPress themes, please let us know!
Why free themes are a minefield
WordPress is a rapidly growing platform. This means every coder and his dog are getting in on the act. Many websites simply copy themes, inject malware into the code and provide them as ‘free’.
A brief search for ‘free WordPress themes’ brings up results that have more questionable sources than legitimate ones.
How to check your theme
If you’re concerned about your WordPress theme and want to make it doesn’t contain any malware or malicious code you have 2 tools you can use:
- Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) – Scans your theme files for any bad code and then alerts you.
- Sucuri Security – SiteCheck Malware Scanner – Scans your entire site for any malware threats.
If you discover any bad code the best practice is to delete the theme and find another one. Keep in mind that the author may not be at fault if it’s been copied and modified.
Installing Free Themes
Having downloaded a theme to your computer you will need to use the upload form to install them.
Navigate to Appearance >> Themes, click on the Install Themes tab then click the Upload link.
Best free WordPress theme providers
Even though it’s a bit patchy in terms of quality the official directory has some fantastic free themes available.
You can search the directory here, or you can login to WordPress and search it from the Appearance >> Themes area.
WooTheme have some of the best premium themes available, and have a well-earned reputation.
Not the largest collection of free themes but they’re certainly high quality and can be a great way to introduce you to the user interface and useability of WooThemes.
A selection of very cool and classy themes with some user-friendly options on the backend.
Web2Feel themes require the Theme Options Framework plugin.
A large selection of well-crafted themes that can be used for many different styles and purposes.
FabThemes themes require the Theme Options Framework plugin.
Currently they have only two themes and they are available on the official directory but they’re such good quality that they’re worth listing here. Both are mobile responsive, have excellent typography and easy-to-use theme options.
A single theme but one made as a dedication to the core WordPress team.
Another solo theme offering but a very elegant one with some nice features.
Do you know of some free WordPress theme providers or authors that we have missed? Please let us know in the comments and we’ll update this post to include them.