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32 fantastic free WordPress themes to check out in 2016

Morgan Smith's Layout avatar

Whether you’re working on a shiny, brand new WordPress site or doing a brand refresh on an existing site, every now and then it’s time to find a new theme to work with. And while there are lots and lots of excellent premium themes out there, it’s great to keep up with free WordPress themes, too. Especially if you’re working with a smaller client on a budget, many of these free themes will provide the basic functionality and options they need.

Of course, while all of these themes are free, many of the developers offer pro versions or similar premium themes. If you find one you like, be sure to check out any potential upgrades to find the ideal solution for your WordPress site!

Ready to check out the 32 fantastic free WordPress themes? Here they are, in wonderful alphabetic order.

Arcade

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With a beautiful, full-screen image background and plenty of layout options, Arcade is a wonderful free WordPress theme that’s perfect for just about any type of site. If you can’t get enough of it, there’s also a premium version that allows for even more customizations. View the demo here.

Auberge

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Auberge is a bold WordPress that was designed with food in mind. Whether you’re building a site for a five-star restaurant or working with a local food blogger, this free WordPress theme will be just the dash of salt they need to make their online presence stand out. View the demo here.

Beetle Go

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Working on a portfolio site? Beetle Go is the perfect WordPress theme for showcasing creative work or starting a professional blog. Plus, the sliders come with a parallax scrolling effect built in, which we think is pretty nifty. If you’re digging this theme, be sure to check out Beetle Pro for even more awesome features. View the demo here.

Bulan

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Bulan is a beautiful theme for bloggers of any kind. With a minimal layout and emphasis on photos, it’s the perfect WordPress theme for anyone who loves to include visuals with their content. Plus it’s super simple to set up, making it a great solution for beginners. View the demo here.

Businessx

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Not interested in building a site with lots of pages? No problem. Businessx is a one-page WordPress theme with some wonderful options for arranging your content. With this theme, you can easily move sections around and customize them to make your CTA stand out. View the demo here.

ColorMag

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On the flip side, if you’re looking for a theme that’s great for displaying lots of content and helping the user navigate the site, ColorMag might be the WordPress theme for you. Built with magazines and newspapers in mind, this theme will make sure readers are always following your latest stories. For even more options, be sure to check out the pro version. View the demo here.

Didi Lite

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Didi Lite is a simplified version of the premium Didi theme. Built with fashion in mind, this minimal theme is ideal for making your images and content stand out. With an emphasis on typography and a clean layout, you’ll definitely want to give this theme a try. View the demo here.

DW Mono

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Tired of the same old layout? DW Mono offers something a little different: a split screen design. You can set it up so half the screen scrolls while the other half doesn’t, allowing readers to peruse your blog content while also constantly seeing your logo and branding – it’s pretty cool. View the demo here.

Eighties

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Eighties is a super simple WordPress theme that’s here to “take your content and make it pop.” With a mission to deliver simple content that isn’t cluttered with distracting elements, it’s a nice break from some of the busier themes out there. View the demo here.

Enlightenment

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Looking for a theme with lots of flexibility? You’ll definitely want to check out Enlightenment. This free WordPress theme is great for a variety of business and website types and offers the ability to create an unlimited number of layouts and templates. View the demo here.

Estelle

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A personal favorite, Estelle is a delightful free WordPress theme that’s perfect for bloggers. With a clean and simple design, this layout will have people wanting to subscribe to your blog faster than you can push out newsletters. View the demo here.

InstantWP

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If you’re a creative looking for a way to display your latest work, InstantWP is a fantastic WordPress theme. It features a drag-and-drop homepage builder, so it’s incredibly easy to work with. View the demo here.

Interested in creating your own child theme? Follow this simple tutorial to learn how to do it!

Luna

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Luna is an elegant free WordPress theme that comes with lots of templates to choose from. It offers unlimited color options and even allows you to select fonts from the Google Library. If you’re looking for a theme with lots of options, Luna is an excellent option. View the demo here.

Madrigal Lite

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Madrigal Lite is another one-page WordPress theme that’s great for showcasing your portfolio items. You can add sections for videos, images, and descriptions for your work, all while encouraging users to scroll down your site. View the demo here.

Maria

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Calling all bloggers! Maria is the perfect free WordPress theme for you. With a unique header slider that features multiples articles, it’s a great way to entice readers to click around your content and discover their new favorite articles. View the demo here.

Mesa

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Mesa is another free WordPress theme that is ideal for bloggers. One of the things that makes it unique? It features a beautiful masonry template that will help both your photos and content shine. It’s a super simple theme that’ll be a breeze to set up. View the demo here.

Modern

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Modern is, you guessed it, a modern WordPress theme that’s just waiting to show off your portfolio. With a beautiful, full-screen slider and multiple homepage sections, it’s the perfect way to display your best works or latest blog articles. View the demo here.

Need help choosing a WordPress theme? This guide will help you find the right one.

Neverland

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Looking for a free blogging theme with lots of personality? Neverland might be just what you’re looking for. It features a beautiful layout, well-designed side-bar, and even offers Instagram integration in the footer. This free WordPress theme will help your style shine. View the demo here.

Patus

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For anyone running a news site, Patus is a free blogging theme with a professional feel. With the help of this layout, you’ll keep your readers updated with the latest content while encouraging them to discover even more. View the demo here.

Personal Blog

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If you’re a fan of large typography, Personal Blog will quickly become a favorite theme. This free WordPress theme is all about making a large statement and making sure your content gets noticed. Plus, it features a sticky top navigation bar, so your readers can always get where they need to go next. View the demo here.

Pinnacle

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Pinnacle is a fantastic theme for any business or eCommerce site. With several templates and lots of customization options, you can tailor this free WordPress theme to meet the needs of almost any type of site. View the demo here.

Pixova Lite

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If you’re a fan of parallax design, you’re going to love Pixova Lite. It’s a free one-page WordPress theme with truly wonderful scroll effects. It has several delightful microinteractions (which are one of the hottest design trends of the year) that’ll keep your users wanting more. View the demo here.

Portfolio

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Portfolio is exactly that: a simple, easy-to-use portfolio theme for WordPress sites. As users hover over an image on the homepage, a text description slides over it, providing a glimpse at what the project is. It’s a great way to give a taste of the projects that live in your portfolio while enticing users to click to learn more. View the demo here.

Ever wondered exactly how a WordPress theme works? This article will help break it down.

Sentio

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Sentio is a free blog theme that’s just waiting to display your most adventurous and beautiful photos. With an emphasis on both visuals and content, this blog theme is the perfect solution for sharing your thoughts with your readers. View the demo here.

Shibui

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Looking for an easy portfolio solution? Shibui is a minimal WordPress theme that’s great for showing off your latest and greatest designs. With the help of Shibui, you can display product images, write wonderful copy, and create a content page that’s sure to convert. View the demo here.

Sydney

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If you’re looking for a WordPress theme for a small business, Sydney is the solution for you. With access to Google Fonts, full-color control, and many other customization options, this WordPress theme will help your company create their online presence in no time. View the demo here.

Tography Lite

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You guess it! Tography Lite is a beautiful WordPress theme for showing off photography. With gorgeous layouts that are optimal for displaying images, it’s the perfect theme for any photographer who wants to showcase their work. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, be sure to check out the pro version. View the demo here.

Tracks

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Tracks is a unique WordPress theme that’s ideal for bloggers or photographers. It offers a beautiful layout that’s perfect for displaying the latest blog post and even has functionality for some cool hover effects. View the demo here.

True North

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True North is a wonderful theme for displaying a portfolio, running a blog, or even maintaining a combination of the two! It offers several different layouts so you can always maximize the impact of your content. View the demo here.

Typecore

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If you’re working on a site with lots of content, Typecore is the way to go. This magazine-style WordPress theme is perfect for serving up a variety of articles at once, giving your users the freedom to choose what they’re most interested in. View the demo here.

Vesta Lite

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Last, but certainly not least is Vesta Lite. This free WordPress theme features a beautiful, minimal design that’s wonderful for displaying your blog content. With a content-focused design and focus on readability, your blog readers will thank you for having such an awesome layout. View the demo here.

Working with a Genesis child theme? Try these simple customizations!

That’s it for our round-up! Know of another free theme that should’ve made the cut? Share it with us in the comments below.

Comments ( 7 )

  1. Tahir Taous

    August 14, 2016

    This is a great list of free WordPress themes, Sydney is a great free theme and I really like it.

  2. Rachel

    August 19, 2016

    This is a pretty nice list! Thank you for compiling this.

  3. Towhidul Islam

    August 19, 2016

    Nice list :) Sorry for the shameful plug but we developed a free theme specially built for WooCommerce. You can check out the theme at wordpress.org
    https://wordpress.org/themes/bellini/

  4. freelance web designer kerala

    October 4, 2016

    Thanks

  5. Narinder kumar

    April 13, 2017

    Thanks for sharing some awesome free theme its really creative design.

  6. michael

    October 4, 2017

    i really love those theme, thanks

  7. daniel mark

    October 4, 2017

    nice theme, but am not sure if those themes can be used with tech blog

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