11 Best Free WordPress Themes Available in 2023 (Compared)

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by 11 Comments

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First Pick


Pricing: Free
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Pricing: Free
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Hello Elementor

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Blog / WordPress / 11 Best Free WordPress Themes Available in 2023 (Compared)

If you’re just getting started with WordPress, it may seem natural to assume that as long as a free WordPress theme looks like what you had in mind for your website, then it’s a good fit. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. That’s why in today’s post, we’ve outlined a solid checklist of criteria you can use to ensure that the free WordPress themes you’re considering are a solid choice. We’ve also listed what we believe to be the best free WordPress themes available this year currently.

What Should You Be Looking for in a Free WordPress Theme in 2023?

With WordPress, you get a free, compelling, and impressively flexible platform for building websites, blogs, shops, and more online. But with that power and flexibility comes a certain amount of unavoidable complexity. The complexity has increased over time and, if ignored, could provide a lackluster user experience for WordPress theme users and put their sites at risk of security breaches, search engine penalties, and myriad other issues or inconveniences, big and big and small.

In a practical sense, this means that if you’re looking for a WordPress theme (even a free WordPress theme), you need to be sure that you’re getting a quality product that meets an ever-rising development standard as the WordPress platform itself matures.

What Makes the Best Free WordPress Theme?

1. Serious ongoing development

WordPress hasn’t become so complex that amateurs cannot create and maintain quality tools and resources like themes and plugins. But it’s not easy. Not everyone capable of producing a theme is also capable of maintaining and supporting it at a sufficiently high level for it to be considered a good option for users.

2. Good Reviews and Other Positive Social Proof

This is the best indication that a theme author has passed the first big filter of “serious ongoing development.” The longer they’ve offered their theme and the more indicators of positive social proof, the better. The most important are the number of five-star reviews, but also: the number of downloads, “last updated” date (it should be recent), number of open support requests, and user community strength, to name a few.

3. Tight Security

Don’t worry; you don’t have the be a cybersecurity expert to be reasonably assured of your WordPress theme’s adherence to security best practices. The easiest way to do this is to download your free WordPress theme from the official WordPress Repository. This way, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the theme you’re considering is reasonably secure. If it’s on the repository,, it has already passed a reliable quality-assurance process. Above and beyond these measures, some of the best WordPress themes will contract WordPress security experts to audit their themes independently.

4. Broad Browser Compatibility

If this isn’t clearly stated in the repository listing or on the theme author’s website, it’s always worth running some browser tests before committing to a theme. Especially if the theme does not provide easy-to-use responsive and mobile design options.

5. Essential WordPress Plugin Compatibility

The real power of WordPress is unlocked with Plugins, software designed and developed to extend what you can do with WordPress (like opening an online store with WooCommerce) or improve existing core features (like optimizing your pages for search with Yoast SEO). See our list of essential WordPress Plugins for some great examples. And then, make sure that any theme you consider will work with all of the plugins that will be essential to your website.

6. Compatibility with popular page builders – if a WordPress theme is in the official repository, then the good news is that it’s already compatible with the most widely used page builder in the world–WordPress’ native Gutenberg. However, there are more mature and advanced builders that many WordPress users still prefer to use instead of or in addition to Gutenberg. Starting with a theme that is compatible with all or some of the leading page builders like Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, etc., is a good idea.

7. Translation and Multilingual Ready

Since most of the world does not speak English, a fundamental requirement of WordPress themes in 2023 should be that folks can use it in their language. And, while they’re at it, they can also offer their content to others in multiple languages. Several WordPress translation plugins could help them with that!

8. Accessibility-Ready

Over the last few years, there seems to have been an increased awareness of the importance of accessibility on the web. As our lives increasingly move online, the question of, “Can I interact with this website?” or “Ok, but how do I create a website?” can also be stated, “Am I able to participate in society equally?” Developers whose themes have met a set of minimum accessibility requirements can label their themes “accessibility-ready” in the WordPress Repository

9. Good User-Experience Design

This one is a bit tricky. Ultimately, what matters most is finding the user experience good–not some reviewer. However, I’ve found that terrible user-experience design tends to show up in theme reviews and its general popularity. Beyond that, it’s crucial that when you use the theme that makes sense to you, you can locate key features quickly and achieve your design goals. This might require testing on a local install with dummy content if you want to be sure you like working with one theme over another.

10. Meaningful Support Options

With free themes, this usually means a community forum and documentation. Which is fine if the documentation is up-to-date and robust enough to be helpful.

11. High-Quality Responsive and Mobile Designs and Design Options

Responsiveness has been considered an absolute must for quality WordPress themes for years. And that’s still true today. However, we’ve moved beyond responsiveness as an impressive feature. Now, not only should a theme be responsive, but it should either be completely mobile optimized out of the box or provide design features that make optimization possible by the user.

12. A Pre-made Design or Design Features that Allow You to Meet Your Specific Needs

A good WordPress theme should consider deeply the design elements its intended users need to create a functional WordPress website. For example, suppose the theme is for an online shop. In that case, it should include deep integration with WooCommerce (or another eCommerce platform) and consistent styles for any elements the plugin or service will add to the website. Such as shop pages, product pages, cart pages, account pages, etc.

As you can see, this is a pretty high bar. The theme authors who tend to create free WordPress themes that meet these criteria are not inexperienced amateurs. They’re either very talented and hard-working amateurs or companies and individuals who use their free theme to add users to the top of their business funnel—moving them toward the use of a premium product or service that adds significant utility to their free theme offering. This is a good thing! It means that their efforts are sustainable, and you’re likely to get a better product, a more supportive user community, better official support, and all of the other benefits couched in the criteria above.

The 11 Best Free WordPress Themes for 2023

If thinking through all of the above criteria while browsing endless lists of free WordPress themes seems daunting, we don’t blame you! That’s why we decided to put this short list together consisting of themes we checked against the standards we’ve just outlined. Unfortunately, not every theme listed meets every single criterion. However, we’ve tried to highlight those instances so you can assess whether it’s worth missing one thing in favor of something else.

1. Astra

Astra responsive WordPress theme

Astra has been a powerhouse in the WordPress theme arena (not just the free WordPress theme space) for years, and the numbers bear this out. According to the official WordPress Repository, Astra has an impressive 1 + million active installs! So what has made this free theme so popular?

First and foremost, it starts with a solid base of features and code quality. As with the other themes on this list, it ticks (almost) all of the criteria listed above. Unfortunately, the one thing they’re missing is the Accessibility-Ready classification.

Beyond the essential criteria that Astra meets, it’s a perfect option for folks interested in creating a WooCommerce shop. Their integration with WooCommerce is deep and highly recommended by eCommerce industry leaders. The Astra team also provides an extensive and growing library of website starter templates optimized for Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Brizy. The screenshot above is actually of a starter site they offer built with Astra and Gutenberg!

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2. OceanWP

OceanWP WordPress Theme

OceanWP is one of the most popular free WordPress themes in the WordPress Repository, with over 700,000 active installs. And looking at it from the outside, it certainly looks like that popularity is well earned. It ticks all of the boxes for our criteria above. It also comes with 15 free website demos and eight free extensions that you can use to kickstart your website. If you upgrade to their premium offering, you get an additional 88 demo sites and 12 extensions.

The impression you get with OceanWP (and indeed many of these themes) is that you can get started for free without worrying about changing your core WordPress toolkit down the road; you can simply upgrade to the premium level to meet any new needs that may arise.

Get OceanWP

3. Hello Elementor

Hello Elementor responsvie WordPress theme

Lovers of the theme and page builder Elementor will fall in love with the Hello Elementor theme. A proper blank canvas for the famous page builder, the Hello Elementor theme is free to use and download from the WordPress repository. Of all the free WordPress themes that work with Elementor, the Hello Elementor theme is the one that has the tightest integration with the plugin… I mean, it’s in the name!

You can take your Hello Elementor free theme up several levels by upgrading to Elementor Pro. With its library of website kits, powerfully advanced modules, and robust support, you can make any website with Hello Elementor and Elementor Pro by your side.

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4. Kadence WP

Kadence WP

Kadence WP is a relative newcomer to the WordPress Repository (November 2020). It has roared onto the scene, acquiring over 150 five-star reviews and 200,000+ active installations. This theme, even on a list like this one full of perfect free themes, seems to pack the most power and value into a free package.

In addition to ticking all of our criteria boxes, Kadence WP offers features that usually live on the other side of a premium upgrade. Things like a header and footer builder, global font and color controls, and deep integrations with a wide variety of powerful plugins for eCommerce, e-courses, and much more.

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5. GeneratePress

GeneratePress best WordPress theme

GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme surging in popularity. They’re hyper-focused on speed, performance, and builder compatibility.

They have also gone all-in on the WordPress block editor but support other major builders, like Elementor and Beaver Builder. Their Site Library shows what’s possible with all three options. To gain access, though, you need to upgrade to GeneratePress Premium. The screenshot above shows a pre-designed demo built with the WordPress block editor from their Site Library. Pretty impressive! Users of GeneratePress can build designs just as unique and appealing. And if they can’t, professionally designed options are always available via an upgrade.

The only major criteria above we couldn’t verify is if GeneratePress is Accessibility-Ready. At this time, the WordPress Repository would seem to indicate that it is not.

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6. Neve

Neve theme

Neve by Themeisle is a feature-rich, multi-purpose, free WordPress theme. It’s a suitable theme for any WordPress use case, from eCommerce to blogging to small businesses and more. In addition to being Gutenberg-ready with unique block styles, it also works with Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin, and Divi. It should also be compatible with any well-coded WordPress plugin.

Where Neve seeks to carve out its own unique value amongst the competition seems to be in search engine optimization and page loading speed. It’s responsive and fully AMP optimized so that every page looks good and loads quickly on any device.

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7. Twenty Twenty-Three

Twenty Twenty Three

Every year WordPress.org releases a new free theme intended to showcase the improvements and capabilities of the platform up to that date. It’s a wonderful tradition that provides a valuable resource to the whole community while signaling where the platform is headed. The Twenty Twenty-Three theme is no different.

In addition to checking every box on the criteria list above, this theme is all in on Gutenberg, WordPress’ native page builder/block editor. It’s a blank canvas approach meant to give you maximum control over as many design elements on your site as possible. Since that can be difficult to visualize before you’ve created a lot of stuff with it, Twenty Twenty-Three directs users to Block Patterns, allowing you to use pre-designed block editor elements with a simple click and allowing users to create beautiful page layouts in seconds.

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8. Storefront

Storefront Free WooCommerce theme

Storefront by Automattic is another example of a free WordPress theme that aims to provide a valuable resource while signaling what’s possible with WordPress. In this case, what’s possible with WordPress and WooCommerce–the leading eCommerce plugin for WordPress, also by Automattic.

Storefront, like Twenty Twenty-One, adopts a blank canvas approach. You are functioning a lot like an empty container for your products so that you can add only the design elements your site requires instead of removing default styles first. When you are ready to design your website, you’re able to use the WordPress customizer, a builder plugin of your choosing, or a child theme. These options span from free to premium.

You also get to take advantage of deep integration with WooCommerce itself and its thriving ecosystem of products. Meaning form meets function in this free theme in a compelling way for anyone whose shop is of utmost importance.

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9. Zakra


Zakra by ThemeGrill is another example of a multi-purpose theme emphasizing builder compatibility and pre-made starter sites. Aside from not being Accessibility-Ready, it ticks all of the other criteria boxes outlined above. Making it an excellent option for a free WordPress theme.

It’s worth noting that among the builders Zakra is compatible with, including Gutenberg, there seems to be an emphasis on Elementor, especially regarding the amount and quality of starter sites available. This is excellent news for folks interested in Elementor, but if that’s not you for whatever reason, you might want to ensure you’ll get all the helpful resources you need to get your site up and running.

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10. Blocksy

Blocksy Free WP Theme

Blocksy by Creativethemes is a Gutenberg first theme that works well with other popular builders. It comes with 28+ starter sites. Its news starter site above is an excellent example of how they’re pushing the boundaries of what can be done with Gutenberg regarding complex dynamic layouts.

Under the hood, the Blocksy team emphasizes “the latest web technologies.” With a focus on speed, minimal theme “weight,” and modern browser compatibility. The one critical criteria that seem to be missing from this theme is the Accessibility-Ready tag.

The pro version (starting at $49/yr) will give you more advanced header and menu features (like a language switcher and a mega menus), conditional display options, and WooCommerce extras.

View Starter Site Demos

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11. Responsive

Responsive by Cyberchimps

Responsive by CyberChimps seemingly does it all. Not only does it check all of our criteria boxes, but they also support Schema.org microdata, bbPress, BuddyPress, LearnDash, Sensei, and ALL major builders. All of their (15) free starter sites can be used with Gutenberg or Elementor, depending on your preference.

Due to their deep Gutenberg integration and integrations with other powerful plugins, Responsive may be one of the most multi-purpose free WordPress themes on this list.

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What Is The Best Free WordPress Theme?

ThemesPricePro Version
🥉Hello Elementor$59/year✔️Visit
4Kadence WP$59/year✔️Visit
7Twenty Twenty-Three$0Visit

No WordPress theme list will ever be complete without talking about Astra. One of the most downloaded themes on the WordPress theme repository, boasting over one million happy, active users can’t be wrong! OceanWP gives many premium features that other themes charge for in its free version. Upgrading your plan means the sky is the limit for you and your website! Lastly, Hello Elementor is a free theme for users who want a strong visual builder to support them as they build their site.

As you may have noticed from the list above, multi-purpose themes with deep builder support and integrations with other essential WordPress plugins have dominated the WordPress theme market even when they cost nothing up front! Another huge trend is adding value with free starter/demo sites where users can jump-start their website-building process. That said, it’s easy to get distracted by a flashy demo. Be sure to test the themes you are interested in and choose the one you feel most empowers you to do what you need to do.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we wrap up, let’s answer some of your most common questions regarding the best free WordPress themes. Did we miss one? Leave a question below and we will respond!

What is the best free WordPress theme?
Astra is widely regarded as one of the best free WordPress themes available. It boasts a solid foundation of features and high-quality code. It integrates well with WooCommerce, which is essential for online stores. Additionally, Astra offers an extensive library of website starter templates optimized for popular page builders like Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Brizy, making it an excellent choice for building professional and customizable websites.
Which free WordPress theme is best for SEO?
Neve is a highly recommended free WordPress theme for SEO. It is responsive and fully optimized for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), ensuring all pages look great and load quickly on any device. Its SEO-friendly features make Neve an excellent choice for optimizing website performance and search engine rankings.
How can I remove the footer from my WordPress website's free theme?
To remove the footer from a WordPress-free theme, you may need to create a child theme to override your parent theme’s default footer. Alternatively, some free themes may offer a footer customization option in their theme options or theme customizer settings.
Are free WordPress themes suitable for eCommerce?
Yes, free WordPress themes can be suitable for eCommerce, and Astra is a prime example. Astra offers seamless integration with WooCommerce, making it an ideal choice for creating an online shop. It provides dedicated WooCommerce integration, including pre-designed templates for product pages, shop layouts, and checkout pages. It also supports WooCommerce's essential features like product galleries, add-to-cart buttons, and cart customization. Astra's performance optimizations ensure smooth shopping experiences and fast-loading times for WooCommerce-powered websites.
What is the best free WordPress theme for business?
Neve is an excellent free WordPress theme for business purposes. It is versatile and suitable for various WordPress use cases, including eCommerce, blogging, and small businesses. Its flexibility and customization options allow businesses to create professional and tailored websites that align with their branding and objectives, making Neve a reliable choice for any business.
Where can I find the best free WordPress themes?
Astra is a dominant player in the WordPress theme landscape, excelling in free themes. Its remarkable success is evident in the official WordPress Repository, boasting over 1 million active installations. To find more free themes, you can browse the theme repository on wordpress.org.
Are free WordPress themes worth using?
Yes, free WordPress themes like Astra and OceanWP are worth using. Astra offers a strong foundation with excellent features and code quality, making it ideal for those looking to build a WooCommerce store. While both of these themes lock advanced features behind a premium subscription, they offer a great starting point.
When should you use a paid theme instead of a free theme?
Consider using a paid theme instead of a free theme when you require advanced features, dedicated support, regular updates, better customization options, enhanced security, and a unique design that aligns closely with your specific website goals and branding requirements.
What is the best free eCommerce WordPress theme?
Astra is considered the best free eCommerce WordPress theme due to its integration with WooCommerce. Astra provides specialized templates for product pages, shop layouts, and checkout pages. It also offers customization options, optimized performance, and compatibility with WooCommerce features, creating an exceptional eCommerce experience for users.
Is the Divi WordPress theme free?
No, the Divi WordPress theme is not free. It is a premium theme and requires a purchase to access its full features and support.

Featured Image via HarisArtz / shutterstock.com

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  1. I need a blog where I can also compile a hundred or so family photographs and put up some writing.
    This is new to me. Your descriptions are oriented to businesses and people looking for work and I cannot relate to *any* of it.

  2. I have recently switched my website from Wix to WordPress. I have found Ocean WP a bit heavier than the Hello theme when using elementor. I have never tried the DIVI builder. Definitely, I’ll try DIVI once. Thanks for sharing

  3. Good! this post is very beneficial for me, because i’m also a wordpress user since 2014.

  4. Thank you for your guide ! I will test 8. Blocksy with DIVI

    • Really Awesome Collection For WordPress Users.

      In this list astra is the best and lightweight Theme.

  5. huge divi fan! winner

  6. All these are nic WordPress themes

  7. Also look out for suki and KosmosWP. They are real solid picks

  8. Lucida theme is also well-optimized light weight theme. I am currently using this theme on my site.

  9. Hi Nathan.
    Thank you for your useful guide about free themes in WP.
    I have a doubt . As a Divi fan can I use de Divi builder in all these themes ? Which are the best free themes to make a partner between the theme + Divi builder.

    Thank you !!!

    • You should be able to use Divi with any of these themes. That said, that doesn’t mean that all of them have gone out of their way to make their theme work especially well with Divi. What does that mean? Well it could be simple stuff like making sure to include a fullwidth page template. That way if you choose work with the Divi builder you can create designs that would otherwise have to live within their default page template.

      The really good news is that since all of these themes are free; you can download any of them and install Divi to run your own tests.

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