So you want to build a nice-looking blog for yourself … great! But you also probably have two other requirements:
- a) You don’t want it to cost you your shirt.
- b) You don’t want to be forced to have to tweak source code manually.
No sweat, there are tons of great (and free) blogging themes for WordPress available. But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Well, that’s what we’re here for today.
What follows is a list of the top 10 best free blogging themes on the market – a list that’s actually been researched, instead of simply slapping a random set of themes together.
Spacious is great if you want to have a nice, custom-made homepage, while still providing your audience an easy-to-read and accessible blog.
Feature-wise, this theme gives you a lot of cool things, for instance: WooCommerce integration, content slider for the header, light and dark skins, custom backgrounds, four layouts to choose from, and a lot more.
The design of the blog itself is a classic one – content and sidebar – but it is really well made, with everything remaining clear and easy to follow for the reader.
Poseidon provides a very elegant design, utilizing good whitespace, and giving you a nice slideshow slider for the header of the site – great for branding and making your site unique.
The homepage rocks a nice magazine look – ready to house larger volumes of content, while the blog page and the individual posts look very clean and reader-friendly.
Also, the whole design is responsive, and you get a theme options panel to customize various details about this free blogging theme.
This is a very interesting free blogging WordPress theme, particularly because of the individual blog layouts that it offers (this is about the blogging page alone, not the homepage or the other pages).
So right off the gate, you get the following blog layouts: a grid layout with two blog posts side by side, a classic layout (content and sidebar with large featured images for the blog posts), a classic layout with medium-sized featured images, a grid layout with three posts in a line, and a timeline layout.
Plus, there’s also more than 500 fonts to choose from, color customization, three content sliders, and some cool customization options for your homepage.
Simple and clean – this is what this theme is. Right out the gate, it gives you a mobile-responsive design, it’s easily customizable, and lets you tweak your homepage in a very basic way, which is a good thing.
You see, some of the other themes on this list go in the more modification-heavy direction. Well, this one sticks with the simple stuff. So you get a homepage that lists your latest posts in a grid-like way, and then each individual blog post gets a classic appearance (content and sidebar).
Something to get you started if you’re just looking for a blogging theme.
Where Vantage stands out is its focus on customization and support for drag-and-drop page building. The flexibility comes through the theme’s integration with plugins like SiteOrigin Page Builder and MetaSlider. Just by clicking, dragging, and dropping stuff around the canvas, you can build yourself a nice page design, and that’s on a page-by-page basis.
When it comes to the blogging side of things, this theme will be useful if you plan on publishing something more than just classic – content and sidebar – type of entries.
Lovecraft is a really beautifully designed and thought-through theme, and I don’t like to throw that around lightly.
Most importantly, Lovecraft gives you great typography, which will make every type of blog post you might want to publish look great. Whether it’s a text-only post, a quick quote, an image, or what have you, this theme will make it shine.
Also, you get basic customization options through the WordPress Customizer, and a space for a full-width image in the background of the header.
Optimizer is a well-developed theme with a lot of features underneath, which makes it so much more than just a blogging theme.
First, it comes with two main layouts: full-width and boxed. There’s a nice-looking image slider, 600+ fonts to choose from if you want to tune up the default typography a bit, and unlimited color options.
Then, there’s support for WooCommerce, bbPress, MailChimp email signup, and more.
Lastly, the theme can be used for all kinds of different pages except your standard blog post pages. For instance: landing pages, portfolios, corporate info pages, and eCommerce listings.
Sydney is a multipurpose theme that can serve both as your blog and also as your main business website. It offers a compelling full-width design for the homepage of your site, and a customizable blog layout for your posts and content pages.
The design is responsive, you can change the colors and various elements of the site via the theme options page, there are parallax backgrounds to make everything pop some more, plus a range of other interesting elements.
Though, the typography is on the smaller side of things – if you’re up for this kind of look.
Another popular solution for WordPress bloggers who would like to keep things old-school and within the blogging standards, so to speak.
So with this theme, you get a classic layout (content and sidebar), some room for a content slider in the header, responsive and mobile friendly structure, and unlimited color options to choose from.
Under the hood, this theme also comes with WooCommerce support, it’s translation-ready, and has been tested to work with some popular plugins, like Contact Form 7, Yoast SEO, Gravity Forms, Jetpack, W3 Total Cache, and more.
1. Olsen Light
Olsen Light is a very popular theme in the official WordPress.org directory, getting around 500 downloads every single day.
Olsen Light works with custom widgets, supports the WordPress customizer, offers embedded social sharing, is integrated with Instagram, and comes pre-optimized for SEO … what else could you ask for?
The design is a classic and simple blogging layout, where you get the main content block to the left, and a sidebar to the right. The color scheme is very light, which leaves a lot of room for your content (and images) to shine. Exactly what you need from a blogging theme.
Okay, so that’s for our list of the top 10 free blogging themes for WordPress. Anything we missed?