wordpress-logo.jpgWithout a doubt, I’m a WordPress evangelist. I absolutely love WordPress. I’ve not found a better platform for building and managing a website. Doesn’t matter whether you’re blogging, have a store front, create a massive business site or need a basic, static website to promote your services and products – WordPress can manage it all.

One of the most remarkable things about WordPress for me is the huge development community that supports it. First, WordPress is free (you can even get it installed for free on your server). Second, it’s infinitely expandable through thousands of plugins, add-ons and widgets. If you need a function for your site, it’s likely someone’s already written a plugin to do it.

wordpress-themes.gifYet one of the places that I feel WordPress really shines is in all the free themes (templates) that are available. Basically, thousands of developers from all over the world have created visual designs for WordPress. And while some premium themes are available for between $50 & $250, there are thousands of themes that are completely free.

Just like WordPress, free is a good thing. And, as your developing, updating or enhancing your web business web presence, it can sometimes be good to do so on a small budget.

Here are WordPress theme catalogs, each having many (and in some cases thousands) of free WordPress themes:

  • WordPress Theme Viewer – The ‘official’ WordPress theme viewer. Thousands of free themes and thumbnails to see theme layout. Select ‘test run’ to see the theme in full form. Can narrow your search using the options in the sidebar.
  • WordPress Themes – More than 2000 free WordPress themes with thumbnails. Great resource. Rating system and download stats tell you how popular themes are. And be sure to check out their WordPress Theme Sparkling Index.
  • BGThemes – To date, more than 2000 free WordPress themes. Briefly browsing, I saw a few that I’d not seen on other sites so there may be some exclusive themes here – though I can’t say for sure. Each theme has a thumbnail and a rating system. And the search feature is nice as well.
  • Free WordPress Themes – A hand-picked selection of WordPress themes, with thumbnails. All themes are aesthetically pleasing, with solid usability and validated code.
  • WordPress Theme Review – This collection is managed by my friend, the blog guru herself, Sarah Lewis. This is a growing database of WordPress themes with a focus on SEO. In Sarah’s own words, “Want to know if search engines like Google and Yahoo! will love your theme? The higher (the) score is the more love the theme gets.” Pretty important thing to know.
  • Weblog Tools Collection – One of my favorite sites for both WordPress themes and plugins. But not because the site is easy to use. Theme catalog is huge but thumbnails were only added recently. Of course, I rarely visit the site directly any more relying on its RSS feed to keep me updated on new themes and plugins. And it’s the feed that makes me love the site.
  • Free WP Themes – A small, yet very nice selection of WordPress themes with thumbnails. Preview mode lets you view theme as it would look on WordPress blog.
  • Theme Time – A very nice, solid selection of attractive WordPress themes. Thumbnails and previews available as well as some premium themes.
  • SkinPress – This site show promise. Attractive, yet small list of WordPress themes with thumbnails and theme preview. Definitely worth a look.
  • wpSnap – Excellent list of free WordPress themes with thumbnails and demo mode. I saw some very nice looking designs here – a few of which I’d not yet seen elsewhere.
  • Blog Themes – A nice WordPress theme collection with thumbnails and previews. Appears to have several hundred themes with download statistics. Saw a few new ones here and the authors seem to be a bit picky about aesthetics.
  • Top WordPress Themes – Showcasing a few hundreded free WordPress themes. I’ve seen a number of these in other places. Yet the site is easy to navigation, features thumbnails and has a preview mode.
  • Free WordPress Templates – Looks like a few hundred WordPress themes. Saw some interesting and attractive themes. Site has thumbnails but no preview mode.
  • My Green Corner – A few hundred, mostly attractive WordPress themes. Thumbnails and preview mode.
  • ThemesBox – Only a few WordPress themes, though the ones that are listed are very nice. Thumbnails and demo area for each theme. This is a nice one to check out for a one-stop, quick stop.
  • WP Skins – Thousands of WordPress themes with thumbnails and download statistics. Nice site, with tons of themes, though I’d rate it lower because of the popup advertising.
  • WPDesigner – Fair selection of WordPress themes with thumbnails. Most of these themes are available on other sites.

So there you are. Tons of free WordPress themes to pick from.

And if that’s not enough, here’s a short list of helpful blog posts that have covered free WordPress themes over the past few months. Each of these I have at the ready in my browser’s bookmarks. So I guess now you get a glimpse inside what’s in my browser.

Have you used any of these resources yourself? If so, rate them – how well did they serve your needs? And what are they missing?

And if you haven’t used them, what are you waiting for? There’s thousands of attractive free WordPress themes waiting for you to use. Now you have no excuse not to be using WordPress.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Very nice. One thing I would add is that before you use a theme, take a look through the source code and make sure that it’s not “phoning home” or inserting do follow links you don’t realize are there. I’ve seen quite a few with 4pt font links in the footer, which Google may decide are paid links.

    A WP theme is a bunch of php and css files, so it’s really a gigantic security hole. They’ve got complete access to your machine when running in PHP. You should know what you’re implementing.

  2. Quite the ultimate resource there, Dawud!

    Very useful. Thanks for piecing it together. I’m a big WordPress fan too, although I’m hearing that Expression Engine is also a great choice of platform. Do you know much about it?

  3. Very well said! I think you’ve captured all of the reasons that I love WordPress as well. It is also a big reasons why I devote so much time to giving back to the WordPress community.

  4. David,
    Thanks, my friend.

    I’ve played a bit with Expression Engine. Oddly enough, most of my time has been in moving people from EE to WordPress. One large advantage with WordPress is all the plugin development.

    Home Recording,
    I can’t wait to see it.

    Kyle,
    I hear you. I’ve gotten such amazing support from the community. And I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know lovely people like Lorelle VanFossen.

  5. Carma – I just happen to be working on an article that explains that entire situation. It should be up sometime today.

    BTW, by “your machine” I meant the server that WP is running on, not the PC you’re working on (assuming they are different machines). But unfettered access to your server can still be a very bad thing.

  6. Dawud I was ready to start perusing WP themes and making plans to change until I read Don Draper.

    Please explain what php and css are and how would WP have access to my machine. This sounds a little threatening.

  7. Don,
    There is some gaming and cheating that’s happening on a few WordPress themes. It’s important to know about this.

    What I want to encourage is that people don’t let the fears get in the way of moving forward with a WordPress blog.

    Jason,Carma,
    Let’s wait for Don’s post and I’ll answer any other questions around that.

    Karsten,
    Cool. Keep me informed of how it goes.

    communicatrix,
    Use away.

  8. What, you’re not all subscribed to my rss feed and checking it every five minutes? :}

    Here’s the post url: http://promote-my-site.com/index.php/131-1-Very-Evil-Things-That-Could-Happen-When-You-Use-a-Free-Theme-in-your-CMS.html

    The article was more about what could go wrong, not that there is a lot of that going on. What’s disconcerting is the number of people that don’t know how php works, and yet are willing to install themes they download. I agree people should be willing to leverage some of the free software out there, but they should know what they’re getting, or they should get it from a trusted source.

  9. Don,
    Could you post a link to that post here when you publish it?

    Catharina,
    I agree wholeheartedly. In this case I was just focusing on WordPress from the perspective of startup costs for the business owner.

    And because I’m such a proponent of GPL, thanks for mentioning it.

    Apoorv,
    Thanks.

  10. Don,
    Damn, I’m checking your feed every ten minutes, isn’t that how I’m supposed to do it? And if anyone else wants to watch Don’s feed, get it here.

    I hear what you’re saying about php. It does have holes. And at least it’s good to know that you must be targeted in order for those wholes to become an issue.

    I think the interesting thing to consider is how many holes are out there on the web in general. If my friend David Airey could get his domain stolen through a hole in GMail, I don’t know what the rest of us can hope for in the way of real security. Yet I don’t think that should stop us.

  11. Dining Room,
    Oh yeah. WordPress is highly customizable. I rarely build a site any more – blog, store or static site that isn’t built in WordPress. So you can find a number of ‘static’ websites out there that are built and managed in WordPress without it looking like or acting like a blog at all.

  12. I have switched to WordPress for most of my sites. It’s a great platform to base sites on. Once you get to know WordPress it’s really a fast and effective way to built sites, static or dynamic.

  13. Great list of free wordpress themes. I have already bookmarked this page so when I redesign my site I can come back to this page. Thanks for your great information.

  14. Dawud, thanks for the link to iThemes and this great resource list … having authored more than 30 free themes myself, I know there are more than enough great free themes out there for someone to get started real fast with WordPress without spending a dime.

    Love live WP!

  15. I too just love wordpress. It has got such a wide variety of themes, plugins. It’s is simply amazing.

  16. Mathias,
    I agree whole-heartedly. I use it for everything now.

    Mike,
    Thanks. Feel free to share it with everyone you know.

    Cory,
    There certainly is. And most of the time people can get an entire business platform established without paying huge design fees.

    And…love live WP

    Laser Hair,
    It really is amazing. BTW, what’s your favorite plugin?

  17. It’s worth pointing out that themes.wordpress.net hasn’t been updated with any new themes since summer 2007, so nothing there has been designed for the current version of WP (for example, none of those themes support tagging). But there are so many other great sites out there that it doesn’t really matter. Thanks for the links, I thought I already knew every directory out there but obviously not!

  18. Reynder,
    Unfortunate, but true. Watch for spam.

    Jessica,
    Good point. Do you know of there are plans with themes.wordpress.net?

    Jenny,
    I hear you. But it doesn’t mean that less technically-apt people could. I compiled the list for all of us WP geeks and those who just want to get started on their own.

  19. Eva,
    Great, hope to see you back.

    Quality,
    Thanks. If you run across any others, please let me know and I’ll update the list.

    Jim,
    I know. Best to get your blog up with a nice theme and then go fishing for more ideal ones, don’t you thin?

    And if you need any help with your migration, feel free to shoot me an email.

  20. wpjoy,
    Custom fields in RSS…

    Either you’d need to hack the RSS generator in WP or you could use a service like textlinkads to give you some control over what’s in your feed.

  21. We are looking at building a website (part static/part blog) utilizing Wodpress (Gourmet Mag site is a model) and would love input related to source of themes better suited to a statuc site as well as resources (online of published hard copy) with info about building such a site! In the meantime, we will review all of the resources you have provided! THX

  22. Its a really strange that people are sharing these themes for free. I wonder how some smart folks are not selling them in some places in web.
    Thanks to authors, some themes are wonderful, probably my current theme could get changed soon

  23. Hey Dawud – AWESOME list you’ve got here!

    We ran a WordPress Theme Design contest a couple months back (are running the same contest now again as well actually) and so we now have a resource with 95 Incredible WordPress Themes. We’d love for you to check them out or add our link above for the WP Community to use and resource.

    http://blog.lunarpages.com/display_themes.php

  24. Dawud, this is a great list. Thanks for sharing the ultimate resource for free WordPress themes. I’ve visited some of the links and they’re awesome.

  25. Nice list of themes. The nice thing is that they are easy to customize, if the author allows it, that is :P.

  26. Thanks for compiling such a huge list. Will take some days for me to personally check them all out and thanks for putting in your thoughts about each site too. Much appreciated. BTW what’s the theme you are using? Its pretty nifty and eye pleasing.

  27. Hi Dawud, just found this post and immediately put it in my Delicious bookmarks. Great resource to explore loads of themes. I always recommend custom themes to businesses and commercial bloggers, but if it’s just for personal use, or a business starting out that can’t invest in a custom theme, I’m happy to recommend where to find good free themes. Thanks for sharing!!

  28. Great list of free wordpress themes. I have already bookmarked this page so when I redesign my site I can come back to this page. Thanks for your great information.

  29. I’m in the process of building a website using WordPress as a CMS and so far am happy with it. I have learned a great deal about css and validity using WordPress also.

  30. Hi Dawud, I’m a first time visitor from Australia and I have to say I’m very impressed with the exhaustive list building of blogs and blogging resources you have assembled on this page. Many thanks – Andrew. Sydney

  31. Fishing is one of many activities which require three attributes. Fishing Knowledge, Fishing Skill and dedication to the activity… if you don’t have all three it can be very boring and unproductive. Deep sea fishing, reef fishing, sea fishing, sport and recreation, even Charter Fishing are all different requiring different knowledge and skill basics. Perhaps this is why 90% of fish are caught by 10% of the fishermen.

  32. I think for those with low budget there are lot of free premium themes available on the net.I used one great theme from blogger template (http://www.blogger-template.info) and modified it to run my wall paper site(www.bollywood-wallpapers.net) and it works fantastic.There are many great themes on the site all for free.

  33. Hi, what a great list. It took me 2 years to find this list 😉 but it’s still usefull – Better late than never!

  34. Well said! I think you’ve caught all the reasons that I love WordPress, too. This is also a big reason why I spend a lot of time to give back to the WordPress community.

  35. Great post. I am actually just getting into wordpress and am finding myself with a growing addiction to it!

    I too am amazed at the variety of themes available. Total website in a box!

  36. Well said! I think you’ve caught all the reasons that I love WordPress, too. This is also a big reason why I spend a lot of time to give back to the WordPress community.

  37. Thank you for the informative post. I had been searching for something related and found your web page in the process.. I will certainly be back for more.

  38. Hi, wanted to say great site! I’m possibly being a little bit off topic here, this is my first visit, but I was browsing and wanted to say thanks for an idea. Your article
    sparked a new concept I hadn’t given much thought to before. Thanks for the insight!

  39. Awesome resource. I have been looking for a particular wordpress theme for the last few hours and I think I found it.

  40. Looking at just how long your list of resources are, and how many great themes are on each of the pages showcasing free themes, I think your post just underscores how far the WordPress them world has come. And you wrote this in 2008! The number and quality of free themes out there has probably doubled since then!

    Erick

  41. I am a beginner when it comes to word press. So thanks for sharing this info for me , It will really helps me to know more about word press.

  42. Great list with free wordpress themes 🙂 I can recommend WP-unlimited this is a great WP template system to produce unique designs and landing pages. This is not a free template but if you buy a developer license you can produce all the unique themes you want for free 🙂

  43. I recently discovered your blog/website and have truly enjoyed reading this and some of one’s other posts. I thought I would dive out in the shadows and leave my very first comment. I’m not sure what to say other than I have loved reading and can carry on to go to as often as I can.

  44. This is just what I have searched for, I wish I had found it earlier. I have really tried a lot of useless WordPress themes, there are so many that its imppossible to find out which to use and which are the cool ones. This list and categorization really helped me, and I think I’ve just found my perfect theme, I’m gonna try it tonight 🙂

  45. I tried a couple of themes that I got from the sites mentioned in this post and I also liked a few but I recently hooked up to Thesis and I am loving it a lot. Although, it is not free but since I am not a coder and dont understand much about css and php, I simply login to the help and forum and have made some good blogs……

  46. this is a great list. Thanks for sharing the ultimate resource for free WordPress themes. I’ve visited some of the links and they’re good.

    I am actually just getting into wordpress and am finding myself with a growing addiction to it! I too am amazed at the variety of themes available. Total website in a box!

  47. I hear what you’re saying about php. It does have holes. And at least it’s good to know that you must be targeted in order for those wholes to become an issue.

  48. I have gone through several WP themes and since I dont know much of coding, I decided to go ahead with Thesis and I must say that I am loving it……

  49. You can definitely strike it lucky sometimes, but the vast majority of the time, I find it’s just more effort than it’s worth looking through all the options available. I prefer to use themes from somewhere like Themeforest. That said, this is a great list and an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to find a free one.

  50. Hi Dawud,
    I would like to share with you because i have done exactly the same whatever you wrote above, I wanted to make website for this topic “used mobile phones for sale, buy second hand mobiles in Pakistan” I was worry about Content Management system then i found a premium wordpress theme Classipress which is exactly suitable for my project. WordPress is working wonderful with that, I love wordpress.

    Regards,
    Maya

  51. I am always on the look for great WP Themes… thanks for a great list of places to go.

    I am looking for Premium WordPress Themes – where I can pay my way to get them altered. Can this be done?

    This way I will know the “Basic” of the theme – and still get it so it is just like I want it – and I can use it in my marketing.

    Do you know of such a service?

  52. Im currently building a blog using wordpress and find it very easy to maintain.

    im ususally a Joomla! man, but when it comes to blogging, wordpress can be beat 🙂

    Your list of places to find templates will come in handy during future projects 🙂

  53. I look for a great WP Theme… thanks for a great list of places to go.

    I am looking for Premium WordPress Themes – where I can pay my way to get them altered. Can this be done?

    Excellent list!Thanks Dawud

  54. Great article, we used a lot of good input from you when we build the gymtalk.com blog, and we’re still using a lot of your tips. Thanks for sharing again, sounds really great and keep it coming, would also now a bit more about the best wordpress plugins if you have any to share.

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