25 Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2019

Want to know “the best” and the top free WordPress themes to use in 2019? All the themes here are battle-tested when it comes to design, SEO, features, speed, and usability.

How do you find which is the perfect theme for your business website or a blog? There are thousands of lite, free and premium themes released every day. Picking a theme to build my clients website was always very complicated. So I took time and reviewed every feature and advantage a theme offers so you get a refined list of best free WordPress themes.

You also get the option to find which themes are fast, feature-rich or maybe the one that performs well in every area. Check the scoreboard for the results. I will keep updating this post with new themes that work for you.

Scoreboard:
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Journal

journal

Journal is a powerful WordPress theme for blogging that is feature-rich and fast loading. For the homepage, there are a total of five sections and each section customizable with ten different post layouts. You can unique web layouts as it lets you change homepage sections based on your post categories.

This responsive theme comes with its own page builder called “Brizy”. Brizy is page builder for beginners and advanced designers which lets you create landing pages and well-crafted website layouts. It makes your blog a perfect place to market affiliate services and products. There are 100’s of free block layouts available for Brizy builder; real-time editing of your website becomes fun and easy.

Score Details:

  • Design: 8/10
  • Features & Customization: 9/10
  • Uniqueness: 9/10
  • SEO: 7/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (99/100), Mobile (82/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 95%, YSlow 81%, Load time: 2.2s, TTFB: 157ms.

Notable Features:

  • Image Slider
  • Portfolio Support
  • WooCommerce Plugin Support
  • Full compatibility for Brizy Page Builder
  • Bootstrap Framework.

Cons:

  • Importing Demo content will delete all your existing content (posts, pages, products); use with caution or don’t use demo import
  • There is a limit of five homepage sections
  • Errors in Schema Markup.

Demo Download

ColorMag

colormag

The second fastest WordPress theme I have come across in my review. The theme is well-designed for blogs and news sites. ColorMag has its strengths when it comes to page loading speed, SEO, and mobile-optimized website. The main theme homepage works based on section widgets where you get to pick post categories for customizing the homepage layout. Overall the theme looks like a popular news website that has a lot of content and images.

This theme is also very popular since it is used by many websites out there. Some of the websites using Colormag have found great success with the theme; so when it comes to SEO value, this theme delivers.

Update: Colormag recently added three new homepage layouts(beauty blog, business magazine and a black website magazine) compatible with Elementor; totally free.

Technical Details:

  • Design: 8/10
  • Features & Customization: 7/10
  • Uniqueness: 8/10
  • SEO: 9.5/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (82/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 88%, YSlow 87%, Load time: 1.3s, TTFB: 169ms.

Notable Features:

  • Fully compatibility with Elementor
  • WooCommerce Plugin Support
  • Left and Right Sidebar
  • Post slider for homepage.

Cons:

  • Changing Fonts is not possible
  • Limited color options
  • The main theme has a limit of four sections and eight widget areas on the homepage.

Demo Download

Optimizer

optimizer theme

This free WordPress theme is useful for creating a great blogging website and startup websites. Is it the first time you heard about this theme? This theme made quite a buzz when it was released a couple of years back.

Optimizer changed the way how WordPress Customizer acts and feels; the smooth customizer packed with this WordPress theme is easy even for beginners. You only get four widgets with Optimizer: about, advanced text, blocks, and posts. There is, however, no limit to the number of widgets you can add to the homepage.

My favorite dynamic widget is the posts widget which has three unique layouts and lets you select from your WordPress posts, pages, and products. Optimizer theme will power your website with its exclusive features and modern design.

Technical Details:

  • Design: 8/10
  • Features & Customization: 7/10
  • Uniqueness: 8/10
  • SEO: 8/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (85/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 98%, YSlow 91%, Load time: 0.8s, TTFB: 158ms.

Notable Features:

  • Image Header (Adjustable Height)
  • WooCommerce Plugin Support

Cons:

  • This free version has only a few widgets to create a business website.
  • Issues with Page builders compatibility(Theme navigation breaks the drag and drop function).

Demo Download

Spacious

spacious wp theme

Spacious is a simple business theme for WordPress websites that need a combination of a landing page, business blog, and an online shop.

The theme is easy to set up and you can import demo content with just a couple of steps: it will be time-consuming to create a unique layout without the demo content.

The homepage sections are controlled by widgets just like in the ColorMag theme. The five exclusive widgets that come with this theme include: call to action, featured Single Page, featured widget, testimonial, services. Overall I found that the theme works neatly for small business websites.

Technical Details:

  • Design: 6/10
  • Features & Customization: 6/10
  • Uniqueness: 6/10
  • SEO: 7/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (96/100)
  • GTmetrix: Pagespeed Score (98/100), YSlow (89/100), Load time 1.1s, TTFB 165ms

Notable Features:

  • Image Slider (5 slides)
  • WooCommerce Plugin Support

Cons:

  • No of widget areas on the homepage is limited
  • The demo template for the homepage is not compatible with Elementor Page builder.

Note: Switching themes will not retain homepage content when using widget-based themes. So it may be better to use the Elementor plugin to retain data.

Live Demo Download

Hueman

hueman theme

Back when it was released, this free WordPress theme was one of a kind and the cleanest blog theme in WordPress.org directory. This boxed layout theme was developed by Alex but recently the development team changed to Press Customizr(these are the developers behind the ever popular theme, Customizr).

With the owner change, Hueman theme got a new page builder named “Nimble” and it improved the inbuilt WordPress customizer upto some extent. Nimble also comes with page building blocks like image header, services listing, contact us form and, features sections.

Technical Details:

  • Design: 6/10
  • Features & Customization: 7/10
  • Uniqueness: 6.5/10
  • SEO: 8/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (89/100)
  • GTmetrix: Pagespeed Score (97/100), YSlow (87/100), Load time 1.0s, TTFB 153ms

Notable Features:

  • Left and Right Sidebar (dynamic sidebar option)
  • WooCommerce Plugin Support.

Cons:

  • Fonts selection is limited to 15; 11 of them are Google fonts
  • Nimble Page builder has no modules/sections to add dynamic content like posts, pages etc onto a page
  • Not a good schema markup for blog articles. (tested with Google Structured Data Testing Tool)
  • No demo page for the lite version
  • The customizer itself can be overwhelming to beginners.

Note: Why the uniqueness so low here? Over the last six years since its initial release it looks exactly the same. Even if you decide to use Nimble page builder the overall website customization is just limited.

Live Demo Download

SiteOrigin Corp

siteorigin corp

Corp is a great alternative to the SiteOrigin’s famed Vantage theme. Starting off with this theme it is just too easy to create business websites for your client’s or for yourself.

Why this theme is better than Vantage? Yes I know, Vantage has got 90k+ active installations and scores 4.5/5(100+ reviews) in the WordPress directory. But Vantage is a very old theme; its design and functionality are not for modern websites. Even the basic set up of the theme, especially the homepage, will be challenging for beginners due to its bugs. The data validation of the theme is also a bit flawed since the theme passed its review on WordPress a long time ago. By default, Woocommerce shop should look great, but here with Vantage, even the shop looks outdated. There is no reason to use this theme until it is fully relaunched in 2019.

Comparing to Vantage, Corp does everything better. The design of SiteOrigin Corp is elegant and modern, it also looks great on mobile devices. Its flawless integration with the free page builder SiteOrigin is the first thing you will fall in love with.

Apart from the outstanding page builder options, you also get better control over website colors, google fonts and, blog layouts. The website performance is stunning even though the theme packs a rich set of features. This responsive theme is a great option for any business website that needs a solid set of features, scalability, and performance.

Score Details:

  • Design: 8/10
  • Features & Customization: 9/10
  • Uniqueness: 8/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (99/100), Mobile (88/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 96%, YSlow 85%, Load time: 1.4s, TTFB: 165ms.

Notable Features:

  • Full compatibility with SiteOrigin Page builder
  • Image Slider (unlimited) with swipe-based navigation
  • Video Header (media upload)
  • Fullscreen image/video (manual slider layout control)
  • Left and Right Sidebar
  • WooCommerce Plugin Support (Quick View and Mini cart options this theme offers is a bonus).

Cons:

  • The theme loads quite a number of CSS & JS files but it didn’t hurt website performance as you might think.

Live Demo Download

ShopIsle

ecommerce theme

ShopIsle is a ready-to-go eCommerce theme if you are looking to create a shop, fast. This woocommerce ready theme comes with customizer settings to create image slider, banners, product slider, product categories, and even a promo video segment on your homepage. It fully supports the Woocommerce plugin and the theme customizer also let you add dynamic products onto the homepage with the above sections.

Score Details:

  • Design: 7/10
  • Features & Customization: 6/10
  • Uniqueness: 7/10
  • SEO: 8/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (95/100), Mobile (78/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 91%, YSlow 84%, Load time: 1.7s, TTFB: 165ms.

Notable Features:

  • Image Slider (no limits)
  • Woocommerce Plugin support
  • Video Promo (with YouTube link).

Cons:

  • No Color Options
  • No Font Options
  • No layout customization (Re-ordering sections or repeating the same section on the homepage is not possible either).
  • The theme loads quite a no of CSS and JS files which sometimes feels unnecessary.

Pagespeed Note: As you know embedding a YouTube video on a page hurts page performance by doubling the page size and the no of requests. But it’s not related to a theme as it is quite normal for an embedded video to hurt the website performance. Here with the case of ShopIsle theme, the website performance took a huge hit with Youtube video. (the load times were 5.9s with youtube video). If you still wish to use the video feature then check this guide on video optimization script that will come in handy.

Live Demo Download

Astra

astra starter theme

The most popular starter theme of 2018. Starter theme? Yes, Astra doesn’t work by itself, it needs page builder support for full functionality. You may choose any of your favorite page builders like Divi, Elementor, Visual Builder, SiteOrigin, Brizy or try any others. Astra, however, comes with 43 free website layouts just for these page builders: Elementor, Gutenberg, Beaver and, Brizy.

To start creating websites you just need to install Astra Starter sites plugin. This plugin makes importing demo website with which you can install your favorite layout or theme. These free website layouts will instantly help you create websites for business, services websites, non-profit, personal websites, landing pages and more.

Here are a couple of supported business themes:

Themes for Business: Agency, Interior Design Firm, Restaurant, Hair Salon, Shop, Car Repair, Hotel, Health.

Themes for Personal websites: Yoga Instructor, Plumber, Coach, Speakers, Technicians, Artists, Wedding, Lawyer, Fitness Trainer.

The SEO optimized website structure makes your website rank higher without any issues. Here are some of the best websites using Astra until now. For designers, Astra is a great startup theme for creating multi-purpose websites for their clients: while for beginners, Astra lets them create their first website with just a couple of clicks.

Score Details:(Agency Starter Site)

  • Design: 9/10
  • Features & Customization: 9.5/10
  • Uniqueness: 9/10
  • SEO: 9.2/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (83/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 97%, YSlow 85%, Load time: 1.4s, TTFB: 183ms.

Notable Features:

  • Full compatibility with Page builders
  • Everything that comes with a page builder
  • Woocommerce Plugin Support
  • Left and Right Sidebar (sidebar options for all post types)
  • Footer credits can be removed.

Cons:

  • Not all starter themes are fast as claimed when it comes to mobile tests
  • There is a high chance of conflict if you use Typography and Color options of both Astra and Elementor at a time.

Note: The SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle and Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg which the starter site installed on import hurts the Google pagespeed test for Mobiles. I disabled these plugins during the tests as they were not required on the Elementor ready homepage.

Live Demo Download

Astra Vs GeneratePress Vs Twenty Nineteen Vs Oceanwp

astra vs oceanwp vs generatepress

Let us do a pagespeed test comparison of four most downloaded themes. For the tests I used a homepage with just eight blog posts and their featured images.

Score: Astra
Google Pagespeed: Desktop 100/100, Mobile 98/100 (Speed Index: 2.1s)
GTMetrix: Page score 99%, YSlow 90%, Load time: 0.9s, Pagesize: 536 KB, Requests: 16, TTFB: 178ms.

Score: GeneratePress
Google Pagespeed: Desktop 100/100, Mobile 100/100 (Speed Index: 1.4s)
GTMetrix: Page score 100%, YSlow 92%, Load time: 0.8s, Pagesize: 623 KB, Requests: 15, TTFB: 176ms.

Score: Twenty Nineteen
Google Pagespeed: Desktop 100/100, Mobile 98/100 (Speed Index: 2.5s)
GTMetrix: Page score 98%, YSlow 92%, Load time: 1.0s, Pagesize: 950 KB, Requests: 21, TTFB: 166ms.

Score: OceanWP
Google Pagespeed: Desktop 100/100, Mobile 95/100 (Speed Index: 2.3s)
GTMetrix: Page score 98%, YSlow 89%, Load time: 1.0s, Pagesize: 885 KB, Requests: 21, TTFB: 173ms.

Although it is only a small margin GeneratePress won the battle when it comes to website performance. In mobile tests, this theme took just “1.4s” to load the website, which is very fast compared to the rest of the free WordPress themes.

TwentyNineteen is not a great choice for page builders since it lacks the option to merge, remove or disable navigation. Also a bit bulky compared to other starter themes.

Sydney

sydney business theme
Sydney is a business theme for WordPress that has been popular all these years. Recently they made the theme compatible with Elementor page builder and is now totally dependant on it. Sydney adds four elements to the Elementor page builder: Portfolio (static content), Testimonials, Posts, and Employee carousel. These Sydney elements will let you re-create demo layout for the homepage without even importing the demo content; it is that easy.

However, for beginners new to WordPress platform it is essential to import the demo content which the theme delivers using one click demo import plugin. Apart from the homepage, you will be able to create a business blog with four unique blog layouts. A powerful blog to market your services and a built-in shop to sell products make Sydney worth your time.

Score Details:

  • Design: 7/10
  • Features & Customization: 8/10
  • Uniqueness: 7/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (99/100), Mobile (72/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 87%, YSlow 83%, Load time: 1.3s, TTFB: 269ms.

Notable Features:

  • Full compatibility with Elementor
  • Woocommerce Plugin Support
  • Image Slider (5 slides)
  • Video Header
  • Fullscreen website
  • Bootstrap Framework.

Cons:

  • Manual text input for Google Fonts required which is annoying
  • Theme Slider is not customizable with Elementor.

Pagespeed Note: The website performed slow with the demo content as the demo images were large and there was also a embeded youtube video. First, I had to optimize images on the homepage. Second, I optimized Youtube video with a placeholder image supported by Elementor settings. Applying these two easy tweaks improved the loading times from 4.9s to 1.8s and the file size reduced from 4MB to 1.9MB.

Live Demo Download

Shapely

shapely - parallax WordPress theme
Shapely is for startup websites who would like to showcase their software, mobile apps and web applications to the masses. This minimal theme comes with a demo import option so you can get started fast with the demo layout. This theme is quite subtle and has a mobile responsive design.

The theme homepage works with the help of Shapely widgets; eleven widgets to be precise. The theme demo you see uses only one widget called parallax section for frontpage, that is outstanding. This widget lets you add a fullscreen image, text and, CTA buttons. The website layout is fluid and making adjustments with this cool widget is also fun and easy.

Other nice widgets include features listing, contact form, client logos, adjustable video, call to action, portfolio(with Jetpack plugin). This theme serves the best for those who wish to create simple business websites which also require a combination of a blog, a portfolio page & a shop.

Score Details:

  • Design: 7/10
  • Features & Customization: 7/10
  • Uniqueness: 7/10
  • SEO: 7/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (87/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 88%, YSlow 77%, Load time: 1.6s, TTFB: 181ms.

Notable Features:

  • Video Header
  • Portfolio (widget for Jetpack)
  • Woocommerce plugin support
  • Fullscreen Image (Parallax)
  • Left and Right Sidebar (Blog)
  • Bootstrap Framework.

Cons:

  • Fonts options not available
  • Some color options are just missing
  • Adding Social icons is hard
  • Parallax widget adds H1 tag everytime(multiple instances of this widget will hurt your page SEO)
  • Shapley widgets are incompatible with Elementor.

Video Widget Note: Youtube and Vimeo slowed the “Shapely” theme tremendously which was expected. There is, however, an option to add a background image for custom videos we upload to wordpress. I found a increase in loading speed by using that option. I wish this optimization tweak also worked for youtube videos, which seems to be not working at the time of this review. Also do note that for our tests we disabled videos and used optimized images across the site.

Live Demo Download

OceanWP

oceanwp free multipurpose theme
The most popular theme in the WordPress directory that exists today. This is a starter theme just like Astra but OceanWP has customizer features like no other theme. To improve site speed of starter sites the theme options lets you disable specific styles & scripts that you may not be using.

To import the demo content and free templates that this theme offers you need to install ocean demo import plugin. You get 13 free website layouts for creating your website and these templates are fully compatible with page builders. Each template will also import about, contact, service pages, and any page related to this imported template.

This theme is very helpful for developers or web designers who want to create unique websites for their clients. Even though it only has 13 free website layouts as compared to monstrous 43 layouts of Astra; the WordPress customizer and its full range of customization settings are mind-blowing.

Score Details: (Coach Theme)

  • Design: 8.5/10
  • Features & Customization: 9.5/10
  • Uniqueness: 9/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (64/100)
  • GTmetrix: Page score 90%, YSlow 79%, Load time: 2.1s, TTFB: 180ms.

Notable Features:

  • Full compatibility with Page builders
  • Total control of your website with Customizer
  • Woocommerce Plugin Support
  • Left and Right Sidebar (for blog & shop).

Cons:

  • Some of the free templates performed slowly on mobile tests
  • Keeping track of changes made in your website with the customizer will be hard for beginners.

Note: Importing demo sites with the demo import plugin won’t delete any posts or data.

Live Demo Download

Hestia

hestia wp theme
Hestia is a free responsive wordpress theme developed by Themeisle and it brings better features, design, and customization. It has now become a great alternative to those who were using Zerif Lite which is now discontinued. Customization of homepage happens with frontpage section settings found in WordPress Customizer. The options to change Google fonts and accent colors are also available in the WordPress theme Customizer.

You also get three Elementor demos for creating websites related to business services. Hestia requires Orbit Fox companion plugin to work properly; what you will love about this plugin are the additional free templates it has for Elementor. This plugin gives you 10 free landing pages for creating business websites. In total, you get 13 brilliant websites that are fully compatible with the Elementor Plugin. Hestia is a powerful alternative to Zerif Lite.

Score Details:

  • Design: 8/10
  • Features & Customization: 8.6/10
  • Uniqueness: 9/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (91/100) – Speed Index 3.4s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 87%, YSlow 82%, Load time: 1.0s, TTFB: 174ms.

Notable Features:

  • Fully compatibility with Elementor
  • Left and Right Sidebar (page & post settings)
  • Woocommerce plugin support (also has settings for adding products on the homepage)
  • Bootstrap Framework & FontAwesome Icons.

Cons:

  • The main demo of Hestia is not compatible with any page builder.

Note: Since the homepage content is dependent on WordPress customizer, page builders don’t work on the main theme homepage.

Live Demo Download

GeneratePress

starter wordpress theme

This free WordPress theme is one of the fastest loading WordPress themes I have ever tested and the website performs swiftly on mobile devices. The theme delivers swift speeds with its clean code and critical CSS that gets loaded before any render blocking elements.

GeneratePress is a starter theme for advanced bloggers who are serious about clean code, speed, and rich schema markup. It has great compatibility with page builders. You may even use this starter theme to create your client’s website. By default, GeneratePress comes with a classic blog which makes this theme a starting point for bloggers. The Customizer with the theme allows you to change colors, layout, and typography elements of the website with ease.

The theme has proven record to rank websites and there are many successful affiliate marketers and designers who use GeneratePress for their websites and for their clients. Stuck at any point? Go to Google and search “your query” + “GeneratePress” you will get an answer 110% of the time.

Score Details: (Default theme)

  • Design: 7.5/10
  • Features & Customization: 8/10
  • Uniqueness: 8.5/10
  • SEO: 9.7/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (100/100) – Speed Index 1.0s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 100%, YSlow 92%, Load time: 0.8s, TTFB: 176ms.

Notable Features:

  • Full compatibility with page builders
  • Left and right Sidebar
  • Woocommerce plugin support.

Cons:

  • Limited options for changing blog layouts
  • No free website layouts
  • The free version won’t be helpful for beginners as the premium version.

Is the GeneratePress premium version for you? That depends on what type of websites you are building. GeneratePress premium is built for niche business and affiliate blogs that need fast loading speeds, minimalist design, and features to create online earning websites. It works on the principle, simple websites earn better than pretty ones. This theme won’t disappoint. It gives you over 30 free sites to build your website along with the extended customizer settings. I will review the GeneratePress premium soon in detail for you. The unique features like sections and elements the theme offers are non-existent in 99% of the themes ever released. Find more about GeneratePress Premium here.

Live Demo Download

GeneratePress Vs Genesis

comparison of genesis vs generatepress

A pagespeed battle of two popular themes ever released. I will do a detailed review of both soon so please bear with me. Let us jump straight into the pagespeed test. In this test I used eight posts without featured images as Genesis(default theme) doesn’t show featured images in the blog posts. These are the results:

Score: GeneratePress (Default)

  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (100/100) – Speed Index 1.4s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 100%, YSlow 94%, Load time: 0.8s, Pagesize: 30.4 KB, Requests: 9, TTFB: 162ms.

Score: Genesis (Default)

  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (100/100) – Speed Index 1.9s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 99%, YSlow 93%, Load time: 0.6s, Pagesize: 93.3 KB, Requests: 9, TTFB: 155ms.

A bit hard to tell the difference from the above tests but still it is easy to spot that Genesis won the Desktop battle and GeneratePress won the mobile. GeneratePress has a page size of 30KB which is extraordinary. Also, GeneratePress is free for what it does while Genesis costs 59.95$. Check all available demos of Genesis on their official website here.

OnePress

free one page WordPress theme

Developed by Famethemes, this free WordPress theme works fully with its own custom content blocks. The homepage content is created using these content blocks to customize your website with ease. The theme also allows to safely import demo content without deleting any website data.

The theme at a glance works for corporate websites who would like to showcase their company history, services, team members, and contact details.

Score Details:

  • Design: 6.5/10
  • Features & Customization: 7/10
  • Uniqueness: 7/10
  • SEO: 6/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (84/100) – Speed Index 3.8s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 96%, YSlow 88%, Load time: 1.2s, TTFB: 158ms.

Notable Features:

  • Left and Right Sidebar
  • Image Slider (fullscreen option + parallax effect)
  • Woocommerce plugin support
  • Video Promo (with youtube link)
  • Bootstrap Framework.

Cons:

  • Homepage content will be lost if you switch to another theme
  • Custom content blocks are not compatible with page builders
  • Image slider allows only two slides.

Live Demo Download

Airi

free wordpress theme

Airi is developed by Athemes and a better theme compared to Sydney, its predecessor. It fixes everything Sydney was doing wrong and fully compatible with Elementor page builder. The demo import plugin safely lets you import one homepage layout at a time so you can work with your new website swiftly.

It comes with five Elementor website layouts and a brilliant combination of features focused on color & typography. The website layouts will let you create websites for health coaches, lawyers, creative agencies, and business websites. Airi also gives you a free business blog(classic layout style) that will help you reach out to your audience. The theme is fully compatible with the woocommerce plugin and adds a beautiful cart icon for the website navigation menu.

Score Details:

  • Design: 9/10
  • Features & Customization: 8.5/10
  • Uniqueness: 9/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (100/100), Mobile (91/100) – Speed Index 3.4s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 97%, YSlow 84%, Load time: 1.2s, TTFB: 167ms.

Notable Features:

  • Woocommerce plugin support(with cart icon for menus)
  • Bootstrap 4 framework & Font awesome icons.

Cons:

  • Loads too many render-blocking Javascript and CSS files.

Live Demo Download

Neve

neve onepage theme

Neve is a replacement of “Parallax One” theme which you might have used in the past. Everything in Neve is exactly the same as the theme “Hestia” which is also developed by Themeisle. The only thing that makes Neve better than Hestia is the additional website layouts and full compatibility for the Elementor page builder. The extra layouts are made to build websites for restaurant, charity, doctors, freelancers, etc.

Neve theme is fully packed with homepage sections like pricing tables, video promo, staff, pricing tables and more that were lacking in Hestia. Importing demo layouts are easy and I love how smooth the process went. The only problem is the website performance on mobile devices which makes this theme unfit for mobile devices.

Score Details:

  • Design: 8.2/10
  • Features & Customization: 8.5/10
  • Uniqueness: 9/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (80/100), Mobile (50/100) – Speed Index 8.5s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 76%, YSlow 84%, Load time: 1.9s, TTFB: 177ms.

Notable Features:

  • Fully compatibility with Elementor
  • Left and Right Sidebar
  • Woocommerce plugin support
  • Bootstrap Framework
  • Footer credits can be removed.

Cons:

  • Limited color options
  • Loading speeds are the worst on mobile
  • Unoptimized for speed(Fontawesome.css can be seen three times loaded in the header).

Note: For Neve pagespeed tests I removed the youtube video as I have done with other tests. The website performed slow on mobile devices so I will not recommend this theme unless the issues are fixed.

Live Demo Download

eStore

free woocommerce theme

eStore is a free Woocommerce theme built for giving your clients better shopping experience. One thing noticeable about the theme is the category color settings; this setting allows you to pick a distinct color for each category archives.

The theme packs 14 widgets for customizing your website and also a fully functional business blog. The business blog will help you drive traffic to your pages and get to your target audience. The promotional widgets include horizontal promo, products grid, product slider, and an image carousel. Apart from the woocommerce theme it also comes with a magazine theme for news sites and magazines.

Score Details:

  • Design: 7.5/10
  • Features & Customization: 7.5/10
  • Uniqueness: 8/10
  • SEO: 9/10
  • Google Pagespeed: Desktop (97/100), Mobile (68/100) – Speed Index 6.3s
  • GTmetrix: Page score 69%, YSlow 83%, Load time: 2.4s, TTFB: 188ms.

Notable Features:

  • Left and Right Sidebar (products, pages & posts)
  • Woocommerce plugin support (cart icon in the menu)
  • Lightbox image.

Cons:

  • No font options
  • Too many requests and Javascript files.

Live Demo Download

Wow great. This concludes our list of WordPress themes for now. I will keep updating this topic so refer back for cool themes. Continue reading for outdated themes, insights, and faq.


Why WordPress?

WordPress as a CMS has proved over the last decade that it is robust, trustworthy and scalable for creating the best business websites and blogs. So if you are about to create a website for your business and you want the website to be secure, fast and easy to update, then WordPress is a free and solid CMS platform just for you.

Responsive design has become a critical factor for each and every website. Informational and transactional websites are highly searched using handheld devices like tablets, smartphones. In one report by stonetemple, it shows 58% of visitors are now using Mobile. Nowadays web designers and developers started actively building responsive websites for their clients and the trend seems to grow every year. Also, frameworks like Bootstrap which is a front-end component library now uses the mobile-first approach to build websites. The key takeaway? Responsive design is crucial for every website and a major ranking factor.

Key Features

Below is the list of features I think are essential for any theme. In my reviews, I check if these features are found and they are not in the theme it will be at a disadvantage(cons).

For customization

  • Site Title & Logo
  • Social Links
  • Colors
  • Google Fonts
  • Sidebar Widgets
  • WordPress Live Customizer
  • Full-Width Page Template.

Common Features

  • Responsive Design
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility
  • Compatible with essential WordPress plugins
  • Gutenberg Support
  • Threaded Comments
  • Image Gallery
  • Good Schema Markup.

The review process

It’s quite simple actually but how did I pick which theme to review for this topic?

Truth be told, I had to select from a huge list of themes. First, of course, was WordPress.org/themes where latest featured and most popular themes were updated. Also, I took note of what other reviewers were aggressively talking about. Simple isn’t it :). It took me only a couple of days.

Let me break the review process I’ve done into five simple categories.

Design

Aesthetics, usability, and legibility of page elements like sliders, buttons, links and, the text were taken into consideration. I didn’t go looking for every possible mistake in web design; that would be silly and dangerous.

Uniqueness

Which theme do you think is unique? A theme that has been downloaded and used on 200K+ websites or the one that has been used on 10k websites. Looking at the figures it is easy to say the theme with 10k active installs is unique. This is one of the factors in calculating uniqueness but neglected if the theme offers a handful of customization and layout changes. This is the first factor I looked into so that you don’t become a clone website and lose trust.

The second factor is rip off. Themes that are copycat versions of an existing premium theme or any popular website. I wouldn’t go too far with this one but most of the time it is quite easy to find one that is imitating another theme in many ways. (example Colormag theme is a near copycat version of Sahifa).

SEO

Valid Schema Markup is tested. As you know Google cares about HTML markup and that you follow HTML standards. Blog posts should have a working WordPress hEntry schema or a WebPage schema or an Article type schema. Likewise, pages for products, recipes and review pages should have valid rich snippets working for the theme.

Next semantic markup of the pages is checked. These are the basic markup required for any valid HTML5 document; the presence of H1 tags and the hierarchy of heading tags when H1 should come before H2 and other simple HTML tags.

Pagespeed

I am a huge fan of fast loading websites but there are times when certain pages tend to use a lot of resources and those are unavoidable. Google PageSpeed insights and GTmetrix were the speed testing tools I used for this review.

Also while testing themes I used caching plugins like WP Rocket PremiumWP Fastest Cache, W3 total cache, whichever performed the best. WP Rocket, a premium plugin, delivered stable results throughout the tests.WP Fastest cache performed great on desktop. But in my tests, the mobile caching on WP Fastest cache(premium version) was the best. WP Super cache was the last on most tests. As for W3 total cache, it performed stable on all tests but the settings can be quite overwhelming for beginners.

Note: AMP for WordPress will be essential for blogs. So use it when it is possible for your website. For woocommerce, AMP is not available so we must choose a plugin that heavily supports mobile caching. (check faq for plugins recommended)

FAQ










Outdated Themes

Here you will find a list of outdated themes that are still recommended by others but not a great option for you in 2019.
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Conclusion

I think there are a lot more themes to cover and I will keep you updated with new and powerful themes here. Ctrl+D to bookmark this topic if you like it.

Which theme worked for you? Are you still in search of a theme? Share your thoughts with our audience.

Disclosure: I have referred some affiliate links in this topic which I think might benefit you. I will receive a small fee if you decide to buy that product at no additional cost for you.