9 of the Most Popular Free WordPress Themes

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There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available. Some of these themes are extremely popular and used by hundreds of thousands of users. In this article, I will list the 10 most popular free themes from 2015 available at WordPress.org.

Some of these themes featured below are more popular than others. I am not going to list the WordPress ‘Twenty’ series themes in this article (e.g Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Fifteen etc.). It’s very difficult to beat all of the ‘Twenty’ series themes. They come pre installed with WordPress. The most popular option, Twenty Fifteen, has 1+ million active installs. The least popular ‘Twenty’ series theme, Twenty Sixteen which has just recently been released, has 100,000+ active installs.

1. Responsive

responsive theme

Responsive theme is one of the most popular free WordPress themes with 100,000+ active installs. This popular theme is fully responsive and mobile friendly. Responsive theme features:

  • Nine page templates
  • 11 widget areas
  • Six template layouts
  • Four menu positions and more.

Responsive is WooCommerce compatible, Multilingual ready (WPML), RTL-Language support, Retina-ready and Search Engine Friendly theme that is currently translated into over 45 languages.

Last Updated: February 12, 2015
Active Installs: 100,000+
Download Responsive

2. Customizr

Customizr screenshot

Customizr is a versatile and easy to customize fully responsive professional WordPress theme. The developers claim that this theme is designed with visitor engagement in mind and allows anyone to create a beautiful, fast and mobile friendly website, compatible with all browsers and devices.

Customizing this theme is very simple and it works well with major WordPress plugins like WooCommerce, bbPress, Jetpack and many others. A Pro version is also available.

Last Updated: January 31, 2016
Active Installs: 100,000+
Download Customizr

3. Vantage

vantage theme

Vantage is a flexible multi-purpose theme. According to the developers (SiteOrigin), its strength lies in a tight integration with some powerful plugins like Page Builder for responsive page layouts, MetaSlider for big beautiful sliders and WooCommerce to help you sell online. Vantage is a fully responsive and Retina-ready theme.

Last updated: October 8, 2015
Active Installs: 90,000+
Download Vantage

4. Hueman

Hueman screenshot

Hueman is also a fully responsive and high resolution theme for blogs and magazines. It’s a highly popular WordPress theme, offering unique toggle sidebars and it also provides a great browsing and reading experience on both tablet and mobile. Hueman also offers a variety of other features including:

  • Unlimited topper, header, footer and accent colours
  • Unlimited widget areas
  • 0-2 sidebars to the left or right that can be uniquely specified for each page or post
  • 4 footer widget columns
  • Related posts and post navigation
  • Featured story or slider
  • 10 post formats
  • Localisation support
  • Social links
  • Logo upload and many more useful admin panel features.

Last Updated: December 11, 2015
Active Installs: 70,000+
Download Hueman

5. Virtue

virtue theme

The Virtue theme is highly versatile with tons of options, it is easy to customize and is loaded with great features. This theme uses the popular responsive front end framework Bootstrap. The clean and modern design is built with HTML5 and CSS3.

It’s fully ecommerce (WooCommerce) ready with all the tools you need to create an awesome online store. The design is perfect for any kind of business, online store, portfolio or personal site. The powerful theme options panel allows you to set things like your home layout, sliders, custom fonts and completely customize your look without writing any CSS.

Last Updated: February 11, 2016
Active Installs: 70,000+
Download Virtue

6. Spacious

spacious theme

Spacious is an incredibly ‘spacious’ multi purpose responsive theme. With 60,000+ active installs this is a very popular WordPress theme. You can use it for your business, portfolio, blogging or any type of site. The Spacious theme offers:

  • Four page different layouts
  • Two page templates
  • Four blog display types
  • 13 widgets areas
  • Five custom widgets focusing on business template
  • Awesome slider
  • Primary color option to match your logo and website
  • Translation ready and many more.

Translation of this popular theme is available in many languages.

Last Updated: December 7, 2015
Active Installs: 60,000+
Download Spacious

7. Sydney


Sydney is a popular, powerful and fully responsive WordPress business theme. This free theme offers plenty of customization possibilities including:

  • Access to all Google Fonts
  • Full color control
  • Layout control
  • Logo upload
  • Full screen slider
  • Header image
  • Sticky navigation and much more.

Also, Sydney provides all the construction blocks you need to rapidly create an engaging front page.

Last Updated: January 20, 2016
Active Installs: 60,000+
Download Sydney

8. Graphene

graphene theme

Graphene is very popular theme which offers a variety of options and features. This free theme is available in more than 30 languages. The free version of this theme is not responsive but the mobile-optimized pro version is available.

Last Updated: January 7, 2016
Active Installs: 60,000+
Download Graphene

9. Evolve

evolve theme

Evolve is a multi-purpose mobile friendly and responsive WordPress theme. This popular theme includes slick Bootstrap and a Parallax slider with up to five slides on any page and a post slider for 10 posts per post category. There are a number of different slider and animated effects to move captions and images into position and then back out of frame again. Bootstrap construction makes it easy to change designs around because the theme is build on a grid-like system. Customizing this theme is simple and easy with the theme customizer.

Last Updated: December 4, 2015
Active Installs: 40,000+
Download Evolve

Final Words

I have only listed 10 of the most popular free WordPress themes in this article, there are so many other themes also available at WordPress.org you should definitely take a browse through.

Which free themes do you use? Do you prefer free WordPress themes or premium themes?

Frequently Asked Questions about Free WordPress Themes

What are the key features to look for in a free WordPress theme?

When choosing a free WordPress theme, there are several key features to consider. Firstly, the theme should be responsive, meaning it automatically adjusts to fit any screen size, from desktops to mobile devices. Secondly, it should be SEO-friendly to help your website rank higher in search engine results. Thirdly, it should offer customization options, allowing you to modify elements like colors, fonts, and layouts to suit your brand. Lastly, it should be regularly updated by the developer to ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress version and to fix any bugs or security issues.

Are free WordPress themes safe to use?

While most free WordPress themes are safe to use, it’s important to download them from reputable sources like the official WordPress theme directory or trusted theme shops. This is because some free themes from unverified sources may contain malicious code or spammy links. Always check user reviews and ratings before downloading a theme.

Can I use a free WordPress theme for a commercial website?

Yes, you can use a free WordPress theme for a commercial website. However, free themes often come with limitations, such as fewer customization options and lack of premium features. If you require more advanced functionality, you may need to upgrade to a premium theme or invest in additional plugins.

How often are free WordPress themes updated?

The frequency of updates depends on the theme developer. Some developers update their themes regularly to fix bugs, add new features, and ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress version. Others may not update their themes as frequently. It’s always a good idea to choose a theme that is regularly updated to ensure your website remains secure and functional.

Can I customize a free WordPress theme?

Yes, most free WordPress themes offer some level of customization. This can include changing colors, fonts, and layouts, adding your logo, and more. However, the level of customization may be limited compared to premium themes. If you require extensive customization, you may need to learn some basic CSS or consider upgrading to a premium theme.

Do free WordPress themes offer support?

Support for free WordPress themes varies. Some developers offer limited support for their free themes, while others may not offer any support at all. If you require dedicated support, you may need to consider a premium theme.

How can I install a free WordPress theme?

Installing a free WordPress theme is straightforward. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New. From there, you can search for a theme, preview it, and install it with a single click.

Can I change my WordPress theme without losing content?

Yes, you can change your WordPress theme without losing content. However, you may need to reconfigure some settings and customizations, as these are theme-specific.

Are free WordPress themes mobile-friendly?

Many free WordPress themes are responsive, meaning they automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes. However, not all themes are mobile-friendly, so it’s important to check this before choosing a theme.

Can I upgrade from a free WordPress theme to a premium one?

Yes, you can upgrade from a free WordPress theme to a premium one at any time. When you upgrade, you’ll typically gain access to additional features, customization options, and support. However, keep in mind that you may need to reconfigure some settings and customizations after upgrading.

Tahir TaousTahir Taous
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Tahir Taous is founder of Just Learn WordPress, a training site where you can learn how to create and manage websites with WordPress, WordPress essential training, theme development courses free video tutorials and articles.

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