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40 Free High-Quality WordPress Themes

High quality free WordPress Themes have become harder and harder to find in the past year, with the influx of premium themes, more and more designers and developers are selling themes (and rightly so, they do amazing work). However, the quality of freely available themes has improved as well; in fact, some themes are very advanced and professional and can serve as a solid foundation for your next designs.

There are a lot of choices out there for someone wanting to choose a WordPress theme for their blog. But, that aside, the quality is certainly there, and we are sure you will be impressed with this WordPress theme compilation.

You may be interested in the following related posts:

Free High-Quality WordPress Themes Link

AppCloud Theme
A nice e-commerce WordPress theme with a clean and professional look. Built upon, with an integrated slideshow, two layouts (horizontal and vertical) for app/gadget images. The theme also includes sections “Featured products” and “Top Selling” and a categorized products view.

Berita2 (via ThemeCloset)
Berita is a minimalist corporate theme created for companies to prominently display their logo, but the theme could be used for any type of website. It’s a feature-rich theme with a preview slider on the front page and a robust theme administration page.


Magazeen is a two-column theme released specifically for Smashing Magazine readers. The theme has some subtle enhancements that encourage looking at related and new posts, like a related posts drop-down effect for the category link.


Mainstream Theme6 (via Wootheme7)
You have the option of choosing from five different theme colors with Mainstream. Thumbnails are automatically resided and the sidebar is widgetized.


Rusty Grunge
Rusty Grunge is a simple WordPress theme yet still gives you the “destroyed” look. This theme utilizes a fully-widgetized sidebar and has been downloaded over 28,000 times and is featured as a pre-installed theme on Dreamhost’s default installation of WordPress.

Obscure WordPress Theme
A dark magazine WordPress theme suitable for any site niche; also a good fit for a community-based site.

Paper Wall9
Smashing Magazine released the illustrated theme Paper Wall last month. The inspiration behind the Paper Wall theme was a designer’s desk, as designers typically put things on paper. It’s a two-column theme with many elements of paper: paper boards, peeling paper and paper “menus”.


Gallery WordPress Theme11
a beautiful, free, gallery-style Thematic child theme for WordPress, designed by Christopher Wallace12 especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers. It is extremely flexible and can be used as a starting point for design galleries and portfolios.


Cool Retro14
A nice, clean illustrated WordPress theme with a retro-look and nice typography.


Life Collage
Life Collage is a child theme of the Hybrid theme framework. It’s about getting back to the roots of blogging. About sharing our lives. And, about having a little fun while we do it.

Shalom Typo
This theme was designed for the typographic template contest16 at Smashing Magazine by the German designer David Hellmann. This WordPress theme is based upon this layout. A clean and nice typographic WordPress-theme.

Jungleland Theme17 (via Theme Lab18)
The stylish browns give an earthy feel to this blog making it a good choice for those blogs focused on the environment and nature. It features a photo gallery and a sidebar menu


Monkeypr Theme (via Queness)
Monkeypr is a nicely designed and fun WordPress theme.

Folio Elements Theme (via Press 75)
With its black background, Folio Elements theme will surely make your images and photographs noticed. There is no sidebar, no widgets, no list of categories, no place to comment and nowhere to search. However, if you are looking for a basic carousel-type theme with absolutely no basics, bells or whistles, then Folio Elements might be the one for you.

SimpleCart(js) is another child of the Thematic WordPress framework. The theme requires WP E-Commerce and is a flexible way to showcase products with the grid framework. The theme features a rich wood background and simple white content area.

A simple clean WordPress theme with the focus on typography and simplicity. Released by Abdullah Ibrahim21 exclusively for Smashing Magazine and its readers.


Zinepress Theme23 (via Well Medicatedi24)
Zinepress is a two column magazine style theme. There is a nice sidebar with enough space for ads and for your widgets. It is hand coded and has valid XHTML STrict 1.0 and CSS Level 2.1. The developer has successfully tested this them with IE 6.0+, Firefox 2+, Opera 9+, Safari 3+, and Chrome 0.2+. Suggested WordPress version is 2.7 or higher.


Futurosity Aperio Prototype26
Futurosity Aperio is a clean straight-forward blog theme built on Sandbox


Futurosity Vero28 (via Theme Meme29)
Built on Sandbox and Blueprint CSS framework, the Futurosity Vero is a minimalist theme. Near the top of your home page, your most recent and featured post will be displayed.


PolaroidPress (via Tutorial931)
PolaroidPress, as you might guess from the name, plays on the usage of “polaroids” in the theme that display your random images. It’s a simple two-column theme with an airy feel.

The H5 theme is more of a proof-of-concept theme to show designers how to show theme designers how to design with HTML5 and CSS 2.1. It’s a bare-bones theme that’s perfect as a building block for creating your next WordPress theme.


Inuit34 (via CSS Reflex35)
Inuit makes use of a lot of whitespace and preview images for each post on the homepage. The theme also comes integrated with Twitter and Flickr.


Wu Wei37
Clean, modern and minimal. The theme was based on the Taoist concept of wu wei: knowing when to act, and knowing when not to act. The theme is built on the principles of the grid system.


Cardeo Minimal
A minimal three-column theme with plenty of white space and gray text.

Album Theme39 (by Allan Cole)
Auto-focus is a blog theme designed for photographers to showcase their work.


Mystique41 (by Digital Nature)
This sleek one column theme has a flexible-width, threaded comments, and an adjustable header.


Manifest is a straight-forward one column blog. It has no widgets or sidebar, but gives you a nice clean approach that focuses on your content.

Debug Theme43 (by Joost de Valk44)
When your WordPress installs fail and you need more information, the debug theme is perfect. On the home page, it displays the important URL’s, editor, memory setting, etc. On sub pages it shows the page type, all the query vars that are set and the SQL query for that particular page.


Calmdream WordPress Theme46
A very clean and simple layout for magazine layouts.


Portfolio Theme48 (via WPESP49)
Portfolio is a two column blog theme which can be described as a minimalist. This modifiable design will make your own portfolio look great!


Blog Theme
The Carrington Blog-style theme is filled with advanced features like widgetized sidebars, AJAX loading of content, stylish galleries, customizable headers and colors.

Mobile Theme (via Carrington Themesl)
The Carrington Mobile has a beautiful design supporting advanced touch browsers (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Pre).

Pyrmont V2 Theme51 (via WP52)
Pyrmont V2 is a two-column theme with a black background that could very well make your photographs and designs stand out.


Destyle Theme54
Destyle is a magazine-style WordPress theme. This is another theme packed with useful features such as: multi-level superfish dropdown menu, ad management, predefined CSS styles, customa page templates, Twitter and Flick badges on sidebar and automatic image resizing.


A dark, three-column theme that gives the second column a third dimension.


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Your opinion is very important to us. There are literally hundreds of similar lists on various design blogs. We are trying to do our best to present you only the best of the best, collecting useful links over months. Would you like to see more similar lists in the future? Or should we drop lists altogether and focus on more original content?

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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    Thanks for including the Jungleland theme in yet another great WordPress theme list post from Smashing Mag. Just FYI, here’s the direct link to the theme page:

    • 2

      Follow Leland’s link. The one provided in the article links to a faulty download (at least at present: Feb. 15, 2010).

  2. 3

    Some awesome themes; keep it up guys!

  3. 4

    It’s nice to see free high-quality templates but it’d be even better If we hadn’t seen them already (most of them have been featured here, on Smashing Magazine)

  4. 6

    Great list. I’m glad to see that it seems that the old trends of a theme being post after post of content that seemed to scroll forever are going away. Seeing these variety of ways to display content means designers can do what they love to do, come up with new and unique ways to give visitors content.


  5. 7

    same old themes..almost all of these have been posted here or elsewhere , some are almost 2yrs old…
    can you say zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….?

  6. 11

    Robert Hartland

    November 12, 2009 9:26 am

    This was a nice list with some new additions mixed with themes that have been posted on SM before. I found at least one new theme I want to install and try out on one of my personal sites. That in itself makes this post worth it right?

  7. 12

    Thanks for including my Cardeo Minimal theme in your list! Much appreciated, I’m going to start working on an update to that theme and a new minimal theme in the near future.

  8. 13

    I actually liked you guys better in the old days when you published much more of this kind of lists (CSS, Themes, whatever). Keep it up!

  9. 14

    I agree good quality free templates are hard to come by…wish there were more…like Robert said, some of these are recycled, I’ve seen them before.

  10. 15

    Good find on the debug theme

  11. 16

    It’s been a while, but I absolutely adore these inspirational posts. Always interesting to pick the brains of other designers. Understandably I voted for “Show more!”

  12. 17

    Great list.. I’ll probably use magazeen theme in my personal project for time being.

  13. 18

    Imprezz is a beautiful theme, but it is incomplete, and has some inconsistencies throughout it, and some design flaws which are tricky to develop around. I developed a relatively simple site on the Imprezz theme, and it was a nightmare.

    Anyway, love the list. Just beware that some themes, especially free themes, can be kind of a beast under the hood.


  14. 19

    I´m in the ZZZZZ boat as well, same old same old that I keep seeing on like a million “best fre wordpress themes” posts. Didn´t anyone make any new free themes this year? am I really gonna have to learn how to do it myself?!

  15. 20

    Great list – some beautiful themes in there!

  16. 21

    Design Informer

    November 12, 2009 10:05 am

    Who doesn’t love WordPress themes? Good job SM.

  17. 22

    Michael Chanter

    November 12, 2009 10:11 am

    Thanks – useful list of themes – some I have never seen before.

  18. 23

    Great list! We also have developed a lot of wonderful WordPress Themes.

  19. 24

    Thanks for this great list of WordPress themes. While I’ve seen quite a number of them before, some of them are new and professionally designed.

  20. 25

    Great List! I know when I was first starting out on WordPress it was a little harder to find such great free themes but now there are so many its hard to choose! Thanks for sharing all these, will definitely bookmark this!


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