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Free WordPress Themes: 2011 Edition

It’s interesting to look back at our previous1 WordPress2 themes round-ups. It’s almost like looking at a visual timeline not only of WordPress’ advances in theme design, but of the rapid development in functionality of the CMS itself. The themes from year to year clearly differ in style as Web design trends have evolved. As each year passes and more functionality is added to WordPress’ core, these improvements are strongly reflected in the themes developed for it.

Once upon a time, all WordPress themes looked like traditional blogs, with basic functionality and not a heck of a lot more. But as you will see from the themes below, that original “blog” design style is clearly gone, perhaps never to be seen again. It makes you feel nostalgic.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Nowadays, user requirements for WordPress themes are very high. Users expect all themes (including free ones) to have pages for admin options built in, where you can quickly set up your website and personalize it with a minimum of fuss. With the rise of these options pages, niche-specific theme designs (such as for portfolios, blogs or magazines) are no longer required and are, in fact, few and far between.

Most of the themes below can be tailored via the options panel to be anything you want, whether a portfolio, a content-heavy magazine-style website or a basic blog. Setting one up takes only 10 minutes. This actually gave us a few problems when it came to categorizing the themes below. We spend a lot of time researching, collaborating on and writing these round-ups. In fact, it is a Smashing Magazine tradition to publish the top 100 WordPress themes from the previous 12 months (this is our fifth edition).

Portfolios, Galleries And Showcases Link

Portfolium7 (Demo8)
Portfolium is a clean and flexible WordPress grid-based portfolio theme, designed in a modern and minimalist style. It is ideal for designers, artists, photographers and other creative specialists who require a professional portfolio theme.

Portfolium Free WP Theme9

Shaken Grid (Demo)
Shaken Grid uses the jQuery Masonry plug-in, which “arranges elements vertically then horizontally according to a grid.” The theme is perfect if you need a gallery or portfolio or just want a unique grid layout.

Shaken Grid Free WP Theme

Big Square (Demo)
Big Square is a stylish photoblog theme with a built-in gallery that is focused entirely on highlighting your creative visuals.

Big Square Free WP Theme

Journal Crunch10 (Demo11)
Journal Crunch is a gallery and portfolio theme with all of the features you would expect from a premium theme: easy set-up via the options page, plenty of shortcodes, built-in pagination, Twitter widgets, AJAX contact form and much more.

Journal Crunch Free WP Theme12

Paragrams (Demo13)
Paragams is a lightweight theme that is built on a grid and that could be used for various types of websites: portfolios, photoblogs even online magazines.

Paragrams Free WP Theme

Imbalance 214 (Demo)
Imbalance 2 turns you WordPress-based website to an attractive blog, portfolio or online magazine. This free template has a strictly modern style with a minimalist touch.

Imbalance 215

Photoria16 (Demo17)
Photoria is a clean feature-rich theme that would be perfect as a photoblog or portfolio. It comes packaged with a variety of templates and built-in SEO (via its extensive options page), and the theme is internationalized for easy translation.

Photoria Free WP Theme18

Muse19 (Demo20)
Muse is a simple gallery theme that can be used as either a portfolio or an inspirational showcase. It comes with custom page templates and built-in SEO, and it can be combined with a ratings plug-in to create an all-singing, all-dancing showcase website.

Muse Free WP Theme21

mimiThem22 (Demo)
This is far and away the most basic theme in this article. But don”t be fooled: it works effectively as a quick and easy way to get your portfolio online.

mimiThem Free WP Theme23

Dione24 (Demo)
Dione is a video showcase theme that uses the custom post type feature available in WordPress 3+.

Dione Free WP Theme25

Business And Corporate Websites Link

Academica26 (Demo27)
Academica was designed specifically for educational institutions such as universities and schools. It’s a flexible and versatile free theme that can be easily customized and branded for any university, academy or non-profit organization.

Academica Free WP Theme28

Rotary29 (Demo30)
Rotary is a two-column business theme that was built with all of the fantastic features of WordPress 3.0. It is centered on the idea of running your blog as a CMS.

Rotary Free WP Theme31

Vanadiumitic (the link was removed due to the suspicious code of the theme)
Vanadiumitic comes with a featured content section, a dropdown menu, subscription buttons (Twitter, Facebook and RSS), an automatic thumbnail resizer, and widgets for popular and featured posts and featured videos, all packed in a powerful framework for easy back-end customization.

Vanadiumitic Free WP Theme

Aurelius32 (Demo33)

Aurelius V0.2 Free WP Theme34

Gameliso35 (Demo36)
This one’s a lovely clean theme.

Gameliso Free WP Theme37

Zincious (Demo)
The Zincious theme comes with a dropdown menu, subscription buttons (Twitter, Facebook and RSS), an automatic thumbnail resizer, a widget for popular posts, a featured content slider and a robust framework for easy back-end customization.

Zincious Free WP Theme

Ikonik (Demo)
Ikonik was designed as an online design store, although no e-commerce system is integrated. It could be used as a simple portal for selling vectors, icons, logos, buttons, themes and pretty much anything else.

Ikonik Free WP Theme

Minimalist Themes Link

Expositio38 (Demo4239)
Expositio is a simple portfolio theme for photographers, designers and artists. Its integrated options help you customize the template from font to color.


Sutra41 (Demo4239)
Sutra is a minimal theme focused on simplicity, putting the writing front and center.


Extricate (Demo)
Extricate is a clean, minimal theme built on HTML5 and CSS3. The options page allows you to resize columns and specify post information.

Extricate Free WP Theme

Renova (Demo)
Renova comes with two backgrounds (full white or paper), six link colors, jQuery support for hover effects and mobile device support. The minimal style is for writers who need a simple layout without any distraction.

Extricate Free WP Theme

Feijoa (Demo)
This is a four-column layout with a simple sidebar and was designed using the jQuery Masonry plug-in.

Feijoa Free WP Theme

Simply Delicious44 (Demo)
This minimalist theme features big images, a clean style and easy browsing: perfect for modern blogs and portfolios.

Simply Delicious45

Wordfinder (Demo)
Wordfinder is a simple magazine-style theme for users who want to start a blog with a minimal layout. The theme has many layout features, including two home page styles and six colors for links and hover effects that are easily customizable via the options page.

Wordfinder Free WP Theme

Theophilus (Demo)
This jQuery-based, Cufon-enabled, lightweight and minimal WordPress theme was developed by Timothy Long.


Blogum46 (Demo47)
Blogum is a simple grid-based blog theme, designed with a modern and minimalist style. It supports all WordPress 3.0 features, giving you extra flexibility.

Blogum Free WP Theme48

Mini Hyper49 (Demo)
Mini Hyper comes with a basic options page where you can add your analytics tracking code and change the logo. Other than that, Mini Hyper is widget-ready and works in all browsers.

Mini Hyper50

Min (Demo)
“No bells and whistles, just simple and to the point.” Min’s main content area is set at 560 pixels, and it has two widget-ized footer areas to handle navigation and anything else you feel like putting there.


Papaver (Demo)
Papaver is an elegant, minimal theme. You can set the content to one, two or three columns.

Papaver Free WP Theme

Codium Extend51 (Demo)
Codium Extend is a minimalist theme that supports all of WordPress 3+’s features and comes with support for smartphones (iPhone, etc.) and tablets (iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc.).

Codium Extend Free WP Theme52

Delicate53 (Demo54)
Delicate is a clean, minimalist theme with a focus on typography and structure.

Delicate Free WP Theme55

Melville (Demo)
Melville was inspired by classic literature. It has no distractions; just a simple design that focuses the reader on your writing.

Melville Free WP Theme

Fresh and Clean56 (Demo57)

Fresh and Clean Free WP Theme58

Yoko59 (Demo60)
Yoko is a modern and flexible theme, with a responsive layout based on CSS3 media queries. The design is optimized for big desktop screens, tablets and smartphones. You can use new post formats (such as Gallery, Aside and Quote), choose your own logo and header image, and customize the background and link color.


Hybridside (Demo)
With a minimal design and simple structure, Hybridside allows writers to choose the body background and the color scheme for links. It has full support for thumbnails, WordPress menu navigation, five widget areas and a print-friendly style sheet.


Aqualine62 (Demo63)
Aqualine is a unique and minimalist theme that has an extensive options page. Pick your own color accent, choose between thumbnails and excerpts or the full content for the main page, and more.

Aqualine Free WP Theme64

The Scoop65 (Demo)
The Scoop is a four-column minimal magazine-style theme, with a focus on elegant typography. It is ideal for content-heavy websites.

The Scoop Free WP Theme66

David Airey Theme
David Airey has released his old blog’s design as a free WordPress theme. As you probably know, that minimal design offers the perfect platform for your writing.

David Airey Free WP Theme

The Columnist67 (Demo68)
The Columnist was inspired by the grid structure and typographic techniques of traditional newspapers. It was designed with a grid-based layout, an elegant typographic hierarchy and some CSS3 and jQuery greatness.

The Columnist Free WP Theme69

Swiss Dessign70 (Demo71)
The four themes below, originally featured on Smashing Magazine in January72, are simple yet powerful, with a touch of traditional Swiss design and layout. Their distinct style is what separates them from the other themes. They allow you to select the focus of your work, since you are the artist and should be in control of the visitor’s experience. Each theme comes with a full video overview and support for using and managing it.

Swiss Dessign Free WP Theme73

Studio Dessign74 (Demo)

Studio Dessign Free WP Theme75

Minimal Dessign76 (Demo77)

Minimal Dessign Free WP Theme78

Style Dessign79 (Demo80)

Style Dessign Free WP Theme81

Simplest Free WP Theme
This is perhaps the most basic WordPress theme you’ve ever seen. It’s so basic that it’s not even worth showing a screenshot of it. But it is useful. It’s a fully functional theme that would be perfect for anyone looking for a barebones WordPress framework. It has only 83 lines of PHP and 75 lines of CSS.

Blogs And Personal Websites Link

Spectacular82 (Demo83)
This theme was commissioned by Smashing Magazine and designed by Maleika Esther Attawel. It offers a warm and comfortable environment for personal musings. It comes in two flavors: HTML 4.01 and HTML5. Both German and English versions are included in the download package.

Spectacular Free WP Theme84

Seven Five (Demo)

Seven Five

Protean (Demo85)
Protean is a WordPress theme from Landau Reece that allows bloggers to customise their website design for individual blog posts.


Skeptical86 (Demo)
Skeptical’s layout is flexible: you can display “Related posts” next to your latest posts on the home page or have a completely widget-based sidebar. You can also add your Flickr stream to the footer and showcase three noteworthy blog posts with a tag that you declare in the settings.

Skeptical Free WP Theme87

Graphite88 (Demo)
Graphite, built by Medialoot from the ground up using HTML5 and CSS3, comes with portfolio post types, two alternative home page image sliders and built-in admin settings.

Graphite Free WP Theme89

Harimau Malaya90 (Demo91)
Harimau Malaya was purpose-built as a throwback to when blogs looked like blogs. It is a simple but complete theme, suitable for every blogger out there.

Harimau Malaya Free WP Theme92

Pongsari93 (Demo94)
Pongsari, a simple and clean theme, was built using the WordPress 3+ default theme TwentyTen as a framework. It comes with support for WordPress 3+ thumbnails and custom menu functions.

Pongsari Free WP Theme95

Typominima96 (Demo)
Typominima is a free, minimal typography-based theme that was designed to enable writers and publishers to express themselves online in a clean and beautiful environment.

Typominima Free WP Theme97

Edgy Ellen98 (Demo99)
This theme from WP Classic has a stylish design, clean grid patterns and custom typography. It comes with an options panel that will help you set up your website in no time.

Edgy Ellen Free WP Theme100

Copperific (Demo)
Copperific has a stylish slider to showcase highlights of your portfolio. It also has a built-in Twitter and Facebook button for easy sharing of posts. For monetization, it has four 125×125 banner ads that are integrated in the system’s back end. It has a custom dropdown menu, an automatic thumbnail resizer, a widget for popular posts and a lot more.

Copperific Free WP Theme

Grey (Demo)
Grey is generic enough to be used for almost any kind of blog. Whether it’s a blog about design, photography, fashion or some other passion, the Grey theme should suit your needs. It is built on a simple layout, but with a lot of little touches of subtle details and textures.

Grey Free WP Theme

Neonsential (Demo)
Neonsential brings a grungy yet elegant look to your blog. The fancy home page slider highlights your featured posts. It is WordPress 3.0-compliant and backed by a robust framework for quickly setting up your website.

Neonsential Free WP Theme

Anniversary101 (Demo102)
As the name suggests, Anniversary was built as a celebration of and thank-you to WordPress. It’s a classic-looking theme, with several layout options and a customizable “Thank you, WordPress” banner in the header.

Anniversary Free WP Theme103

Shopping/Ecommerce Theme Link

Velvet Sky104 (Demo)
Velvet Sky is a Prestashop and WordPress shopping theme that was recently released on Smashing Magazine105. It features a custom homepage with combo slider, horizontal and submenu menu integration, custom slideshow, it supports one page checkout and guest checkout and is IE7+, Safari, Opera, Firefox, Chrome compatible.

Velvet Sky106

Mobile-Optimized Themes Link

iPhonsta (Demo107)
Offering a mobile version of your website is an easy way to strengthen your visitors’ loyalty. iPhonsta has a fluid layout, it fits most mobile screens (despite its name, it will work on most smartphones), and it configures the font size automatically.

iPhonsta Free WP Theme

jQuery Mobile108
This theme is optimized for mobile devices, such as iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. It is a great starting point for building a mobile website.

jQuery Mobile Free WP Theme109

Magazine-Layout Themes Link

Agency110 (Demo111)
Agency is a magazine-style theme that puts your content in a beautiful wrapper, complete with subtle, elegant page elements. It features a custom slideshow, a built-in contact form, custom gallery styles with lightbox functionality, and two widget-ized sidebars.


Nublu113 (Demo114)
This sleek blue theme comes with a configurable slider, drop-down menus and Cufon-enabled headlines. It also comes with automatic thumbnail generation and the WordPress 3+ menu system, and it sports a Twitter bird that sings your latest tweets.

Nublu Free WP Theme115

Splendio116 (Demo117)
Splendio has a unique magazine-style design, based on the TwentyTen theme.


Ophion119 (Demo120)

Ophion Free WP Theme121

Sight122 (Demo123)
Sight, previously featured on Smashing Magazine last November124, is a powerful theme that is best suited to magazines-style blogs. It was built on a grid and has a modern minimalist style. Customize the content view using either the standard blog view or the grid view.

Sight Free WP Theme125

Lucky Guess126 (Demo127)
Plenty of CSS3 techniques are used in this theme. You will notice both loud and subtle text shadows in the headings, text orientation effects and box gradients. The theme also makes use of Google fonts, which render much faster than the popular Cufon fonts.

Lucky Guess128

Yellow Magazine129 (Demo130)
This theme could be used for a magazine-style website or, just as effectively, for a corporate or business layout. It comes with a basic options page, built-in pagination, a content slider and integrated social bookmarking buttons.

Yellow Magazine Free WP Theme131

Suburbia132 (Demo133)
Suburbia is a clean and flexible grid-based magazine theme with a modern and minimalist style. The theme is suitable for most types of websites, including blogs, online magazines and portfolios.

Suburbia Free WP Theme134

The Morning After (Demo)
At 100,000 downloads, The Morning After is the grandfather of modern WordPress magazine themes. Originally designed by Arun Kale, it was bought last year by WooThemes, which has restructured and modernized the theme with its own powerful development framework.

The Morning After Free WP Theme

Distant Dawn135 (Demo136)

Distant Dawn Free WP Theme137

iTheme2138 (Demo139)
iTheme2 is the perfect theme for technology- and Apple-related blogs. It uses media queries to target different displays, such as desktops, notebooks, iPhones and iPads, and other mobile devices, without a plug-in. The layout automatically adjusts to the user’s viewing area.

iTheme2 Free WP Theme140

Magazine 1141 (Demo142)
With its simple, stylish and dark design, Magazine 1 is a professional solution for any blog or magazine website. It features jQuery content sliders, a “Most popular posts” widget and multiple colors for the background and content. It is easy to customize and use.

Magazine 1 Free WP Theme143

Custom Community (Demo)
Custom Community is a BuddyPress theme that enables you to easily build a website with all of BuddyPress’ built-in features: the easy-to-use jQuery slideshow, post templates with thumbnail integration, and a powerful options page for customizing every part of the theme.

Custom Community (Buddypress) Free WP Theme

Aluminiumism (Demo)
The Aluminiumism theme has a grungy watercolor style yet still maintains a classically clean look. It features a prominent content section, a dropdown menu, subscription buttons (Twitter, Facebook and RSS), an automatic thumbnail resizer, widgets for popular and featured posts and featured videos, and a heck of a lot more.

Aluminiumism Free WP Theme

Elegant144 (Demo145)
Elegant is a simple yet professional theme. It has two color schemes (black and white) and is best suited to corporate magazines but is flexible enough for blogs and portfolios.

Elegant Free WP Theme146

Amphion Lite147 (Demo)
Amphion Lite comes packaged with two skins, a home page content slider, integrated social sharing buttons, custom page templates and a lightbox plug-in for image galleries.

Towfiq I. Free WP Theme148

“Coming Soon” And Landing Pages Link

Landis (Demo)
Landis is a simple one-page landing or “Under construction” WordPress theme. It keeps your users informed while you build your amazing new website. The quick landing page simply tells visitors what is going on and when your website will launch.


Timelaph (Demo)
Timelaph is a sleek, dark, spaced-out theme for landing pages and email newsletter subscription pages. It integrates easily with Feedburner to redirect RSS feeds and help build your email subscriptions.

Timelaph Free WP Theme

Holding Pattern (Demo)

Holding Pattern Free WP Theme

Placeholder149 (Demo)
This landing page is perfect if your website is in development and you simply need to let visitors know how to get in touch with you. Also, the built-in countdown timer is a nifty way to tell visitors when the project will launch.

Placeholder Free WP Theme150

Coming Soon151 (Demo152)

Coming Soon Free WP Theme153

Theme Development Frameworks And Bare-Bone Themes Link

This is the free version of Platform, a drag-and-drop design framework for WordPress. With this framework, you can design and build your website faster than ever before, entirely in WordPress’ back end.

Platform (Drag-and-Drop Framework ) Free WP Theme

Roots is a starter WordPress theme made for developers and based on HTML5 Boilerplate, Blueprint (or and Starkers. It helps you rapidly create brochure websites and blogs.


HTML5 WordPress Shell156
With this framework, you get custom templates (including 404 and 503 error pages), the mother of all WordPress body tags157, support for WordPress’ new menu system, Modernizr (i.e. HTML5 feature detection) and an HTML5 reset style sheet, @font-face examples, support for iPhone detection, and IE conditional style sheets.

HTML5 WordPress Shell158

Boilerplate: Starkers159
This Boilerplate framework was developed by combining HTML5 Boilerplate160 and the bare-bones Starkers161 into a minimally marked-up, HTML5-ready framework. The Boilerplate theme is designed to function as a parent theme to whatever child you would like to add. But you could just as easily use this as a starting point and alter the PHP as your design requires.

Boilerplate: Starkers Theme Free WP Theme162

TwentyTen Five163
TwentyTen Five was originally launched in the Smashing Magazine article “Using HTML5 to Transform WordPress’ TwentyTen Theme164.” It is basically an HTML5 upgrade of the default TwentyTen theme, and yet it is much more than that. With its support for brand new HTML5 elements and its compatibility with all modern browsers (although to use HTML5 with IE versions 6 to 8, you need a pinch of JavaScript, which is included), this theme is perfect as a development framework.

TwentyTen Five - HTML5 Theme/Framework Free WP Theme165

Theme Starter (Demo)
This is a starter theme for those who are looking for a starting point in WordPress without having to dissect anything more complex. The theme is WordPress 3+ compatible and uses the new menu navigation and thumbnail functionality.

Theme Starter Free WP Theme

Constellation (Demo)
This great starting point gives you the flexibility to provide bespoke styles for different devices, totally up-to-date HTML5 code (which is fantastic for SEO) and a flexible grid system, on top of all of the other goodness bundled in the HTML5 Boilerplate.


This feature-rich bare-bones theme was built using some of HTML5 Boilerplate”s recommended mark-up. It also has a ton of features, such as page navigation, breadcrumbs, a widget for related posts, HTML5 video with fallback and a heck of a lot more. Bones was designed to make the developer”s life easier; it”s meant to be hacked until it fits what you”re looking for.


Skimpy has basic WordPress 3.0 functionality, including custom menus, thumbnails and custom sidebars. A couple of other useful tweaks are commented out, but you can comment them in and do what you want with them. The only style included is a container that sets the width to 900 pixels.

Further Resources Link

For nostalgia, or perhaps to visually track the development of WordPress themes, browse back through the top 100 WordPress themes from previous years.

Please note that some of those themes (especially the ones from 2007 and 2008) may be outdated and incompatible with the latest version of WordPress. Use with caution.


Footnotes Link

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Paul Andrew is a freelance Web designer. He is chief admin for Speckyboy - Design Magazine, a Web design, Web development and graphic design resource blog.

  1. 1

    Manfred Dahli

    July 5, 2011 7:12 am

    Love the minimalistic one, inspirating ..

  2. 2

    Alex Cristache / Blogsessive

    July 5, 2011 4:54 am

    Hi Paul, thanks for remembering about Typominima and including it in such wonderful company! Superb collection! Cheers!

  3. 5

    Another really great wordpress showcase. Thanks Paul. It’s amazing to see how far wordpress has come, it really can be anything for anyone these days.

    btw – really like the minimal dessign theme – nice.

  4. 6

    Samuel Taylor

    July 5, 2011 5:59 am

    Vanadiumitic is a complete ripoff of the Eight Hour Day website. There are some others in there that are pretty cool. I love the work of wp shower. Nice post.

  5. 12

    Lee Kennedy

    July 5, 2011 6:09 am

    A smashing collection with some stunning themes. Keep up the good work.

  6. 13

    manuele haisek

    July 5, 2011 6:54 am


  7. 14

    Themes Kingdom

    July 5, 2011 7:00 am

    Hi Paul, Thank you for Landis mention, we truly appreciate it and glad you found it useful.

    • 15

      I just tried installing the Landis theme and WP complains:

      The following themes are installed but incomplete. Themes must have a stylesheet and a template.
      Name Description
      Landis_theme Stylesheet is missing.

      • 16

        If you manually install it through an FTP program like Filezilla it works. I had the same problem installing it through WordPress but it was fine through Filezilla.

        • 17

          You have to install it by unzipping the first landis file, then uploading the file within the directory WP

  8. 18

    Nice collection! But man, there’s a lot of Lobster! (you know…the font)
    Anyway, thanks for sharing these.

    • 19

      Lobster is destined to be the new Comic Sans.

      • 20

        I’m afraid so. At first i thought it was beautiful but now it’s getting overused already and it starts to bore me.

  9. 21

    Bernard Muller

    July 5, 2011 7:23 am

    Great post! Nice en inspiring themes.

  10. 22

    Great list guys, thanks for mentioning Graphite from MediaLoot =D It’s awesome to be in such good company.

    Now, time to start downloading some of these …

  11. 23

    We been waiting for this! Thanxxx

  12. 24

    Wow, what an amazing resource! This page definitely takes a top level spot on my bookmark bar!!

  13. 25


    July 5, 2011 7:47 am

    Nice collection !
    One correction the link for the Sutra theme points to Expositio which needs correction.

  14. 26

    Ragged Orchid

    July 5, 2011 8:01 am

    FYI, I went and checked out the “Rotary” theme and it is NOT free- the author requires a $5 fee to download. :(

  15. 27

    Holy crap! Love it! Love it! THANKS FOR THIS COLLECTION!!!!!!!

  16. 28

    How Jenzoo can be on a list of “Free” themes when the link takes you to a page that charges $35 for the download?

    • 29

      Vitaly Friedman

      July 5, 2011 8:50 am

      It was free when we prepared a round-up. Apparently, the owners changed it to “Non-Free” themes shortly after that. The link was removed, sorry for inconvenience!

  17. 31

    Each time I open Smashing Magazine I hope for this post. And Here it is !
    Thanks !

  18. 32

    Thanks for the collection of themes!

    Just an FYI, the “Quality Control” theme is no longer available for download from the original developer. He posted some information on his blog back in February:

    While it looks like an awesome theme, it’s probably best to remove it from the list.

  19. 34

    Wish more of these were different, but a lot just seem like variations on a theme: logo, gallery, columns detailing categories…

    Then again, for folk who want out-of-the-box solutions, there are some nice ones here.

    • 35

      PS The “Theme Development Frameworks And Bare-Bone Themes” were AWESOME! They deserve their own post, IMHO.

  20. 36


    July 5, 2011 10:15 am

    Hasn’t Quality Control changed hands? I thought it was becoming a for-pay product.

  21. 37

    Muneeb Ahmad

    July 5, 2011 10:38 am

    Once again Smashing Mag, you’ve beat every other list by providing top-quality free themes at their best! Thank you so much! :)

  22. 38

    Thank you! Awesome collection! Now i will have from what to choose for my portfolio !

  23. 39

    Fantastic, a veritable smorgasbord of WordPress themes – thank you for compiling this compendium.

  24. 40

    Thank you for this post! I have been looking for a masonry free theme since I had trouble trying to implemented in my theme. Regards!

  25. 41

    Excited to try out the theme “Distant Dawn”. Unfortunately, there is a “FATAL CALL: To an Undefined Function” on each page instead of content on an out-of-the-box installation. In addition to this, there is a hidden banner ad in the header.

    Needless to say, I am disappoint.

  26. 42


    July 5, 2011 2:41 pm

    Appreciate your effort! Thanks for the collection.

  27. 43

    Quality Control is no longer available for download, as the developer sold it to a AppThemes… a while ago. Why was this included?

  28. 44

    Lester Bambico

    July 5, 2011 3:22 pm

    Simply Delicious under minimalist themes has the wrong image,
    it features the thumbnail for Shaken and Stirred. :)

  29. 45

    I have a freebie for a simple one page portfolio site if anyone’s interested –

  30. 46

    Wow, what an awful column, one of the worst I’ve read here. Bad links, suspicious code, designs that have changed hands months ago, and many of these aren’t even free. And the designs themselves are amateurish and bland. Did you spend even 5 minutes researching this list?

  31. 47

    Elder Tanaka

    July 5, 2011 7:42 pm

    Best WP showcase ever! Thanks a lot.

  32. 48

    I`m a great fan and a faithful SM reader. I`m quite aware that we`re talking about free WP themes here, so I don`t expect them to be outstanding design creations that will solve all the world problems. They can be useful and sometimes we need that. That sure makes the purpose great. But I would ask you guys to reconsider your review work so this kind of (quite preventable) problems don’t occur again.

    As John (38) said, “bad links, suspicious code, designs that have changed hands months ago, and many of these aren’t even free” made this a bad post considering SM standard. Besides that, most of the themes here presented are not fresh.

    Hope you take this the good way.

  33. 49

    Freddy Cano

    July 5, 2011 9:21 pm

    I installed portfolium on my website and I can’t get the admin bar to show. Does anyone know how is it being hidden. I couldn’t find any functions falsifying it.

  34. 50

    Jatin Hariani

    July 5, 2011 9:28 pm

    Thanks for the amazing collection. These will come in really handy someday. Bookmarked!

  35. 51

    This is great collection, especially bare bone themes, frameworks and landing pages.

  36. 52

    Kanchan Rai

    July 5, 2011 11:24 pm

    Thanks a lot!! These are wonderful themes and amazingly free!!

    For a guy like me, who has just started using WordPress, it’s really a big deal!!

    Distant Dawn, Copperific, Elegant Theme, just amazing collection!! Man!

  37. 53

    Hi, great roundup! The minimal listing for “Simply Delicious”, the screenshot is wrong, any chance this can be changed? Will be greatly appreciated.

  38. 54

    Very complete list.
    Maybe, if you like it, you can add also our Beauty&Clean, a minimal and corporate theme…Take a look: thank you!! :)

  39. 55

    professional listings and would like to use in my personal website too.

  40. 56

    No mention of the Whiteboard framework?

  41. 57

    The Rotary theme is not free any more. From their website that you linked to: “Update 3/13/2011: This theme is no longer free. You have to pay $5 to download. Thank you for your support.”

  42. 58

    I downloaden SPlended and I love it! Thanks for that.

    Though, one question, anybody knows how to remove the Facebook and Twitter buttons beneath the search option, I dont use those and want them rmoved :)

  43. 59

    Thank you for share .
    Just download all.

  44. 60

    Thanks Paul for listed iKonik
    but we have more wordpress ecommerce themes that can download for everyone
    For music online store :

    Apparel online store:

    Furniture online store:

    and Gadget online store:


    i hope you guys enjoy with our wordpress ecommerce themes

  45. 61

    Boo…..absolute crap. These are awful and terrible. Expect much much better from Smashing.

  46. 62

    Thanks for sharing all these great themes.

  47. 63

    Great Collection.

    Just to point out, Sutra links are wrong, it has the same links as the entry above (Expositio).

  48. 64

    There are some really great free themes here. Another one I think should be included is “Portafolio” which is one of the best free portfolio themes out there:

  49. 65

    better collecting some adsense ready theme for us. i need one.

  50. 66

    Uh…. what about the Rockettheme Gantry Framework? Also free… also excellent.

  51. 67

    Great resource. Seems a lot of these are for portfolios or photographers etc. Bottom line what are your list of best ecommerce free wordpress themes?

  52. 69

    Rotary theme is no longer free..

  53. 70

    The post is amazing. best wordpress resource there is !

  54. 71

    Esteban Mucientes (@mediotic)

    July 11, 2011 9:20 am

    WordPress Shell links to Boilerplate Stalkers :-((

  55. 72

    I really like the ones with light colors and clean design… but I’d never settle for a free theme as I insist on creating original design for every website… even my own

  56. 73

    I like a few of them, but I’m surprised at the inclusion of some…. that look absolutely horrible.

  57. 74

    Don’t say “free” if they aren’t please

  58. 75

    I fear looking like just another “me too” — but I would I would like to submit the Ashford CMS Framework for your readers consideration. It is free.

  59. 76

    Great line up thank you. It seems that you forgot to include Ashford as a free framework though.

  60. 77

    I second @Caroline’s sentiment – no Ashford?? It’s free, incredibly flexible (I haven’t had to use a different framework for a single client request in almost 2 years), and has been featured in previous Smashing Mag roundups.

  61. 78

    +1 for Ashford, the quick rising star. Great code, insanely helpful support, and an aggressive roadmap (nicely communicated) make it the framework to watch.

    Documentation for Ashford is also being created and updated faster than one would expect to be humanly possible.

    What are you waiting for? Cmd + T or Ctrl + T and head over to now!

  62. 79

    Agree regarding Ashford theme. definitely deserves a mention here. Great free framework, although we use the premium version.

  63. 80

    Some good themes here but I’m also really surprised Ashford isn’t on here — it’s flexible and powerful enough to give you what multiple of these themes offer, all in one install. And it really is free, too.

  64. 81

    Heidi Lumpford

    July 13, 2011 10:43 pm

    Great theme, however, themes from Padd Solution contains encrypted footer which links to spam websites, also there are suspicious lines in the encrypted pages which Theme Check and Anti Virus detects as security issue.

    A shame, because if it’s USD1, I’m sure more people are willing to pay for it than free with dubious links in the footer.

  65. 82

    There’s another free premium wordpress theme that you’ve missed it:

  66. 83

    Erich Miller

    July 15, 2011 8:12 pm

    I’m looking for the +1 button… :)

  67. 84

    Shailesh Tripathi

    July 18, 2011 4:28 am

    Nice theme i’m gonna use it on my next site. I loved the layout and design of the site. Share it to each other is my current website and I am constantly conscious of it’s design factor. Happy for nice themes.

  68. 85

    I really want to start creating my own theme, but there are times that too much information becomes overwhelming. Can anyone suggest a clean/naked theme out of the eight posted above?

    Roots, HTML5 WordPress Shell, Boilerplate: Starkers, TwentyTen Five, Constellation, Bones, Skimpy… I found this other ones online as well, Handcrafted WP Starter Theme, H5 WordPress Theme.

  69. 86

    Laura-Jane the Rawtarian

    July 24, 2011 9:07 am

    Thanks! Lots of goodies on here. Appreciate it!

  70. 87

    Some great designs here. Thanks a lot.

  71. 88

    Can anyone suggest a clean/naked theme out of the eight posted above?

  72. 89

    nice themes

  73. 90

    I find that your writing is rather good with an assorted range of interesting data. By the way, was thinking whether you would love to exchange contacts with my web site, as I am looking to compile more links to further expand and make headway for my web portal. I do not mind you laying my links at the main page, just having this web links on this page is good and adequate. Moreover, please leave a message at my web site if you are interested in exchanging links with me, I would really like that. Thanks and I hope to hear from you shortly!

  74. 91

    Some nice themes here but too many contain suspicious encrypted code. I wouldn’t use them because of this so am surprised they are showcased here.

    Would love to see a collection of “safe” themes though.

  75. 92

    There is one more web design related free theme

  76. 93

    September 7, 2011 1:02 am

    Another simple and perfect theme for personal blogging that supports post formats, and several customization options is BlogoLife –

  77. 94

    A GREAT post with some very nice themes. You guys always put a smile on my face!

  78. 95

    warning from my antivirus when i view the ikonik demo. be careful

    Trojan:JS/Agent.FA is malicious Javascript embedded in a Web page. The Javascript is designed to circumvent popup blocking by security applications.

  79. 96

    Thanks for sharing all these excellent collection of themes. There is one nice theme at that is bluemoon you can include that theme in this list.

  80. 97

    I couldn’t have found a better article than this, it is sooo comprehensive and very informative. Thank you very much! More power to you and to Smashing Magazine!

  81. 98

    This was probably already brought to attention, but the Agency theme is no longer free (if it ever was). Too bad, it would’ve come very handy.

  82. 99

    Sooo Rotary under Gallery…is NOT free…he want $10. Grrrr

  83. 100

    awesome themes of wordpress……thanks for sharing

  84. 101

    Here is another clean and simple feature theme, it’s very flexible and easy to setup.
    show your work of in exciting ways.

  85. 102

    Hi Paul, a great theme collection! thanks a lot. I really like “Placeholder” theme in this collection. But there is a simple error in “Sutra” theme, both links of this theme are linked to “exposito” theme. Please correct it!

  86. 103

    Tried one of the themes from Padd Solutions and it has some dodgy encoded links going on. I would suggest removing their theme(s) from this list.

  87. 104

    Fantastic post. A big help. Thank you.

  88. 105

    Fantastic post, as usual! However, I adore the papaver theme, only the link takes you to an empty background page… Not that I expect anyone to know the answer, but if someone *does* happen to find out where it has moved to, please post?


  89. 106

    Awesome roundup! Definitely going to be sharing this around.

    We just built a super clean and flexible 2 column theme too.

    You can check it out here:

    Thanks for all the work that went into this post.

  90. 107


  91. 108


    Love the post. Anychance someone could show me a wordpress template thats similar to this –

    Would really appreciate it.

  92. 109

    Best 3 themes i’ve downloaded “Elegant theme”, “velvetsky” and “the scoop”


  93. 110

    rotary costs $10 – these are supposed to be free themes

  94. 111

    this is a pretty dire artical actually – most of the themes listed are either now pay themes, removed and link to money making blogs or just bad themes.

    If thats a year in review it seems like free wordpress themes are dead and now you have to pay – even for garbage ones

  95. 112

    Tiffany Youngren

    December 30, 2011 8:14 am

    Great list – thanks! Love it. (But Agency isn’t free….)

  96. 113

    This is a great list of freemium themes! What about simplefolio? Great free theme with slider, breadcrumbs and great SEO!

  97. 114

    Dissapointed….sent one over to a client who liked it, only to find out it wasn’t a free theme. Looking back, there are quite a few that are not free on this list…..

  98. 115


    March 5, 2012 1:42 pm

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own site now ;)

  99. 116

    Great article. I am experiencing some of these issues as well..

  100. 117

    wow,.. nice theme and templates,… i found it for my blog

  101. 118

    through the template and I could get!

  102. 119

    Great issues altogether, you just gained a new reader. What could you suggest in regards to your put up that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

  103. 120

    nice work , appreciate your efforts


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