It’s true that in recent years many of the most talked-about themes are the ones that come with a premium price tag attached. For many beginning bloggers — and experienced ones, too, for that matter — a pricey theme is just not on the cards. Unless and until your blog is producing sufficient income, it can be hard to justify the expense of a premium theme.
But if you’re trying to build a great WordPress blog on a bootstrap budget, there’s great news. Lots of great WordPress themes that are perfect for blogs are completely free.
We’ve gathered together a collection of over 20 of the very best free WordPress blog themes below. Our criteria were straightforward. The themes had to be clean, content-focused, and well-coded. And we’re sure that no matter what niche you’re blogging in, you’ll find a theme here that will work for you.
The Cenote WordPress theme packs quite a few features into a lightweight, free theme with a clean and modern layout.
The good thing about Cenote is that it uses plenty of white space and standard colors. The theme provides a one-click installation button, along with primary color options for matching your branding and logo. The four widget areas can be placed in the header or footer, as well as the sidebars. What’s more, the Cenote theme has an area to adjust custom CSS. The demo content is great for getting started with your design, but more advanced coders will appreciate the custom CSS.
Boxed and wide layouts ensure that your site either covers the entire screen or cuts off at the sides. The sticky menu is great so that your visitors always have the menu in front of their eyes. Another item to get excited about is the social icon pack. Reveal icons from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and more, using the buttons to send people to your social pages.
Overall, Cenote is a great choice for a free WordPress blog theme.
The GuCherry Blog theme is a beautiful and minimal theme for fashion, travel, and lifestyle bloggers.
It features an attention-grabbing slider at the top and has plenty of widgets that make it easy to add content to your sidebar as well as other widgetized areas on your site. This theme also comes with plenty of space for ad display so you can easily monetize your blog with ad networks such as Google AdSense. GuCherry Blog theme supports multiple post formats so you can make your posts more engaging by sharing videos, audio, and written content.
In terms of customization, the theme is easy to customize and allows you to upload your own header image or logo, change colors, and customize fonts. The GuCherry blog also comes with a custom social media widget and built-in related posts display so you can keep visitors on your site longer.
3. Olsen Light
Olsen Light is a crisp, starched white shirt of a WordPress theme. Completely blog-friendly, Olsen Light is full-width, clean, and visually stunning, drawing your visitors’ eyes to your content.
Perfect for photography-related blogs, Olsen Light lends itself well to a number of niches. You can choose between a right sidebar layout or a full-width template. This theme offers simple customization through the new and improved WordPress Customizer. You can upload logos, a site favicon, customize and configure pagination styles, and more through the Customizer options. You can also implement a visually striking image carousel on your front page, if you choose.
In addition, Olsen Light offers three custom widgets: an “about the author” profile box, a social icons box, and a widget for customizing the display of your recent posts. You can configure and display social sharing options for your posts and pages straight from the theme, without the need for an additional plugin. It also integrates with Instagram though you’ll need a plugin to take advantage of this option.
The Astra theme is a very popular and free theme that can be used for any type of website, blogs included. The theme works great with popular page builder plugins so you can design your pages without any coding knowledge. Astra is also easy to customize not only through the theme settings but also by taking advantage of the page builder style options.
The theme comes with numerous starter sites that you can import with a single click and use as a starting point for your website. In addition to that, you can also create custom blog page layouts to stand out from other bloggers in your niche. The theme also integrates with some of the most popular WordPress plugins such as WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, Gutenberg Blocks, and more.
Another great option to use for your blog is the Masonic WordPress theme. This theme is an ideal choice for any type of blog you’d like to start but especially those that will require a lot of images.
It uses a masonry layout (hence the name) that offers an attractive way to present your latest posts using a card style. This would be fantastic for a recipe blog or some such, where you’d like to showcase a featured image and a quick blurb on your homepage.
You can customize the look of this theme fairly easily as well. Adjust things like the primary color, link color, fonts, and widgets using the standard customizer that comes with WordPress. You can also add in custom CSS and it has built-in support for the Breadcrumb NavXT plugin.
This isn’t the most feature-rich blogging theme in the world but it’ll definitely get the job done for beginning bloggers that want images to feature prominently on their sites.
The Hueman theme is one of the most popular WordPress themes for bloggers and with good reason.
It has a modern design, it’s easy to use, and loads fast. On top of that, it has plenty of customization features to make the theme your own. The theme features two sidebars but you can easily change that and opt for one sidebar or a no sidebar layout. This theme is perfect for any blogger or website that publishes a lot of content regularly.
You can customize every aspect of your site and change colors and fonts, upload your own logo, change images, and more. The theme also integrates with the Nimble page builder which allows you to create custom sections for your website pages without any coding knowledge. Plus, you can choose from several blog layouts that are available.
The Ashe theme is a gorgeous single and multi-author WordPress theme with a stunning header area that you can use to point visitors to a page on your site.
The homepage also has a two-column layout with the standard blog post archive and sidebar. You can use the sidebar to share a brief bio, add your social media links, share your popular posts, or link to your blog’s categories. What’s more, you can easily make use of the promo boxes to display your most important pages or insert ad banners.
This theme is perfect for lifestyle, fashion, travel or food bloggers as it uses featured images so you can easily share your photos. The theme can be customized using the Live Customizer option and the theme is also WooCommerce ready so you can even have an online store and sell both physical and digital products.
8. Chic Lite
Chic Lite is a feminine, minimalist, and visually appealing theme. It’s a strong choice if you plan to create a lifestyle, fashion, or beauty blog.
This theme is particularly useful if you plan on sharing many different types of content. For example, in addition to the customization options for your posts, there are also sections for social media and email campaign integrations. You can also personalize your blog with your brand colors and chosen fonts. Another notable feature is the 22 included widgets which include an advertisement widget so that you can strategically place ads within your content.
When it comes to free blog themes, Chic Lite isn’t the most versatile or the most customizable. However, if you’re looking to create a specific aesthetic for your fashion or beauty blog, it might be the best option.
If you’re looking for something simple that speaks to the novelist in you, the Hemingway WordPress theme is a fantastic choice. It’s easy on the eyes and minimalist — and for good reason.
The intention of this theme is to put your words front and center. This is an ideal choice for those who regularly blog essays or topical pieces. It offers a clean layout that doesn’t get in the way of what you have to say. Rather, it acts as an elegant frame for your words and photos. This responsive, two-column theme was built specifically with bloggers in mind but doesn’t shy away from high-quality graphics support.
Hemingway can be updated and customized using Gutenberg or popular page builder plugins. It supports a full-width header image that immediately reels visitors in and it employs parallax scrolling for added interest. Add a custom logo, accent color, and add image widgets for your accounts on Flickr, Instagram, or even Dribbble. Hemingway also comes with page templates so you can further customize the look and feel of your site.
If you’re looking for a simple theme for your blog, Hestia fits the bill nicely.
The theme has a modern, material design and comes with plenty of starter sites to speed up the design process. It’s a one-page theme so you can set up your website fairly quickly. It’s also compatible with popular page builder plugins so you can build pages and customize your blog post layout without having to learn code.
Hestia allows you to customize every aspect of your website. You can change colors, fonts, and upload your logo, and more. It’s perfect for anyone who wants complete control over their site’s design. You’ll also find mega menus and you can translate the theme into any language. Plus, the theme integrates with WooCommerce, making it easy to add eCommerce functions to your blog if needed.
Author is a dual-toned theme that was created specifically for reading and readers. Featuring a dark sidebar with a light-toned main body section, Author provides sufficient visual contrast between the sidebar and body sections to draw your visitor’s eye straight to your written and featured content.
Coded to be light, fast, and responsive, this theme features conditional loading and minified scripts and stylesheets to improve the way your site loads and performs in any browser. Responsive and designed with an eye towards accessibility for viewers with disabilities, the theme offers an adaptable layout to improve and enhance your user’s experience on your site.
The Bard theme touts itself as a beautiful theme and with good reason.
Stunning imagery, minimal and clean design, and elegant typography will make your blog a true pleasure to read. This theme uses a grid-based layout so you can easily share your most recent stories and add plenty of widgets to the sidebar so your readers can learn more about you. This includes a social widget, author profile widget, social media feeds, email widget, and more.
Bard works perfectly with all major drag-and-drop page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, SiteOrigin, and Divi. It is also WooCommerce compatible, should you want to add an online store to your blog. In addition to that, the theme can be monetized with ads as it comes with three promo boxes that can be used to display banner ads.
If you’re looking for a feminine, elegant theme for your blog, Writee is worth checking out. This freemium theme boasts a bold, yet minimalist design that is incredibly versatile.
Writee takes advantage of white space to present a stunning and clean look. It’s ideal for a wide variety of personal blogs, including travel, fashion, food, and more. It’s also easy to use, with three custom widgets, Customizer options, and support for multiple languages.
If you’re looking for a feature-rich theme, Writee may not be the best option. However, it’s an attractive theme suitable for people looking for standard blog features and functionality. These include multiple templates and post formats, including video and audio media options.
Overall, Writee is a solid blog theme that offers simple sophistication.
14. Everly Lite
Everly Lite is the free version of the premium Everly theme from Premium Coding.
You’ll get some Customizer options in Everly Lite to personalize your blog. You’ll be able to upload a favicon or “browser icon” image and crop that file as you like for display in tabs and mobile browsers. Additionally, you can add and configure widgets for several possible sidebar, footer, and header-adjacent displays.
The theme also has its own “Theme Options” submenu under the Appearance menu in your WordPress Dashboard. There, you’ll find options for typography display (including easy access to numerous Google Web Fonts), including font faces, size, and color options for all major text-based elements, from body text to subheadings. You can also swap out the “Everly’s Blog” ribbon logo for your own files here.
One other notable feature of Everly Lite is the ability to swap between a default layout and a grid-based layout. The grid approach is great for magazine-style blogs, of course, and leads to a crisper display of multiple pieces of content at the same level of hierarchy or importance on your site. Photographers and other visually intensive niches could make valuable use of this layout.
Most of our free blog themes in this collection are based on light minimalist color schemes. Period is a bit different, as it’s based on a darker palette, yet still retains the same clean and readable aesthetic as the lighter-toned themes on our list. The dark tones of the theme’s palette make it well-suited for professional services and corporate blogs, as well as blogs in conservative niches such as finance or law.
The theme features optional layouts, including full-width, one-column, and two-column styles. You can also create optional descriptive blocks of text for gallery, category, tag, and author pages for enhanced SEO, improved navigation, and a better user experience. Period is also WooCommerce-friendly and you can create an online shop as part of your blog relatively easily.
User reviews praise Period for its commitment to accessibility, baked-in SEO, and smooth integration with caching and minification plugins.
Radiate is another fantastic option for your blog. This WordPress theme offers a clean design that’s easy on the eyes and lightweight. This means it’ll load quickly so visitors will be more likely to hang around for longer.
This theme is a great choice for a photo-heavy blog or website such as a fashion, photography, or travel blog. The grid layout makes it easy to feature top posts on your homepage with an image and a button to “Read More.” It also has a full-width banner across the top that you can customize to suit your brand or business, a custom menu, and social media icons so you can connect your site to all of your platforms.
Radiate includes a parallax header image that offers the appearance of interactivity — another bonus for your visitors. A few other features of note include a primary color, custom background, and custom CSS.
If your goal is to create a blog with a minimalist design, Neve might be the right option for you. It comes with an impressive library of ready-to-import starter sites, including some free options that are designed specifically for blogs.
This freemium theme is fast and lightweight, making it an excellent option for any blog where you plan to publish a lot of content. It’s also easy to set up and use, and works with popular page builder plugins such as Elementor and Divi. You also get access to customization options such as layout options and custom headers and footers.
If you’re looking for a robust theme that can handle a lot of content and offers easy-to-use customization features, you should check out Neve.
Zakra is another lightweight WordPress theme that’s ideal for bloggers. With a selection of free starter sites, it’s easy to select one and get up and running quickly.
This theme can be used for a basic blog but also has portfolio and online store features, the latter of which is supported by WooCommerce compatibility. If you’re looking to make even more changes, Zakra works with the Elementor page builder as well as many other popular page builder plugins. Plus, it’s compatible with most popular WordPress plugins so that you can extend the functionality of your blog.
With excellent performance and functionality, Zakra is yet another solid option for your blog, especially if you want to keep things aesthetically simple.
OceanWP is a popular, multipurpose theme that is perfect if you need a lot of customization options in order to build a unique blog.
This beginner-friendly theme comes with a large selection of demos and a one-click import feature. It is also built for full compatibility with page builders plugins such as Elementor and Beaver Builder, making it easy for you to build the blog of your dreams in no time.
OceanWP is intuitive and easy to use, and includes a handful of key design options such as multiple header and mobile menu styles. Plus, there are a handful of visually-appealing blog-specific templates to choose from, including free options.
If you’re looking for a versatile and highly-customizable theme for your blog, OceanWP is worth checking out.
If you’re looking for a different aesthetic from most themes deemed “clean and modern”, take a look at Tracks. Decidedly darker than most of the other themes on our list, Tracks still does a great job of keeping the visual focus on your content while providing an alternative, more contemporary vibe for your blog.
Tracks puts dynamic emphasis on featured images. It also enables you to configure how those featured images are displayed, and what happens when there isn’t one. While you won’t find any typography or color customization options in the WordPress Customizer, you can add your own CSS rules there to override or add to its existing rules.
The Tracks theme adds numerous other configuration options that put content control squarely in your hands as the blogger and site owner. You can set options for the word count to display in post excerpts, display text for your “read more” link, enable a zoom-in effect on image hover, display of an author info box after post content, and more.
The theme enables widget incorporation in two main areas: after each page’s content and in the footer area. And speaking of the footer, you can also specify what text you’d like to display there. You can also choose to display your social profile icons in the header, footer, or both.