Without a doubt, one of the best things about WordPress is the fact that it’s open-source and, thus, free to use. All a smart, resourceful site owner needs to create a unique, functional, attractive site is a registered domain and a server, resulting in a low monthly total cost.
Of course, to enable WordPress to live up to its potential as the basis for an exquisite website, you’ll need a WordPress theme.
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.
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.
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.
The theme is an ideal choice for small businesses, bloggers and even musicians since it is highly flexible and customizable. Plus, it comes with a powerful set of tools that will make your site not only look great but also perform fantastically. You’ll be able to customize the look and feel of your site with just a few clicks of the mouse. At its core, the theme is fully responsive and optimized for devices like smartphones and tablets as well as traditional desktop computers.