Having worked with a ton of themes, I’ve decided to compile a list of free themes that are stable, easy to work with, and full of awesome customizations…you know, just in case you are shopping around for a new look. Not all WordPress themes are created equal. Even among free and premium, one wrong choice and you may find yourself having to restore a backup of your database because of a glitch or a plugin that isn’t compatible. When I work with clients, I try to find themes that are easy to customize and switch around – in other words, clean and simple.
Many of the “Cutesy” themes are the least flexible in terms of changing around colors, fonts, etc. Here are some of my FREE favorites to work with….
This is a minimalist design that’s fully responsive, clean, and professional looking. You can customize the background and header. Perfect for people who like to showcase one large featured image and want the focus to be on the content.
A great theme for food or photo bloggers, this theme takes after Pinterest with a grid-like format. It has social share buttons on the bottom of posts (with counters), plus follow buttons built into the header. There are all sorts of page templates, plenty of widget areas, plus customization of fonts and menubar colors. I highly recommend this theme.
Another grid format theme by the makers of pinboard, this one allows you to adjust the sidebar widths, fonts, and colors. It is a stable theme with header widget areas and several color combinations.
You can’t go wrong with the standard WordPress themes. They are lightweight, stable, and you can download plugins to give you extra customizations. Both themes work with the standard sidebar and content area.
Another easy to format theme, this one has the menu bar on the top, with the option of one or two sidebars. The header is simple to customize too! Comes with a white, brown, red, or dark color scheme.
Super simple but beautiful typography. This theme has a cool moving menu bar and takes a very minimalist approach. Great for writing blogs.
Fully responsive with the option of a lite or paid version, this WordPress theme has over 100 customization options.
In terms of customization, Weaver II takes the cake. The free version of this theme is full of unbelievable detailed customizations. If you are a beginner, it might be a bit overwhelming, however if you are looking for full control, this is the theme for you.
If you’re going to pay…
If you are going with a premium theme, try Weaver II Pro (if you’re on a budget) or head on over to StudioPress and take on the Genesis Framework. My ultimate favorite for code-impaired bloggers? Prophoto. It is the easiest and most stable framework I work with, and most people are delighted to have it. It’ll run you about $200.00 though, so prepare to shell out some dough!
Once you have a theme, it’s time to think about your commenting system.