Are you thinking about getting a free WordPress theme for your business website? It’s not the most recommended option, but it’s completely understandable if you’re on a tight budget. When you’re just starting out, every dime counts and matters.
I’m not here to disillusion you. On the contrary, I’m here to help you make the best choice. In my previous blog post, I mentioned a few reasons why free business WordPress themes can be a good option. For the sake of complete honesty, today we’ll dive into the reasons why you should avoid them – if possible.
However, if you have no other choice, it still doesn’t have to be a disaster. There are many awesome free themes too, made by renowned developer teams and companies. Your best bet would be to get a “fremium” theme – basically, a premium theme with a free version and limited functionality, that you can upgrade if and when you want to.
Possible Cons of Using Free WordPress Themes
People don’t charge for their themes for no reason. Every extra buck pays for additional features and pros, many of which would cost more when bought separately. Let’s check out some of the aspects that you would be missing if you opt for a free theme.
- Anybody can create and publish a free WordPress theme. Many people do it to practice their coding skills and build their portfolios. In practical terms, it means that many if not most of these free themes haven’t undergone a serious and thorough revision process. So, it’s always a risk, and you should be aware of it.
- Free themes don’t get updates often (if at all). Updating a theme and fixing security issues and bugs is a time consuming process. That’s why many creators of free themes don’t bother to issue updates very often. And some of them don’t do it at all. For you, that can mean serious vulnerability in terms of security.
- They come with limited support. If a problem should arise, you will be left to your own devices, or forced to spend hours on relevant forums. Of course, you can always switch to another free theme – after all, you paid nothing. But when you think about it, wasting your precious time on troubleshooting and jumping from one theme to another can cost you much more than a paid product would. Most premium themes have 24/7 customer support, so you don’t have to do any guesswork or sift through forums to find an answer.
- You can’t customize much. Better free themes (such as the ones I will show you below) usually offer limited customization options. But it still means that you won’t be able to perform miracles unless you have some coding knowledge. With a premium theme however, your website is less likely to look generic and similar to thousands of other websites.
- Plugins, plugins, plugins. WordPress is all about plugins. Your theme is basically a skeleton, and plugins are the veins and muscles that infuse it with power and various functions. Premium themes typically come integrated with plugins, so you don’t have to purchase them separately. Their code being more robust and stable, the themes can handle whatever you choose to install. With free themes, it’s different. Too many plugins can cause lagging and slugging, which can affect your site speed and hence its rank on search engines.
Top 10 Free WordPress Themes for Your Business
Like I said above, I absolutely understand if you decide to stick with free options while still a WordPress novice. They will allow you to play around and experiment, which is especially convenient if you have no prior experience with content management systems. Even when it comes to security, free doesn’t necessarily mean bad. After all, not all freebies come from the basements of anonymous developers and coding neophytes.
To suggest you the most trustworthy themes, I combed through hundreds of options, and here are the best results. Note that all of them are available on the official WordPress.org theme repository, which means they have passed rigorous quality tests. That should make them more reliable and trustworthy than any random option you can find throughout the web.
If you’re planning to set up a modern and stylish website, Sydney could be a great option. The design is simple, with good use of white space and crisp typography. Its sleek and clean look and functionality will account for a seamless user experience. Change your fonts or font groups whenever you want, by using the huge Google font repository with over 600 options. The parallax backgrounds will provide a top-notch visual effect, moving as you scroll. Other than that, you can also customize colors, upload your logo, manipulate the blocks with the Elementor page builder, and more.
With over 10,000 active installations just from WordPress.org repository, Make is a pretty popular theme. But the sheer number of downloads doesn’t mean your website will look like just another product from the same factory. The theme’s creators have made it flexible enough that it can look like an organic part of your business. Everything works by the drag-and-drop principle, which means the setup process is easy enough for anybody to do it. After all, that’s what the platform itself is famous for. The theme is WooCommerce compatible and will also work great with Gravity Forms plugin, so your visitors could easily get in touch. Finally, if you really like it, you can purchase a premium version later.
As a business owner, you will want your online presentation to look professional and gracious at the same time. Mesmerize is a powerful theme that offers exactly this combination of features. If you aren’t ready to splurge on the premium version, you can still take advantage of a plethora of functions. Five front-page header designs, live editor, video and slideshow backgrounds, over 30 page content sections – all of these features are typically present in premium themes exclusively. You will also get sections for portfolio, team and testimonials, contact forms, as well as a widgetized footer. It can hardly get any better.
This theme has a bunch of options, but only the Digital Agency, Startup and Health Coach options come free of charge. It’s a feature-rich theme compared to its peers. For starters, it has the Elementor integration, which will let you customize the looks and add the posts block. The powerful Theme Customizer lets you change colors, fonts, header and many other elements. Sadly, the portfolio block is only available with the paid version. You can also take advantage of the theme’s WooCommerce support, so you can easily turn your website into a virtual shop. Access to all Google fonts adds to the theme’s flexibility.
Business website is not everything you can build with this theme. You can also create compelling websites for blog, portfolio, personal, sales, travel, corporate and more. Thanks to the fact that it was built in Bootstrap 3, it’s fully responsive and will look spotless on any device. You will get limitless color options, a fullscreen featured slider to accentuate your most important content, WooCommerce integration, Font Awesome icons that you can use in any color and size. The images will look stunning in the masonry-type gallery. SEO-friendly structure is also worth mentioning, since it makes it easier to follow the best practices of search engine optimization.
The name says it all – this is a perfect theme for spacious, clean, decluttered websites. It looks attractive on any device and loads super fast, so Google shouldn’t have any reproaches. The free option offers five different layouts, a slider that can house up to four slides, light and dark color skins, as well as various widgets to add more personal touch. The only downsides that I’m aware of are the lack of social icons and color customization options (which are available in the premium version). Nonetheless, it’s a theme that powers over 70,000 websites, so that should account for its quality.
Even though we’re talking business here, Pinnacle is very versatile and can make for a perfect website whether you are an author, seller, or just need to showcase a portfolio. If you have awesome images, it will display them wonderfully in a three-column, slider or carousel gallery. There are four portfolio styles, four different blog layouts and three ways to show your store. It’s fully WooCommerce compatible and responsive, which means users will be able to enjoy its elegant design from just about any device.
I love it when a free theme doesn’t look cheap. And this one certainly doesn’t. Apart from more than ten ready options that you can choose from, it offers a bunch of features that really make it a valuable download. It supports Gutenberg, a powerful text editor, Elementor to help you build your pages easily, seven widget areas, beautiful typography that you can easily customize to reflect your business style and purpose. The pages and posts can have boxed or wide layout, with customizable colors.
The Internet is a real beehive, where everything is moving, running, flying, calling for every single user’s attention. And it’s getting more and more difficult to get a piece of that attention. That’s why your website should rely on simple and clean interface that won’t suppress your message. Customizr is a perfect theme for that. Better yet, it does what the name says, offering an incredible amount of customizing options. You can upload your logo, highlight your best content in sliders and featured pages, apply beautiful typography by using live Google Fonts picker, choose a specific page layout. Over 135 different visual elements are available, so you can tweak it almost to the last detail.
Do you need to make a simple landing page for a single product or service? Here’s a perfect option for you, provided you don’t need too many elements. Four predefined sections can display an HTML5 video, a Youtube video, a parallax image or a map in the background. This approach is very modern, since Internet users have had it with hopping from one page to another. Frankly, the free version of this theme doesn’t have a lot of options. If you need more sections and features, you can always upgrade to the premium version and get a slider, 10 sections, shortcodes, animations, fonts and more.
Before you choose on of these themes for your website, here’s the last tip for today. You don’t even have to use a WordPress theme specifically tailored to business and corporate needs. Resorting to other niches such as authors, writers or photographers, could also prove worthy of your choice.