What are the best WordPress themes for beginners?
Finding a suitable WordPress theme can be a pain because there are so many to choose from, and if you’re new to all this, they all seem the same really.
There are thousands of themes in the theme store, but how many of them are worth downloading?
I mean, they look good in the preview, everything works fine, and you think it’s perfect, but the minute you activate it, things start to go wrong.
And that includes some of the premium themes too.
So, the pressing questions are:
- How do you know what the best WordPress themes for beginners are?
- How can you avoid wasting days getting it right?
There are only a select few WordPress themes that are worth using, and choosing one of these is a smart move that can save you time and stress later on.
In this article, you’ll get to know what they are and how to get your hands on them. There are free and paid options available, and they’re suitable for everyone, including beginners.
Let’s get started.
What Is A WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is a combination of files that transform how your website will look to those viewing it.
Sometimes known as a WordPress template, the files consist of graphics, code, stylesheets, and features that make building a blog so much easier for those who are not web developers.
The truth be known, WordPress themes make it easier for everyone, including developers.
Without a WordPress theme, your blog would look a bit like the following:
Not very readworthy at all.
However, a WordPress theme will transform it.
For example, instead of a home page looking like lines of code, it would look similar to the following:
WordPress themes also come with extra features that make changing the color scheme, layout, header, footer, and other useful customizations easier.
WordPress themes are essential and will make our lives easier.
The question is, which one should you use?
Let’s start with the premium themes.
Best Premium WordPress Themes For Beginners
Premium WordPress themes are themes that come with a price attached to them. Typically, they provide extra features, enhanced support, and regular updates.
Here are six of the best WordPress themes for beginners and experienced users alike.
1. Astra Pro
Astra theme is designed and developed by Brainstorm Force. It’s one of the most popular themes available to WordPress users.
With over 1 million active users, suitability for personal and business websites, and an abundance of valuable features, it’s little wonder why so many people are using the theme.
The theme is lightweight, fast-loading, and built with SEO in mind. It works flawlessly with page builders such as Elementor and is fully compatible with the WooCommerce plugin.
Check out our complete Astra 3.0 review to find out more.
Astra Theme Highlights:
- Lightweight (less than 50kb) and fast-loading
- Responsive WordPress theme
- Visual composer
- Large community
- Customization options
- Over 180 starter websites (import and edit)
2. Generate Press Premium
Generate Press (premium) is fast, lightweight, and available at a respectable price. The theme itself is free to use but lacks features on its own; however, once you add the pro version (plugin), your possibilities are endless.
Tom Usborne (developer) implements the highest coding standards for the theme, which regularly tops the charts for the fastest theme tests online.
The theme offers you hundreds of customization options, starter websites, and features you won’t find anywhere else. See our complete Generate Press review here.
Generate Press Highlights:
- Exceptional code from an excellent developer
- Addition page builder plugin available (Generate Blocks)
- Regarded as the best by many experts
- Starter sites
- Unlimited websites
- Discount renewals
- Hook system for anywhere in the theme
- Elements section
- Multiple options
- Rock-solid support
3. Ultra Theme
Ultra Theme is a WordPress theme that provides you with a drag and drop builder to design a responsive blog to make you proud.
This Themify theme comes with multiple skins and demo sites which you can import with the click of a button.
With 12 bonus add-ons including:
- Pricing table
- Progress bar
- Countdown timer
- Smooth scrolling
- Maps Pro
- Image Pro
And many other valuable additions, you can see why lots of people are turning their attention to the Ultra theme.
You have 15 header layouts to choose from, in addition to 6 different footers and multiple single post options.
Ultra is a feature-rich theme and one not to ignore.
Ultra Theme Highlights:
- 33 pre-made websites available to use
- 60 pre-designed layouts
- Preset typography
- Image filters
- Animated colors
- Support & updates
4. Divi Theme
Elegant Themes is a marketplace that sells WordPress themes, and the most popular of them is the Divi theme.
Divi is a multipurpose WordPress theme combined with a visual page builder that makes it easy to drag and drop your way to creating a website to suit your needs.
There are hundreds of layout templates for you to use, or you can build your own from scratch. In addition, the theme provides elements that have modules for you to create pretty much anything you want, such as forms, call-to-action boxes, blog layouts, sliders, and many more.
Divi Theme Highlights:
- Live visual page builder
- Over 40 website modules
- Full website templates
- Support & updates (features regularly added)
- Can be used on unlimited websites
- Effects and filters
Price: $89 per year
5. Authority Pro
Authority Pro is a premium child theme developed to work on top of the Genesis framework.
Brian Gardner designed the Genesis theme from the ground up and paid particular attention to making it extremely secure.
With a clean design featuring an opt-in area on the home page, top bar, numerous features, and an in-built SEO system, the Authority Pro theme remains the most popular theme created by StudioPress.
You have two options available to you when buying this theme. You can get it for free by using the hosting service they offer (WP Engine), or you can pay a yearly fee and use Genesis Pro — a premium page builder, and set of tools for building your website.
Authority Pro Theme Highlights:
- Beautiful clean theme with home page opt-in area
- Built on the Genesis framework
- SEO settings included
- Theme customization
Price: Free (with hosting) or $360 per year
Side note: WP Engine purchased Studiopress in 2018 and now offers all StudioPress themes for free when using their hosting.
The Avada theme is a good theme for beginners due to the ease of use and ability to design your website the way you want it without messing with any code.
It’s popular and only second in downloads to Divi, although Avada claims to be the most popular on their website.
This theme is good and comes with many features, benefits, and it comes with a competitive price tag, full support, and updates.
You can import all the demos with the click of a button and customize your site in many ways.
Avada Theme Highlights:
- $200 of premium WordPress plugins included
- Fully support
- Designed by Theme Fusion
- WooCommerce integration & builder
- Page speed performance wizard
Price: $60 per year
Best Free WordPress Themes For Beginners
We now move on to the best WordPress themes for beginners that are free to use.
Again, there are many available, some good, some not so good, and some bad. However, the six themes below are solid choices for beginners.
1. Kadence Theme
The Kadence premium WordPress theme is a fantastic theme designed by Ben Ritner. It offers many features and options that you would typically only find on a premium theme.
For example, you have free starter sites which are responsive and easy to install with a one-click touch option. In addition, you have header options not seen on free themes and quite a few other premium features available.
You don’t get direct support, (although there’s a support forum), and two of the starter sites are for premium users only, but overall, you can’t grumble with this theme considering it won’t cost you a dime.
The theme is lightning fast, lightweight, and updated regularly.
Kadence Theme Highlights:
- Excellent starter sites
- Drag and drop premium header options for free
- Simple to use
- Header image options
- Header builder included in free version
- Fast loading theme
- 5-star customer rating
2. Neve Theme
Neve by Themeisle and is another fantastic option to use as a free WordPress theme.
The Neve theme is fast-loading, lightweight, and frequently updated; this theme is a popular choice with thousands of WordPress websites.
You have starter sites, although a few are for premium users only, header options, and compatibility with Lifter LMS.
Neve is also compatible with popular page builders like Elementor and Gutenberg and has many tutorials and an online forum for support. However, one-one support is only available for premium users.
- Starter themes
- Mobile-first approach to design
- Page Builder Friendly
3. Hello Elementor
Hello Elementor theme is fast and only 6kb in size. This typically means it will be scoring high marks on the website speed testing tools.
The theme has been designed by Elementor, which is a popular page builder, so obviously, it works great with Elementor.
It has over 700k downloads and offers many features that make building your website a doddle. You can change the header, footer, and blog layouts with simple drag and drop functions.
With multilingual support, customizations, WooCommerce, and compatibility with most plugins, this theme is certainly a free theme to consider.
It’s search engine optimized, and if you use the Elementor page builder plugin, then this is actually a theme that could be perfect for you.
Hello Elementor Highlights:
- Built for Elementor
- Light and fast-loading
- Large community
4. Astra Theme
Astra Pro has been mentioned above, but did you know that they also have a free option that still packs a punch? They do, and thousands of people are using the free version every day.
You can still use the starter sites, (although quite a few are for premium users), and most of the features available are more than enough for you to get started with building your blog.
Premium support is lacking, but with Astra being so popular, you can find help and advice online pretty easily. There are free Facebook groups, forums, and plenty of Youtube videos to solve any issues you have.
Astra Free Theme Highlights:
- Starter sites are still available
- Fast WordPress theme
- Facebook group
- Works with page builders (Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, etc)
- Lot’s of online support
Hestia is another free WordPress theme by Themeisle.
The modern one-page design is easy on the eye and pretty simple to edit and change things to suit your needs.
A few premium features are missing with the free version, but still, this theme is capable of being enough for many users.
You have compatibility with WooCommerce, page builders, and basic use of the top bar, header and typography settings. Although basic, there’s a good chance that this might be enough for what you need.
Hestia is worth checking out.
Hestia Free Theme Highlights:
- One page design (minimalist theme)
- Works well with Divi and Elementor builder
- Header image options
6. Ocean WP
Ocean WP offers quite a few features to the free version of their theme. The multi-purpose theme comes with a mega menu, templates and works flawlessly with all the popular page builders.
It’s not as fast loading (although it’s not slow) as the others mentioned, but it’s one of the best free WordPress themes for beginners and is great for eCommerce websites.
Another plus for this theme is the ability to extend your website with addons. Yes, these aren’t free, but you could build your blog using the free options and add them to your site when the time is right.
Ocean WP Free Theme Highlights:
- Generous amount of premium features
- Good for eCommerce sites
- Advanced mega menu
The Fastest Loading WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme that is fast loading is good for SEO. There’s nothing worse than a slow website, and it will drive your readers insane.
None of the WordPress themes mentioned in this article is slow loading. On the contrary, some of them are arguably the fastest themes available online.
But which is the fastest?
Well, let’s find out.
The results have come from research and personal testing, and the top three themes to come out on top for speed are as follows.
First: Generate Press
Generate Press is a theme that constantly makes the top three for the fastest WordPress themes online.
Lightweight code and minimal page requests are the main reasons behind the fast loading scores for this fantastic theme.
Second: Kadence Theme
Kadence is super fast with great code and remains fast even when using the Kadence Blocks page builder plugin.
It was a close call between Kadence and Generate Press, and if I’m honest, they’re almost identical in speed tests.
However, If pushed, I would say Generate Press has the slightest edge when it comes to loading speed.
Third: Astra Theme
Astra theme is fast and lightweight and regarded by many as one of the fastest themes available.
This speed information is for the theme without any page builders, so using Elementor, for example, will add a few seconds to your load time.
Overall Winner — Generate Press
When performing the speed test, I was using the same basic caching settings for all the themes, and the websites had very little content, images and plugins activated.
It’s worth remembering that while a fast-loading WordPress theme will help you to get a fast score on sites like Pingdom and GTmetrix, it’s also crucial to have a decent web hosting service and also optimization for your images.
Recommended Theme Developers
When you purchase WordPress themes, you have several options available to you.
You can download the free version of the theme inside the WordPress dashboard and then update it inside the theme, or you can purchase the premium themes from the developer websites.
The following sites are some of the most popular options, and they all produce responsive and page builder compatible WordPress themes.
My Theme Shop
My Theme Shop provides free and premium WordPress themes and has over 700 thousand loyal customers.
Home to some fantastic themes such as Schema and Socially Viral, the theme developer produces around 12 new themes each year.
You have themes for almost every niche topic you can think about, and they all come with support, slick code, and multiple demos.
If you want a perfect theme for Adsense, then try the Ad-Sense theme, which has perfectly placed advert sections for you to add your Google Ad code. Alternatively, if you need an eCommerce theme, they have ten available with some fantastic features added.
Seriously, there’s a vast section of themes to suit everyone’s needs, and they all come with the following benefits:
- Fast loading Pingdom scores
- Plugins to enhance the theme
- Schema integration
- Clean code
- Plus, many more features
StudioPress is the home to the famous Genesis theme. It has a massive following of fans who use the theme and numerous child themes to build nice-looking websites.
Genesis is the framework, and the child theme sits on top of the framework, making it easier to maintain and update in the future if you want a total change.
You can purchase child themes from StudioPress and many 3rd party developers who build them because of the popularity of the Genesis framework.
Some of the popular themes available are listed below:
- Authority Pro
- Revolution Pro
- Infinity pro
- Breakthrough Pro
The famous Divi theme hails from Elegant themes, as do many more beautiful-looking WordPress templates.
You can get the following for $89 per year:
They all come with support, layout packs, and updates.
We know about the Divi theme, but the Extra theme is one that fewer people are aware of.
Extra is a stunning magazine theme and comes with numerous features such as 800 layouts, mega menu, WooCommerce, header options, and category modules.
Theme Forest is owned by Envato Market, a marketplace that sells numerous website templates, including WordPress themes.
WordPress developers sell their themes on the platform, and at present, there are hundreds for sale.
Some of the popular themes available are:
- The 7
They have categories for blogs, eCommerce, magazines, education, and many more.
You can also look in the themes on sale section, which could net you a bargain price that you won’t find anywhere else.
There are some fantastic themes available on Theme Forest with support and updates included — it’s worth a look.
Themeisle is another solid choice to look for WordPress themes. It’s the developers behind Neve, Hestia Pro, and Zelle Pro.
Formed in 2012, the company have been producing quality themes and building up their reputation along the way,
They create themes for the following categories:
- Elementor themes
- And many more
With ongoing support, theme updates, and added features, Themeisle is another excellent website to visit to find your perfect WordPress theme.
What is The Simplest WordPress Theme To Use?
This question is quite hard to answer now because most of the modern themes, certainly the themes mentioned in the article, have all created a user-friendly approach to using them.
Not so long ago, some themes made you pull your hair out with frustration, but with the introduction of page builders and drag and drop editors; things have drastically improved.
When deciding which is the simplest theme to use, I have considered the following:
- Starter Templates – Are they available and easy to install?
- Header & Footer Editing – Can you edit the header and footer without needing plugins or messing around with code?
- Home Page – How easy is it to create a modern homepage?
- Compatibility – Is the theme compatible with third-party plugins?
- Updates – How often is the Website theme updated?
- Security – Has the WordPress theme been developed using the best security practices?
- Support – Is the support good and readily available?
In answering all the questions, it was between two themes:
Yes, them two again.
They both tick all the boxes for the questions above, and in the end, the choice came down to one support being slightly better than the other.
Generate Press offered faster support, and this just edges the decision above Kadence.
But honestly, all the themes are pretty easy to use now.
What Is The Most Popular Theme On WordPress?
However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t mean the themes with the most downloads are the best.
Although Astra’s theme is pretty good, I wouldn’t consider it the best around, so beware of being popular doesn’t mean the best.
That being said, the Astra theme has been downloaded over a million times, so they must be doing something right.
What Is The Best Free WordPress Theme?
The best free WordPress theme is the Kadence theme.
You get premium features in a free theme, and it’s super easy to use. Of course, you can upgrade to the pro version, which offers even more features and benefits, but the free theme is still one of the best and fastest-loading themes around.
You have a list of themes to choose from, and they all come with support, updates, and thousands of active users using them.
Which one will you choose?
Will you go with the two quickest themes, Generate Press and Kadence, or will you opt for one of the others — the choice is yours.
Before you make the decision, here are a few last-minute tips:
- Take a look at the different options and try out the demos
- Contact them and see how quickly they respond to your pre-sales questions — this could indicate what their support is like if you go with them
- Make sure they offer a money-back guarantee
If you use these tips and choose from one of the best WordPress themes for beginners mentioned in this article, then you should be fine and have no problems building a blog that’s fast, modern, and perfect for you.
Check out our round-up of the best WordPress themes for affiliate marketing for more ideas if that’s what you intend to do!