By Luke Aldridge,
At some stage, us bloggers have all struggled with this problem – choosing a theme. It’s a big decision to make as the theme dictates how your website looks and functions. It isn’t helped by the fact there are so many options to choose from and it can be frustrating when you think you have found the perfect match only to find out it is a premium theme that requires a membership or a one off payment to access. Therefore, we thought it was high time to help out those WordPress users who have chosen not to pay by giving them our top five free WordPress themes.
Before we begin I just want to communicate that this list is purely opinion based. Whilst I believe these are the most useful themes to use in your own blog there are still many options out there and all of them are valid. So, without further ado, let’s get cracking.
Five: Twenty Ten
An authentic blog theme that oozes originality. This is the only theme in this list that has a rolling home page where the entirety of your posts are visible from the get go meaning you don’t have to click on a preview to access articles. This is great for diary based blogs or story driven blogs. The theme is easy to manage and to navigate with a variety of widget options available. I am personally fond of the calendar option that shows viewers when posts were published. However, if you are looking for a theme that neatly structures your posts you may want to consider a more panelled based theme. It comes down to personal preference at the end of day.
Simplicity is essential for any WordPress theme and AltoFocus provides this with neatly ordered post structuring. This is achieved by organising your posts into photo previews using the feature image of the post. Simple but effective. A great theme for anyone who aims to catch the eye with intuitive design and engaging content. The one limitation with this theme is the navigation being at the top of the page. This does create less clutter as you scroll down but can look, at times, too minimalist. Consider this theme if you want your blog to be more orientated around images and unobstructed design.
Three: Apostrophe 2
Much like AltoFocus, Apostrophe 2 is easy to navigate due to the panelled previews of your posts. What makes it a step above is that it follows a more authentic and original website design with header and side menus. This gives your blog a professional look and makes it far easier for your readers to operate. Be sure to make effective use of categories and social media to make your website feel welcoming and professional. Additionally, the panelled theme prioritises your latest posts in size and provides the post title along with the feature image. The one issue you may have with this theme is that the categories do not show as header menus but go to the left hand side of the page. This is, again, subject to your personal preference.
Two: Dyad 2
This is one of my personal favourites (I may be bias as I have used this on my personal blog for over a year) and is a popular choice amongst our members. The design is simple and unique as each post is organised into a preview that includes a feature image, title and introduction that encourages people to keep reading your content. The menus are simple, effective and easy to navigate. And, in my opinion, the most important feature is that you can use categories as menus on the top of the page. The reason I prefer this style is that it makes your content easy to manage. Instead of faffing about with all the separate pages you have created on your dashboard you can simply select the categories you want your post to go in just before you publish a draft. Again, this falls under personal preference. You may prefer your pages and categories to remain separate.
This brings us to our final recommendation, Canard. The reason this makes it to the top of the list is simple: versatility. The previous themes all had unique qualities that made them stand out for one reason or the other. This theme, on the other hand, is well balanced in comparison. I was surprised when I found out that this was a free to use theme as it seems perfect for people who want to manage a professional looking blog. The layout is ideal for those who are unsure whether they want a panelled theme or a rolling home page as it functions as both. Much like Dyad 2 it provides a feature image, title and introduction but in a rolling style. Unless you specifically create pages, there are no menus at the top of the page meaning categories are all on the right hand side. This, in my opinion, is better than having a mix of categories and page menus as it creates less clutter. Although my favourite is Dyad 2, this is a damn good theme and deserves top place as it satisfies most of the issue presented by all of the former themes. It is perfect for a blogger who is unsure which style they prefer.
That concludes our top five free WordPress themes. Remember, if you can’t decide on a theme it’s not the end of the world as they are very easy to change. I hope you found this useful. If you would like to see more posts like this let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more blogging tips in the future.
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