Best WordPress Themes 2016
As this is our first article on the topic of WordPress, it seems right to get started with a list of the best themes available right now. With more than 10,000 themes scattered across various parts of the web, WordPress offers up one hell of a collection. The only problem is choosing the right theme to get your website up and running.
We’re going to try and fix this for you today with our list of top WordPress themes available right now. And, to make things easier, we’ll be breaking them down into different categories.
What categories are we looking at today?
Not all WordPress themes are the same and we’ll be breaking today’s list into a number of categories:
- Theme builders: Themes you can fully customise without writing any code
- Themes for startups: Themes designed for startups and small businesses that you can set up today
- Themes for eCommerce: Specialist WordPress themes engineered to sell more products online
- WordPress starter themes: Starter themes with only the very basic WordPress code in place so you can develop your own custom theme
WordPress theme builders
The latest trend in WordPress is theme builders, most of which come with drag-and-drop editors, so you can basically build your own website without writing any code.
Divi is pretty much the definitive name in WordPress theme builders, bringing powerful features and complete control over every design. You can start out with templates and customise them to your needs/taste and the visual editor is incredible:
So, if you want a unique website but don’t fancy delving into code, this is the place to start.
Pricing starts from $68 per year but you get access to all of the themes at Elegant Themes and a range of other features, depending on the package you go for.
X is one of the most popular themes on ThemeForest and it’s easy to see why. The team over at THEMECO worked with top marketers and designers to engineer this theme with business results in mind.
The drag-and-drop provides almost 100% customisability and a series of THEMECO extensions expand upon the already impressive WordPress plugin library.
You’ll need to part with $64 for a regular license but you’re getting a seriously powerful theme for your money.
Themify is another powerhouse in the WordPress theme department and it offers up its own version of a page builder.
Themify Builder isn’t actually a theme, but rather a plugin that works with any Themify theme. It’s also not as powerful as Divi or X but it’s still a solid option – especially if you prefer the overall look of Themify’s templates.
Best WordPress themes for Startups
All the themes we’ve looked so far make great options for startups, small businesses and a range of other business types. However, customisation isn’t always desirable. Sometimes you just want to choose your theme and get started, without any fuss. So here are some of the best WordPress themes for startups that you can download and start using right away.
Shapely is an incredibly simple theme from the guys over at Colorlib. With full-screen divs, the occasional scroll effect and plenty of images, this theme is pretty much ready to go live as soon as you download it.
It’s also completely free, which is pretty good going.
Stratus is designed for tech startups and it comes with six templates to choose from: Product Intro, SaaS/Cloud Software, App Showcase, Startup, Shop and One-Pager. So if any of those sound like your business then this is one theme you definitely want to check out.
It costs $59 for a regular licence from ThemeForest but that’s not a bad one-time fee.
Uncode packs 34 sleek templates into one theme for modern startups and they all look incredible. Once again, the emphasis is on images with this theme, so you’ll want to be sure you have some great visuals to upload. After that, uncode will take care of everything else and you’ll have a website any startup will be happy to show off.
We’re talking about another ThemeForest theme here and that means $59 once again for a regular licence.
Best WordPress themes for eCommerce
If you’re looking to sell products on your WordPress site, you’ll need the WooCommerce plugin to turn your theme into an online store. As for the theme itself, some are more suited to eCommerce than others.
Storefront by WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an online shopping specialist so its own theme is a good place to start. Storefront as an incredibly light and efficient theme that focuses on speed and performance – which can be a real challenge for eCommerce sites.
There’s a lot of customisation options with Storefront, too, but its unique architecture means you’re not held back by heavy code.
It’s also completely free – so be sure to give this a look before you pay up for an eCommerce theme.
If you don’t want to spend time customising your design, Flatsome brings a bundle of templates for you to choose from. These templates are pretty much set up and ready to go – all you need to do is upload your products, images and content.
Okay, that could still be a hefty workload if you’ve got a lot of products. Which is precisely why you might want to skip on the custom design stage and choose a Flatsome template instead!
You’ll have to pay $59 for the privilege of a regular license but you’ll save a lot of precious time in the process.
Shopkeeper is another versatile theme for eCommerce stores, this time combining template presets with bundles of customisation options. It’s kind of like a halfway point between Storefront and Flatsome – ideal if you want to create something unique without starting from scratch.
Again, you’ll be looking at $59 for that ThemeForest regular license and then it’s yours for life.
Best WordPress starter themes
The themes we’ve looked at so far can be set up by anyone – no coding required. But what if you do have the programming skills or a developer on board to create your own, %100 original WordPress theme?
Well, this is starter themes come into play. These provide the basic structure of a WordPress theme without any (or minimal) design and features. This way you can create a fully-customised theme of your own, without unnecessary code slowing your site down.
Also it’s free – as with all the starter themes we’ll be looking at.
Components is actually from the same team that brought us Underscores (Automattic). The difference is it goes one step further and creates a number of starter themes for different types of website: blog, portfolio, magazine, business, etc.
So, while Underscores only packs the most basic WordPress files, Components offers up some starter layouts and basic design templates to speed up the process a little more.
Bones is the other key name in WordPress starter themes, this time with the focus being on mobile-first for the absolute best performance. This is kind of the whole point with starter themes (performance) so Bones gets things off to a good start.
So that’s our roundup of the best WordPress themes available right now. Obviously, there are tons of equally good themes out there but this list will give you a good taste of what the best themes look and feel like.
We’ve also shown you a wide range of the different type of themes available and how much customisation they come with. The best theme for you depends on your individual needs as much as the theme itself.
If you’re after a great all-rounder then we would have to recommend Divi – the first theme we looked at today. It’s incredibly versatile and Elegant Themes is constantly working on it to make new improvements.