In this day and age, having a responsive WordPress theme is an absolute must. An ever increasing number of visitors will be heading to your website on mobile devices, and you need to make sure you cater to them as much as possible. With more and more websites using mobile-friendly design, an unresponsive design is something the overwhelming majority of mobile users just won't tolerate anymore.
A responsive theme will adjust the display dimensions to fit the visitors' device. By displaying your website optimally on all devices, you provide the best possible user experience for visitors. Mobile-friendliness is something Google is starting to take far more seriously, with the search engine giant even adding a Mobile Friendly tag on the mobile SERPS. If you don't meet the minimum requirements, expect to be hit with a penalty.
I've spent a lot of time talking about how a responsive theme is important for meeting minimum requirements. But that's not to say a responsive theme can't look stunning in its own right — they can, and they do. Desktop users, tablet users, and mobile users will all get to see your website in all its glory, and that can only be a good thing.
Today, I want to introduce you to 41 of the best free responsive WordPress themes. If you're looking to build a gorgeous website on a budget, you're definitely in the right place!
Moesia is a visually stunning, responsive business theme for WordPress users. The theme makes use of a combination of full-width images, parallax effects, and eye-catching animations to provide the ideal framework for your business website
The theme supports an intuitive home-page builder, allowing you to construct the homepage you want by adding different “blocks” to the page — you can add social sharing buttons, client logos, and testimonials to one of these blocks. As well as a customizable homepage, Moesia supports a number of other customization capabilities. These include choosing your favorite Google font to change the typography, and an unlimited selection of colors to choose from. If you want a stylish professional theme capable of showing off your own personal flair, look no further than Moesia.
If you're looking for a more formal, corporate design, Business by Nimbus Themes is a good option. The theme creates a strong first impression with a simple but attractive full-width image slider, and a variety of dedicated on-page elements — for example, testimonials, team members, and client logos.
The theme also supports a good selection of shortcodes, which can be used to add simple parallax effects, info boxes, and drop caps to your website. Business comes with loads of fonts and over 400 icons for you to use. It is extremely well coded and fully responsive, ensuring it looks beautiful on all devices.
Hueman is a fun magazine theme, ideal for any casual bloggers out there. The theme makes use of a distinct double sidebar, which is great for improving navigation — you can put a sidebar either side, or both on the same side of the screen. You can also choose to go with a single sidebar, or turn them off completely with the full-width option.
The theme supports lots of color customization options, with an unlimited choice of colors for the header, footer, and accents. Hueman also includes 10 different post layouts, a related posts widget, and a simple featured post slider. A versatile, responsive theme, with plenty of different layouts to play with.
Vantage is a great looking, multipurpose WordPress theme, probably best suited to a business's needs. The theme is well coded and lightweight, and can be integrated with a number of useful plugins.
For a start, Vantage can be easily integrated with the drag-and-drop Page Builder plugin. This allows you to create a beautiful, unique layout for your pages to truly differentiate yourself from the crowd. The theme also supports the free MetaSlider plugin, letting you create stylish image sliders for the homepage. If you want to start selling online, you can even integrate WooCommerce with Vantage. This highly versatile theme is fully responsive, so it looks great on any device.
Another multipurpose theme, Make uses a beautifully minimalist design and would look equally at home on a photographer's website, or a magazine blog.
With Make, customization is King — at its heart lies a versatile page builder plugin, allowing you to build any layout you want. There's also unlimited colors, plenty of fonts, and a custom background option to really make your website your own. If you want to add a bit of color to your website, Make supports stylish image galleries and sliders, too, allowing you to build something really eye-catching. Make is fully responsive and integrates with a selection of top plugins, like Gravity Forms, WooCommerce, and Jetpack.
If you want a user friendly WordPress theme that really looks the part, check out the Enlightenment theme. Enlightenment has a clean, modern design and comes packed with features. These include an intuitive drag-and-drop page builder, which allows you to build any layout you want — there are also a selection of templates to get you started.
A beautiful mega menu makes your website easy to navigate, and Enlightenment lets you present your images in style: there's a portfolio and masonry grid layout, and visitors can look at your images in more detail thanks to the handy lightbox function. The theme also comes with infinite scroll, built-in Glyphicon icons, and over 600 Google fonts. A cool, responsive theme that is optimized for speed.
Alizee is a stunning, Pinterest-inspired theme, ideal for blogging and image-focused websites alike. The theme utilizes two incredibly stylish design features: a parallax effect and a masonry layout, where different sized images fit neatly together.
You can make your website your own with a WordPress Customizer allowing you to set from one to four columns on your homepage, and there's also a range of colors, fonts, and icons to choose from. Blog posts look great with a large, prominent featured image, and big, chunky, sidebar blocks. A really cool theme, Alizee is fully responsive and coded to the highest standards.
With a large, full-paged header image, Arcade looks simply gorgeous. The theme supports an impressive amount of shortcodes, including an image carousel, buttons, circular images, and the jumbotron — a bold, sticky title box.
The Arcade theme is mobile ready, SEO optimized, and includes a beautiful drop-down menu — you can also add your social sharing buttons to the header, to keep them prominently displayed to encourage more social shares. The theme comes with a variety of layout options, which you can change in real-time using the Theme Customizer. This includes the option to place the sidebar on either side of the page, or to remove it completely for a beautiful, full-width design. A really nice theme, and well worth checking out.
Next up we have the Spacious theme, built by the developers at ThemeGrill. Spacious is a versatile, responsive theme, best suited to bloggers or business websites — the theme comes with a dedicated business layout if you're using it for that purpose! The theme is well built and cleanly coded, meaning it loads super-fast. It utilizes a clean, stylish design, with the homepage featuring an eye-catching image slider to add some color to the page.
For bloggers, Spacious also includes four different post layouts, allowing you to get your content exactly to your liking. To ensure the design fits the tone of your content, Spacious supports two skins: light and dark.
If you want a magazine theme that really makes your visitors go “wow!” I highly recommend the MH Magazine Lite theme. You can add all the functionality your website needs with 12 widget areas, and the theme also includes stripped-down versions of widgets included with the premium theme — including a Facebook like box, a slider, and a custom posts widget.
You can add lots of images to your homepage, with a simple slider at the top of the page, a gorgeous full page background image, and thumbnails for each of your posts — with so many images on the screen, the theme is well suited for a magazine-style website.
Eighties is a beautifully stylish, fully responsive WordPress theme. Eighties uses a wonderfully clean design, with narrow, centered content. This works really well when combined with an awesome full-width parallax effect at the top of the page, and a gorgeous showcase section — the showcase section includes a full-width grid of large, chunky thumbnails, complete with a stylish hover effect.
To keep your website focused and clutter-free, Eighties hides your WordPress menu and sidebar. Visitors can still access them with a single click, but when they are not needed they are kept out the way, so they aren't competing with your content for attention. A really nice free theme, Eighties is fully responsive and well worth a look.
Modern is yet another visually stunning, free, responsive WordPress theme. Its beautifully simplistic design would suit those of you looking to present a portfolio with real style. The theme is well coded, meaning it's super quick loading, and is cross-browser compatible.
The theme's main design feature is the gorgeous full-width background image slider, which really sets the mood of the website — the theme demo uses black and white imagery to great effect. You can display your portfolio in a dedicated portfolio section, with large thumbnail images. When visitors click to expand an item, there are also beautiful previous/next portfolio items below the image to help visitors navigate. You can incorporate a blog into your website, too, plus the theme supports beautiful image galleries, sliders, and social sharing buttons in the header.
If you want a clean, stylish theme to start blogging, why not consider Radiate? Radiate looks great with a stylish “wide” header bar, a beautiful parallax header image, and a choice of accent colors — this allows you to set the color of your links, menu, and icons.
The theme supports an array of widget areas, allowing you to add specific functionality as you please. As this is primarily a theme for bloggers, it's unsurprising that the blog posts look great, with a big, bold featured image. You can add as many blog posts as you want to the front page as Radiate supports infinite scroll. You can also add WordPress galleries to your posts for great looking images. The theme is clean, lightweight, and fully responsive.
Virtue is a modern, stylish WordPress theme, with plenty of versatility making it suitable for a whole range of websites. The theme mixes white space and images beautifully, allowing you to build a clean website that looks fantastic. The Virtue theme supports plenty of premium-level functionality, including a stunning image slider, an image carousel (perfect for displaying a portfolio), and stylish homepage buttons for navigation. The theme also supports custom fonts, image galleries, and hundreds of icons.
The theme includes a great looking blog with a range of post types, too. Best of all, you can add a fully functional shop to your website, as this free theme integrates perfectly with WooCommerce. If you're after a business theme that oozes style, Virtue is one of the best free options available. It's fully responsive, too, for optimal display on any device.
Auberge is yet another wonderfully stylish, completely free WordPress theme. It is primarily targeted at restaurant and cafés looking to build a modern looking website. The theme looks great with a clean, bold header bar, and a gorgeous full-width header image which fades into the rest of the website.
As the theme was built for food-focused websites, the theme supports a number of relevant features. For a start, you can integrate it with Jetpack to add food and menu functionality, plus you can add the relevant Schema markup to boost your CTR in the SERPs. It comes with a range of customization options, including the ability to set your own color and layouts. The theme is bloat-free to ensure it loads quickly, and, of course, it's fully responsive.
Next up is the beautiful, minimalist Simple Business theme, brought to you by Nimbus Themes. The theme is responsive, ensuring it displays optimally on all devices, plus it includes a variety of customization options. This includes unlimited colors and a range of typography options.
The free version of the theme includes a simple image slider which can be used to add some eye-catching imagery to your homepage. There are also a basic set of social media sharing buttons which can be placed in the header bar. The theme supports a number of page layouts plus loads of FontAwesome icons. If you want to create a clean, modern business website, Simple Business could be the theme for you.
Food your passion? Perfetta would be an ideal free theme for anyone looking to launch a food-inspired blog. The design is uber simplistic, but it just works really well. The theme uses an attractive one column layout with large featured images for each blog post, ideal for showcasing food-based images.
The blog posts are beautifully minimalist, too, with just your content in the center of the page — there's no sidebar cluttering up the page and stealing attention, so visitors can focus on your content. The theme comes with a handy “quickstart package,” meaning it will look exactly like the demo after installation — this is ideal for inexperienced WordPress users. Perfetta is responsive and multi-lingual ready.
If you want to make your images the focal point of your website, the free, responsive GK Portfolio theme is a great option. The theme was developed for photographers and other creatives looking for a sophisticated website to show off their work.
The theme uses a clean, minimalist design, with no flashy design elements to take the attention away from what really matters: the images. This means its lightning fast for visitors. GK Portfolio uses simple but stylish hover animations, which makes your website feel more interactive. The theme allows you to customize your website in real time using the Theme Customizer function — you can configure your own color scheme, layouts, and choose your preferred Google font. The theme supports simple social sharing buttons, too. One of my favorites, check out the demo by clicking the link below.
Next up we have Tracks, a beautiful, distinct WordPress theme that would suit a blog or magazine website — I could also see it used effectively by photographers. The theme includes social sharing buttons and a search function, both of which can be added to the header bar.
Tracks uses an incredibly stylish, minimalist design. The homepage consists of a list of your blog posts with a large featured image displayed next to the post titles, complete with simple hover animations. My favorite thing about this theme is the content pages, though. These include a big, bold featured image, sitting above beautiful, crisp typography for the post title. The post itself continues with the minimalist theme, with little to distract a visitor while reading. At the bottom there's a cool author bio box (complete with social sharing icons) and a well-designed comments section. If you want to blend content with images with incredible style, I highly recommend the Tracks theme.
If you want to launch your own eCommerce store on a limited budget, Storefront could be just what you need. Many free themes have problems integrating with eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, but no such problems here: Storefront was developed by WooThemes so there are no WooCommerce compatibility problems, as you'd expect.
The theme is fully responsive, and includes a variety of layouts to launch a fully functional online shop in any niche. You can further customize the site by choosing your own colors, fonts, and adding custom widgets to one of the many widget areas. The theme is completely bloat free as the out-the-box version supports only the functionality you really need — there are no sliders, page builders, or shortcodes here. That means load times are kept to a minimum, which is proven to boost eCommerce conversion rates. This theme is the ideal starting place for anyone launching their first eCommerce store.
Albar is a great-looking, fully responsive WordPress theme. It is multi-purpose, but would be most suited to a business website. The theme looks awesome with a stylish slider and image carousel on the homepage.
The theme lets you choose between full-width and boxed layouts, and supports loads of customization capability — most notably, an unlimited number of colors and hundreds of fonts. The theme also offers a choice of layouts for your blog posts, giving you the ability to re-position the sidebar until you're happy. The out-the-box version of the theme includes minimal bloat, ensuring it's lightning quick to load. However, if you want to add extra functionality, you can integrate Albar with a variety of popular plugins. This includes WooCommerce, page builder plugins, and Contact Form 7. A beautiful, stylish theme, and definitely worth a look.
If you want to build a blog using a minimalist theme with timeless typography, the Ignite theme could be just what you're looking for. The theme uses a classic, clean design, with large, striking featured images for your blog posts. The layout for the blog posts is incredibly simplistic, but this works really well and lets your content take center stage.
You can add social media icons to the header bar with Ignite, and the theme gives you some all-important customization options. For a start, you can choose any background color you want, move the sidebar either side of the screen, and the free version of the theme also supports five fonts.
If you want a cool, distinct theme that really turns heads, look no further than StanleyWP. The cutesy design would suit creative individuals who don't take themselves too seriously — I'm thinking cartoonists and other artists.
StanleyWP gives you the perfect platform to show off your work, with stylish portfolio galleries complete with hover animations. The theme also supports an intuitive drag-and-drop page builder function, allowing you to build your homepage exactly as you want it. With a fully responsive design, a number of customization options, and three unique page templates, StanleyWP really does offer a lot for a free theme — I highly recommend checking it out.
InstantWP is a gorgeous minimalist theme, developed for creatives who want to show off their work alongside a personal blog. It uses a simplistic design, with the theme's drag-and-drop page builder function allowing you to move elements around until you're happy with the layout.
You can add a stylish, interactive portfolio to your homepage to show potential clients the quality of your work. The page layout for blog posts looks neat and tidy, with centered content and not a sidebar in sight — this allows visitors to focus solely on what you have to say. You can add your own color scheme to your website, of course, but I think this theme works best with the simple black-and-white colors used in the demo.
Match is a simple-but-stylish responsive WordPress theme, targeted at wedding-themed websites — it would make an ideal theme for wedding planners, photographers, or bloggers. Match gives you the ability to create your perfect website by adding a custom background to the page, big and beautiful featured images, plus a number of different page layouts.
The theme is well built, and is SEO optimized and cross browser compatible. If you want to add wedding-specific functionality to your site, the theme supports a widgetized sidebar, too. The theme was built to show off images, and supports large featured images as well as beautiful image galleries. A specialist theme for wedding websites, Match is definitely worth a closer look.
Ward is a great looking, highly versatile theme that is suitable for a wide range of purposes — I think it is most suited to a blogger's needs, but I could see it used just as effectively on a business website.
The theme's main strength is customization. The theme supports a sophisticated “theme customizer” which allows you make changes and see them in action on a live version of your website. Using the theme customizer you can add a custom background, reconfigure your website's width, and play about with the layout. The theme also supports eight post formats, a variety of shortcodes, and Font Awesome icons. You can add your own functionality to your website, too, as the theme integrates with many top plugins, and includes a number of custom widget areas. The theme is lightweight while remaining fully responsive.
With a name like JustWrite, you know this theme is going to be all about the content. It's a stylish magazine theme, featuring beautiful, bold typography. JustWrite is fully responsive, and for a free theme it comes packed with functionality. For a start, you can add beautiful social media sharing buttons to the top of your website — as you scroll down, they sit in the sidebar and look incredibly stylish.
The theme supports a variety of page templates, and can also be customized with ease. This is done using a live customizer, so you can see the changes you make in real-time. You can configure your own color scheme for the website, to ensure your website matches your brand. As an added bonus, the theme includes a number of custom widgets which can be added to the sidebar (each looks stunning), including advertisements, popular posts, and latest tweets.
Next up, something a little bit different. From the ThemeIsle developers, Metro X is a distinct, responsive free theme. It features a left-hand sidebar, a striking dark skin, and loads of bright colors. The theme can be used for a variety of purposes, but I think it's best suited to a personal blogger that really cares about style.
The theme is coded to an exceptionally high standard, ensuring it's completely secure and lightning quick. As well as being fully responsive, Metro X is also cross-browser compatible. It boasts an intuitive options panel, allowing you to customize the colors and layouts with ease. The theme also supports five different post types.
For artists and photographers looking to showcase their work in the best possible way, a portfolio theme is a must. Portfolio Press is one of the best free, fully responsive portfolio themes available for WordPress.
The developers recommend you use Portfolio Press alongside the Jetpack plugin if you want to get the most from the theme — Jetpack's gallery module is particularly useful. The theme is clean and simple, plus it comes with two primary layouts: one with a sidebar, and one full-width option. If you're planning on publishing content to promote your work, the theme also supports an attractive blog section.
Patus is a beautiful business theme, with a responsive design ensuring it is displayed optimally on any device. The theme includes eye-catching design elements, in particular the multi-colored bar displayed at the top of the page.
It's fully optimized for SEO and speed, plus it's cross-browser compatible, ensuring it meets the needs of all users. It supports some cool functionality, too, with a range of built-in widgets — my favorites include social sharing buttons, recent posts, and advertising widgets. The theme also supports a variety of shortcodes, allowing you to add notifications, buttons, and tabs to your pages. You can set your website up with a number of different layouts, including a stylish full-width option. Definitely worth checking out, Patus would be a great theme for a business blog.
If you want a free WordPress theme with some of the functionality a premium theme offers, why not give Magazine a try? With a name like Magazine, you know this is going to be a great theme for bloggers and other magazine-style websites — and you aren't wrong there! The theme uses a distinct layout, in particular the double sidebar, one of which is used to house your social media sharing buttons and a slide-out search function — the double sidebar can be placed on either side of the screen. You can add custom widgets to the other.
Magazine supports a variety of customization options, too. For a start, the theme comes with six pre-set color schemes. It also includes numerous layouts, typography options, and you can choose how many posts you want to appear on the homepage. In keeping with a magazine website, the theme also includes a popular posts widget, allowing you to direct your visitors towards your hot content.
Semicolon is another clean, stylish, and fully responsive magazine theme. It uses a simple layout with lots of white space, ensuring your content is the main focus of the website. To get the most out of the theme, you'll need to install the free Jetpack plugin alongside it — this is necessary if you wanted to include “featured posts” on your site.
The theme lets you add your own color scheme to your site, allowing you to build something compatible with your brand. It also includes social sharing buttons for over 20 social media networks — all the major ones are supported, obviously. To get the most from a magazine website, Semicolon allows you to add a number of custom widgets to your website, including author bios and a related posts widget.
Next, we have KopaTheme's Resolution magazine theme. This is one of the best free magazine themes available, with a number of stunning layouts, a fully responsive design, and some awesome functionality.
For a start, the Resolution theme supports two different image sliders — that's something not often seen with a free theme. It also comes with unlimited sidebars, allowing you to add as many custom widgets as you like to the sidebar area. Resolution includes a few cool widgets of its own, including social sharing buttons, advertising banners, and a popular posts widget. A really nice magazine theme, I strongly suggest you check this one out.
Wow! What else can you say about Pictorico, a gorgeous, grid-based portfolio theme. Pictorico places all of your posts' featured images into a stylish image grid — if you don't use a featured image, the theme uses a bold background color instead. Pictorico also includes a narrow image slider, which looks more like an image carousel and looks great.
The theme uses responsive design to ensure your website looks stunning regardless of a visitor's device. It includes a number of custom widget areas, allowing you to add your own functionality to the site. You can build your own custom menu, which you can then add to the header bar — the header can also display the WordPress search function. The theme supports infinity scroll and sticky posts, too.
Everal is a great looking, multi-purpose WordPress theme, featuring a beautiful full-width image slider, and stylish typography. The theme features an advanced theme options panel, which allows you to make changes to the page layouts with ease — you can choose between a left or right sidebar, and a full-width layout. Everal also supports a range of shortcodes, allowing you to add buttons, image galleries, and even progress bars to your site.
The theme comes with a range of powerful widgets, including social sharing buttons, an about us widget, and a latest posts widget. The theme is incredibly easy to use, is fully responsive, and includes extensive documentation to help you get the most out of it. If you want a well coded theme that looks stunning, check out Everal now.
As we blast through this list, next up we have the beautiful Katori theme. A portfolio theme built for photographers, Katori uses a number of stylish design elements, allowing you to create a truly memorable website. This includes a distinctive gridded portfolio section, which incorporates visually stunning animations when a visitor hovers over an item. To help visitors find what they want, the portfolio section is fully filterable, too — for optimal performance, use alongside the Jetpack portfolio module.
The blog post pages are stunning, with a full-width layout and striking typography. The theme's menu and sidebar is hidden from view and has to be toggled, ensuring your content doesn't have to share the limelight. This beautiful, responsive theme also includes a full-screen slider, stylish social sharing buttons, and Font Awesome icons. It has a premium-like quality to it, with deep customization capabilities, allowing you to set your own color scheme and choose your typography from the Google font collection.
I'm a huge fan of the free Pinnacle theme, with its beautiful, bold design. There's a visually striking full-width header image, plus you can add parallax effects further down the page. The clean, modern design is versatile enough to work with any type of website, but I think it is most suited to a business site.
For a free theme, Pinnacle comes packed with functionality. It includes an impressive three types of image galleries (three-column, slider, and carousel), two distinctive portfolios, and two portfolio post styles. It also includes icons-galore and some simple shortcodes to help you organize your content with style. Best of all, Pinnacle is fully compatible with WooCommerce, allowing you to start your very own eCommerce store. A great, responsive theme, Pinnacle is highly recommended.
From the Theme Junkie developers, Delivery Lite is a beautiful, simplistic magazine theme featuring plenty of white space. The theme was designed to be as easy to use as possible, and all the unnecessary features were stripped out — in other words, you only get the features you really need.
It uses a clean, simple design, with your recent posts listed alongside a neat featured image thumbnail. The theme includes a double sidebar, one on the left, one on the right. This gives you plenty of space to add all your important links. The theme can also be monetized easily, with a number of dedicated advertising widgets, which can be added to either sidebar or the header section.
A beautiful, elegant theme, oozing with feminine charm, Asteria Lite is a visually stunning, fully responsive WordPress theme. Without doubt, the theme's core strength is functionality — it really does have a lot to offer, especially for a free theme.
For a start, Asteria Lite provides the perfect showcase for your images, with a gorgeous image slider and stylish galleries for displaying your portfolio. It supports three page layouts (left sidebar, right sidebar, and full-width), and is fully compatible with WooCommerce if you want to add an online shop to your site. The theme even comes with a maintenance mode feature. If you want to build a site that complements your brand perfectly, Asteria Lite also lets you customize your site's typography, with choice from an impressive 600+ Google fonts.
Looking for a magazine theme that's all about style? Look no further than MH Purity Lite. The theme is cleanly coded for optimized performance, as well as being fully responsive, and cross-browser compatible. MH Purity Lite is really easy to use, with a useful WordPress theme customizer function allowing you to see how your changes impact your website in real-time.
Alongside the clean, modern design style, MH Purity Lite also includes six dedicated widget areas. You can add your own functionality in these spaces, including the theme's very own MH custom posts widget — the theme also includes the beautiful MH slider functionality for showing off your featured content. A really stylish magazine theme, MH Purity Lite is well worth a closer look.
Aviator is a stylish, minimal WordPress theme, targeted at business and portfolio websites. The aim of the developers was to remove any unnecessary function, leaving you only with the stuff you really need. This makes for a clean, quick-loading website, and one that's ideal for WordPress newbies because it's so easy to use.
The theme allows you to get creative, with the inclusion of a simple page builder function, allowing you to create custom layouts for your pages. There is no sidebar alongside the blog posts, ensuring your readers don't get distracted, and the WordPress menu is right out the way at the top of the screen — it's really small and unobtrusive, too. The theme does have some cool functionality up its sleeve, though, with a stylish image gallery and image carousel supported by this fully responsive theme.
The final item in today's list is Indie, a simple, classic blogging theme built by Scottish developers, Template Express. The theme utilizes a fully responsive design and looks awesome with its beautiful simplicity and striking fonts.
Indie comes with a full-width homepage image, or you can swap this for a stunning image carousel. The theme is incredibly easy to use — and comes with extensive video documentation — allowing you to build your homepage, complete with social sharing buttons and featured text areas, with ease. There's loads to customize, too, with unlimited colors to choose from, as well as 25 Google fonts. A stylish WordPress theme, ideal for businesses looking to communicate timeless values to their customers.