Despite its beginnings as a reaction against trendy, busy design practices, minimalism has become a popular web design style over the past few years – and it’s not hard to understand its appeal. After previously pushing the envelope by making websites as flashy as possible, designers have finally cottoned onto what many users really want: functional design centered around quality content.
When searching for themes in other niches, you’ll likely start by creating a list of desired features. However, for a suitable minimalist theme, you’ll want as little pomp included as possible. This means busy elements such as social media widgets, complex slider plugins, and domineering animations are out. Instead, you’ll want gorgeous typography, plenty of color options, and functionality tailored towards displaying your content front and center. Ultimately, minimalist themes require you to get your hands dirty by testing out the demo sites. That way, you’ll recognize the right solution when you find it.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! In this collection, we’ll introduce more than 25 of the best minimalist WordPress themes to be found. By the end, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what’s right for your content.
Just because a theme is minimalist, doesn’t mean it has to lack functionality or flexibility. Kalium has all the grace and subtlety of a swan – beautiful and stark above the surface, but powerful underneath.
Kalium is loaded with options. There are 11 demo templates to choose from (with more on the way) and an absolute wealth of portfolio and blog layouts at your disposal. What’s more, Kalium comes bundled with the popular, albeit complex, Slider Revolution plugin. While the plugin’s busier effects are a minimalism no-no, it can still be tastefully utilized to provide functional design enhancements.
In addition, you can accentuate your content by choosing from a myriad of customizations, including over 800 Google Fonts, and a full color palette. What’s more, by employing the bundled Visual Composer plugin, you can build layouts tailored to your unique design requirements.
Kalium certainly has the power and flexibility to offer a busy design aesthetic, but tastefully applied, it’s well-suited to a minimalist design – especially for those who want to show off a portfolio.
Elegant is perfect for those who want to focus on their website content without the distraction of fancy animations and effects.
It’s obvious that this theme has been built with simple customization in mind. This is immediately evident in the features that Elegant offers, all of which allow the user to create the exact look that they’re after without having to be a coding pro.
These features are all supported by the Themify Drag & Drop Builder, which makes changing layout a breeze and is perfect if you want to experiment with different designs.
If you are feeling a little more creative, Elegant also comes with a Customize Panel which allows the more technically competent to customize everything from header to footer.
If the content you create is visually striking, Elegant is perfect for you. If however you require something extra to carry your content, you may want to look elsewhere.
There’s often a similar format to minimalist themes: monochromatic color schemes, simple typography, and bare functionality. However, the majority of the themes we’ve seen are designed for blogs and portfolios. Aurum bucks the trend, and looks to give WooCommerce store owners the chance to provide function over style as well.
Minimalism and e-commerce make a perfect match by placing the focus on the products themselves. Aurum offers seven demo layouts, encompassing all manner of online store types. There’s also a wealth of pre-built page layouts to choose from, along with a selection of essential pages to get you up and running. The bundled Visual Composer plugin can also be pressed into service for any unique layout requirements you may have.
As for the layouts, the majority feature a header that incorporates image or video backgrounds. However, that’s about as fancy as the design gets, and it means your products can take center stage. As you’d expect, typography is pleasing to read, and there are also some neat additions to each product page such as a wishlist button, and a related products section.
While many minimalist themes are centered around blogging, e-commerce themes can also embrace and benefit from the design trend. Aurum is a solid option for creating a clean online store, and should definitely be added to your wishlist.
One of the endearing elements of minimalism is its tasteful application of space and color – or lack thereof. The premise is that just because you can do something, that doesn’t mean that you should. Oshine is a case in point – it’s arguably one of the most powerful themes around, but you can also scale back its functionality to produce something more demure.
Appealing to designers and creators, Oshine is a modern theme with over 27 demo templates to choose from. However, because it’s a flexible and powerful beast, some of the demos are not going to appeal to minimalists. That being said, the theme includes a custom drag-and-drop page builder to help you create unique layouts, should you need to make your own customizations.
Given the focus on minimalism, it may seem a bit redundant to mention the power Oshine has, but it’s necessary to showcase just what it can do. There are over 600 Google Fonts to choose from, a number of header options, and a remarkable portfolio builder that offers almost any layout you can imagine.
Oshine isn’t billed as a minimalist theme, but it can tackle the trend just as well as other dedicated contenders. It’s more than suitable for creating a functional layout, but it’s also going to be there for you if you ever outgrow your minimalist leanings. All in all, Oshine is highly recommended!
Any time your website needs to focus squarely on your content, minimalism is a sure-fire bet for maximum impact. Holver is looking to crowbar its way through a very saturated minimalist theme market, but it does just enough to warrant your attention.
The majority of themes look to showcase their demo layouts and page templates, but Holver doesn’t go down that track. Instead, you get one layout, with the option to customize it further by utilizing the bundled Visual Composer plugin. While it may seem restrictive, in practice it’s perfect for getting up and running with minimal fuss – a key element of minimalism that many themes forget.
As for the portfolio element, there’s little to choose from layout-wise – just two or three columns and the option to display your work within a lightbox. Animations are tastefully applied and don’t distract from your work – just as it should be.
Although it’s not a one-trick pony, Holver is focused on doing one thing well: offering a minimalist design with little in the way of additional functionality. For some, the lack of flexibility will raise alarm bells, but for us it’s what a true minimalist theme should be. Check it out, but be prepared to end your search early!
Minimalism isn’t just for designers – it’s suitable for all manner of creative niches including the humble blog. A theme such as CheerUp could be just the ticket for lifestyle bloggers.
While CheerUp bills itself as “exceptional on all kinds of blogs and minimal magazines”, the developers are clearly focusing on personal aesthetics. What’s more, the theme includes six demo layouts – but combined with the included elements, you can create up to 200 different layout variations. Also, with a number of header and footer styles, you’ll be set for design options. It’s nothing if not flexible.
The overall look of CheerUp is unfussy – as you’d expect from a minimal lifestyle theme – and other than the bundled WooCommerce plugin, all of the necessary functionality for getting up and running can be found within the WordPress back end. At your disposal are a myriad of design customizations, five built-in sliders, and a number of widgets displaying popular and related posts, social media feeds, and much more.
CheerUp is deceptively powerful. On the surface it looks like yet another blogging theme, but under the hood it can be put to work to create a solid-looking minimalist website. It’s definitely one for your shortlist.
We’re beginning to see a new kind of multipurpose theme, but rather than looking to cover as many niches as possible, the focus for the new contenders is to run the gamut from maximalist to minimalist. The oddly named QOON can do this without breaking a sweat.
It’s safe to say that whatever your leanings, QOON can accommodate you. While it offers ten demo templates, not all of them will suit those creating a minimalist website. However, those suitable for the niche are sublime. At its extreme, there’s very little to discuss. Colors are monochrome, and headers and footers are simple – with very little animations on offer.
However, while layout choice is limited, there are a plethora of options for displaying your portfolio, meaning that a unique design is possible. As such, QOON is a great showcase for minimalist design – it’s flexible within a confined structure, and the results are often pleasing.
Overall, we’re not sure QOON is going to win over the minimalism purists. There’s likely too much to tinker with, and too much temptation for clicking fingers. However, those that skip by this theme will be missing out. It can do minimalism just as well as busier designs, and it’s worth checking out without delay!
Website animations are often considered the antithesis of minimalism. It’s understandable – the more movement on a webpage, the less focus there is on your content. However, Vinero is the exception, and tastefully applies animations to enhance its sparse design.
In a refreshing change to other themes, there are no demo layouts in Vinero. Instead, you get one layout, and one portfolio design – perfect for the purists, and it enables you to get up and running straight away. However, there are a multitude of customizations to be found within a dedicated admin panel, and there’s also a bundled version of the Visual Composer plugin to customize your layout further.
As for the animations, they succeed in keeping the focus on your content, while offering a little movement to keep things from being too dour. You have the option to choose a parallax hero background, and each portfolio entry keeps things simple with a slow fading overlay displaying any additional information.
Vinero is one for the minimalist fundamentalists. There’s little to tinker with, yet it provides enough to exercise flexibility in design. Vinero is perfect for creating a no-fuss website with a modern bent, and for a pure minimalist website, there’s little better.
It’s a brave theme that looks to pack in the features while trying to remain true to its minimalist ideals. However, Authentic manages it – and all without becoming overly busy to boot.
This theme is suited to lifestyle blogs, but it has a very robust look that somehow suits the content. Thanks to the chunky Montserrat default font, Authentic has a very functional feel to it, although there are a wealth of Google Fonts to choose from to help match your design to your brand.
There are plenty of other features included that would normally be out of place within a minimalist theme. Prominent parallax backgrounds occupy not only the header (which can also include videos), but images too – inline, featured, and teaser. There are carousels, sliders, and a plethora of other widgets for displaying your content that should make for an overwhelming visual assault. However, it doesn’t. Authentic is a surprisingly easy view, and it proves that color and font choices go a long way in presenting a clear and clean looking website.
On paper, Authentic is slightly odd: It’s a minimalist lifestyle theme incorporating video and parallax backgrounds, sliders and carousels, and social media feeds. However, what could become a mess of ideals turns out to be a superb theme for creating your website. If you’re torn between minimalism and wanting to showcase a lot of content, Authentic might just have your back.
Portfolios often lend themselves to minimalism, and that’s because they thrive on elements that help to showcase work rather than distracting the user with flashy graphics. The aptly named Charm is direct with its premise – displaying your work with the minimum of fuss.
Although this theme offers some demo content, there are only six designs – all centered around showing off your portfolio. The header is neat and tidy, the home page portfolio offers infinite scrolling, and there are tasteful overlay animations for each entry.
As you may have guessed, Charm is more suited to displaying visual work than anything else. That being said, you’re able to set up a functioning blog but it’s quite basic – understandable given its overall focus.
There’s little to talk about with Charm, but that doesn’t mean we’re not enamoured with it. It’s a simple theme for displaying a highly visual portfolio. If you’d like your work to stand on its own merits, and you’re in the market for a solid minimalist theme, Charm will be ideal.
The creative, minimalist themes market is quite saturated. It means a theme has to either showcase exceptional design or offer standout functionality to get by. Dani doesn’t offer anything unique, so it’s having to rely on pure design to vie for your attention.
Of the nine demo themes on hand, not all are truly minimalist. However, a good portion are – and coupled with the myriad of blog and portfolio layouts on offer, you’ll have no problem creating a unique layout to showcase your work. What’s more, there are a selection of Google Fonts and other customizations to choose from, helping you to create a unique layout with a minimalist bent.
Although you also get the option to include image or video backgrounds (including a parallax option), and create full screen hero sections with the bundled Slider Revolution plugin, you’ll not be turning to them when creating a minimalist website. Still, the options are there for you, offering a little more flexibility when you need it.
Dani is a good theme. It’s simple and to the point, yet can do much more than just minimalism. However, we’re sold on its more functional elements – and after checking out the demo, you will be too!
While minimalist design has its benefits, there are some definite drawbacks too. For example, a key aspect is to subtract elements from a design, meaning that many themes can come across as ‘samey’. Because of that, minimalist themes such as Proton has to rely on stellar functionality under the hood – something which it achieves with aplomb.
Many of Proton’s elements are a carbon copy of its competitors – a monochromatic color scheme, a lack of bundled plugins, and an options panel bereft of more jazzier design customizations. Even the portfolio has little choice available – there are three simple options: two, three, or four columns. However, to judge Proton on these elements alone is completely missing the point.
The default font choices are superlative, and the colors have been well-chosen. We particularly like the layout of the page headline and accompanying subheading. Furthermore, scrolling and animations are not overwhelming, and there’s an air of quality running throughout the whole theme. You could conceivably install the theme, upload your work, and be up and running with a high-quality website in a matter of minutes – which is exactly the point.
As you may have guessed, we love Proton. It’s in keeping with the fundamentals of minimalist design, and arguably does it better than its rivals. Normally we’d tell you to add it to your shortlist, but forget that. Simply try it out, and you’ll likely be convinced to buy it.
There are only a smattering of dedicated minimalist e-commerce themes available, and that’s a shame. Minimalism is well-suited to e-commerce, and a theme such as Savoy exemplifies high-quality design that focuses on your store’s products.
With Savoy, there’s only one layout (a grid showcasing your store’s products), although you can customize it further using the bundled Visual Composer plugin. There are also some advanced header features such as a touch-enabled slider, and further choice in this regard from the bundled Slider Revolution plugin.
Although there isn’t much in the way of functionality to write about, that’s not to say Savoy is lacking in any department. The default fonts and colors are well-chosen, and the layout design has clearly been pored over. In fact, after uploading your products, you could easily be up and running with the default layout within minutes.
On paper, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s little about Savoy worth exploring. However, you’d be wrong. It’s a stellar theme, and one that could offer a high-quality sheen to your online store. If you’re looking for a minimalist theme with classy attributes, Savoy should become part of your shortlist.
Mauna is a full screen portfolio theme designed with creative professionals and agencies in mind. Its unique and fresh design is not as minimalist as some, but it offers a beautiful aesthetic with plenty of features for adding a little interest.
If you’re looking to make a statement, Mauna could be the theme for you. Its demo pages are largely focused on showcasing standout imagery with complementary text. You can add intrigue with video, animations, and a range of sliders to create a truly unique look. There are nine one click demos which can be easily tailored to suit your specific needs. You can also tweak Mauna’s design to fit your unique needs by selecting the perfect typography from over 600 Google Fonts.
Mauna may not be as hardcore minimalist as some themes on this list, but it does offer a clutter free environment in which to showcase your images and designs.
Milano is an uber chic and elegant theme that presents an array of monochrome design concepts. Its demos make an impact with intense imagery surrounded by a solid white frame and black block text.
The developers have created a very distinct and edgy design that is echoed throughout the theme. With that in mind, Milano may not be for everyone, but it is definitely on trend and ready to impress. Ideal for portfolio sites and offering 18 layouts tailored specifically to showcase your work, this WooCoomerce compatible theme is also perfect for e-commerce websites and comes with nine stunning shop templates.
All of your pages can be easily edited with Visual Composer, which is included with the theme. You can also play with other features such as Slider Revolution, animated page transitions, and interactive elements. Milano’s customization features definitely won’t disappoint, so if you’re impressed with its aesthetic, we recommend you snap it up.
Borano is a sleek and creative theme best suited to showcasing photography or design portfolios. Its focus on images and other media enables photographers, videographers, and other creative professionals to flaunt their work in a unique way.
With 11 homepage options including slideshow, video, and image panning, you can be sure to grab your viewer’s attention. However, it’s worth noting that some demo pages appear to suffer from slow page load times, possibly due to some of these features. For your portfolio pages there are 18 built-in layouts and 11 galleries – no shortage of options.
Borano is simple and elegant with enough features to enable you to create a unique and professional website. If you’re looking for sleek layouts and the opportunity to add multiple media forms, this theme could be the one for you.
Adios is a portfolio theme that can be mostly described as minimalist, if a little clunky at times. One immediate pitfall with this theme is that most of its demos seem to use wowing imagery to disguise the same headers and arguably lackluster pages.
Demo woes aside, Adios does come with Visual Composer, so you can easily drag-and-drop until you have the structure you’re looking for. You also have use of over 700 Google Fonts, customizable menus, and unlimited widget options.
While the initial impact is big, it soon becomes apparent that creativity wasn’t perhaps at the forefront during Adios’ design stage. However, on second glance, it’s clear that it has enough flexibility to give you the bones of a beautiful minimalist website. Whether you’re willing to choose it over the other themes available is another matter.
Subjectivity in creative design is ever present. That’s what makes it interesting – a captivating design in one person’s eyes is an overwhelming eyesore to another. Modesto bills itself as a “minimal and creative” theme, and although it is powerful, we think it’s missed the target.
First things first: Modesto is jam-packed with functionality. There are over 24 demo templates, and over 50 pre-built page layouts to choose from. What’s more, the designers among you will love the free Photoshop files included with the theme.
However, while it’s feature-rich, it is not minimalist. Many of the demo layouts include complex animations, sliders, and other elements, and while you’re not wedded to using them, it seems to be a bit at odds with the developer’s design ethos.
We’re not suggesting Modesto is a bad theme, or even that it can’t be coaxed into offering a minimalist design. However, straight out of the box, it fulfills a very different design brief. For that reason, we’d recommend Modesto, but only after checking out the demo pages and feature set first to assess its suitability.
Hellomouse is advertised as a minimalist portfolio theme, but you would arguably place it on the ‘busy’ side of ‘minimalist’. And while it is somewhat lacking on the design front, it does offer enough intuitive features to redeem itself as a solid theme.
The somewhat dated look of the demo is a far cry from the ‘wow’ factor exhibited by many of its competitors. However, much of this can be changed via easy to navigate customization options. Hellomouse also comes with several pre-built layouts ready to be crafted to fit your needs, offers fully customizable widgets, and is built with SEO in mind.
Ironically, the authors’ top selling feature is a “great first impression”. While that may not be your initial take on this theme, you still might want to give it a second look. Hellomouse is easy to use and can definitely provide you with the means to create a striking minimalist portfolio.
Nerduck is just about as minimalist as it gets. It encourages the use of lots of whitespace and exhibiting your imagery and text in a stark, dramatic fashion.
While it doesn’t go overboard with a ton of pre-built designs and templates, Nerduck could be exactly what you’re looking for in terms of being sleek, modern, and minimalist. Hidden menu options mean that you can really strip text down to the bare minimum. Visual Composer and Slider Revolution are both included.
Nerduck definitely delivers on the clean and minimalist concept. It has a well-defined page structure with somewhat limited customization options. If its unique aesthetic is something you love, then go for it, but if you want more flexibility with your layouts, you may have to look elsewhere.
Beautiful and striking, responsive Alice combines distinctive (and customizable) typography, striking imagery, and simple but compelling fading effects, to create one of the most aesthetically pleasing creative portfolio layouts out there.
Most artistically distinctive is its full-screen frontpage video. There’s lots to praise when it comes to how the theme looks and feels for users; navigation through menus is slick and a delight to use, and there are multiple eye-catching ways to show blog posts.
Functionally, the theme is excellent with drag-and-drop design and two plugins – Revolution Slider (worth $18) and Visual Composer (worth $33) – included with the theme at no additional cost. There are a huge number of different options for customization and hundreds of icons included as a font within the theme.
Built with exceptionally clean code, Alice loads and responds quickly across all devices. If you’ve got the right sort of content to add to it – namely atmospheric video and bold, high-quality images – you won’t be let down by the immense array of options offered by the theme. Nor, as a matter of fact, will anyone visiting your website.
As the authors of theme themselves put it, Alice is “for creative freelancers, artists and agencies focused on minimalism, elegance, and simplicity.” Without fail, those looking for a minimalistic showcase of their work will enjoy using what is a truly enthralling theme.
Vega’s main focus is on making your portfolio gallery look great, meaning it is perfect for those who are only concerned with showcasing design work or photography.
Vega offers a wide range of layout and portfolio options which are backed up by its user friendly Content Builder. These features allow you to create a unique design which you won’t find replicated elsewhere, without having to tackle code.
The parallax header backgrounds and full screen templates are nice additions, allowing you to feature content in all areas of your website, not just in your portfolio.
Vega also takes into account the finer details of design, such as typography, layout styles and animation, which helps to create a really polished and professional looking website.
ROUA manages to be a very ‘slick’ theme while still maintaining a minimalistic style. As is good to see with any minimalistic theme, the developers have used CSS3 animations sparingly, to achieve a glossy rather than heavy-handed finish.
Speaking of glossy, ROUA has been carefully designed throughout. The blog’s design is especially noteworthy, featuring article excerpts over full-width featured images, leading to single column post pages with enormous full-screen featured images and a very eye-catching parallax scrolling effect.
ROUA is a stylish and professional-looking theme that promises to create a “trendy online presence.” If that’s what you’re looking for, ROUA may well be the solution.
Responsive theme Concept achieves what it sets out to do by creating a simple style for portfolio content. With an expansive homepage displaying lots of content, it can be a little slow when it comes to loading. However, once the page is there it looks reasonably sleek, featuring some attractive default typography and effective CSS3 tricks. The theme also boasts parallax imagery on its front end.
Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that it’s not the most standout of themes. However, despite its minimalistic intentions, Concept manages to be exceptional in versatility. It seems almost as though it’s trying to be universal; all things to all people. In Concept’s particular case, this might actually be an advantage, because its consistent design (controlled by a drag-and-drop builder) enables many different types of content to be added with ease.
As for its back end, Concept performs more than satisfactorily with its wide color palette choices, dedicated theme options, and choices of fonts, including icons.
For anyone looking for an attractive portfolio website with plenty of functionality, Concept might well be the way forward.
Better comes with the usual features that you would expect from a premium theme: a responsive layout, visual composer, shortcodes and retina ready images. But despite ticking all of these boxes, it is difficult to see how Better stands out from the crowd.
The theme is described as “classic” and “pure simplicity”, which indeed it is. However, this is at the risk of it looking somewhat outdated when compared with other premium themes available today.
While the expected features are included, Better fails in offering any outstanding functionality to give the theme an edge. For those looking to create a truly impressive website that will grow with new features, Better will most likely fall short.
Where Better does shine is through its support. The theme comes with a dedicated private support forum alongside a regularly updated knowledge base, making it ideal for those wanting a fairly simple theme that is guaranteed to work.
Many minimalist themes choose to either focus on design or features, but Spaces successfully manages to do both.
The Theme Customizer included with Space coupled with its variety of theme versions makes it simple to create a polished website which reflects the style you are looking for, with no need for coding experience.
The Theme Customizer is backed up by a solid feature offering and bloat-free code; ensuring that the theme is reliable and runs smoothly at all times.
Creatives that require an image-led website will benefit from Space’s choice of single portfolio layouts; ranging from full width to carousel and gallery grid. These layouts can even be mixed and matched to get the exact look that you want.
Overall, Spaces is a great all-rounder for creatives. Even if you do require a little help along the way, the theme comes with access to a dedicated Knowledge Base and Support Team.