You might be surprised to hear that our roundup of the best free WordPress themes for businesses isn’t based on design or appearance. Instead, we focused on speed, the most important factor for site performance. Speed influences everything from how many people find your website on search engines to how many sales or conversions you see from visitor traffic.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to find free WordPress themes, when to use a free theme versus paying for one, and our top five themes for business owners.
Where to find the best free WordPress themes for business
The three most common places to find free WordPress business themes are
- WordPress.com. Choose from one of 115 free themes created specifically with businesses in mind.
- WordPress.org. Choose from nearly 4,000 themes, many of which are free.
- ThemeForest. Outside of WordPress, ThemeForest is the most popular marketplace for website themes. More than 51,000 themes are available here, some of which are free.
When to use a free WordPress theme
You might wonder why you would ever need to purchase a WordPress theme given that so many of them are available for free and so many designs are customizable.
Paid themes often include better support and require less intensive setup. If you don’t have a technical background, it might be worth paying for a theme that provides you with a bit more support.
“I only use free themes if I find something that fits the niche I’m working with super specifically,” notes Stacey Caprio, creator of the Udemy course WordPress For Beginners: Set Up Your Website In 50 Minutes. “The paid themes are easier to set up and are often worth it in the long run.”
If you do end up going with a free theme, select one that’s well supported to avoid issues with updates and functionality down the line.
“Make sure you choose a theme that’s been updated within the last three months,” explains Jessica Rhoades, owner of Create IT Web Designs. “A year in, you don’t want to have to get rid of something to update it, which can be even more expensive.”
The best free WordPress themes for businesses
When you choose a WordPress theme, the two most important factors go hand in hand: site speed and weight. Weight refers to the total size of all the files that make up your theme. The lighter the file package, the faster your site will load.
You can check the site speed of a WordPress theme by running the demo site through Google’s PageSpeed Insights analyzer before you install it. Google calculates your page loading speed score based on factors like slow-loading content, page layout, and more. If your site is the fastest it could be, it’ll score 100. A good range is between 50 and 100.
(One of the sites we list, Hestia, scores 28 on the speed test. That’s likely because its demo site is a subdomain of ThemeIsle’s main site, and subdomains are always slower. ThemeIsle doesn’t report an official site speed for Hestia, but the theme was built for speed and performance, alongside Neve.)
Here are the best free WordPress themes for businesses ranked by speed, followed by more detailed information on each.
|Demo site link||Speed||Number of installs|
ThemeIsle, the makers of Neve, designed this theme with speed and agility in mind. It’s built with a mobile-first approach and is compatible with accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and popular page builders like Elementor.
Neve is highly customizable for businesses of all types. Here are two examples of how very different businesses — a legal notary and a copywriter — customized the theme to match their industries.
A Pro version of Neve is also available for businesses willing to pay for more support or additional features.
Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes of all time. It’s fast, versatile, and highly customizable.
Here’s an example of an Astra website built to market a life-coaching business. The theme easily takes on the branded imagery, colors, and logo to communicate the business owner’s unique message.
Here’s an example of the theme’s contact page:
Like most popular themes, Astra sells a Pro version that includes extensive training and support, as well as several free plug-ins selected by the theme’s creators.
The makers of Airi built this theme to be flexible, lightweight, and customizable. It fully integrates with WordPress’s most popular page builder, Elementor, and WordPress’s most popular e-commerce plug-in, WooCommerce.
Here’s what an Airi business website might look like with a prominent call to action (CTA) at the forefront.
Airi’s theme also features pre-built layouts for common pages, like this About page.
Airi’s Pro package includes additional plug-ins and layouts, as well as live support and update assistance from the Airi team.
This theme is recommended by Elementor and is popular because it’s easy to use and customizable for first-time website builders.
Sydney’s base design could be described as minimal, making it easy to get up and running once your website content is complete.
This theme also includes layouts for popular website pages, like this sample blog layout.
The Sydney Pro version includes extra customization templates and blocks to make your website look exactly the way you imagine, as well as additional support and update assistance.
ThemeIsle developed Hestia, a free theme made for design flexibility and compatibility with WooCommerce.
Here’s what the homepage of the Hestia theme could look like in action.
Simplistic design makes customization easy, no matter what type of business you have.
There’s also a Pro version for businesses that want to take advantage of extra support and updates.
Before you choose, do a speed test
The theme you choose for your website heavily influences your site’s speed and performance. Your site could be absolutely beautiful, but if it doesn’t load quickly, you won’t sell as many products or attract as many leads.
Always test the speed of a free WordPress theme on the demo site before making a final choice for your business. Any of these five themes are a great option for creating a fast, highly functional, and well-designed WordPress site.
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