Top 5 Free WordPress Themes for Bloggers 2017

by | Mar 30, 2017 | Blogging Tips

Top 5 Free WordPress Themes for Bloggers 2017

by | Mar 30, 2017 | Blogging Tips

As a WordPress blogger, picking a theme is a pretty big deal. It’s essentially the face of your blog. Your theme is the first thing that people see when they visit your site, and it’s how they interact with your content. That’s why it’s extremely important to have the right theme before you start a blog.

You literally have thousands of choices whenever it comes to WordPress themes, and next to choosing your blogging platform, this is probably one of the biggest decisions you’re going to have to make. No pressure!

Hopefully, this post will shed some light on a few of the more reliable and well-made WordPress themes that are out there and take some of the pressure off. The last thing you want to do is to install a theme and, a few months down the road, realize you’re not happy with it.

By the way, I’m not an affiliate for any of these themes. I’m recommending them because I truly believe they’re some of the best free WordPress themes for bloggers.

That’s not to say that I don’t believe in the products that I’m an affiliate for, but I wanted to make it clear that I wasn’t receivng any compensation for recommending these themes.

It’s also important to note that the themes I’m about to recommend are all free themes. Again, that’s not to say that these aren’t high-quality themes, but what they offer will be somewhat different when compared to premium WordPress themes.

Nonetheless, if you’re blogging on a budget, a free WordPress theme can go a long way. That’s why I wanted to write this post and shed some light on a few of the most reliable free themes.

Now, before we get into the specifics of each theme, let’s break down what actually makes a good WordPress theme.

What Makes a Good WordPress Theme?

There are a lot of WordPress themes out there…and that’s a good thing. If web developers and businesses are willing to leverage the power of WordPress for their products and businesses, then that means WordPress is a very reliable platform. But what makes a good WordPress theme?

Again, there’s a lot to consider. But, from my experience, a good WordPress theme will typically have eight things:

  • Built With Correct Code
  • SEO Conscious
  • Responsive Design
  • Cross Browser Support
  • Good UX (User Experience)
  • Technical Support
  • Regular Updates
  • Good Reviews

Rest assured that all of the free themes I’m recommending in this blog post meet those standards. However, if you decide to use another theme, you’ll want to make sure that the theme you end up using meets those eight requirements.

So, without further ado, here are my recommendations for the top five free WordPress themes for bloggers.


desktop tablet iphone displaying wordpress theme

Rise brands itself as a WordPress theme that makes use of multiple post formats, but it does so much more than that. Rise is a multipurpose and multifunctional theme that looks and acts like a premium theme.

With Rise, you’re getting a lot of the features that many bloggers pay for like full-width headers, parallax scrolling, hover display effects for images, six different page styles, and much more.

This theme offers a premium version, but I’m telling you, the free version can still turn heads if you’re blogging on a budget. Plus, it’s backed by the team over a Modern Themes. They offer unlimited updates, a free Rise widget plugin, and support for all of their free WordPress themes.

Olsen Light

olsen light wordpress theme on a desktop

The next free WordPress theme on the list is Olsen Light. I’ve had a lot of experience with this theme and the one thing that my readers and clients love about it is its simplicity. The Olsen Light WordPress theme has a minimalist design that’s easy to implement for any type of blog.

With Olsen Light, you’ll have the ability to upload your own logo, use custom widgets, social networking options, SEO optimization, Instagram integration, and much more.

Another key feature of this theme is the support. Olsen Light was developed by CSSIgniter, and they guarantee that their themes will always be working with the latest 2 major versions of WordPress. This is a huge relief and peace of mind when you’re using a free WordPress theme.


piclictic wordpress theme

If you plan on having a blog that emphasizes images and visuals, then the Piclectic WordPress theme might be the perfect fit for your blog. This theme was designed as an image sharing theme, but it could work really well for photography and food bloggers.

Some of the features include a full-width portfolio section for the homepage, share and download buttons on each image, simplistic layout, multiple page layout options, and much more.

Piclectic is also backed by Modern Themes, so you know you’re getting some great support and a reliable free product. I should also mention that all of the themes at Modern Themes come with step-by-step documentation. So if you ever get stuck, you’ll have something to reference.

True North

true north wordpress theme on a laptop

Another great portfolio theme is True North. This free WordPress theme gives you the ability to elegantly showcase your photos and videos on your blog

The free version of True North comes with EIGHT different portfolio layouts! That’s crazy talk! Additionally, portfolio items make up the entire homepage and help you display your creativity in a clean and efficient manner.

This theme is also offered by CSSIgniter and is backed by their high-quality design and support. However, the main reason why I recommend True North is its diversity. You can really get creative when it comes to how you want to share your work with the world.


sellfie wordpress theme on a desktop and mobile device

If you’re thinking about incorporating an eCommerce aspect to your blog, then Sellfie could be the theme for you.

Loaded with a ton of great commerce features, Sellfie has a clean and modern look that can help you promote and sell products straight from your blog. It’s also compatible with WooCommerce and has the ability to turn your blog into a digital storefront.

Having additional revenue streams within your digital platform is key to long-term success, and Sellfie is an effective way to monetize your blog. It’s also backed by Modern Themes and is one of my top picks for a free eCommerce WordPress theme.

Wrapping Up

You have a ton of choices when it comes to your WordPress themes, but what it really boils down to is the vision you have for your blog. Once you nail down the overall goal for your blog, you can start to navigate through the WordPress themes and decide which one is the best fit for you.

Finally, if you’re just starting your blog, I encourage you to download my free blogging bundle. It’s packed with four digital marketing resources that are designed to help you start your blog the right way.

Written by Ben Cummings

Written by Ben Cummings

Founder of

Ben is a Digital Marketing and CMS Specialist for Bridgepoint Education who holds an MBA with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. He enjoys teaching, blogging, startups, a hoppy IPA, and college basketball. Whenever he’s not blogging, you can find him cruising around sunny San Diego with his amazing family.


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