WordPress offers you a diversity of free themes for various niches. Do you also want to add a word “bewildering” to this “diversity”? Especially if you are one of those perfectionists in search for the most reliable and attractive solution for the online presence, you may face a problem of choice. And a problem of trust to a free solution. Especially if you are looking for something creative.
The first thing that probably catches your eye is visual attractiveness. And it has a common sense – is this theme creative enough to present my crafts? It’s a highly important point for all creative projects, and usually theme demos made by professional designers look really stunning. But when it comes to customization, everything boils down to tinkering with the site in order to make it look not worse than the demo (which looked so cool in all roundups!).
Of course, a lot depends on your understanding of how to present everything in the best light (read: not spoil a good free template). So, to get closer to realities achieved with free WordPress themes, I put together a collection of some cool creative templates featuring real projects under real domains. The link to the theme demo is also included you so you can compare two examples to see the difference, advantages and disadvantages of each. I’m keeping my fingers crossed you’ll find something according to your needs!
Britt is something really fresh and has a great potential. Its stylish design is perfect for your next creative project on WordPress – handiwork blog, designer portfolio and other purposes. Mostly all custom websites look very professional keeping the original front page layouts and at the same time have their own unique feeling. A header with a lot of empty space will help you make your brand name and logo more notable, therefore, memorable.
Britt is supplied with a great Carousel slider to accent the most interesting images or posts. The front page of the theme is fully editable via WordPress Customizer allowing you to change color scheme, typography, layout, etc. online. You’ll also have a couple of useful widgets at hand to get started easier: About me, recent posts and video. A collection of Google fonts included will also help you choose the most appropriate typography, which is also highly important for creative projects.
Featured project: the Karibbean Collective
Artwork is a gracious WordPress theme perfect for fine art projects, art galleries and portfolios of diverse creatives. No matter if you got some pixel perfect wide screen photos or small images of your works (just like in the screenshot example), both will look stylish in this theme. Photographers can go for the first option and show the photos in a full-screen mode. Smooth Parallax effects will make previewing the works even more pleasant for the readers.
Thanks to support of a variety of different post formats, including videos, you can make your website look more unique and dynamic. The theme is highly customizable thanks to 2 main options – front-page Customizer where you are free to update fonts, main accent colors, logo, etc. and a built-in custom drag-and-drop editor to help you add more diverse content modules and functionality (more than 20 modules). Great choice for those creatives who will manage the entire website building process themselves.
Featured artist: Pedro Motello
Atlantic is an awesome WordPress theme without overcomplexity – just lots of white space and your works in the center. The genuine theme creativity is in its minimalism. Lots of pixel-perfect photos can find a perfect home with this theme. One of the most renowned free stock images website called Unsplash comes with a kinda similar design and is really user-friendly. Atlantic’s layout is perfect for showcasing tons of high resolution images and easy photobogging as well.
You’ll be able to update all major things like colors and fonts, images and video size mainly thanks to WordPress Customizer tools or CSS tweaks if you are familiar with the latter. You may also set your logo, change background, and use full-width photos and videos to feature on your blog. The theme got the highest rates on the official repository (5 stars) and is recommended by many users.
Give it a whirl if you plan to showcase many works in high resolution or update the blog quite regularly.
Featured artist: Heesen Shin
Portfolio Gallery is one of the most highly rated free WordPress themes because of 2 main reasons: it can perfectly serve the needs of creatives offering a lot of space for works and it comes with great customization options within free version. I previewed a couple of different custom websites built with this theme and mostly all look quite like a demo in terms of attractiveness. Portfolio Gallery is a right theme to showcase everything from architecture projects to designer icons and Christmas cards. Even businesses may use the theme as a landing page showcasing the main features or services. On the front page you can give actually show lots of works at the same time.
Featured Artist: LK-Arts
Optics, with all its minimalism, produces a highly usable solution for your portfolio. Its masonry styles look really stylish on mobile devices ensuring a happy user experience as well. In order to customize the theme, you can add various text blocks, subscription forms, images and more in custom widget areas. On one of the real examples (architectural photographer portfolio) the website uses a slider on the front page and looks really different from the original demo, achieving its unique image.
Apart from a stunning clutter-free portfolio the theme lets you sell images and prints thanks to integration with Sell Media plugin. The Pro version of the theme is also supplied with multiple goodies like custom fonts, Mega menu, lightbox galleries and more.
Features artist: Lincoln Barbour
Tempera is a simple and cute WordPress theme that can serve in a process of creating a readable and attractive blog or artist portfolio. Its boxed layout will look awesome across a variety of screen devices. The default demo site features a kind of fine art blog with the balance of text and imagery. The example of the project that uses this theme is music-related – it looks quite stylish with black&white color scheme.
In terms of functionality, Tempera is very flexible: you’ll get tons of settings, widgets for different purposes, front page customizable slider. If you got a question regarding the theme, jump to free support forum and find the answer or ask a question.
Featured project: CountOnAtEight
Pine produces a great dose of magnetism – clean background, stunning layouts to feature your works, catchy hover effects. Moreover, it looks very professional and user-friendly. The theme is really what is called ‘multipurpose’ – a great place for fine art works, photographer or designer portfolio, graffiti and fonts ideas, etc. Built on Bootstrap framework, Pine is mobile friendly, so the users of all devices will be satisfied with the site.
The theme supports different post formats, including Jetpack Portfolio post type giving you full control over making the theme maximum personalized. Offcanvas navigation (realized i “hamburger” – hidden menu until you click it) should make your site even more user-friendly and clutter-free. Single post header automatically changes its color depending on whether the image is bright or dark, so you may rest assured your site looks good without designer’s help. All this sounds really cool for a free theme, agree?
Featured project: Garetti & Garetti
Farben Basic is a great theme for a variety of creative projects – it’s clean, bright and lightweight. As you may see from the featured example, the theme is also suitable for portfolio of small business. The default front page layout allows to put the main works in the spotlight in the wide-screen slider and present the rest of the works using a well-structured grid. If you also plan to regularly update the blog, this theme is just great for this purpose. Colors, fonts and a lot of other features can be updated via WordPress Customizer. You may use a set of various widgets to make your site function appropriately to your needs.
Featured project: Mountain Cookery School
Magnus is carefully created by an ex-designer of Automattic, Hugo Beata. The theme design is a great combination of stylish layouts and simplicity. Really professional WordPress freebie among all available so far. The theme already received publicity and is used in multiple creative projects. This is also a theme that loves huge quality images – they look the best. It also loves huge fonts – they provide maximum readability and give a site fresh creative look. Surfing through real examples I noticed that mostly all don’t change the default theme fonts – they really suit this type of the theme. You can edit the theme via WordPress Customizer to reflect more of your authentic self.
Featured artist: Jason Sharp
A lot of websites built on Oren feature the artworks like paintings and photos. The presented example shows that this theme will also perfectly suit writer’s portfolio or photoblogging in different niches. The slogan of the theme is “Oren is the perfect theme for creative folk to make their work stand out. Graphic designers and photographers and will love this.” And looks like there is no better way to describe this theme – mostly all real examples, even those 100% customized, look very professional.
Wide-screen grid layout for your photos is just perfect to attract maximum attention to all your works at once. In terms of customization, the theme comes packaged with multiple options to customize to change the main parts of the theme design. WordPress Customizer is also at your hand.
Featured writer: Megan Freshley
Of course, this is not a complete list of all creative free WordPress themes available, but hopefully enough to give you the idea that it’s possible to build a cool-looking site with a free solution. I hope that this collection simplified your search as real examples always help you easier imagine the real possibilities of a theme.
Got any question or one more stunning example to share? Welcome!