Our Top Picks

Astra Logo
Astra
4.9
  • Theme and basic customization are available for free
  • Excellent performance
  • Receives regular updates
Best Performance
Visit Astra
Astra claims to be the most popular WordPress theme of all time, with more than 1.6 million total downloads. While researching this theme, we found that most users experienced little to no dip in performance after installing Astra on a basic WordPress site. The theme itself is less than 50 KB and has a 95% speed grade from Google Dev. Given its small size, high-performance ratings, and universal approval from existing users, we consider Astra the best WordPress theme for performance in 2021.

Astra is also one of the most actively supported WordPress themes currently available — in July, its team added new CSS optimizations and prepared for Google Core Web Vitals with a variety of accessibility updates. With that in mind, you can trust Astra to offer top-tier performance and features for years to come.

You can use the Astra theme at no charge through the free tier, which is missing basic features like full-width layouts, custom headers and footers, and custom colors and fonts. The Pro add-on introduces more advanced tools plus 24/7 premium support for an annual fee of $59, but $47 for the first year. Essential, at $276 per year, comes with extra templates and plug-ins while Growth, at $523 per year, includes the full library of Astra plug-ins. You can currently get lifetime access to these plans for one-time payments of $249, $499, and $699, respectively.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Theme and basic customization are available for free
  • Excellent performance
  • Receives regular updates

Cons

  • Pricey compared to other premium themes

What Customers Are Saying

The main theme running through user reviews of Astra is their high praise for the lightweight plug-in’s performance. We couldn’t find any customers who had seen higher loading times or any other performance issues after installing Astra.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Astra Pro: $47/year
    • Mini Agency Bundle: $169/year
    • Agency Bundle: $249/year
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.9
Authority Pro Logo
Authority Pro
3.5
  • Built for personal brands
  • Native integration with WooCommerce and Genesis Pro
  • Included with Flywheel and WP Engine hosting
Best for Personal Branding
Visit Authority Pro
Authority Pro is specifically tailored to the needs of creators who need to build a site to develop their personal brand. The theme sells itself as “perfectly highlight[ing] your knowledge, years of experience, and acquired wisdom.” Whether you’re a life coach, an expert in your field, a doctoral candidate, or anyone else who wants to self-promote through a personal site, the Authority Pro theme is a great way to get started.

Additionally, Authority Pro offers built-in connections with WooCommerce as well as Gutenberg and Genesis Pro. The theme itself can easily be customized with the right logo, colors, and content to match your brand. If you get Authority Pro by paying for Genesis Pro, you’ll also be able to get basic support for the theme from the Genesis Pro team.

One downside to Authority Pro is that there’s no way to buy it on its own. The first way to get access to Authority Pro is to pay $360 per year for the broader Genesis Pro subscription, which comes with site-building features plus an impressive collection of themes. Alternatively, you can also use Authority Pro if you have an active hosting arrangement with either Flywheel or WP Engine. Needless to say, that makes this theme much less practical for creators who aren’t interested in any of those three programs.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built for personal brands
  • Native integration with WooCommerce and Genesis Pro
  • Included with Flywheel and WP Engine hosting

Cons

  • You can only get the theme through Genesis Pro, Flywheel, or WP Engine

What Customers Are Saying

There are few available reviews on Authority Pro. Users seem to enjoy using it for its ease and features. We will update this section as more reviews become available.

Summary

Authority Pro Logo
Authority Pro
  • Starting Price
    • Authority Pro Theme Package: $129.95
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
Divi Logo
Divi
4.8
  • Outstanding design tools
  • Receives regular updates
  • Available lifetime licenses
Best Visual Design Tools
Visit Divi
Even if you have the perfect site design in your head, you’ll still need the right design tools to make that idea a reality. Divi stands out from other WordPress themes when it comes to fine-grain design features like font and text styling, custom dividers, transitions, and borders, and even custom shadowing. With powerful customization tools embedded in an intuitive website builder, Divi is our favorite WordPress theme in 2021 when it comes to visual design.

The Divi team also adds to the theme’s utility with brand new layout packs released every week. In August 2021, for example, it introduced several new pieces of content including a marina theme, a blog post module, a category page template, and an immigration lawyer layout. It also put out a performance update to help Divi sites load even more quickly.

Access to the Divi theme is available for $89 per year or a one-time payment of $249 for a lifetime license. You’ll start saving money on the lifetime license after just three years, so this is a cost-effective option if you’re planning to use Divi for the long haul. Every purchase comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can invest in a lifetime license at no risk. However, that makes Divi much more expensive than budget competitors like Storefront (free) and Newspaper ($59 for a lifetime license)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Outstanding design tools
  • Receives regular updates
  • Available lifetime licenses

Cons

  • Pricey relative to some competitors

What Customers Are Saying

Divi customers like the theme’s design features as well as its robust capabilities for reports and testing. You can easily optimize your site for engagement and conversions with A/B tests, available in the Divi Leads tool.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Yearly Access: $89/year
    • Lifetime Access: $249/one-time
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.8
Foodie Pro Logo
Foodie Pro
4.6
  • Built for foodies
  • Regular bug-fixing updates
  • Mobile-responsive templates
Best for Food Blogs
Visit Foodie Pro
If you’re interested in creating a food blog, you might be looking for a theme with culinary features. Foodie Pro delivers themes specifically tailored to food-related sites. The developers also recommend connecting your Foodie Pro site to the WP Recipe Maker plug-in, which will turn your recipes into sleek guides that are easy for readers to follow. While you could build a professional food blog with another theme, Foodie Pro is the easiest way to get started with one in 2021.

Foodie Pro has been updated several times over the last few years, with a total of 12 updates since 2018. Most of these updates fix existing issues and make some minor adjustments. While nothing is stopping you from adding WooCommerce to a Foodie Pro site, its team doesn’t offer any direct WooCommerce integrations or support.

The Foodie Pro theme is available for a one-time payment of $75, which is close to the price points set by most comparable themes. There are no refunds, so make sure you’re confident in the theme’s design before going ahead with the purchase. Your license also includes a “digital strategy bundle” that comes with basic guides like a blog post checklist and other tips for food bloggers.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built for foodies
  • Regular bug-fixing updates
  • Mobile-responsive templates

Cons

  • No direct WooCommerce integration

What Customers Are Saying

The Foodie Pro theme is popular among food bloggers who want to take their WordPress sites to the next level without breaking the bank. Its professional mobile designs and low impact on performance make it a particularly strong option for food content creators.

Summary

Foodie Pro Logo
Foodie Pro
  • Starting Price
    • Foodie Pro Theme: $75
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.6
Kalium Logo
Kalium
4.9
  • Just $59 for a lifetime license
  • Receives regular updates
  • Ideal for portfolios and other visual sites
Best for Portfolios
Visit Kalium
Each theme’s customization tools can help it fit a wide range of websites, but Kalium’s visual-heavy designs are ideal for creatives who need a site to show off their work. In contrast to themes for blogs, magazines, and other publications, Kalium has less of a focus on text and a greater emphasis on images and other visuals. With that in mind, we selected it as the best WordPress theme for portfolios as well as other sites that heavily rely on visual content.

Kalium 3.4 was released on August 12, 2021, and introduced support for WordPress 5.8 and WooCommerce 5.6 plus a long list of new features. For example, Kalium can now load Google fonts locally, preload fonts for faster loading times, and take advantage of several other speed optimizations. That update came just a few months after the release of Kalium 3.3 in May 2021.

You can add Kalium to your WordPress site for a one-time fee of just $59. Like other themes at the same price point on ThemeForest, Kalium licenses come with access to future updates plus six months of support from the developer, which can be extended to 12 months for an extra $17.63. While there’s currently no free option available, Kalium’s pricing is roughly in line with the other options we looked at.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Just $59 for a lifetime license
  • Receives regular updates
  • Ideal for portfolios and other visual sites

Cons

  • No free option

What Customers Are Saying

Kalium users like the theme’s library of templates plus key features like multilingual sites, WooCommerce integrations, and portfolios for every type of work. They also appreciate its support for different fonts including fonts from both Google and Adobe.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Normal License: $58
    • Extended License: $2900
    • Custom License: Custom Quote
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.9
Newspaper Logo
Newspaper
4.8
  • Great themes for news and other content-heavy sites
  • Receives regular updates
  • One-time payment of $59, no ongoing fees
Best for News and Magazines
Visit Newspaper
Newspaper is the best WordPress theme out there for newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Whether you’re creating a digital version of an existing publication or exclusively putting content online, Newspaper offers a variety of templates for content-based websites. It also comes with templates for other pages including product pages, product archives, and search pages. With a clear focus on news sites and outstanding customization tools, we would recommend Newspaper to any large or small publication.

11.2, the most recent version of the Newspaper theme, was released on July 29, 2021. It introduced an opt-in builder plug-in, subscription-based content locking, and three new prebuilt websites among other new features and fixes. You can find more information about Newspaper updates on the theme’s website.

Access to the Newspaper theme is available on ThemeForest for a one-time payment of $59. That license comes with six months of support from the developer along with access to all future updates — not just those in the first six months. If you want extra support, you can pay an additional $17.63 at checkout to extend access to customer service for a full year. Newspaper’s pricing is roughly in line with other paid WordPress themes — Shopkeeper and Jayla, for example, are available for the same cost.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great themes for news and other content-heavy sites
  • Receives regular updates
  • One-time payment of $59, no ongoing fees

Cons

  • Limited selection compared to more flexible themes like Astra

What Customers Are Saying

Creators of content-based sites like Newspaper’s narrow focus and its powerful suite of web design features. They also appreciate its helpful integrations with key WordPress applications like WooCommerce and Ajax Search.

Summary

Newspaper Logo
Newspaper
  • Starting Price
    • Regular License: $59
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.8
OceanWP Logo
OceanWP
3.5
  • Decent free features
  • Works with Elementor and other popular applications
  • Pay for an annual subscription or a lifetime license
Best Free Option
Visit OceanWP
Paying for a WordPress theme may make sense in some situations, but there’s no reason to spend any money when you can get a comparable product for free. OceanWP is our pick as the best free WordPress theme of 2021 due to its outstanding set of free features like custom headers and footers along with an excellent collection of free templates. Of course, you can always upgrade to a premium option with the Core Extensions Bundle if you aren’t getting enough out of the base OceanWP theme.

OceanWP 3.0 was released in July 2021 and was largely targeted toward performance optimizations that would help OceanWP sites run more smoothly. However, we noticed during our research that OceanWP doesn’t receive consistent updates like some of the other plug-ins we covered.

The Core Extensions Bundle is designed to supplement OceanWP with premium themes, extensions, and personalized customer support. You can currently get access to the bundle for $39 (three sites), $79 (six sites), or $129 (50 sites) per year. Alternatively, OceanWP offers the same bundle in the form of lifetime licenses for one-time payments of $159, $319, or $519. Keep in mind that you’ll reach the cost of a lifetime license after four years with an annual OceanWP subscription.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Decent free features
  • Works with Elementor and other popular applications
  • Pay for an annual subscription or a lifetime license

Cons

  • Updates are few and far between

What Customers Are Saying

OceanWP’s free tier is a basic option compared to the benefits and features that come with premium WordPress themes, but we noticed that OceanWP users don’t feel like they’re missing anything. Even though some tools are absent from the free version, there’s still more than enough for the average creator to build an incredible WordPress site.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Personal: $39/site
    • Business: $47/3 sites
    • Ageny: $77/25 sites
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
Storefront Logo
Storefront
4.5
  • The only e-commerce theme built by WooCommerce developers
  • Totally free to use
  • Optimized for desktop and mobile
Best for E-Commerce
Visit Storefront
Storefront is the only official theme for WooCommerce vendors, and it’s an easy way to take your store to the next level. In contrast to third-party themes, Storefront offers instant, guaranteed compatibility with the latest releases of WordPress and WooCommerce. After installing the theme, you can fully customize various elements, including products, branding, and colors. Additional extensions unlock even more features and make Storefront the best WordPress themes for e-commerce vendors.

The Storefront editor makes it easy to tweak different aspects of your site and see the changes on your site in real-time. It’s an ideal balance between ease of use and flexibility, with a wide range of changes available in just a few clicks. Storefront automatically optimizes your site for both desktops and mobile devices.

Furthermore, Storefront is entirely free to download and install on a WooCommerce store. You can also pay for extra child themes or for additional extensions to supplement Storefront’s vanilla functionality. The Storefront Extensions Bundle comes with 10 unique plug-ins along with the Storefront Powerpack for a total of just $69, and that payment also includes one year of support and updates. Again, you can always start with the free Storefront theme before investing in any plug-ins or child themes.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The only e-commerce theme built by WooCommerce developers
  • Totally free to use
  • Optimized for desktop and mobile

Cons

  • Mostly useful for e-commerce stores

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers consider Storefront the gold standard for WooCommerce stores. During our research, we encountered many users who appreciated Storefront’s ease of use and outstanding customization options, particularly through child themes and Storefront extensions.

Summary

Storefront Logo
Storefront
  • Starting Price
    • Free
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.5
X Theme Logo
X Theme
4.8
  • Live website builder
  • Numerous updates in late 2020 and early 2021
  • Just $59
Simplest Live Builder
Visit X Theme
Editing your site can be complicated and time-consuming, even with contemporary website builders. X Theme’s live page builder enables users to make changes in a real-time view — what you see is what you get. You’ll be able to make those final touches in a fraction of the time without having to navigate back and forth between a separate admin panel. That convenient tool makes X Theme the best WordPress theme for live editing in 2021.

In late 2020 and 2021, X Theme has added several new features such as dynamic content in footers, Google Fonts syncing, and support for the WPForms Lite Plug-in. While it hasn’t released an update since version 8.3.3 in April 2021, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it putting out new features in the coming months.

X Theme doesn’t offer any free trials or refunds, but you can get lifetime access for a one-time payment of $59 — similar to Newspaper and many other popular plug-ins. Like Newspaper, this fee covers access to future updates as well as six months of developer support, with an optional extra six months available for $17.63.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Live website builder
  • Numerous updates in late 2020 and early 2021
  • Just $59

Cons

  • No refunds or free option

What Customers Are Saying

Most X Theme customers find the theme’s site editor easy to use, even with no coding knowledge or development experience. They also appreciate its premium design options like dark mode and compatibility with a deep library of extensions.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Regular License: $59
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
    Yes
  • Free Demo
    Yes
  • Mobile Responsive
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.8

How We Chose the Best WordPress Themes

WordPress offers a decent range of web design tools on its own, but third-party themes and templates introduce new aesthetics and functions that aren’t available with the base WordPress platform. The ideal theme will help you turn your dream website into a reality while spending less time editing and optimizing the site.

Of course, the right WordPress theme for you depends on what kind of site you’re interested in building and how much you’re willing to spend on a preset design. These are the four main features we considered when comparing some of the top WordPress themes currently available.

Pricing

Some WordPress themes offer surprisingly robust features, but you still don’t want to break the bank on a website theme. When possible, we looked for affordable alternatives instead of recommending expensive themes that could be cost-prohibitive for some site creators.

However, pricing isn’t everything, so we’ve covered a few themes on the pricier side in cases where it justifies the extra cost. In the end, you’ll have to balance price and functionality based on your specific needs and budget.

Specialization

Certain features are common to a variety of WordPress themes, but you may be looking for a theme to match a specific kind of site. If you’re interested in building an online store, for example, you’ll need a theme that’s specifically tailored to e-commerce vendors.

With that in mind, we focused on WordPress themes that provide the right tools for a specific context or use case. The Newspaper theme, for example, is largely designed for magazines, newspapers, and other publications.

Performance

Some themes may have an unpredictable effect on your site’s performance. This could depend on several factors including the size of the theme, the content of your site, and your web hosting provider.

While there’s no way to tell how a particular theme will work for you, we looked at user impressions to get an idea of whether each theme is associated with any drop in performance. The best themes are relatively lightweight and shouldn’t cause any noticeable delays or other issues.

Customizability

Along with the default template, most themes also give you the tools to customize the design to your needs. These features could include custom colors, custom branding, and the ability to adjust your site’s layout through a drag-and-drop editor.

If you’re paying for a WordPress theme, you should be able to make it your own. We checked every theme’s customization features and reviewed both professional and user impressions to understand their experiences with each theme we’ve covered.