Where Do You Find the Best WordPress Themes?

If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re a WordPress theme aficionado, a true connoisseur. I’d like to know: how does a devourer of WordPress themes, like you, fulfill your massive appetite for awesome new themes?

For my cravings, I generally partake in the following (most common at the top):

  • I find out by word of mouth, from my colleagues at work.
  • Via Twitter, from the theme designers and theme shops I follow closely.
  • By way of the Extend free themes directory RSS feed (I then go preview each one immediately).
  • Reading reviews on sites like WPCandy, WPTavern, Smashing Magazine, or Weblog Tools Collection.
  • By checking the Commercial listing on Extend often, to discover theme shops, from time to time.
  • Rarely, I will use visual theme sorting services like the Theme Finder or ThemeSorter.

And in case your answers are different, where would you send someone to look for great WordPress themes who is not a theme junkie? Your family, friends, clients, a non-WordPress expert who asks your advice.

Author: Lance Willett

My name is Lance, I am a blogger, product manager, software developer, and business executive creating high-quality, engaging, and customer-centered experiences for people online. México-born. Chief Product and Technology Officer at Tumblr (Automattic).

21 thoughts on “Where Do You Find the Best WordPress Themes?”

  1. Some times I check ranking sites, sometimes have a good criteria and made filter to choose best themes. Like:

    Before purchase or download a Theme I like to see the Demo, with firebug check how is the html and css made. If looks good, I try to contact the developer to know if the Theme works with the plugins the project need. The Theme options are also important.

  2. I’ve been using ThemeForest, OkayThemes and Smashing Magazine for theme reference – of course, regularly browsing the free WPORG repository for code samples and ideas when needed. I’m also following different theme authors and premium template Twitter accounts that tweet on WP themes on a regular basis.

    What matters most is the stable codebase and support from the author – I may not use it myself, but if the product is well supported this normally means that the current code should be stable, well tested and going to run smoothly with the new WP versions as well.

  3. On the site WP Daily Themes we try to present great free WordPress Theme that are licensed under GPL. No theme with spammy footerlink or hidden code. We want to showcase good and awesome GPL themes. We hope to be a good resource for anyone who likes WordPress Themes.

  4. This is a mail I sent to my client this evening:

    There are always good looking themes with various layouts, features, colors from many theme providers. But, what will ultimately matter is their theme code quality, support and updates. We can modify any theme for layout and colors. So, please consider these while choosing a theme. Choosing a theme from leading theme provider like http://www.studiopress.com/themes will be a good bet.

    If they want more design options, I recommend Elegant themes and Woothemes.

    To me the theme provider is more important than the theme itself.

    1. @Ravi You are 100% correct – quality, updates and support are far more important than the initial ‘look’ of a Theme. Besides the Theme providers you mention I also use Themify.me themes alot (often changing the look/layout alot).

    2. That’s really interesting—I think that’s really common, choosing to follow one or two theme companies loyally. Versus a much broader search each time you need a new theme.

  5. If I would look for free Themes it would be WPORG. For commercial definitely StudioPress. In past I have been working on “Revolution Themes” and few times on Genesis as well for my clients who purchased the Framework. Every piece of code is done by the standard and that’s what matter to me. No mess, no junk, just pure code harmony!

    I strongly agree with Mario. If you release a Theme, free or paid it doesn’t matter, you should provide good support for your users. I know that I have, almost every single day since the release. Yes support does take lots of time and I knew that before my Theme was in repository. People appreciate fast, quality support!

    Just because something is free it doesn’t mean that you provide limited or no support at all. Even worse scenario is when authors say this “sorry, this question is for paid users only” or “sorry customization is not something we do for free, we can only help you if something breaks”.


  6. I use ThemeForest as there are some quality themes available. Otherwise I Google “Best themes of {insert month and year here}” and then find various articles from design or WP blogs that showcase free and premium themes.

    1. One thing to look out when Googling “Free WordPress Themes”, “Best WordPress Themes”, etc is that you will stumble upon many sites offering “good” Themes with encoded footer.php or even if they’re not http://pastebin.com/B44MX6TR it’s still bad for users that don’t know much about this kind of stuff.

      Keywords such as this one should be avoided.

      See: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/encrypted-theme-heres-how-to-decode-it?replies=195

      Quality Theme should use the latest WordPress standards and you can scan any Theme with i.e. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/theme-check/. I’ve seen even “Premium” Themes with deprecated-function notices that date back to 2.9, not only that this is potentially insecure, but also guarantees you that Theme in question will not work with the latest WP and not to mention plugins 😉


  7. I use ThemeForest but have also looked at WooThemes. The nice thing about sites like Envato (ThemeForest) is that they become one-stop-shopping places for other components you might need to customize a site. Your account balance can also be used throughout the Envato Marketplace.

    I agree with other posters that count ‘support’ and ‘code’ at the top of the list. I always go to the demo site and support forum to check for a theme’s main issues. The forum also gives a good idea of response time and resolution efficiency.

  8. I follow RSS feeds and Twitter accounts from 80 theme shops and browse through the new releases at ThemeForest and MOJO Themes each day. Much if what I find gets funneled into ThemeSorter.

  9. Another place I find themes if when I find a website and I really like the way it functions. I check to see what theme they are using.

    I agree, there is so much more to a theme than appearance, how it functions, mobile responsive, built in seo, ease of customization, support, ongoing upgrades as needed. I too find it easier to use a few favorite themes and change the colors and graphics.

  10. Well, I didn’t see many free wordpress themes that are really good. Most of them are badly coded, they are easily hacked/injected. Some of the themes even contain malicious code stealing your adsense income. Be careful.

  11. I used to search google for “best wordpress themes for x” and x being the broad category my website was going to be in. But the results are mostly blog posts who showcase a couple of themeforest themes. So I ended up going through different marketplaces myself, which is a huge pain.

    That’s exactly why i built http://www.themescroller.com — I wanted a tool where you could filter themes by category, color, marketplace and maybe if they are free or not. Right now there are over 3,000 themes from the official wordpress.org directory, themeforest.net, woothemes.com and elegantthemes.com, other marketplaces following soon. Check it out, and send me feedback to wolfram [at] themescroller.com if you feel like it.

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