Before we dive into the best WordPress theme providers, here’s a quick reminder of what Themes are in WordPress.
Themes in WordPress control how your website looks and contributes some (but not all) toward the functionality of your website. For a more detailed description, check out this Introduction to WordPress Themes.
While technically it is possible to build your own theme, the fastest and easiest way to create a stunning, beautiful, functional website is to get a pre-built theme. The longer route would mean building one with the assistance of a theme framework (like Genesis from StudioPress) or creating your own theme from scratch.
There are literally thousands of free WordPress themes – and thousands of paid, or “premium” themes on the Internet. Some of them are amazing…but most are, plainly speaking, horrible. (Is that too harsh?)
The fact is, a theme isn’t just a WordPress template.
It can introduce security issues, bugs, hurt you with SEO, or just create nuisances into your site (like lack of updates or compatibility with other services).
In other words, not all WordPress themes are the same – and it certainly pays to find a quality theme to build your site around. So, here is a list of reputable, high-quality premium WordPress themes that qualify as best in my opinion.
Some have free themes; most have a selection of paid themes – but they all have coding, design & security standards that you won’t find from any random theme provider.
Which WordPress Theme Is The Best?
WordPress is very flexible and can be used for a multitude of various website projects. Some WordPress themes are better than others depending upon what you plan on using WordPress for.
I summarize my recommended WordPress theme based on these categories:
- Best Overall — StudioPress Theme
- Best Framework — StudioPress Theme
- Best For SEO — GeneratePress
- Best Visual Editor — Elegant Themes
- Best Landing Page Builder — OptimizePress
- Best Membership Theme — BuddyBoss
- Best Lightweight Theme — GeneratePress
- Best WooCommerce Theme — Astra
StudioPress themes are one of the highest quality WordPress themes on this list and my favorite theme. But it’s much more than just a WordPress theme but is built upon the Genesis framework. This very website is a custom theme based upon StudioPress Genesis. This is why I rank StudioPress as the best overall, and best WordPress framework to use.
Lastly, your choice of WordPress theme can dramatically affect SEO. Again this is why I recommend using StudioPress as your WordPress theme.
They have several premium and free themes to choose from – and all of them are updated regularly.
Though, unlike the other WordPress themes, the Genesis framework does not have a visual website editor.
Instead, Genesis relies on the built-in WordPress editor Gutenberg. If you are not a fan of Gutenberg, you will not be a fan of the Genesis framework. You may want to consider another theme. Genesis Pro amps up the Gutenberg editor allowing you to create content faster. Genesis Pro also gets you access to every StudioPress theme which can be cheaper in the long run than purchasing themes individually.
WP Engine purchased StudioPress 2018. The StudioPress themes are packaged for free with some of their hosting plans.
GeneratePress is a popular free and premium WordPress theme.
GeneratePresss Premium adds a theme builder that uses the built-in Gutenberg visual editor that allows you to create professional-looking websites in no time.
With more than 80 WordPress templates to choose from GeneratePress Premium has themes for businesses, blogs, and eCommerce websites.
I have a few clients who have used GeneratePress and liked the results.
Elegant Themes’ specialty is exactly what you’d guess – elegant designs. Their themes are beautiful and have lots of built-in functionality. They can be used for a great variety of websites and projects. See Elegant Themes.
One of the best options in the Elegant Theme selection is Divi. A lot of themes boast about their drag and drop editors, which are great, but Divi is really a step above. The WYSIWYG editor allows you to really create some master designs that are unique and spot on. It’s really worth checking out if you lean more toward the design side.
There are currently 10 million WordPress websites using Elementor.
Elementor was one of the first makers to make a true drag and drop function for their themes, similar to other visual editors like InMotion’s BoldGrid and Elegant Theme’s Divi builder. They have many WordPress templates to choose from.
They have recently added a hosting option making them a possible website builder option as well.
Beaver Builder is another visual drag-and-drop editor for WordPress. While it is easy to use I personally prefer the more popular options like Elementor and Elegant instead.
If you are looking to create professional-looking sales pages for products then look no further than OptimizePress.
Instead of using a service like Unbounce, OptimizePress allows you to stay with WordPress hosting with the added benefit you can use WordPress plugins on your landing pages.
OptimizePress is the WordPress Theme I use myself when creating landing pages. It allows you to create sales funnels visually and much more flexibility than using the built-in Gutenberg editor.
They recently added OptimizeFunnels where you can create pages with their pre-made templates.
If you are creating a membership area, you should own host it yourself instead of using third-party services like Teachable, ThriveCart, or even Facebook.
If you want to create a WordPress membership website, look no further BuddyBoss WordPress theme. BuddyBoss makes it easy to sell courses, create online communities, membership programs, or could be used for corporate training.
With over 180 templates to choose from the Astra theme is a popular choice for many WordPress users. Their focus is on fast-loading webpages and they deliver on that promise.
Astra not only works with the built-in Gutenberg block editor but is one of the few WordPress themes that work with the visual editors Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Brizy.
The Pro edition adds many functions and pre-made blocks to save time and speed up creating a website.
Kadence WP not only includes their theme but Kadence Blocks for Gutenberg. If you are wanting to create a WooCommerce storefront, Kadence WP has eleven plugins to make your WooCommerce website pop.
TemplateMonster has an excellent selection of themes – whether you’re looking for a multi-purpose design or something more specific. Their designers are quite experienced, so you know you’ll land a great product. Plus, their customer service is pretty amazing.
MOJO is a theme marketplace with design guidelines like Themeforest. They have tons and tons of great choices that work well for just about any site you can imagine.
Avada is one of the top-selling themes of all time – and for good reason! It’s beautiful and well-coded, plus its creators developed it as a multipurpose theme. That means that the theme with all the demos acts as a theme marketplace itself. You would be amazed at all of the options it has.
ProteusThemes is a rapidly growing theme maker. They maintain a selection of versatile, well-coded, compatible themes.
RocketTheme has been around for a long time – they were one of the first premium designers out there. They focus on exciting, detailed design rather than the minimalist look.
upThemes is a very easy group to work with. Almost all of their designs are responsive (they automatically adjust according to device type). Plus, they have exceptional pricing.
Theme Junkie has been around for quite a while. They have a diverse selection of themes and work really well for a publisher or a site that has a ton of content to display.
Theme Trust offers themes on 2 price tiers – Mega and Standard. So whether you want tons of options and control or you just want packaged themes, they can help you out.
ThemeFuse has a really diverse selection of themes and designs. Their primary focus is on services and product websites, but you can do so much with any of their designs.
iThemes was also in the first wave of premium theme providers – and they provide everything from plugins to theme frameworks and more for WordPress. They have a great selection of pre-built themes that offer tons of functionality.
Graph Paper Press
If you’re looking for minimalist, creative and artistic designs, Graph Paper Press may be your best bet. They are a reputable company with great themes and designs.
Press75 advertises their choices as “WordPress Themes with Purpose” – and they all certainly do allow you to do that with your space on the web. They are professional, clean & well-coded…overall a great choice!
WPzoom has a lot of great options when it comes to themes, especially if you’re looking for a business-related theme! Their pricing is pretty much unbeatable.
Organic Themes was established fairly recently – but they bring unique and fresh designs to the table. They are beautifully designed and easy to use (for you and your visitors).
Viva Themes focuses on designer-looking themes – and honestly, the attention to detail is amazing! You won’t be disappointed if you go with them.
WordPress.org maintains a huge directory with secure, recommended themes. They are all free and scrutinized by the community for vulnerabilities. You can browse the directory – or you can search + download from inside your website by going to Appearance → Themes → Install Themes.
There you have it – with these theme providers, you should be well on your way to creating an amazing creating a WordPress site from scratch.
If you’re trying to ensure maximum functionality on your site, here’s a guide to the best plugins for WordPress.