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Where to find high quality Free WordPress Themes for your blog

Welcome to Day ten of this #bloggingchallenge. Today’s theme is Technology Thursday, and for today’s post, I have used a mix of my creativity, a real life conversation, and technology tools to answer the question,

“Where do I find Free themes for WordPress?”

You may or may not be familiar with the terms WordPress or Themes. What may be of interest to you is the approach I used for publishing this post. I have covered this in the ‘hybrid approach of writing’ section at the end of this post. For now, let us get back to the post itself.

Where to find high quality Free WordPress Themes for your blog?

A couple of days ago, someone messaged me, asking for some links and resources where they could find free themes for WordPress. I typically discourage people from using tools that do not cost a single paisa. As the adage goes,

If you are not paying for a product, then *you* are the product. (read its rather interesting history on Quora).

But if folks are willing to use Open Source software, I am all ears. WordPress and many themes for this content management system, fall under the latter segment. So I *did* send the person a list of five or six sites. From these resources, they should hopefully be able to download a WordPress theme(s) of their choice. Read on to know more about them.

Back to Basics: What is a WordPress Theme?

WordPress is an open-source content management system that is used by millions of people to power their websites. It offers an easy-to-use interface for users to create and manage their website. Majority of people who want to start a new blog or create a website turn to this CMS.

A WordPress theme is the ‘skin’ of a website, that is what you get to see when you visit a website. For example, this site uses the Hemingway Theme by Anders Noren, who is a well known WordPress theme designer. Themes are an important aspect of a website. They determine how the site looks, feels and functions. The best WordPress themes can make your website look amazing with just a few clicks.Themes can be installed from the WordPress repository or downloaded from third-party sources, and then uploaded to the WordPress site.

Twenty Nineteen theme for WordPress. Blog of Amar Vyas

I had tested the Twenty Nineteen theme for this site.

Finding the best free WordPress themes can be a challenge. Finding high quality, free WordPress themes can be even more difficult.There are many websites that offer free themes, but not all of them are good. Themes in general should be well-coded, responsive and easy to use. They should also have a responsive design that will look good on any device. And they should not have any affiliate or backlinks, which can lead to suspension of the theme from the WordPress repository. Astra theme experienced that in 2020.

The best way to find one of the best themes is to download one from WordPress’ official directory of quality themes. This directory is updated regularly, so you can be sure that all of the themes there are high-quality. More importantly, they should be up-to-date with current standards in web development. Many themes are free, others follow a ‘freemium’ model. That is, a light version of a theme is available for anybody to use, for advanced features, one will have to pay a subscription fee.

Searching for Best Free WordPress Themes: Internet Search Experience

When you run an internet search on this topic, you may find lots of “SEO optimized” posts. Typically, these are blog posts written by news aggregator sites, or even theme developers themselves. Some of them merely pick up names of popular themes and compile a list. You may find plenty of results when you run a search titled top 10 free WordPress themes or The Best Free WordPress Themes for Bloggers in 2022. The results may carry a title that reads something like this:
Top 10 free WordPress themes for 2022 that you can use to make your website look amazing.
or a description may read something like
This article will list the best free WordPress themes for bloggers in 2022.

Much of the information posted in such articles is fluff, unfortunately.

My list of top WordPress Resources for Themes

Below is the list I put together in a couple of minutes. But, it originates from months and months of research, reading reviews, and trying out different ‘looks and feel‘ for my websites. This is not a comprehensive or an all inclusive list, but one I can confidently recommend. I have tried many of the themes from the resources mentioned below. This list presents a good set of options with features such as responsive design, SEO optimization, mobile-friendly layouts. The licensing is clearly mentioned by most developers.

  • Github repository for themes
    Ideally, the list should end here, because you can find over 2,400 projects for different themes. However, there is more.
  • WordPress repository for themes
    All themes developed by Automattic, which are available on wordpress.com are downloadable for free.
  • Free themes by Colorlib
  • WordPress themes by Anders Noren. He is the creator of the Twenty Twenty Theme for WordPress, and I love his work.
  • alx.media
  • Rough Pixels
    I learnt about this site on the ClassicPress Forums, and found that some of the themes may work well with ClassicPress, which this blog uses.
  • You can also run a search on the WordPress.org site for themes that meet your website’s needs. For example I was looking for a blogging theme with wide blocks, I ran the following search, as the screenshots show. The search I ran was:
    https://wordpress.org/themes/tags/wide-blocks+blog+portfolio/
Searching for themes on wordpress.org. Blog of Amar Vyas

Searching for themes on wordpress.org

Things to watch out for while selecting a free WordPress Theme

Note that not all results may be relevant or suitable for your needs. As the below image from wordpress.org shows, the first row has results more suitable for a design agency or a woo commerce site.

Results from searching for themes on wordpress.org. Blog of Amar Vyas

Results from searching for themes on wordpress.org

Similarly, some themes may not have been updated for over two years. The Boyo theme is one such example. Its change log shows that it was last updated in September 2019. Some themes are actually based on or designed after existing themes. They are known as a `child theme`. If you opt to install a child theme, then you end up having to install the `parent theme` as well. Which means, you will have two themes on your WordPress installation! Having more themes than required is not a good practice, so be careful which theme you choose.

Also check for the minimum version of PHP that is supported. If a theme still supports PHP 5.x version, I would stay away from it. In 2022, any site or theme that still talks about PHP 5.x is a cause of concern for me. All versions of PHP upto version 7.3 have reached End of Life as on December 31, 2021. While I am not suggesting that the themes may be buggy or insecure, but there may be compatibility issues. it may require trial and error on your part to help you figure it out. But do you want to take that chance?

Wrapping it up

Choose the Best Free WordPress Theme for Your Website

The free WordPress themes are the best for beginners, but if you are looking for something more professional, there are premium WordPress themes available. WordPress is a free and open-source content management system which is powering over a quarter of the internet. It is used by bloggers, businesses, universities and other organizations to create their website or blog. In other words, different users will have different needs, level of understanding, and many have varying levels of resources available, from good web hosting for WordPress site, to access to good WordPress developers.


Using AI tools for Blogging and Copywriting

I have used AI assistants for keyword research and writing tools, and have written about them in the past.
In contrast to those posts, today’s post used a ‘hybrid method’. That is,I had recorded my draft early in the morning. It was converted to text by otter.ai. Next, I used a keyword search tool to identify the keywords for this post that people search for. Finally, I used an AI writer to develop the outline.

We should not think of these AI tools as a replacement for human copywriters. They just provide assistance to the content writers and generating some great content ideas at scale. AI writing assistants are increasingly getting popular in the workplace. Some companies use them when they need to generate content for a specific topic or niche. While digital agencies use them to generate all kinds of content for their clients. This is the first time I have used an AI assistant for this #bloggingchallenge.


Wordcount: 1,300. Time taken for drafting, editing, images and publishing: 2 Hours and 5 minutes including revisions