WordPress continues to be the fastest-growing content management system (CMS) in the world, occupying over 50-60 percent of the global CMS market. To date, they have over 20 million websites created through their database. WordPress is easy to learn, powerful, fast, innovative, and extremely user-friendly.
Getting started with WordPress is easy. To start, you’ll first need a domain name for your site. WordPress provides users with the opportunity to use you or your company’s name with a .wordpress extension (ex. Johnsmith.wordpress), or you can create and purchase a domain name from a registrar like 101domain at a minimal cost. These domains can be valid for up to ten years with the option to renew.
After finding the right domain you’ll be prompted to select a theme/template to build your website with. It’s important to choose the right theme because it plays a significant role in determining the look, flow, and tone of your website. So, if you’re anything like me, this might be the toughest decision in creating your site. While WordPress continues to provide a popular, free option, there are also third-party developers with available themes for purchase. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of our favorite third-party WordPress themes in 2019.
Twenty Fifteen is WordPress’s simple, clean, and blog-focused default theme. With over 300,000 downloads, this is one of the most trusted themes in the WordPress family. Despite the volume, however, this timeless theme never feels overused as it is fully customizable to the user’s taste, allowing you to add your own photos, fonts, text, and more. And since this theme looks great across all platforms, there is no need to decide between having a great-looking desktop or mobile website experience.
To download Twenty Fifteen for free, click HERE.
Zakra is fast, modern, and a great, free interface for a blog, storefront, or restaurant. This theme is SEO-friendly, easily translatable, and is compatible with all major WordPress plugins. This theme continues to be rated highly by WordPress users and they note that it is very user-friendly and easily accessible.
To download Zakra for free, click HERE.
Default Mag is the perfect, free WordPress theme for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and more. It is incredibly clean and very user-friendly. This is a great website for those who are new to WordPress and want to ensure their content gets seen. This theme is SEO friendly with cross-browser compatibility.
To download Default Mag for free, click HERE.
The Library Books theme is built for authors, bookstores, journalists, publishers, and more. This theme is clean, versatile, user-friendly and fully customizable allowing you to easily showcase breathtaking photos of your work.
To download Library Books for free, click HERE.
While you cannot necessarily go wrong when selecting a free theme from WordPress, you should be certain to look for a few key things:
- Response to design
- Easy customization
- SEO friendly
- Loading friendly
The above advice will not only provide a better experience for you as the site owner, but also for the customers and readers who interact with your site on a day-to-day basis.
Each theme caters to a different market and the selection process is not a one-size-fits-all process. Before selecting a theme, reach out to your target audience to see what they are seeking from your website. Is it minimalism? Character? Speed? Design? Photos? Text? After all, they are the customer/reader.
It is always best to aim for simplicity while still serving the purpose of the website. With the way technology has shifted, responsive themes (themes that automatically adjust device it is being loaded on,) are no longer optional. The theme you select must work on both web and mobile interfaces. In a recent survey, nearly half of all web traffic is from mobile devices, excluding tablets. This number has risen steadily since 2017 and is expected to continue to go up.
Your website must also be able to work across different browsers. Top browsers as of 2019 continue to be Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
As you select your first WordPress theme, there is no need to be overwhelmed. WordPress continues to be user-friendly, providing optimal support, simplicity, and security for your website needs. Here’s a handy checklist (that recaps everything in the article above) to get your new site up and running!
- Create a customizable domain name.
- Select a theme that is simple, yet effective.
- Ensure your theme is mobile friendly.
- Don’t settle for a website that’s just “okay” – keep hunting for that perfect theme for you!