Best Free WordPress Themes 2021

12 Min.
Free WordPress  Themes

Everyone knows that high-quality content is by far the most important factor for the success of your WordPress website - but you still need to keep your site's design in mind. This guide introduces the 15 best free WordPress Gutenberg themes you can use in 2021 to give your website an optical and technical makeover.

A lot has changed in the WordPress universe over the last few years. Probably as much as in the entire 18-year history of the world's most famous content management system. And it's all down to Gutenberg - the WordPress editor. Gutenberg has been included from WordPress 5.0 and has had a decisive influence on WordPress updates ever since.

With Gutenberg, creating blog posts with so-called blocks was introduced for the first time. There are now blocks for each element that are strung together, making designing your blog posts much easier. There are blocks for texts, images, videos, social media icons and dividers. The following banner is also a (self-developed) Gutenberg block:

Gutenberg has been continuously expanded and, by now, it can almost be regarded as a complete page builder for putting together entire WordPress websites from blocks.

Free WordPress Gutenberg themes

While researching the current 15 best free WordPress themes, we not only verified whether the themes kept up with the latest demands in design and functionality, but also made sure they met the technical requirements in terms of Gutenberg.

Moreover, we've deliberately chosen a mix of already very well-known themes and absolute newcomers to cover a full range of available extensions. Well-known themes usually have the advantage that they receive more attention from developers. The advantage of unknown themes, however, is that you can still use designs that aren't very widespread. You should test the unknown themes well in advance, however. Or wait a little longer to see if they'll actually be developed further.

So let's jump right in and take a look at the themes you can download and use for free for your WordPress site.

Your WordPress theme tips

Do you want to recommend another free WordPress theme? Do you have experience with one of the themes for Gutenberg we've presented? Feel free to use the comment function.

1. Getwid Base

  • Development: MotoPress
  • Active installations: 2000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 50
  • Ratings: 16 five-star reviews

The Getwid Base theme is completely adapted to the new Gutenberg block editor. It also includes its own plugins with more blocks for Gutenberg. You can create all kinds of websites with Getwid Base and the Getwid plugin - from landing pages, corporate sites to presentations for your portfolio.

The theme demo already gives you a good idea of the wide range of different blocks you can use with Getwid Base. To name just a few: icons, buttons, multimedia content, Google Maps, accordions, tabs and toggles, testimonials, counters, price tables, countdown and tables of contents. Getwid Base leaves hardly anything to be desired. This Gutenberg theme promises complete work on your own website without any knowledge of coding or programming.

Getwid WordPress  Theme
The Getwid Base WordPress theme

In the WordPress theme directory, Getwid Base is currently still one of the smaller themes with 2,000 active installations and about 50 new downloads per day. However, the ratings already show users are positive about the theme and would recommend it. The theme has achieved top marks in the directory.

2. Neve

  • Development: Themeisle
  • Active installations: 200,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 3,000
  • Ratings: 700 with five out of five stars

The WordPress theme Neve not only works seamlessly with the Gutenberg Block Editor, it also supports other page builders. Supported page builders include Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin and Divi. This gives users the flexibility to build their sites the way they want and work with page builders they already know from other projects.

WordPress page builders in comparison

You don't need any programming skills to customize posts and pages with a WordPress page builder. The extensions replace or extend the standard WordPress editor. Want to learn more about these useful tools? Check out our guide to 15 popular WordPress page builders for more insights.

In addition, Neve attaches great importance to speed and loading times. The theme is - as should be a matter of course in 2021 - responsive, can be easily translated into all possible languages and gives you the opportunity to implement entire shops using WooCommerce. Of course, you can also build normal blogs or sites with Neve.

It's clear in the WordPress theme directory that Neve already belongs to the established themes. It's currently running on over 200,000 active installations with an average of 3,000 new downloads every day. Neve also achieves top marks from almost 700 ratings.

Neve WordPress  Theme
The Neve WordPress theme

3. Potter

  • Development: Potter
  • Active installations: 1,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 20
  • Ratings: 11 five-star reviews

Potter is a Gutenberg optimized theme you can use to implement blogs as well as websites and shops. Potter focuses on performance and aspects of SEO (search engine optimization). This light theme comes with little "weight", has Schema.org support and can be easily played out with Google's AMP standard.

Potter also supports other page builders, including Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin and Divi so don't have to rely on the Gutenberg editor alone. Responsiveness, translations and the ability to implement shops with WooCommerce round off the features.

Potter WordPress  Theme
The Potter theme for Gutenberg

In the WordPress theme directory, Potter is one of the lesser-known themes with only over 1,000 active installations and a few new downloads per day. This means you can choose a design with Potter that won't be found on too many websites right now. The reviews give the theme full marks.

4. Davis

  • Development: Anders Norén
  • Active installations: 2,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 30
  • Ratings: 8 with five out of five stars

Davis is different from most of the themes in our list because it specializes only in minimalist blogs. You can't use Davis to implement extraordinary and spectacular websites, but you can use the blocks within your blog posts.

This limitation is, of course, accompanied by excellent performance. Without images, Davis only weighs in at 36 KB. Authors, journalists and bloggers who want to focus on their texts will find a stylish, minimalist home for their work in this theme.

Davis WordPress  Theme
Davis, a theme for minimalist blogs

At the same time, Davis isn't too overrun. This is especially important for a theme that doesn't offer many options for customization. In the WordPress theme directory, Davis has over 2,000 active installations with about 30 new downloads per day. The reviewers give full marks.

5. Gutener

  • Development: Keonthemes
  • Active installations: 1,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 200
  • Ratings: 2 five-star reviews

The name of the WordPress theme Gutener already reflects its association with Gutenberg. You can create all facets of WordPress sites with Gutener. From blogs or magazines to personal websites and company sites - although there is a clear focus on companies and professional use.

Gutener brings a wide range of theme options, various header and footer layouts and the ability to implement shops using WooCommerce. Various demos show the different uses of the Gutener theme.

Gutener Business WordPress  Theme
The business WordPress theme Gutener

Gutener is still an unknown theme in the WordPress theme directory but, on a good day, it can get over 1,500 new downloads. A total of two reviews is not particularly meaningful, however. It's probably better here to wait until more test reports have been published and then test the theme thoroughly yourself.

6. Blocksy

  • Development: Creativethemeshq
  • Active installations: 20,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 1,000
  • Ratings: 400 five-star reviews

The Blocksy development team emphasizes that its theme was developed especially for Gutenberg. You can see this not only in the name, which refers to the blocks, but also in the presentation. Blocksy can be used to build all sorts of websites: portfolios, blogs, landing pages, corporate sites and even WooCommerce shops.

Moreover, Blocksy allows you to use not only Gutenberg but also other well-known WordPress page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer and Brizy. Blocksy is also performant, responsive and can be easily translated.

Smarty WordPress  Theme
Blocksy WordPress theme

What's particularly impressive about Blocksy are the reviews in the WordPress theme directory. From nearly 400 reviews, there isn't a single one that doesn't give it five stars. With over 20,000 active installations, Blocksy is already well-known, but not yet too popular. Around 1,000 new downloads are added daily and, on good days, this can even go up to 3,000.

7. Gutenshop

  • Development: SuperbThemes
  • Active installations: 1,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 200
  • Ratings: 1 five-star review

The name of the Gutenshop theme already indicates what you can expect: a theme primarily aimed at operators of online shops with WooCommerce and one that supports the new Gutenberg block editor. Nevertheless, you could also use Gutenshop to set up a normal blog or site for your company.

GoodShop WordPress  WooCommerce Theme
Gutenshop - an online shop theme for WordPress and WooCommerce

The design of Gutenshop is kept very minimalistic. There are clear structures to which the developers have strictly adhered. This gives the design a certain calmness and directs focus onto the products in the shop. Gutenshop can also be used as an affiliate theme, for example, via a one-click checkout with Amazon.

In the WordPress theme directory, Gutenshop has over 1,000 active installations with about 200 new downloads per day. There's only one review of the theme so far and that review gives the full five stars. From March 2021 in particular, the downloads have increased significantly.

8. OceanWP

  • Development: OceanWP
  • Active installations: 700,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 4,000
  • Ratings: 4,500 five-star reviews

OceanWP is one of the most popular free themes in the WordPress plugin directory. Blogs, portfolios, personal and professional sites can be implemented with OceanWP as well as all other types of WordPress sites for every conceivable target group.

OceanWP is compatible with Gutenberg, but at the same time offers support for most of the popular page builders. Supported page builders include Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, Visual Composer, Divi and SiteOrigin. You can also implement shops or integrate them into your site with WooCommerce.

OceanWP WordPress  Theme
Demo of the WordPress theme OceanWP

With over 700,000 active installations, OceanWP is one of the best-known themes for WordPress and receives a lot of attention. The theme is downloaded about 4,000 times every day and has so far received an impressed 4,500 five-star ratings. On the development side, the theme receives with regular updates.

9. Astra

  • Development: Brainstorm Force
  • Active installations: 1 million
  • Downloads per day: approx. 6,000
  • Ratings: 5,000 five-star reviews

Even better known OceanWP is the Astra theme. This theme brings in the frontend view less than 50 KB "on the scale" and so achieves excellent performance. Astra allows you to work with Gutenberg as well as with the well-known page builders Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin or Divi.

All important page types can also be implemented with Astra. The WooCommerce support also enables the building of shops. Schema.org, AMP support and a wide range of demos for the right inspiration round off the offer.

Astra WordPress  Theme
Example of the Astra WordPress theme in use

Astra currently runs on over one million active WordPress installations, making it one of the most popular free themes across the globe. Every day, 6,000 new downloads are added to that total. The reviews also have a lot to say: from almost 5,000 reviews, there is an average of five out of five possible stars with 4,774 five-star ratings.

10. Hestia

  • Development: Themeisle
  • Active installations: 100,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 2,000
  • Ratings: 2,000 five-star reviews

Hestia was developed by the same team who developed the Neve theme we looked at above. It's aimed at professional users who want to use it to present their companies or services. You can also set up or integrate a shop with Hestia and WooCommerce.

The theme can be used with Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin and Divi Builder. It supports multilingualism via WPML and all customizations can be done via the WordPress customizer.

Hestia WordPress  Theme
The Hestia WordPress theme

Like Neve, Hestia has reached a six-figure number of active installs (though only half as many as Neve). The theme has about 2,000 downloads per day and 2,000 reviews that give it an average of five out of five stars.

11. Loose

  • Development: Patryk Kachel
  • Active installations: 800
  • Downloads per day: approx. 20
  • Ratings: 11 five-star reviews

Loose is a theme mainly aimed at bloggers who want to present their posts in different ways. Blogs and magazines can be easily implemented with this theme. There are different layouts for the home page, different post formats, designs for the individual posts and several areas for widgets.

Loose WordPress  Theme
The theme "Loose"

Furthermore, Loose supports Google's AMP, can be easily translated, offers comprehensive documentation and, of course, works smoothly with the Gutenberg editor. In the WordPress theme directory, Loose is still rather unknown with just over 800 active installations and 20 downloads per day. Nevertheless, there are already eleven five-star reviews of the theme.

12. GeneratePress

  • Development: Tom
  • Active installations: 300,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 3,500
  • Ratings: 1,200 with five out of five stars

GeneratePress places great emphasis on the coding standards of WordPress, ensuring full compatibility with all well-coded plugins. GeneratePress also supports all major page builders, including Beaver Builder and Elementor.

The Gutenberg editor is fully integrated, shops with WooCommerce are easy to implement, there are nine widget areas, five placements for the menu and five different layouts for the sidebar. There's also a paid premium version of GeneratePress that unlocks even more features.

GeneratePress WordPress  Theme
GeneratePress with Gutenberg support

According to the theme directory, the free version of GeneratePress is currently running on over 300,000 active installations with 3,500 new downloads every day. The 1,200 reviews award an average of five out of five possible stars. The ratio of five-star ratings to one-star ratings is also interesting here at 1,170 to six.

13. Zakra

  • Development: ThemeGrill
  • Active installations: 50,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 1,000
  • Ratings: 400 five-star reviews

Zakra is aimed more at professional users who want to present their company or services. But various other page types can be implemented with Zakra, including shops through the WooCommerce support.

Moreover, Zakra works smoothly with both the Gutenberg editor and the major page builders. The theme is easy to translate, supports all major and large WordPress plugins and comes with ten pre-built demos that you can install right away.

Zakra WordPress  Theme
The Zakra theme is aimed at professional users

In the WordPress theme directory, Zakra is already well-known with over 50,000 active installations, but not yet too overrun. The theme is downloaded about 1,000 times a day, going up to 3,000 times on good days. The reviews recommend the theme with 400 positive reviews and top marks.

14. Blover

  • Development: Patryk Kachel
  • Active installations: 800
  • Downloads per day: approx. 10
  • Ratings: 5 with five out of five stars

Blover - like the theme Loose presented above - was developed by Patryk Kachel and this is evident in a few blocks. With Blover, you can create e-commerce-sites, blogs, magazines and entire websites. Due to the focus on large and powerful images, Blover is also ideal for designers, photographers and creative professionals.

Blover is Gutenberg compatible, offers different formats, layouts, locations and designs for menus, widgets, articles and sites and supports the AMP plugin to serve your articles in an AMP version.

Blover WordPress  Theme
The Blover WordPress theme

According to WordPress theme directory, Blover has over 800 active installations with ten downloads per day. The five ratings given so far give the theme top marks.

15. Block Lite

  • Development: Organic Themes
  • Active installations: 1,000
  • Downloads per day: approx. 15
  • Ratings: 14 five-star reviews

Block Lite is, as the name suggests, a free lite version of the premium theme Block. But you can still build great WordPress sites even with this free version.

Block Lite is not so much aimed at companies or freelancers, but rather at photographers, creatives, designers, journalists and bloggers. This theme is about presenting your creative work in an appealing way. The large tiles need strong photos to show their full potential.

Block Lite Gutenberg Theme
Block Lite is mainly aimed at creative people

In the theme directory, Block Lite has over 1,000 active installations and 14 five-star reviews. The theme is downloaded about 15 times a day.

Conclusion: WordPress theme

If you need to decide which WordPress theme to use for your new project or how to breathe new life into an existing site, you should allow yourself plenty of time to choose the right one.

In the WordPress.org theme directory, you'll find thousands of free themes to download and try out on your own site. You shouldn't let yourself get too swayed by the description texts that accompany the themes, however, as almost all themes use similar phrases. Test the performance yourself rather than relying on a "light-weight" theme. Check out the site on all devices instead of relying on a "responsive" theme. And test the plugins you want to use with the theme to make sure there are no surprises waiting for you later on.

Some things to keep in mind when researching themes:

  • Is the theme still under development? Check the date of the latest update in the theme details in the top right.
  • How do other users rate the theme? Take a close look at the reviews from other users, paying particular attention to the points in the negative reviews.
  • Are all plugins supported? If you use page builders like Elementor, you should check if the theme works with them. The same applies to other important plugins (WooCommerce, WPML etc.).

Check out our article on WordPress plugins - 13 tips for the right choice for more tips and advice. Once you've found the theme you want, there's nothing standing in the way of your new WordPress site. And you'll soon be presenting your site to visitors in a fresh and modern design.

Your questions about WordPress Gutenberg themes

What questions do you have about the featured WordPress themes? Can you recommend any other themes? Feel free to use the comment function. Do you want to hear about news on WordPress and WooCommerce? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or sign up to our newsletter.

Christina is service editor at BASIC thinking, one of the biggest tech magazines in Germany. Her topics include technology, business, and marketing. For many years she has been working with WordPress at BASIC thinking as well as on her own projects.

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