Whether you’re a WordPress theme creator or just a consumer, it’s important to stay abreast of what’s going on in the wild world of WP theme development.
One of the best ways to do just that is to follow trends in new theme designs from some of the leading theme designers out there. Checking out both free and premium themes is invaluable. If you follow both long enough, you may start to notice that features that were once only available in premium themes start showing up in free themes after a few months.
Here, I’ve collected more than 85 awesome new themes, from some of the web’s leading theme designers. There are plenty of free themes, and premium themes that start at just $5.
Free themes are often as powerful as their premium counterparts. The main difference you’ll likely find is the level of support: free themes often have little to no support, while premium ones usually do. But, if you’re comfortable diving into code yourself or doing your own troubleshooting, you may find free themes that fit the bill nicely for your projects.
Photo Theme is a simple responsive theme with a theme options panel that’s compatible with WP 3.4 and higher.
Keiran is a light-on-dark theme from pixxels.at. It includes a configurable header image, customizable colors, shortcodes for various features, and more.
Montezuma is a flexible theme with 10 responsive, five flexible, and five static layouts. It also includes a virtual file system that lets you edit or create new page templates from the admin area, without FTP.
Pytheas is a minimal theme that can be used as-is or as a starter theme. It includes a customizable background, header, and menus.
OnePager is a single-page responsive portfolio theme with an easy to use option page and integrated image slider.
Leatherly is a responsive theme from ColorLabs & Company with a leather notepad look, perfect for a one-page site.
Clean Response is a responsive, multi-purpose theme with two homepage options (one for business and one a regular blog theme).
Luca’s Theme is a responsive theme for WordPress and BuddyPress with a built-in custom post type Nivo Slider and custom homepage template.
Discussion is a two-column blog theme that looks like a notice board with push pins and paper. There are both free and paid pro versions.
elegantWhite is a modern theme with an easily customizable header, theme options, and a responsive design that’s cross-browser compatible.
Swatch is a free responsive theme from WooThemes that includes a features slider, custom homepage layout, and more.
Photo is a responsive gallery theme that’s great for web designers, photographers, artists, and more.
Tetris is a Tumblog style theme with a masonry-style homepage and archive pages, with post formats for gallery, audio, video, link, and image posts, in addition to a standard post format.
Thoughts is a responsive theme created specifically for writers, with no widgeetized areas and no sidebar or footer. It includes support for standard, gallery, image, video, quote, audio, and link posts.
Solio is a single-page theme with simple theme settings, a filterable gallery, lightbox viewer, and more.
Best Theme is a responsive theme built on valid HTML5 and CSS3, with thorough documentation.
StarMag is a fully customizable theme that’s banner-ready (125×125 pixel ads) and has a fixed width design. There are free and premium versions available.
The Night Watch
The Night Watch is a single column theme that’s perfect for personal blogs. The trial edition is free, but the premium edition includes additional features and access to the support forum.
Publish is a minimalist theme that supports custom backgrounds, nav menus, and various post formats, among other features. It’s best for single-author blogs, but works for multi-author blogs, too.
Suits is a business theme with an easy-to-use admin options, a responsive design, support for Google Maps Shortcode, custom sidebars, and a dynamic content loader, among other features. The premium version allows you to remove the footer links.
GirlsBook is a fashion-styled theme built on the SMT Framework. It’s shortcode-ready, slider-ready, and includes a social share bar.
Celebrity is a simple, grungy theme with an easy-to-use admin options panel and two columns.
Iridium is designed to be used as a landing page for mobile apps, and includes a custom menu, featured theumbnails, custom header, and more.
June is a photo gallery theme that’s perfect for photographers, particularly wedding photographers.
Kansas is a minimalist 2-column theme with a subtle and elegant design, ideal for personal blogs or journals.
Halifax is a responsive theme with a masonry layout on the homepage.
Gordon is a lightweight, minimal tumblog theme that uses the Font Awesome icon font.
Financio is a business theme with custom menus, custom widgets, a featured thumbnail, and more. Customize the slider and homepage intro text from the theme options panel.
Delphi is a blog style theme with a featured post slider and homepage intro section, with various configurable settings.
Infoist is a simple blog theme with muted colors and nice typography, placing the emphasis squarely on the content.
Clean and Sober
Clean and Sober is a minimalist theme with no graphics, post excerpts displayed on index pages beneath the post title, author bios on posts and pages, and a single customizable menu.
Magnifique is a responsive theme built on Zurb’s Foundation framework, with unlimited color schemes and easy-to-configure theme settings.
Gadgetry has a clean and modern style that’s perfect for blogs or small business sites.
Visual is a minimalist grid theme that’s perfect for artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and photographers.
Fruitiness is a responsive theme that’s particularly well-suited for a music blog. It includes a Google Maps shortcode, custom sidebars, and more.
Gommero is a simple, elegant theme suitable for business or personal sites, with a complete theme options panel for customizing the theme.
Runo Lite is a lightweight, simple theme that was designed specifically for poets and writers.
iRibbon is a mobile-ready responsive theme that includes a feature slider and callout section, and comes with a drag and drop page options panel.
BlackBird is a professional responsive theme with many customization options, including logos and feature texts.
Path was specifically designed for multiauthor blogs and magazine style sites, with support for plugins like Gravity Forms, Co-Authors Plus, Social Path, and more.
Snapshot is a portfolio theme perfect for showing off your photography, and includes a full width slider and gallery grid.
Surface is a clean theme with a custom background, drop-down menu, header logo, theme options, post excerpts, and more.
Theron Lite includes three font options, a slider, background image, and theme options panel. It also has multiple page layout options and a contact page template that doesn’t require any setup.
Rundown is a responsive blog theme that includes post formats support, a single widget area, custom header image and background, and more.
RetroPress is a stylish retro theme with ribbon visual elements. It’s shortcodes ready, has a dynamic content loader, and custom sidebars.
Premium themes often have much larger featuresets than free themes, as well as better support. And they sometimes include design options that make it possible to create virtually any kind of site.
Glisseo is a responsive theme suitable for business, personal, or portfolio sites, with various page templates, post types, and unique features.
Apparition is a striking theme with circular images and responsive features. It includes a custom background, custom menus, featured images, and more.
Horizon is a modern responsive theme with eight built-in color styles, that’s particularly suited to sports, automotive, technology, and video game sites.
Pressco is a minimalist, responsive portfolio theme for businesses or freelancers.
Elesoft is a colorful, bold business theme that includes a full-width slider, as well as background images on single posts.
StereoSquared ($39 membership)
StereoSquared is a responsive theme specifically tailored to bands, DJs, singers, and other music-related sites. It includes a tour schedule feature and SoundCloud integration.
IndiGamer ($39 membership)
IndiGamer is a game review theme that includes 3 alternate homapage layouts and 4 listing page layouts, as well as a built-in review system.
Pinfinity ($39 membership)
Pinfinity is a Pinterest-like tumblog theme that lets your users mark their favorites and includes multiple post formats.
Mustache ($39 membership)
Mustache is a flexible, responsive, single-page business portfolio theme that’s easy to set up and includes custom icons.
Glare ($39 membership)
Glare is a responsive portfolio theme aimed specifically at photographers and models, as well as other creatives. The two homepage options include either a photo slider or a full screen background video.
Hartee ($39 membership)
Hartee is a responsive theme built on the Skeleton framework with five unique color schemes and two different layouts to choose from.
Just Married ($49)
Just Married is a stunning wedding theme that includes an RSVP module and one-click auto install.
Newssetter is a news style responsive theme well-suited for technology review and article sites.
Education Academy ($65)
Education Academy is a portfolio theme well-suited for education sites, with multiple post types and endless skin variations.
Nightlife is a modern events directory theme that lets you charge users for submitting content, among other specialized features.
Catalog is a clean and modern responsive ecommerce theme that works with WooCommerce and Jigoshop.
Nimble ($39 membership)
Nimble is a bold and beautiful responsive theme from Elegant Themes, with layouts catered for everything from large cinema displays to mobile devices.
Lucid ($39 membership)
Lucid is a modern magazine theme that displays tons of content without feeling cluttered that adapts to mobile phones and tablets.
Flexible ($39 membership)
Flexible is a sleek and minimal portfolio theme with a filterable, ajax-powered multi-media gallery.
Venturos is a business portfolio theme that showcases your flagship projects and portfolio collections right on your homepage.
Letters is a slick business theme that’s also suitable for an ecommerce site or portfolio. It’s edgy enough to get visitors’ attention without being overdone.
Burogu is a tumblog theme that utilizes the versatile post-format feature, with flexible post layouts.
Yumblog ($39 membership)
Yumblog is a food blogger theme with support for recipe posts that includes three seasonal color schemes and integrates with the Recipe Schema plugin.
Photolia ($39 membership)
Photolia is a minimal photoblog theme with a responsive design and customizable background. It includes retina image support.
Picks is a photography theme with a flexible home page controlled with a simple drag and drop widget system, as well as integration with Instagram.
Kiosk is an ecommerce store theme that’s perfect for stores with just 1 to 10 products.
Delayed is a minimal responsive blog theme that puts the focus on the content, based on the FrameShift framework.
Hero is a minimalist responsive portfolio theme that includes a parallax homepage banner and a paginated portfolio template.
Scrollider is a business/portfolio/blogging theme with a featured slideshow and modules for portfolio, testimonials, and features, from WooThemes.
Mystile is a lightweight WooCommerce theme that can be used as-is or as a starter theme.
Launch is a coming soon page template from Press75 that includes an about panel and a profiles panel.
Hoon is a responsive HTML5 theme with a custom audio player that works on all devices. It includes customizable theme options, featured content options, and social media integration, among other features.
Droplets is a simple theme that features perfect typography against a full-screen background image.
ecoChic includes dynamic tiles to show off posts from the category of your choice, a built in slideshow manager, and is built with HTML5 and CSS3.
Dorothy is inspired by Scandinavian home design and includes a unique half-width slider for featuring home page content.
Chamomile is a sophisticated and charming business theme that’s perfect for paper stationery, wedding, and event planning sites.
Photostore is an elegant portfolio theme that’s perfect for photographers and other creatives, and includes a full-width slider, social media links, and more.
Intro is a portfolio theme with a class home page layout and customizes pages. It’s great for displaying text, images, or video.
Adorable is a one page responsive slider theme that’s good for a variety of business and personal sites and has simple theme options settings and pre-designed templates.
Hoarder is a grid-based, layout-shuffling responsive theme that supports a variety of content.
KnowHow is a responsive, specialized knowledge base and wiki theme that’s easy to manage and includes live search, a FAQ page, and customizable color scheme.
Whether you design your own themes from scratch, use out-of-the-box solutions, or go for something somewhere in between, it’s vital that you stay up to date on what’s available in the world of WordPress themes. It’s a fast-evolving and constantly-changing area, and one that many designers are finding to be quite lucrative.
Which themes above are your favorites? Did we miss a great theme you think should have been featured? Let us know in the comments.