It’s been a busy month for theme designers & developers as a large number of new themes were released, making this a great time to update your site if it is in need of a new look. Some of the overall trends in web design are showing through in theme design as well: flat design and big photos rule.
Every month we'll be bringing you our pick of the best free WordPress themes released in the previous four weeks. Here are our favorites for April:
This fully responsive, retina-ready theme is built on the Twitter Bootstrap framework and includes quite a few features often found only in premium themes. Some of the best options include 12 widget areas, multiple page layouts, a nice front page slider, custom logo and background options, multiple menu locations and comes “out of the box” search engine optimized.
This fully responsive theme comes with an extensive admin panel with plenty of options to maximize your site and customize it. The theme is tested and works with most popular browsers. Plus, Cubby includes multiple social media icons that you can use in your overall site design and a nice homepage slider.
Designed for business websites, RedPro is built on the Twitter Bootstrap framework and features a simple design. The theme includes three page layouts, is W3C validated and SEO friendly.
This theme features fun styling effects with high color contrast and fun typography. The responsive theme allows for color and logo customization and includes a tool to see changes in real-time before you save. The theme is built on Zurb's Foundation framework and would be a good blog option.
If you like options, then you will love Midnight City. This theme is packed with typography choices (including 220 Google fonts), one- or two-column layouts, two different header options, four different color schemes, multiple language translation and custom CSS options. The theme is also responsive and works in a variety of browser environments.
This lightweight theme is simple and would make a great fit for a blog or magazine-style website. Socialize Lite is responsive and features both top navigation and card-style posts and a sidebar area. As the name suggests, this theme is also packed with tools to help share posts on social media.
The free version of the Agency theme includes enough options to get started with a nice and clean website design. It includes a featured slideshow, multiple theme options, sidebars that can be used for widget areas, drop-down menus and threaded commenting. The theme also has a clean look, making it appropriate for a small business site.
This modern and masculine theme is designed just for video gamers, with a dark color scheme. Both the colors and layout are created to accommodate a game-based website. Neat Gamer also includes plenty of customization options and a widget area.
SunRain is a powerful theme with a lot of extras, making it an option for almost any type of site from personal to business. The theme is easy to use and packed with customization options. SunRain also includes a multi-layer slider (a very popular option), widget areas, custom areas for menus and backgrounds, multiple page templates and "sticky" posts. The two-column format also features simple and modern type styles for a themed site that will stand out.
This simple responsive theme features locations for big images and plenty of text. The theme includes multiple sidebar options and complete customization of the header and home page. The SEO-friendly theme includes plenty of color and font options as well to help create a site that is your own.
Planning to launch a site soon? This is the countdown theme to use while you are putting the finishing touches on your final site. This simple counter tells visitors when the new site will go live and can help generate buzz for your product or site launch. The minimal and clean look has a modern feel and includes an email signup form.
Athena is a fully responsive theme with a lot of different configurations for content. The theme also features a large main image area and header that collapses as users scroll down through the site. This theme is great for websites that will be viewed by international audiences as well with 25 language options.
While there aren't that many free themes designed for photographers, Capture makes the most of showcasing images. The photo blogging theme features a full screen image slideshow tool and has lightweight code so that everything loads quickly. The design of the theme is super-simple, allowing the photos to stand out in the design.
You would not know from a quick look that Catch Kathmandu is a free theme, because it is packed with features that are often found in premium options. The theme is packed with customization options, is fully responsive and has plenty of space for text and visuals. This theme also includes a featured post slider; webmaster tools; custom favicon, header, footer, background and menu; and custom widgets. Plus Catch Kathmandu is WooCommerce ready and can be used for business websites.
This theme makes the most of one of the big web design trends right now, blurred images behind a color overlay. This theme design can work for both blog and portfolio sites and supports six different post formats. The theme has customization options for the header image and background and call to action buttons.
The top feature of Graphy is typography. This theme is made for bloggers who want to showcase their words with beautiful and elegant type and little else. The responsive design was developed using mobile-first thinking and includes five widget options.
Hemingway is a great theme for sites with impressive images or visuals. The two-column design features large image areas and multiple post formats. The theme is responsive and retina-ready, so your images will always look crisp and sharp. Available widget areas include feeds for video, Flickr and Dribbble, making this a good portfolio theme.
Radiate is a great theme with a lot of modern extras. The theme includes a parallax header, customizable color options, customizable CSS, infinite scrolling, translation to several languages and supports the WordPress gallery. The header effect is especially nice with a hint of transparency. This is a robust package for a free theme with a modern look and feel featuring a flat design style.
Skeleton is a simple, responsive WordPress theme built on the "smpl" framework from Simple Themes. Skeleton features multiple widget locations—a popular element—multiple color palettes, multi-level navigation, SEO tools and Adobe Photoshop source files. The theme package also includes CSS customization options for more advanced users.
Circumference Lite is a clean, flexible and fully responsive theme for business websites, shops and organizations. The theme is built on the Twitter Bootstrap framework and comes with plenty of customization options for colors, layout and styling. This theme also includes multiple post formats.
This super-simple theme features a split panel design for two types of content. In this design, you can pair text and an image, or navigation and posts, or an image and gallery. There are no bells and whistles here and very few options for customization, but the theme is clean, simple and ready to use.
This single-page theme has a super-clean layout and is made for simplicity. While it does not have a lot of customization options, users can download this theme and have a simple and easy to look at site online in just a few minutes. StartPoint is fully responsive and features full-width images.
This responsive theme features a clean and simple design that could work for both business or personal portfolio websites. The theme is retina ready and includes a variety of customization options, including multiple color schemes. Infinite is built on the Twitter Bootstrap framework and uses the latest HTML5 and CSS3 tools for a great user interface.
Lupercalia is made for social mavens. This theme includes tools for linking to a variety of social media sites, including Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, twitter, Vimeo and YouTube. It also includes plenty of customization options, sliders and featured posts. The overall look of the responsive theme is somewhat feminine but can be altered.
This theme is designed with e-commerce in mind and is WooCommerce-ready. The theme is built in a minimalistic style and includes great spaces for images and some nice CSS3 animations. Market is fully responsive and if you like the look and don't need the sales tools, it can be used without those plugins.
This theme has a modern and flat design featuring a 12-column responsive layout. The free version of the theme includes a powerful appearance editor for changing color schemes, typography and layout options. Minima Lite also features a ton of blog elements such as short codes, custom widgets and is translation-ready.