The great thing about WordPress is its customizability. Regardless of whether you are a coder or not, pre-made themes and plugins are your best friends. In this article, we take a good look at some of the WordPress themes companies that exist in 2021.
What you should consider when choosing a WordPress theme
There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, and knowing which are the best can be daunting. This is our advice:
- Make sure the theme has the appearance you’re looking for.
- Ensure that it is compatible with any plugins you plan on using.
- Be sure that it will run on the version of WordPress you are using (probably the latest).
- Check that the developer does regular updates.
- Check user reviews and comments – these are a great way of seeing any issues with the theme and if the developer is proactive in addressing those.
- Check the pricing – there are many free themes, but some have limited customization capability or support.
- Do make use of free versions, live demonstrations, free trials, and money-back guarantees before fully committing to any particular theme.
Our recommended theme developers
As mentioned above, the world is your oyster when it comes to the choice of themes available. Here are our top picks for 2021. Please be aware that in most cases, the theme for yearly subscriptions will continue to work, even if you don’t renew the subscription – all you will typically lose is the premium support.
Astra is immensely popular despite being a one-theme shop, boasting over a million active downloads and a 4.9/5.0 star user rating on WordPress. What makes Astra so popular are its clean looks and the fact over 150 starter templates are available. Furthermore, many of those templates are free, so you can get a great-looking site up and running in no time at all.
While the free version bundles enough features to get you started, Pro – which costs $47 per year – gives you more customization options, training, one-to-one support, and more templates. Two other plans are available, namely the Essential Bundle and Growth Bundle. These provide even more functionality and cost $169 and $249 respectively per year.
Elegant Themes have been around since 2008 and have since gained a massive following on the WordPress scene. They have two themes, Divi and Extra, both of which use the Divi drag-and-drop page builder.
For a very reasonable $89 per year, you get access to both themes. You also get some plugins and hundreds of pre-defined layout packs that allow you to set a site up quickly. And let’s not forget premium support, updates, and unlimited website usage, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Article Continues Below
StudioPress offers an open-source framework called Genesis, which offers 35 child themes to give you the website you want – whether it be a blog or a website for your business, etc. The Genesis theme is renowned for its stability and performance and operates on over 600,000 sites globally.
Price-wise, the Genesis framework costs $59.95 per year. Adding one of the child themes bumps that up to $129.95 per year, but for that, you also get support and updates, detailed tutorials, and unlimited downloads. Other subscriptions are available, including one which includes hosting from WPEngine. In addition, a 30-day money-back guarantee is provided.
Forty-two themes are currently on offer from Themify, and these power well over 100,000 websites. So, whether you are looking for a theme for your blog, one to create an e-commerce website or something for your restaurant, Themify has you covered.
Three of their themes are totally free, but they are pretty basic. The premium themes cost $59 annually and include a year of support and updates, plus the Themify page builder. For $89 a year, you get access to all Themify themes, plugins, and addons. Dig even deeper in your pockets, and $249 will give you a lifetime subscription to everything. Trying is risk-free thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee.
OceanWP offers an attractive free theme with several free demos (templates), which you can add to customize how your site looks and feels. In addition, many (paid) Pro demos and extensions are available for increased flexibility, each geared to different applications. Therefore, creating a site customized precisely to your needs should be easy.
Pro subscriptions start from $39 for a single site per year and will also provide you with support and updates for that year. Lifetime subscriptions are also available starting from $159. All come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
OceanWP scores an impressive 4.9/5.0 with WordPress users and over 700,000 active downloads are in operation.
MyThemeShop offers a whopping 134 themes covering a bewildering range of applications. You can also choose from two or three-column, fixed header, AdSense optimized, and a whole host of other formats.
Currently, 56 of the 134 themes are free. The premium themes range from $19 to $35 per year and include video tutorials, 24/7 support, and updates. Also offered is an extended membership plan costing $99.47 per year and gives you access to current and future themes and plugins and much more.
Themeisle brings your four fast, lightweight, and elegant themes. Three of those are paid Pro versions only, while the most popular, Neve, is available in both free and Pro versions. All can be tailored using a wide range of preset demos (templates), many of which are free. So whether you need a website for your vacation rental, a freelance business, or an online shop, Themeisle is bound to have the right combination for you.
The Pro themes start at $59 per year for the Personal plan. That gives you support and updates, but if you want to use the Pro demos, you need either the Business or Agency plans ($99 and $159, respectively), which bring you a host of other features. If you are just starting, the free version of Neve plus one of the free demos should be perfectly adequate.
Over forty attractive themes are on offer from WPZoom, covering genres such as business, education, magazines, blogs, food, portfolios, WooCommerce, and more. Excellent documentation is available, and setting up a site promises to be a straightforward process.
Four basic themes are offered for free, while the others will cost you between $69 and $79 each. However, it makes more sense to buy an “All Themes Package.” These start from $99 per year for one to three sites and give you access to all current and future themes, support, and updates, as well as access to the theme’s PSD Photoshop files. Lifetime subscriptions are available, too, as is a 14-day money-back guarantee.
aThemes currently offers five themes, three of which are offered as both free and Pro versions, while the other two are completely free.
The free versions all give great starter functionality, ideal if you’re a beginner looking to get established with little or no financial outlay. The paid Pro versions – which cost $59-$69 per year – bring greater flexibility with customization, unlimited domain usage, support, and updates, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee. Lifetime (single theme or all) subscriptions are also available and cost between $169 and $299.
In 2020, Tesla Themes took the bold step of scrapping all their themes and starting over from scratch. They did this on the basis that WordPress had changed so much in recent years that a complete rethink was the best way forward. The result is a Pro theme engineered purely for the latest versions of WordPress and the block editors used to customize it.
While only one theme, Tesla Pro, is available, it comes with fifteen starter designs to get you going. Of course, being a premium package only, you also get full support and updates. Subscriptions range between $79 and $199 per year depending on the number of domains you need to cover, the most expensive option covering as many as you care to throw at it.
WordPress is often regarded as an underdog on the theme scene, but they offer fourteen very usable ones.
Despite not costing a single cent, all of their themes are simple but stylish and perfect for beginners and professionals alike. Several of them are active on over 100,000 websites, and Twenty Twenty is on over a million.
As WordPress develops them, they are stable and reliable, with the only downside we can see is that support is limited to the forums.
German developer Endcore’s store only offers one theme, namely AffiliateTheme. Nevertheless, we thought it was worth mentioning because it is the only one available purely for affiliate websites.
Affiliate marketing has seen massive growth over the last few years, primarily thanks to the Amazon Associates program. It is surprising, then, that no other themes specifically designed for affiliate-type sites are available.
AffiliateTheme allows you to add and manage products quickly, and all prices, availability, etc., update automatically. Most importantly, it will handle your affiliate links and APIs for you. What’s more, it integrates seamlessly with several affiliate partner programs such as Amazon, eBay, CJ affiliates, and Zanox.
AffiliateTheme starts at €79 for a single site license, rising to €479 for unlimited domains. Those prices include a year of support and updates, plus a 14-day money-back guarantee means trying it is risk-free.
CSSIgniter offers a whopping 78 themes in their store, so finding one that matches your requirements should be easy enough. All are mobile-optimized and compatible with both the classic WordPress and Gutenberg editors and various popular page builders.
Complete documentation is provided, as are guides for complete WordPress novices. In addition, all themes have been thoroughly tested with popular plugins to ensure no compatibility issues arise.
Single themes cost $34.30 per year. That includes updates, premium support, and unlimited domains. However, their packages offer much better value, starting at $48.30 and giving you access to all themes and plugins. Moreover, trying is risk-free thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ProteusThemes offers over twenty different themes catering primarily to small businesses and freelancers. All have a fresh, modern look, and the clean coding ensures speed is not compromised. Additionally, SiteOrigin’s page builder is used to make building your site quick and easy, and a library of over forty widgets helps that.
A single theme costs $79 for one domain, including support for six months and all future updates. Upgrading to their Agency plan will cost you $149 per year, but that gives unlimited access to all themes on however many domains you have, plus you get unlimited support. Best of all, a free seven-day trial is offered on all themes so you can try before you buy.
Pixelgrade offers twenty-one themes. Being targeted towards business-type websites, all look very professional. Unlike the themes offered by their competitors, Pixelgrade’s are very colorful, which adds considerably to the visual impact. They are also suitable for use on content websites such as blogs and news sites, etc. Plenty of customization is possible, particularly concerning color and font schemes, thanks to their ‘Stye Manager.’
Thirteen of Pixelgrade’s themes are available as free ‘lite’ versions. These have limited functionality but still are helpful for those with little or no budget available.
The fully functioned themes cost around $70 each per year. That, of course, includes support and updates, plus access to the aforementioned Style Manager. Lifetime subscriptions cost about $100, while $445 will get you a lifetime subscription covering all themes and as many domains as you need. Their refund policy is 14-days.
In common with Astra and a couple of other companies on our list, GeneratePress offers a single theme to which you add a starter site. Currently, 68 of those starter sites are available, covering a wide range of genres, so you should be able to find one that matches your requirements.
GeneratePress has focussed on making their theme and the starter sites as clean-coded as possible to optimize speed, stability, and accessibility. Customization is easy, as the theme is compatible with Gutenberg, Elementor and Beaver Builder, etc. Furthermore, it is open-source, so coders can tinker with it if you wish.
A free version is available, but you will need to upgrade to Premium if you want all the bells and whistles. That won’t break the bank, though, as it costs just $44 per year or $219 for life. That buys you all premium features, access to the entire library of starter sites, and premium support. Plus, you can use both Premium versions on up to 500 domains. GeneratePress has a 30-day refund policy, so trying the theme out is risk-free.
Catch Themes offer an impressive 82 themes catering to all kinds of sites. The focus is on simple minimalism, so your finished site will be clean and elegant. Customization is easy, and you can add things such as sliders and grids into your pages, as well as featured content.
All themes are available as free versions, plus there are live demonstrations available too. For full functionality, upgrade to Pro, which costs $59.99 per year for each theme. Sadly, no multi-theme bundle is available, so make sure to try out the free versions before committing money to any of the premium ones. That said, they do have a 30-day money-back refund policy.
Themetry produces eight very sharp-looking themes. Their ethos is to keep the themes as light as possible to ensure the fastest speeds and best reliability. As a result, their themes are particularly suited to showcase-type sites, such as photography portfolios, where the content rather than the theme needs to be the focus of attention.
Themetry’s themes all cost $100 each, including the chosen theme, lifetime support, and updates for one domain. $347 will allow you access to all eight themes on up to 100 websites. Extensive documentation is available on their website, as is a course to teach you about all the custom fields.
ThemeGrill currently offers sixteen popular themes suitable for all kinds of websites, including businesses, e-commerce, blogging, and magazines. Over 400,000 websites use their themes, so you can be assured you are getting a decent product.
Most of ThemeGrill’s themes include starter templates and are compatible with Gutenberg and Elementor, so building your new site will be easy. Some are available for free via WordPress, although bear in mind those will not have all the functionality of the Pro versions.
Many different Pro plans are available, starting with the annual plans at $59 per theme per domain. For that, you will get access to more demo sites, plus lots of additional features. An ‘All Theme’ plan gives you access to all themes and demo sites. Lifetime subscriptions are also available, and a 14-day refund policy is provided.
Please note that the themes in the above list are not in any particular order of preference. Also, all data, such as prices, active site numbers, etc., were correct at the time of writing.
Out the Box
Out the Box produces six (with a seventh due for release soon) very clean themes suitable for many applications, including WooCommerce stores. Particularly popular is their Panoramic theme, which has over ten thousand active installations and a 5.0/5.0 star rating. In addition, the developer is renowned for their regular updates and support.
All Out the Box themes are fully responsive and highly customizable, even in the free versions. The Pro versions are an absolute bargain at $25 (a one-off payment) and give you significantly more scope for customization.
What’s Your Favorite WordPress Theme Company?
Our list is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding the WordPress theme companies that exist, but it should give you a flavor of what is available and where to look. Ultimately, your choice of theme really will have a significant impact on the success of your site, so it pays dividends to choose carefully. What is your favorite WordPress theme company? Which theme are you currently using, and what are your likes and dislikes about it? Did you try any others first? And did you stick with a free version, or did you invest in a paid plan? Please do leave a comment below and let us know what you are doing.