Top 10 Free WordPress Responsive Themes for 2016

May 4, 2016 | Theme Review Thursday, WordPress Wednesday

It’s finally here! See Kori’s Updated list for 2016 of Free Responsive WordPress Themes. In case you missed it, here is last years list for 2015 Favorite Free Responsive WordPress Themes.

Heres our top 10 picks for Free WordPress Responsive Themes.

Here are links to their demos. To download these WordPress themes and use them on your website just go to your
Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New >> Search
#10. Esteem
#9. Ember
#8. Olsen Light
#7. 8store Lite
6. Llorix One
5. Spacious
4. Evolve
#3. Sparkling
#2. Kyma
#1. Zerif LiteUPDATE:No Longer Available as of September 10, 2016

Full Video Transcript

Hey y’all welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. My name is Kori Ashton here at WebTegrity in San Antonio, TX. You have been asking me for a year now to update my list of top 10 responsive WordPress themes that are free. What are they? What do I suggest? I did make a list 2015 Favorite Free Responsive WordPress Themeslast year in April. There are some differences. We do have some themes last year that were ranking okay and this year I’ve found some others that have taken their spots.

Here it is without further delay. My top 10 favorite responsive free WordPress themes:

#10 Esteem- it is still holding in tenth place. It is the theme that I chose last year for #10 because it’s so simple. I just really like that. It’s got this really nice CTA area (call to action area,) really nice layout, clean testimonial spot, really nice footer. The trend that we’re seeing now is edge to edge. If you didn’t want this boxed look where you had this background option, you do have the option to go wide and of course then that goes edge to edge with the imagery with the slideshow with your content. Outstanding for free. Really out of the box, Esteem is still definitely in my #10.

A new one on the list that makes the cut this year is Ember. This one is pretty spectacular too out of the box. It was very easy for me to install. Very simple. I do like the call to action here. Nice breakout section for your services. This parallax is pretty slick with the little slide in of a testimonial. This little fade in action here for the ‘Meet the Team’- I thought was really nice. They have a whole blog article section down here that fades in really kind of dynamically. A reminder for a call to action button, your social media and again a cool parallax with a contact fade in. The features on this theme are just pretty cool overall with just how dynamic it is. It has a lot of the elements that we’re seeing trending right now with the edge to edge large typography, the menu bar up here that is sitting on top of your content and stays fixed as people scroll down the page. You’ll see here as well that it is a single page scroll down but you can obviously have inside pages if you’d like to build it that way as well. Really nice theme. Of course this top bar up here (once you’re using it) would not be here, this is just to promote the theme. If you wanted to get the updated pro version of this theme, it’s only $39. Keep that in mind.

Olsen- this theme is pretty spectacular for a blogger. If you’re wanting to do just a very simple blog and this is about you and you’re wanting a very simple, elegant looking (classic looking) style theme this is pretty spectacular. The downfalls that I did see with it was there really not a lot of options for your color choices. If you don’t like the idea of having black here, you would have to have a little bit of nerd code knowledge to overwrite that manually. They do allow you to put a really nice logo up here. That same logo or a different logo (if you wanted to) will repeat down here in your footer. Really nice options there. That reminds me though (back on Ember) they do not allow you to upload an actual logo here. You have to use words. If you wanted to upload a logo you would have to buy the premium version at that $39 level. It’s very minimal color choices here for the free version and no logo options. If you’re looking to load on a logo, hold on because I’ll get to some cool ones in my list later on down the road.

Here we go.

#7 takes us to an e-commerce option. Last year I didn’t even add an e-commerce option but this year I’m impressed with this particular free WordPress theme. Out of the box it was pretty simple to do. There are some customizations here that you’re seeing in this demo that are only pro version. Out of the box it was pretty simple and I was impressed how easily it worked with woocommerce. I was able to add a couple of products very quickly and off and running. The testimonials little widget here is pretty cool. Their blogs rotate through. They’ve got a lot of cool features (even in the free version of this.) That’s why this one makes my top 10 list at #7.

This is called the 8 Store Lite. #6 is Llorix One Lite. This is another option for a one page design. You have the parallax scrolling here. It’s really nice- kind of zips down the page really nice. If you wanted to have an inside page you can have that thought. You saw that there take me to a totally different page. This would move into our blog. It’s a really nice, clean style, “minimalist approach” layout. It was very easy to install. I will say the downside, you do have minimal color choices. It has really great documentation so overall this is a really nice, very clean simple theme. If you’re looking to just get online quickly and you want to look a little bit high end, I would highly suggest this particular theme.

#5-Spacious. This one made in on my list last year and it’s still holding on. Just a really nice clean, simple theme. It was very easy to install. This one brags about 13 different “widgetized” areas. The testimonial widget here is just outstanding- super easy to fill in the blank. It comes with this cool customized look here. They do give you options to change colors easily. If you have one major color, you can make that choice change and all of these different points that are green here would change to your orange or your blue (or whatever option you had there.) It has a really nice footer as well with these different options for different columns. Another thing that I really liked about it, it offers a left or right sidebar and it also has really great documentation.

We’re moving pretty quickly here. I’m going to show you something else, it does have a cart option. If you wanted to use this and have woocommerce inside of it, it does have that option. One of the things you want to look at as you’re looking through all these themes is just scroll across their top navigation and you will have options appear that tell you more about each theme. It tells you it has an option for a fullwidth page with no sidebar whatsoever. It has no sidebar with content centered down the page or right or left sidebar. It talks about the different typography. It shows you what a header looks like. It shows you what a block quote looks like. It shows you what a table could look like- unordered lists. You get a quick idea of what (as you’re putting the theme together) that would look like. It also offers some pretty spectacular video tutorials in their documentation. That’s when I was mentioning their great documentation. You very rarely see an author go this far in a free theme to give you such spectacular documentation. Outstanding. You can go pro with this version as well and upgrade to the pro version of Spacious.

Here we go into my top 4:

Evolve made my list last year as well. It’s still holding on. It is #4 now this year. It does have a very simple slider. All around a very minimalist approach. These four boxes here are really important as people have their four different services they want to highlight. This gives you that opportunity very easily and quickly. It also has a Flickr widget that you can put in here-your portfolio widget. Your Twitter feed, I think is important. People are looking for that kind of stuff today. This really nice dynamic testimonials feed is also a widget that comes inside of this particular theme. You also have these incredible shortcodes that this author really went above and beyond giving you incredible options for shortcodes. You also have multiple page layouts here- different examples of what those would look like. That’s pretty outstanding. It’s super easy to install. Like I was saying it does have a shopping cart option so you see that up here at the top as well. So, it would play with woocommerce. You don’t have to use all those features (of course) but if you wanted to this really truly is just a really spectacular theme. It has multiple different options for your sliders as well. As you go down through the pages, you can see all about different styles of columns- layouts for your team members. These would be shortcodes that they have already created for you that are super easy to implement. Checkout evolve- it definitely makes the top of my list for sure.

#3- Sparkling- It made my list last year and it’s holding on now to #3. This theme is just extraordinary when it comes just out of the box. Super easy to install. You have the color choice option of changing the major color. You also have just a very modern layout. Very simple and really nice, beautiful organized footer area with your social media icons. A repeated menu if you wanted it down here. You’re seeing shortcodes options as well. They have a gallery area that you can have some really cool masonry gallery here. Remember that every example I’m showing you is fully responsive. As this scrolls down, everything’s going to stack beautifully on a cell phone view. Keep that in mind and play around with those options as you’re shopping for a theme to see what type of options you would have on a cell phone. You’re going to see these really cool shortcodes that are just out of the box. Tabs, accordions, your featured list and buttons. All of these things are already inside the theme ready to go. All you have to do is use a couple of shortcodes and you could be making these really cool column layouts (half, one-third.) Pretty spectacular. Checkout Sparkling- it is #3 on my list.

#2 is brand new to me this year. Kyma is the way I’m going to say this name. The one you’re seeing right here is their advanced (which is their pro version.) I wanted to show you what that looks like because it definitely has a lot of crazy cool features to it. This would be your area for services and that really nice CSS spin there is nice. They have this pretty spectacular portfolio area that I thought was just really cool. They also have the ability to change typography. You do have the ability to upload your logo to this. You’ve got some cool little logos that could scroll there. A testimonials widget. It does have a shopping cart inside of it as well. Look how nice these features are. That’s just beautiful. They’ve got some pretty school statistic numbers that you can add in there. All of these things are just above and beyond. If you wanted to use all of them you could, if you didn’t you don’t need to have everything displaying. The way this toggles over and kind of spins around is a really cool interaction. The fade-in here is really nice. A repeated call to action right above your footer. This theme really kind of has everything to it but you don’t get everything in it unless you’re paying for that pro version. What I did for the sake of this tutorial because we’re staying on a budget of free, I installed their free version and this is what I got kind of out of the box. I was able to put my logo in there. I’ve got my different tabs across the top. I’ve got my phone number, my email, my social media. This slider here pulls from my posts. It has my most recent posts right there. Our services- I still get that cool little spin effect with our services. It does have a portfolio with this type of cool functionality to it. That’s kind of nice. It still has the lazy load kind of fly in for the posts and call to action to see more posts. We do have our CTA down here and then our nice footer area. Out of the box the free version of this theme is pretty spectacular too. The main reason why it didn’t make my #1 is because it doesn’t have as many installs. We don’t know fully if this theme is everything I’m hoping it will be. Maybe next year it will be my #1.

(Drumroll…)My #1 for this year (my #1 theme) is one that we’ve already talked about before. You might even have used it before. Here it is. Zerif Lite. SADLY – THIS THEME IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED

This is a pretty spectacular theme. I love it because you can upload your logo. It’s super easily customizable. It’s very basic. It has this beautiful edge to edge imagery. It has this beautiful lazy load- kind of fade in effect on things. It’s got the parallax in it. It’s got this beautiful about section. The happy clients (I think) is a really cool effect too. This nice little area for our team. Again, remember you get all of this for free. This is the out of the box, one click install and your website already looks like this. All you do is go in and if you don’t want to say get in touch, you just override that and say contact our team (or whatever you want that to say there- you kind of fill in the blank in a sense.) Fantastic reviews on this theme. Really great documentation. Super easy to customize. It is kind of a one click zip down the page too (which is a really cool feature.) Again, if you wanted it to bounce into and actual landing page (another page on your website) you can easily adjust that as well.

There it is you guys. No matter what, (if you’re watching this video a few months down the road right now) I always want you to pay attention to the reviews of a theme. I always want you to be sure that you start off with the free version first before you pay for the pro version just to be sure you kind of like it. Or that you like the documentation that you’re seeing so you kind of build a trust with that author before you’re paying and investing. You also want to be sure that it’s (of course) responsive. These that I’ve listed here are fully responsive so they’re going to look great on a cell phone. Pay attention to reviews. Look at the support forms and make sure that you can get a hold of the author (in case you have any questions on these things.)

I hope this helps you and I hope you’re having a great WordPress Wednesday. I know this video was long but y’all are going to stick around and watch it because you love all these crazy themes.

I’m thankful for you being here on my WordPress Wednesday every single Wednesday.

I’ll see you next week y’all.