Top WordPress Themes for 2018 – Kori’s Favs

Sep 26, 2018 | Divi Theme, WordPress Themes, WordPress Wednesday

If you’re looking for WordPress themes for 2018 to use – check out these top choices from Kori. You’ll learn about free choices, paid options, and pro options. She shows you how to customize them and what kind of budget to expect for different functions/features. You’ll certainly want to take the time to watch till the end.

Brought to you by Pressable. WordPress Hosting & Support. Use ASKKORI for a free 30-day trial!

Full Transcript

Hey ya’ll, it’s another WordPress Wednesday, my name is Kori Ashton, and you continuously ask me over the years, “What theme shall I use for my website, whether I’m an author, whether I’m a coffee shop, whether I’m a lawyer, I’m a recipe blogger, what should I be using on my website?”. Well, let me give you some ideas today, depending upon your budget, depending upon your industry, and what you’re trying to accomplish, I’ve got a whole list for you in this video. Let’s check it out!

Hey, this video is brought to you by Pressable. I’m going be bragging about them further in this video, because if you have a budget where you could actually afford to have a hosting company that cares about WordPress, and that cares about your website’s security, and how well it loads quickly, and how easy it is to connect with them to get support. Pressable’s gonna be your team. I’ll talk about them a little later on as well. So be sure to check them out. I’ll put a link for 30 days free, in the description below.

What You Need to Ask Yourself First

So, what kind of themes should you be using for your WordPress website? I’ve got a couple questions we have to start with, to kind of give you the lane to drive in, okay?

So, first question is, what’s your budget? Alright, so, do we need to stay in the always free lane, and we have no money whatsoever, we’ll really just need to see kinda of a proof of concept, can I get out there and start doing this. That’s one lane. Do you have a little bit of budget, that you think, “Okay, “I can maybe afford a hundred bucks, I can afford maybe 200, 300 dollars for the year, and really invest in this and try to get it out there.”

Or, are you seriously considering, “Alright, “I’ve already done kinda of a proof of concept, “I need to move that next level, and really look “at that professional high-end look, that style.”

So, there’s kinda three different areas you can land in, when you’re trying to decide which theme to use. Because, if you have to stay in this completely free lane, you guys, you gotta go back to and use that version. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve got another video, I’ll put the link down below in this thread, so that you can click on it and go see what the difference is between .org and .com for WordPress.

Because if you stay in the .com lane, you can actually do everything for free. Don’t need to pay for hosting, but! there’s a caveat to that, you have to understand that you are gonna be a little bit limited on things. You’re gonna be a little limited when it comes to the domain name that you are using, you’re gonna be a little limited when it comes to what themes you can use, what sort of features you can plugin to your WordPress website.

If you’re trying to stay in that lane of totally 100 percent free, but it’s doable! So that’s exciting. If you have that little bit of a budget, where you can afford to go get some great hosting from Pressable, and get an environment that you can use plugins, and you can go buy an upgraded nice theme to use for your WordPress website. Well, that’s gonna be some really great options for you, because it kinda opens up, you’ve got unlimited options of themes now, you have unlimited options of plugins, not only free plugins, but also if you wanna upgrade it to premium plugins, where you’re actually installing them, downloading, and installing them, lots of cool options there.

And of course, if you wanna upgrade and go that big pro level and really look the part, you can work with an agency like mine, WebTegrity, where we’ll actually build you a total custom WordPress theme. We don’t go out and get the 50 dollar themes and try to customize them for you. We actually code from scratch, a WordPress theme. So that’s always an option.

But budget looks like this, totally free, you’re probably in an anywhere between 200 to 300 dollar range here, and then over here, you’re gonna be starting at the 5000 and up range, right? So, think about that and let’s look at your theme options. So, let’s start out for those of you in the free option. There are a lot of options, so don’t think that you’ll get limited.

Free Themes on the Dashboard

And now, I’m gonna show you three of my favorites that I would suggest. They’ve been around for a while, so let’s take a look! So all you’re gonna do is to go into your Dashboard, but go over to appearance and go to the Themes area. And of course, this is gonna be 2017, 2016, depending on when you’re viewing this video, there might be other themes sitting here. And these are themes provided by WordPress themselves. The team creates these, typically one a year.

And all you’ll have to do to add new or to find another theme that you might wanna use, is click Add New Theme and you get to go into this entire area, that offers totally free options. Now, as you’re looking at some of these, you might see some that have really cool bells and whistles. Don’t be fooled by all the bells and whistles, some of those are gonna be required for you to upgrade and pay, for certain features or functions, but for the most part, everything you find inside of here, will have a free option for you.

So clicking around of ’em, you can just click Details and Preview, open it up and kinda see what it’s gonna look like. Obviously this version over here, this little thumbnail, it doesn’t look like anything that we’ve got going on right here, but ultimately, you can have it look like this, is what they’re trying to say to you. And you can tinker and play around. You can click Install, these don’t cost anything, so you can tinker around and play.

You can also come up here and just kinda look for Popular, look for Latest. You can do a quick search and say something like, Store, if you’re looking for anything that might have an e-commerce option inside of it, and you’re gonna see all these different options that live here.

Kori’s Favorite Free Themes

Zerif Lite Free Theme

zerif-lite theme

Let me tell you about my three favorite free themes that I would suggest for you right now. Zerif Lite is gonna be the first on my list, and I’ve talked about this one for several years now, it’s still definitely on the top of my list. If you click Install on it and activate it, it’s pretty much straightforward.

These authors give you quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to styling the website. And obviously, they offer an upgraded version as well, so you can really get some different looks, and some different customization opportunities. But I mean, here it is, right here, I’m already up and running, I’ve got content kinda already sitting in here that I can go in and make changes to.

Obviously, I can change my logo up here in the left-hand corner. Really super simple customization. And it allows you to install a couple of free plugins that they’re suggesting that you use in order to have it look and function just like the demo. So you wanna be sure to install these, so you can have that same kind of function the demo shows. Let me show you some of the customizations that you can do inside of it, that was pretty cool.

You come over here to Customize, and it’ll open it up and let you see all the different things that you can pretty and quickly make changes to. So, I mean, they’re gonna let you go in and make changes to this. There it is, you can customize this button. Right, you can do anything you want to here, change the links on ’em, change the links on ’em. Pretty amazing, already I’m making these changes, just simply on the fly.

If I wanna change this completely, I can upload a logo if I’ve wanted to. Change this area, and again, this is Zerif Lite. You guys are gonna love it, check it out!



Let’s look at the second one! The second one’s gonna be comparable to Zerif Lite, but it’s called Spacious. So let’s install that and show you a little bit of the customization that you can do inside of it. It’s pretty simple, this would be a theme that I would recommend for a small business, and it’s got pretty great documentation, so you can click here and understand kinda how to walk through all the different things that you need.

You can install the actual demo content, which I think is really fantastic. And of course, they have the documentation. And of course they have the Pro version, right? Where you can upgrade and pay the premium price tag to get the Pro version. They’re gonna show you that options that you get and the free versus Pro here. But let’s go in and customize things, I can go to the front side of the website and kinda show you what it looks like now.

This is already it, I mean, this is it right here, you can come in here, change anything we want, right? Change this area, and this is Spacious, this is the name of the theme. Come in here and make changes to your, your slider, this is gonna be a slider area, so you can either activate it or get rid of it if you wanted to. If you didn’t want the slider there, this, of course is just your homepage!

You can go in to change your menu, you can get rid of the search function, and if you don’t need it, just remove it. I mean, there’s all sorts of really cool things that you can change simply on the fly. They’re offering a lot of customization, and you’ve got a really great strong footer area, if you need to have that for your project. So, pretty cool options inside of Spacious.

Bootstrap Blog


Let’s look at the third option. Number three is gonna be Bootstrap Blog. These guys, I mean, basically if you need a blog, this is really gonna be a really great straightforward theme that you can plugin, and start blogging today, if you wanted to.

Let me show you some of the customization inside of here. Remember though, it actually, let me go back for one second, so I want you to see that they actually have quite a few of the plugins, that you need to install that they recommend, so you’ll wanna be sure to drop all of these in. You can say, begin installing plugins. Install each of these, so that you have every bit of functionality that the demo is showing you, right?

So this WooCommerce option, even if you don’t need a store, you’ll probably need to go ahead and install it and just have it sitting here, so that, again, you kinda have all those features or functions. But it does have a WooCommerce store, so that’s kinda cool too, right? And not just blogging, you can have all sorts of options. Go into Customize, you can see a few things just really quick.

Looks very, very, very clean and simple right now, because I really don’t have any content inside of my website for it to show you. You can go in here and change all sorts of colors and fonts, just really super easily and quickly, you don’t need to know any code to do it. They give you a lot of opportunity to change kinda the whole style of it, if you wanna have a background picture in it, you can change it. You have different Header Options, Header Image, do you want a Sticky Header, do more, so the Search feature, different options for layouts, if you go to the Pro version of the theme.

So, really cool options. If you’re looking to blog, I highly recommend this one, Bootstrap Blog. Alright, that wraps up kinda our free options for all the WordPress free themes, if you need to stay on that budget.

A Few More


Here’s a few more that I’ve used over the past few years, just to let y’all see, some other options as well in that free zone.

Paid WordPress Themes

Let’s go on! Let’s look at if you have a little bit of a budget, where can you be? What options open up for you? What you wanna keep in mind here is, if you have a little bit of that budget, that you can actually spend and you’re able to move into the .org version of WordPress, which means that you’re self-hosted, or you find a hosting company like Pressable, to host your website, that’s your server space where all your files live.

If you have that type of budget, then you’ll gonna be able to go out and actually purchase a higher-end theme, and you are not just limited to free options for themes. But, you can use a free theme still, that’s perfectly fine. But if you’d like to upgrade it a little bit, have a few extra bells and whistles, some extra features that are kinda just outta the box, plugged in already to the theme, then you’ll get to skip coming here, and shopping at the Add New Theme for free options. And you get to move out of your website, and go to other external sources.

One of the most popular out there is gonna be, where you’re able to find a lot of WordPress themes, I mean, hundreds, if not, even thousands of options live inside of here. What you’ll wanna remember though, is that, most of these run anywhere between 30 to 60 dollars, US dollars, that’s a one time fee, for a period of year, you’re gonna probably have, you know, all of your updates coming into you. But, after that, you’re gonna need to re-up your support with the authors, so that you can get the updated version of your theme. It shouldn’t cost you that same dollar amount every time, it might be a lesser fee, but don’t be fooled by the idea of, “Well, it’s just 60 dollars one time.”. There’s gonna be options where you’ll want to be able to upgrade or update your themes for security purposes, right?

Avada WordPress Theme


So, some of my favorite themes that I would suggest inside of Themeforest, obviously is Avada, it’s the most popular selling theme inside of Themeforest. Really phenomenal, I will say this though, Avada is kinda heavy! It’s a little bloated when it comes to all of its options, because they really pack a lot in there. I mean, you’ve got a shopping cart, you’ve got a lot of child themes in there for optional layouts. It’s a lot and it’s totally worth the money.

But this again, is for one website. 60 dollars, you’ll only get one license to use for one website. So if you’re a freelancer, you might want some other different options, I’ll talk about that in a minute.

X Theme


Another theme that I highly recommend is the X Theme. Bernardeta is one of my awesome team members here at WebTegrity, and she highly recommends this. This is her go-to theme every time for her clients. I think it’s important that you know that these are fully supported. Phenomenal, phenomenal reviews, and just a ton of sales.

The7 Theme


I’ve also seen The7 theme do really, really well for clients. It has a lot of extra plugins, that it went out and purchased licenses for you, and it, and then it gives it to you for free when you purchase its license.

So those are three that I recommend, living over here inside of the Themeforest world, but if you know me, you know my channel, you know I am in love with the Divi theme, for a lot of different reasons.


If you are a freelancer, and you are building for a lot of different clients. First of all, you need to be on Pressable hosting. Second of all, you need to get the Divi theme, because this thing, it’s one time you’re gonna pay for this, right? So you’re gonna come over here, you’re gonna join their Lifetime Access. You could if you wanted to, do 89 dollars, that’s fine, that will get you the theme, that will get you all the plugins that this offers. But, if you come over here and do the 249 one time, you get it for the lifetime, and, and it’s unlimited.

You can put this thing on as many websites as you ever, ever build. That’s why I’m in love with it. Plus, it’s so powerful, you can do so much with this Divi theme. If you’ve never played around with it, I’m gonna put the link to the demo page builder inside of this beast. I want you to come play around with it, because I think you’re gonna get just as hooked as I am. I love it, it is a great product.

Super fast, loads really quickly. Highly, highly recommend the Divi theme. If you have a budget in the range of 3000, 5000, 10000 dollars at your company, that really wants to just take your website to that next level, you’ll want a really great responsive mobile version of your website. Or, maybe you realized as you’re watching your Google Analytics, that you have a lot of traffic but conversion’s not happening. Nobody’s calling in, nobody’s filling out your form, nobody’s doing what you need them to do.

WebTegrity – Custom WordPress Sites

Well, you probably are ready for a full custom solution. If that’s the case, I’d love to see you come over to WebTegrity, contact us, and let us help you build out that custom solution.

Most of our websites are gonna be anything from three to five plugins, super lightweight, everything’s gonna be custom coded for you.

Why do you wanna do this? An author building out a theme for you, anybody out there who’s trying to create a theme for the masses, is gonna have kinda every bell and whistle inside of it. And it will be good for you, it will be sustainable for you for a few years. But the truth is, if you want something really lightweight that’s gonna be super secure, you don’t have to worry about the updates on it, this is the solution for you. Come over to WebTegrity, let’s talk about your projects, see if I can help you.

See if my team here in San Antonio can help build out an amazing solution. If you want to, click the button right here, that says Our Work, and you can see some of our full custom solutions. We’ve had a lot of fun developing really cool projects, not only for folks here in San Antonio but even around the world.


Alright, y’all, so let’s recap for a second. And if you’re gonna do a free option, you can definitely go over to, do a totally free solution. You don’t have to spend one penny, and you’re off and running with WordPress. If you have a little bit of a budget anywhere between, I don’t know, even down to 50 bucks, 50 bucks, 300 dollars, 500 dollars, something like that in that range, you can certainly go over the self-hosted version, go over to, get 30 days free of hosting, get a great solution where they can help you with any support, check them out.

And then, you open up Pandora’s box in some ways, ’cause you have unlimited options for themes, and plugins, and you can really build a really cool solution for yourself. If you’re ready to take your website to that absolute next level, that’s where you’ll wanna be. You need to find a company, maybe locally, or here in San Antonio, if you’d want to, that can help you build out a really great custom solution.

I hope that has helped y’all. If y’all are using all different themes that you really want to brag on, I’ll love to hear from you, put them in the thread below, tell me what theme you’re using, what type of success you’ve had, put the link there, let me check it out. I’ll love to see what you’re building these days.

I hope y’all are having a phenomenal WordPress Wednesday, and I will see y’all next week! Be sure to subscribe, bye y’all!