9 Best WordPress Themes for New Blogs
Creating a new blog can be an exciting process.
One of the first big decisions for any new blog – and one of the most daunting – is choosing a theme for the website.
But with so many different options to choose from, how do you know which one is the best for your new blog?
In this post, we will list 9 of the best WordPress themes for new blogs.
These themes are easy to use, customizable, and most importantly – affordable!
So if you’re looking for a new WordPress theme that will help launch your blog into success, look no further than the list below!
Why You Need a WordPress Theme
Themes on WordPress allow you to customize the look, feel, and layout of your site.
Without a theme, you would end up with a very basic webpage that looks like something straight out of the 1990s.
While the ’90s was a great time, the internet has moved on. And your website should too.
When choosing a theme for your blog, it’s important to choose one that’s able to grow with your blog.
You want something that can be further customized later, can grow to utilize new features you need down the road, and can support a larger website as you continue to fill out your blog.
There are few bigger headaches for a blog owner than trying to migrate to a new theme after uploading 100, 1,000, or more blog posts.
It’s not impossible, it’s just a massive headache.
That’s why I believe it’s so important to choose the right theme from the start.
But how do you even know what the right theme looks like?
What Makes a Good Theme
When exploring new themes for my websites – including the themes for this list – I look for a few different key aspects:
The first thing I look for in any new theme is customization.
I don’t want my website to look like every other site, and I have a vision for what I want my site to be.
Therefore, the ability to customize the theme is key to bringing that vision to life.
While some themes offer so much customization that it can be overwhelming, others might not offer many options without using custom code.
I tend to look for a middle ground between these two.
Additionally, some themes offer website templates that you can then customize to your own liking.
I enjoy this because it gives me a starting point to work from.
Personally, it’s a lot easier to start building when you’re not looking at a blank screen.
It’s kind of like writing – it’s easier to get working when there’s already something to build off of.
Overall Features and Plugins
Can this theme build pop-ups and opt-ins?
Can it plug into the various tools I use on my blog (autoresponders, affiliate programs, marketing/social media tools, etc)?
Can I set global settings to help with branding?
Is the theme mobile responsive?
Can I hide/show specific elements based on mobile users vs desktop users?
These are some of the questions I’m asking myself when looking at a new WordPress theme.
While every theme may not have every feature I’m looking for, I’m still taking all of this into consideration when making a decision.
If a theme doesn’t offer its own pop-ups for me to collect emails, for example, that may not be the end of the world.
The autoresponder I use – or some other tool in my arsenal – may already have that feature regardless.
But these are still questions to ask yourself.
What features do I need? How critical is it that the theme has it? Can I live without that feature, or does another one of my tools make up for it?
Ask yourself these questions as you’re evaluating your new theme.
Consider what features you want to use not only today, but also in the future.
Impact on Site Speed
Site speed is a crucial part of creating a powerful blog.
It’s been well-documented that users will leave your site if it doesn’t load fast enough.
While site speed isn’t only affected by your theme – your hosting provider has the biggest impact – the theme you use makes a big difference.
Simply put, some themes are created better than others. There’s no way around it.
Over the last few years, there has been a massive shift from WP theme creators to create smarter themes that are more efficient in how they load web pages.
Without getting into the techy side of things, just know this: more and more theme creators are waking up to the importance of site speed, and they’re designing these themes around that aspect.
That’s good for you and me and other site owners, and it’s good for our users.
While evaluating themes for this list, I put a lot of consideration into the impact on site speed.
You can be assured each theme on this list will have a positive impact on your speed, as well as your reader’s experience.
Ease of Use
Do you want a theme that requires you to basically write code yourself, or do you want one that offers a series of sliders and buttons to allow you to customize it?
Since I know approximately nothing about coding, I know what my response is.
Because of the vast customization options different themes offer, you can quickly become bogged down in all the different menus and features when creating your site.
It’s for this reason I always like to consider the ease of use of any theme I’m exploring.
I don’t want to have to spend 45 minutes to get 1 little image sized properly, or spend hours to build out a landing page that will only be used once.
While having a ton of customization options is important for any theme, how those options are presented makes a big difference.
The upside here is that theme creators know this as well and they build the backend of these themes to be more user-friendly, taking the headache off you and I.
As I said earlier, it’s important your chosen theme is able to grow along with your website.
I don’t want to have to build from an entirely new theme in a year, I’d much rather expand on the one I already have.
For this reason, it’s important to take into consideration the future use of your blog.
What features and tools do you want to use in the future as your site grows?
How does the theme handle different menus and organization of your posts?
Will you be able to expand your site and its features with this theme?
These are all questions I ask myself when choosing a theme.
Now, you may not know what you will need in the future.
In fact, you most likely don’t really know.
That’s fine. It’s more important that you’re confident the theme you choose has options for the future than it is that you know exactly what you will need.
Choose a theme that’s robust, and built for many different uses or types of websites, and you’re more likely to end up with the features you need in the future.
Choose a theme that’s very specifically tailored to one type of website, on the other hand, and you limit your possibilities.
Best WordPress Themes for New Bloggers
Now that you know what to look for in your future theme, how about we start looking at the best themes that meet all of the above criteria, and offer you all the customization and options you will ever need to build your site?
Here are the 9 best WordPress Themes you should consider:
Divi – My Personal All-Time Favorite
Divi is, by far, my favorite WP theme. It’s also the theme that this website is built on.
Everything you see on this site? Built by Divi.
Divi – created by Elegant Themes – is also one of the most popular WP themes in the world.
And there’s good reason for it.
Here are just a few things Divi does – and does well:
Extensive Page Builder
Divi does more than just offer a theme for your website, it also allows you to build custom pages for whatever you want.
Whether you need a quick landing page, a photo gallery, a testimonial page, form pages, or anything else. You can create a page built just for that purpose, starting from scratch and using only what you want.
There are over 200 modules included that you could add to your custom pages so you can build what you need, when you need it.
Building a website from nothing can be difficult.
Staring at a blank screen and not knowing where to start is something we all face from time to time.
And that’s why Divi has included 2,000+ template designs for you to work from.
You can take these designs and customize them as far as you want.
You might even end up with a website that looks completely different from the design you started with.
But having that template to work from allows you to get working faster.
To be clear, I have not looked at every single template Divi offers.
There are just too many.
But I did build this website starting from a pre-made design (and I wish I had taken note of which design it was).
From there, I built everything you see on this website.
No coding. No in-depth tech knowledge. Just the power of Divi.
If I can do it, you can too.
Forms, Pop-ups, Opt-ins
While there’s no shortage of tools and products you can purchase to build forms, promote your products, and collect information from your readers, it’s always great to see the feature built into your chosen theme.
Not only does this cut down on costs by requiring 1 less tool for you to buy, but it also cuts down on bloat and increases your site speed by having 1 less tool loading into the site.
Divi’s built-in options for building pop-ups, contact forms, and connecting with your email tools allow you to grow your audience quickly and easily.
And just like the website templates, they offer pre-made designs for you to use.
You can have your first pop-up created and live literally within minutes.
And, again, it doesn’t even require you to purchase another tool or plugin.
Built for Speed
I talked earlier about how site speed affects your reader’s experience.
Well, the creators of Divi have really taken this to heart.
The Divi theme is programmed in an incredibly smart way that – without going into the technical aspects (that I don’t even fully understand anyway) – basically makes it so that when a page loads, it only loads the features it uses, not all the features of the theme.
This may sound like common sense – after all, why would you have your page load, say, an image slider, if you’re not using one on that page?
Well, the thing is, in the past, this is exactly how these themes worked.
A theme would load in a ton of aspects that are not being used on that page, which would slow down load times.
Today, however, theme creators have figured out how to program their themes in a way that it only loads in the code required for that specific page.
And this has a drastic improvement in page load speeds.
I’m sure Divi does a ton of other things to speed up load times, most of which I probably wouldn’t even understand.
But this “No Bloat” aspect of Divi definitely impresses me at first sight, and it makes a noticeable difference in load speeds.
To give you an idea, here’s a screenshot of my GTmetrix performance results on this site. Note that I’ve done almost nothing to improve the performance of this site (yet):
All green? All good.
Built-in Split Testing
Part of running a blog, at least once it becomes a business, is marketing that blog.
Part of marketing requires you to test different versions of pages.
Landing pages. Colors. Headlines. Calls to Action. Literally, anything on any page can be tested for marketing purposes.
While you don’t have to get into the weeds on this, it’s nice that Divi offers split testing on the pages you create.
Having options like this is what allows you to be able to grow and continue to use Divi in the future if you ever needed the feature. Without it, if you wanted to begin split testing aspects on your site, you would need to buy an entirely different tool to help with that.
eCommerce Store Builder
On WordPress, WooCommerce is pretty much the gold standard for building your own eCommerce store.
It’s a powerful plugin, and definitely something you want to look into if you ever decide to sell physical products on your website – which is a path that many bloggers choose to take.
Divi includes a powerful integration with WooCommerce that allows you to completely customize and build product pages in any way you’d like.
If you ever decided to build a store on your blog, Divi provides everything you need to make that store a reality. Again, this helps with future-proofing your blog.
All The Documentation
While Divi is a massive theme and can do a lot, the creators have also built a large collection of documentation to help you learn to do basically anything you want within Divi.
They offer a huge resource of articles, and even videos, providing all the ins and outs of the Divi theme.
And what they don’t offer, many other people in the community have created content themselves.
This means, whatever your question is, someone out there has probably already answered it and created a guide on how to build it.
0That drastically speeds up your ability to learn and build with Divi.
Elementor is more than just a WordPress Plugin, it’s a full suite of page-building tools.
Like Divi, it offers a ton of customization and the ability to create custom pages, pop-ups, opt-ins, and the like.
Elementor is powerful. Very powerful.
Widgets are the individual elements that make up your page.
These could be menus, share buttons, image/video elements, testimonial sliders, or any number of different things.
Widgets are what allow for so much customization.
You can start from a blank page – or a template – and begin adding and changing each individual widget to create the look and feel you want.
Altogether, Elementor includes over 100 different widgets for building basically anything you want.
On top of that, the Elementor community has built tons more widgets that you can access for further customization. Just be aware that some of those widgets are paid products purchased on the Elementor Marketplace.
300+ Pre-made Templates
Instead of starting from scratch, use a template created by professional designers.
Use these templates as-is or customize them to your liking. Everything can be changed – elements, colors, layouts, whatever.
Form and Popup Builder
Elementor includes power form-building tools that can be used to gather information and insights from your readers.
Whether you’re creating a contact form, collecting emails, or gathering specific information, Elementor has a ton of customization options you can use.
Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes of all time.
It has been downloaded over 1 million times and is used by tens of thousands of websites.
It’s a versatile theme that’s perfect for any type of website, from small business websites to blogs and eCommerce stores.
One of the things that makes Astra so popular is its starter plug-and-play website templates.
These templates make it easy to get started with your website, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced WordPress user.
And if you need to add any custom functionality, Astra integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce.
Another thing that makes Astra so popular is its lightweight design.
It loads faster than most WordPress themes, which is important for user experience and helps to boost your site’s web rankings.
Avada is a versatile theme that can be used for a wide variety of websites.
It includes several pre-built websites that you can use as templates, or you can create your own custom website using the drag-and-drop builder.
The builder lets you easily add new pages, customize the look and feel of your website, add widgets and plugins, and much more.
One of the best features of Avada is the Performance Wizard.
This tool helps to improve the performance of your website, decreasing load times and increasing reader experience.
It does this by optimizing your website’s settings and eliminating any unused plugins or widgets.
If you’re looking for a versatile and easy-to-use WordPress theme, Avada is a great option.
It includes everything you need to create a beautiful and functional website, and the Performance Wizard will help to keep your website running smoothly.
CSSIgniter offers a range of different WordPress themes, and Olsen is just one of them.
It’s a versatile theme that can be used for a wide range of purposes, thanks to its pre-built layouts and individual post-formatting options.
You can use Olsen to create a blog, a website, or even a landing page.
Plus, with page builder integrations for Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Divi, it’s easy to create a custom look and feel for your site.
Extra is created by Elegant Themes, the same creators of the Divi theme and page builder.
When you use Divi, you automatically have access to the Extra theme as well.
Extra is a magazine theme builder that is perfect for blogs.
It uses a grid-based layout that is popular with magazine websites because it keeps readers on the site for longer, engaging in more content.
The grid-based layout is also perfect for creating landing pages because it allows you to feature multiple elements prominently.
Extra comes with all of the same customization options as the Divi theme, so you can create a website that looks exactly the way you want it to.
You can also use the Divi Builder to create custom pages and posts, or you can use one of the premade layouts that are included with Extra.
Thrive Theme Builder
Thrive Theme Builder is part of a much larger suite of tools that I personally use.
While Thrive probably isn’t best suited for completely new bloggers, it’s a powerful suite of tools to be used when you’re ready.
Not only does the Theme Builder itself offer a ton of customization options, pre-built websites, and a comprehensive setup wizard to get running faster, but the included suite of Thrive tools simply takes your site to a completely new level.
Build custom pop-ups and opt-ins with a ton of different options, create and sell full courses on your website, create quizzes to engage your readers, and so much more.
The Thrive suite is truly impressive, but again, it’s not for everybody.
Before taking on Thrive you really have to consider the future of your blog and where you want to go with it.
Hestia by Theme Isle is an extensive theme without being overwhelming for new site owners.
With Hestia, you can customize your pages to your liking right inside of WordPress in a simple editor, and expand with a list of page builders including Divi, Thrive, Elementor, and more.
Hestia’s easy-to-use customization options are perfect for new bloggers looking to get up and running with a custom feel in less time.
While it may not have the expansive suite of options that other themes include, it’s still a powerful tool to build your custom website quickly and easily.
Ashe, created by WP Royal, is an elegant but simple theme that includes both a free and a premium version.
Ashe is really built specifically for bloggers and creates a stunning layout design without much user input required.
While the complete features included in Ashe are a bit limited compared to other themes, the design options are still more than enough for any new blogger to take advantage of.
Ashe is worth considering if you’re concerned less with building a custom site from scratch, and would rather just get up and running immediately.
Note: After uploading this post the WP Royal site wouldn’t load. Maybe it was a fluke, but it might be a sign that this theme isn’t going to be updated any longer.
Now that we’ve looked at 9 of the most powerful, most versatile WordPress themes available, I’m going to just quickly list some honorable mentions that I like, but may not have quite made the list.
If you didn’t find everything you’re looking for above, then check these out. You just might find something that fits your needs.
- Hemingway by Anders Noren
- Inspiro by WPZOOM
- Writing by A-Works
- Authority Pro by StudioPress
- Writee by Scissor Themes
- Contentberg by ThemeSphere
- Elsie by elfwp
- Garfunkel by Anders Noren
- Pro by Themeco
- Soledad by PenciDesign
- Kadence Theme by Kadence WP
- Namaha by Out the Box
- Akea by GoodLayers
- Breek by EstudioPatagon
- Ad-Sense by mythemeshop
- Schema by mythemeshop
- Foodie Pro by StudioPress
- OceanWP by OceanWP
- Color Blog by Mystery Themes
- Indigo by WPZOOM
- Fascinate by Themebeez
- Foodica by WPZOOM
- Jevelin by Shufflehound
- Kale by LyraThemes
- Newspaper by tagDiv
Your Favorite Theme
So there you have it.
9 of the best currently available WordPress themes for your new blog, plus a healthy list of honorable mentions to further explore.
Now I want to hear from you: Was your favorite theme on this list? If it wasn’t, mention it below!
And what’s your favorite feature of the themes listed?
Personally, I love the advanced page load speeds of Divi. It’s a unique but underrated feature that I’d like to see included in more themes in the future.