18 Best SEO-Friendly WordPress Themes for Free

Boryana Popova

Choosing an optimized WordPress theme is important for the success of any online project created on the popular platform, whether it's a blog, online store, news, or business website.

We discussed how to choose the best WordPress theme for search engine optimization (SEO) with Atanas Yonkov, a familiar face in our WordPress community. He was also a speaker at WordPress events, such as WordPress MeetUp Sofia and WordCamp Sofia 2023, and an experienced developer of WordPress themes and plugins.

Atanas Yonkov at Wordcamp Sofia 2023, 22 April 2023, John Atanasov Forum Sofia Tech Park

Atanas Yonkov at Wordcamp Sofia 2023, 22 April 2023, John Atanasov Forum Sofia Tech Park

Atanas Yonkov has been developing WordPress websites since 2016 when he and two other friends created a WordPress blog for fun. He then started working professionally as a web developer and consultant (wordpress.org).

In his professional career, he has worked at Webfactory BG, a company with over 20 years of experience in information technology, and the British publishing house New Statesman Media Group, among others. Author of themes and plugins published on wordpress.org. He participates as a volunteer, organizer, and speaker at WordCamp, the largest WordPress conference, and maintains an online store for Nasio Themes.

Here you will find Nasko's guidelines and recommendations specifically for our audience:

According to all surveys and rankings, WordPress is the most popular platform for creating websites. As of August 2023, WordPress powers over 43% of all websites and 63% of all content management systems (CMS).

Websites built with WordPress include the White House website, the Economist, Mercedes, NASA, and even Beyonce's site!

One of the reasons for the huge success of WordPress is the fact that it is open-source software that doesn't require a large budget. It’s also easy to use for people with no coding knowledge or experience.

In contrast to other platforms, you have no restrictions here. You can customize and expand your website as you wish. With WordPress, you can create any type of website—a blog, a portfolio website, an online tutorial site, and even an online store—quickly, easily, and for free or at minimal cost.

With WordPress, you can create any type of website - a blog, a portfolio website, an online tutorial site, and even an online store - quickly, easily, and for free or at minimal cost.

WordPress.Com vs WordPress.Org

Many of my friends ask me before they start building a website with WordPress which of the two website-building platforms they should choose: WordPress.org or WordPress.com. My answer, of course, is always WordPress.org!

WordPress.org, also called "the true WordPress", is the popular platform to which all the positive things I listed above apply. WordPress.org is open-source software and 100% free for everyone. You have full access and full control over your website. You can do absolutely anything as long as you don't break the law. All you need for a website is hosting and a domain.

WordPress.com is a hosting service developed by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. The service has a free plan (severely limited) and several paid plans that range from $48 to $1,700+ per year. If you're still not 100% convinced that you need wordpress.org (the self-hosted solution), here's a quick comparison chart between the two platforms.

WordPress.org WordPress.com
Full access to and control of the website. You can have your own domain. You cannot have your own domain; you need a paid plan.
You can install themes. You cannot install themes except a limited number of themes from WordPress.com.
You can install plugins. You cannot install plugins.
You can place ads on your website to earn money. You can't have ads on your website, but your visitors will see ads that only benefit WordPress.com.
You can set up a free online shop. You cannot set up an online shop; you need a paid plan.
You can create a forum. You can't create a forum.
You can write code. You cannot add CSS or write any code.

As the table above shows, it's worth spending a minimal amount on hosting and a domain (the so-called self-hosted WordPress) and using all the features that the WordPress platform offers instead of creating a "free" website on WordPress.com and wondering what to do with it later. Last but not least, if you know you've invested some money in your idea, you'll be even more motivated to write and grow your website!

What is a WordPress Theme?

The theme in WordPress plays an extremely important role because it determines how your website will look. Also, a theme supports your website's SEO optimization, including aspects, such as technical SEO and on-page SEO. The right theme will help your website gain positions in search rankings and attract and retain visitors by providing a pleasant user experience.

It is therefore important to choose a theme that meets your needs to the fullest.

Free and Premium WordPress Themes

If you have the necessary budget, it's not a bad idea to consider a paid (premium) theme.
Paid themes usually have more features than free themes and are easier to use.

However, you can find many free themes on WordPress.org that can provide you with excellent services. WordPress themes’ authors usually prefer to develop paid themes because they bring them revenue. This is completely understandable.

However, in some cases, they also produce free themes or free versions of their themes. The reasons for this can be varied, e.g., gaining popularity, advertising, a desire to contribute to the WordPress community, and much more.

Are Free WordPress Themes Worth It?

Just because a theme is free does not mean that it has no quality. On the contrary, I can confirm from personal experience that every free theme published in the WordPress repository goes through a long approval process to ensure that all themes fully meet the requirements of the WordPress community.

Best Free WordPress Themes

If you are looking for the best WordPress theme for SEO, then look no further. I will introduce you to not one, but a list of the best free SEO-friendly WordPress themes for 2024.

Unlike 90% of all other rankings that only focus on the most popular WordPress themes (those with the most active installs), here I will take a different approach and introduce you to themes that are not as well known to the general public. However, they outperform the most popular themes on many indicators.In this article, I have also included 4 free themes created by Bulgarians.

1. Revolution Press

Revolution Press is a free WordPress theme created by the founder of Seos.bg, Tsvetomir Tsvetanov. The theme has many options, is multifunctional, and offers everything you need to run your website.

Revolution Press theme

For a free theme, Revolution Press offers an amazing number of options. The theme includes an article slider, various header and footer options, and more.

The theme is optimized for search engines (Micro SEO) and is suitable for any type of business, including blogs, portfolios, news websites, and e-commerce websites.

Fast, simple, and user-friendly, Revolution Press is a WordPress theme designed for professionals.

2. Nevo

Nevo is a clean, lightweight, and multipurpose WordPress theme, fully compatible with the Gutenberg editor in WordPress. The theme is compatible with popular page builders, such as Elementor or Beaver Builder, as well.

Nevo theme

Nevo includes drag-and-drop options in the header and footer, so you can set up your website in minutes. This theme works well with popular SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO and Rank Math, to meet your needs and customize your website to your liking.

3. FotaWP

For the adventurous among you who want to experiment with the latest WordPress trends and don't need compatibility with legacy code, FotaWP is a good choice.

FotaWP theme

FotaWP is a block theme, a new phenomenon in WordPress that makes it possible to edit all website elements, such as the header, footer, menu, and logo, exclusively with Gutenberg blocks.

FotaWP is a multifunctional WordPress theme that is suitable for many businesses, including small and large companies, start-up web agencies, e-commerce shops, personal blogs, and portfolio websites.

You can also use FotaWP if you work in various fields, such as healthcare, charity, education, insurance, home services, plumbing, and many others. The theme is becoming increasingly popular due to its elegant design and ready-made templates (block patterns) that allow you to create your website in minutes.

In addition, as mentioned above, FotaWP is a block theme, i.e., a new generation theme that offers WordPress users the most advanced way to edit content in WordPress.

FotaWP is the perfect choice if you are not afraid to experiment with layout options and go above and beyond to provide your visitors with quality content. In addition, follow the best SEO practices, and you'll ultimately build a successful online presence.

4. Neve FSE

Neve FSE is a theme for complete website editing, the little sister of the popular Neve theme. The theme has a modern and professional look and offers a large collection of templates (block patterns) with which you can quickly and easily start building your WordPress site.

Neve FSE theme

The theme has clean code and is free of unnecessary libraries. This has a positive impact on your on-page SEO performance, which increases the chance of a better ranking in the search engines.

5. Newspiper

Newspiper is a modern WordPress theme for blogs, news, and online magazines. The theme offers a surprising amount of free theme options and includes beautiful templates (block patterns) for an easier start.

Newspiper theme

Newspiper is optimized for page speed, is cross-browser compatible, and works equally well on all mobile devices. It is also designed with SEO optimization in mind and uses Schema.org (Microdata) to rank better in search engine results.

The theme is quick and easy to use and set up, and it can adequately fulfill the requirements of any design. In the header, you have the option to add links to various social media platforms.

The theme is designed to make your content stand out. Posts have social media share buttons, metadata, an author box, and linked posts to keep readers on your site longer.

The theme ensures seamless integration with some of the best plugins for WordPress, such as WooCommerce, Paid Memberships Pro, and Mailchimp for WordPress. This helps you attract subscribers and only display certain content when your readers choose to subscribe or sign up.

Protect your readers' eyes by giving them the option to switch between the theme's day and night modes with a single click.

6. Spark Multipurpose

Spark Multipurpose is a free WordPress theme with many options. It features beautiful illustrations and a setup wizard for easy loading of demo content. The theme offers a complete solution for building a website that will help you grow your business.

Spark Multipurpose theme

The theme is suitable for various industries and professions, especially digital agencies, copywriters, SEO specialists, designers, programmers, and digital nomads.

The clear layout, high-quality fonts, and well-chosen colors convey a sense of professionalism and expertise. Users can easily update it to best suit their brand.

7. Web Graphic Designer

If you like retro designs or prefer a dark theme, Web Graphic Designer is your choice. This SEO-friendly theme looks good on all devices and is fully compatible with different browsers. It offers a variety of dynamic layouts and features a slider as well as a portfolio section.

Web Graphic Designer theme

The theme is easy to use and offers no unnecessary options that could slow you down or make you nervous. At the same time, the theme has powerful customization options that allow you to transform your website in minutes and make it look the way you want it in no time.

Thanks to this theme, even users with limited technical knowledge can create and manage their websites quickly and easily.

8. Bitacora

Bitacora is further proof that so-called block themes are gaining popularity and are increasingly desired by users, although they are a recent phenomenon and do not have good compatibility with several plugins as well as with older versions of WordPress.

Bitacora theme

At the same time, the design of the theme has a retro look that is strongly reminiscent of blogs from ten years ago. The theme is minimalist, clean, and elegant. There is a right sidebar where you can insert various widgets. The theme uses a beautiful Alegria background, which is perfect for articles with very long content.

9. MinimalPress

MinimalPress is a clean and minimal WordPress theme suitable for blog sites. This theme is perfect for Youtubers, Instagrammers, and any kind of influencer, travel bloggers, fashion bloggers, journalists, authors, writers, and other creative personalities who need a personal website to convey the joy of reading their posts to their readers.

MinimalPress theme

The design of the theme is such that it does not distract the reader but focuses on reading. With large spaces and large, easy-to-read fonts, the theme will inspire your visitors and encourage them to return to your website again and again to read your articles.

10. Newsmatic

Newsmatic is a theme that is suitable for creating a news website. It has many options and is compatible with Gutenberg as well as popular drag-and-drop page builders such as Elementor and others.

Newsmatic theme

A major advantage of this theme is that it can easily integrate with a newsletter. The theme is specially optimized for SEO. Newsmatic does not collect any personal data and is GDPR-compliant.

The theme contains controls specially developed by the theme developers in the theme customizer. This means that even users without extensive technical experience can quickly and easily customize the website to suit their needs.

11. Superb eCommerce

Busting one of the common WordPress myths and misconceptions that the platform is not suitable for e-commerce, Superb eCommerce was specially developed for online shops. The popular WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) plugins are 100% supported and deeply integrated into the theme.

Superb eCommerce theme

The theme works with the most renowned plugins and widgets, such as Contact Form 7, Elementor, and MetaSlider. Superb eCommerce has a beautiful and minimalist design. It is also suitable for creating a blog or portfolio website. With this theme, you can quickly and easily sell software or other digital products.

You can also sell physical goods such as clothing, furniture, or cosmetics with the same ease. This SEO-optimized WordPress theme provides its users with a variety of options.Superb eCommerce is also fully GDPR-compliant. You can create an online shop or promote products through various partnership programs.

12. Music Press

Music Press is a theme with unlimited possibilities. It contains a surprising number of options and content customization possibilities. It is suitable for any business as it is very fast, light and practical. A WordPress theme for professionals.

Music Press theme

It is fully compatible with the Gutenberg editor and WooCommerce. It offers the possibility to upload MP4 videos in the header, content options, and a "Back to top" button and is optimized for Schema org.

The theme's beautiful scrolling animations will captivate even your most conservative visitors and draw their attention to the site.

The theme is suitable for bloggers, musicians, producers, online magazines, portfolio websites, photography websites, start-ups, digital agencies, and more. This is a professional theme created by professionals.

13. BlogArise

BlogArise may look retro, but it has everything a modern blogger needs. The theme is clean and designed specifically for fast load times to deliver the best content you can implement.

BlogArise theme

The theme is equipped with widgets that allow you to easily manage your content without having to write code.

BlogArise is the perfect theme if you want to create a website for news, newspapers, magazines, news portals, personal blogs, and any kind of creative website.

Last but not least, the theme is optimized for SEO and supports multilingualism. It works flawlessly with popular plugins like WPML. It also supports languages written from right to left (RTL).

14. Blockskit

BlocksKit is a modern block theme (full website editor) that makes the most of the block editor in WordPress (Gutenberg). You can create a unique design for your website without writing a single line of code.

Blockskit theme

The theme is ideal for portfolio websites, small to medium-sized companies, and SEO and digital agencies. It has a tool for installing demo content (demo import wizard) to help you get started with the theme.BlocksKit is easy to set up and has optimized code. It is compatible with most popular plugins, including WooCommerce.

15. Pliska

Pliska is a beautiful next-generation WordPress theme with powerful options to quickly and easily customize your website to suit your needs. The theme is designed for creating high-quality blogs, article directories, portfolios, and corporate websites. With this theme, you have the opportunity to make your website truly unique.

Pliska theme

Pliska is easy to set up and offers a surprising number of options. Pliska looks great and works seamlessly on any device, any screen size, and any browser. This modern theme includes ready-to-use block patterns to help you create your new website in minutes.

It supports Schema.org and fulfills WCAG 2.0 (Level AA) accessibility requirements. The theme is optimized for loading speed and SEO, too.

Read our article to understand why speed optimization in WordPress is essential and how to do it right.

The theme is optimized for loading speed and SEO. It supports Schema.org and fulfills WCAG 2.0 (Level AA) accessibility requirements. With this theme, you have the opportunity to make your website truly unique.

You can choose between three different page layouts, different header options, different Google fonts, and many more great free features. These include social sharing to share regular updates with your followers, an author box, linked posts, different header positions, a menu, and more.

Check out our article to learn how to add a Google Font to Wordpress.

Another great feature is that website visitors can switch between light and dark modes with a single click. While fully compatible with Gutenberg, the theme also supports the good old classic editor.

It also offers seamless integration with all popular plugins, such as WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, etc. Finally, the theme is regularly updated so that users can enjoy a reliable and secure website for years to come.

16. Lemmony

Lemmony is a lightweight WordPress block theme with impressive animations and hover effects. It includes an additional animation library that enhances the theme's styles and brings your content to the forefront.

Lemmony theme

Lemmony is a block theme created with the latest WordPress full website editing system. The aim is to simplify the customization and editing of your website in real time.

Lemmony is the ideal choice for anyone looking for a fast and modern solution for their website without compromising on quality.

17. Blogus

Blogus is a fast and lightweight, modern WordPress theme that is suitable for a blog or news website. The theme is designed and fully equipped with widgets so that users can manage their content quickly and easily without having to write code or spend hours digging through documentation.

Blogus theme

Blogus is suitable for dynamic news, newspapers, magazines, publishers, blogs, editorial offices, online and gaming magazines, sports news, personal blogs, newspapers, publication or review sites, and any type of creative website. Blogus works with the most popular WordPress plugins, supports multilingualism, and supports right-to-left (RTL) languages.

18. AI Blog

In a world where AI is becoming more and more important, there is no better time than now to blog about AI. In the meantime, the most logical place to start publishing news and articles about AI is WordPress, with a theme specifically designed to display articles about AI.Ai Blog is a clean and modern WordPress theme where you can write about anything related to AI. From neural networks and deep learning to tools that can be used to create content using AI.

Ai Blog theme

This theme supports multiple languages, so you can reach more readers. You can easily and quickly build an extensive online presence. Ai Blog will be your faithful companion in this endeavor. Thanks to its clear and simple design, your content will be the center of attention for your readers.

With the help of this theme, your visitors can quickly and easily navigate through your website to find the information they need. What's more, Ai Blog is optimized for SEO, which means your articles have a real chance of standing out and outranking the competition.

You can find out how he envisions the future of AI and WordPress in the interview he gave for our blog by clicking on the image below:

Atanas Yonkov about Jump.BG

Many thanks to Nasko for taking the time to be a guide in the world of the best SEO WordPress themes by highlighting and recommending free themes. We wish him inspiration and success! We hope you found the post useful and interesting!

WordPress Support by Hosting Jump

Article from Boryana Popova

Boryana loves technology and has an affinity for explaining complex things in a simple and understandable way so that they are accessible to more people. He is also interested in AI, ML, SEO, copywriting, design, etc. With his attention to detail and the power of words, Boryana likes atypical and non-standard solutions and likes to think outside the box.

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