2016’s Most Popular WordPress Themes

When it comes to design, interface, features, and a user friendliness, few platforms have garnered the popularity and recognition of WordPress. The content management system began in 2003 and has quickly grown to be an international leader in open-sourced CMS, building an unmatched tool for creative website design.

The appeal is simple: In a matter minutes, users can create professional portfolios, blogs, official agency or corporate websites, or personal pages dedicated to an array of topics. The creative process is direct and step by step, with WordPress offering suggestions based on filtered needs. What’s more, WordPress offers a list of comprehensive services for free, with additional packages available across a range of price tags.

Yet one of WordPress’ greatest strengths remains, by far, its aesthetics. The themes and frameworks offered by the platform are as comprehensive as they are clean, rotating frequently as new designs are submitted. You can change your page’s look without altering any actual content and are allotted color, font, and pictorial modifications based on your chosen package. And while generally offered in two categories, free and premium templates, you will find dozens after dozens of designs, each with their own unique visual display.

However, just as trends exist in the real world, so do they come and go in website design. Below you’ll find some of WordPress’ most popular contemporary themes, sorted to include their most current layout and features.


Hitchcock continues to be one of the most downloaded templates in WordPress’ repertoire, and the design certainly lives up to all this hype. Its free download comes with a comprehensive list of feature tags and solid editorial flexibility, from versatile headers and a customizable menu bar to a solid mobile-responsive layout. Hitchcock also displays a three-column, gallery style homepage, ideal for photoblogging, design, or the visual arts.


Illdy is a trendy and aesthetically modern layout, one that features a large-scale banner image layered alongside a navigating dashboard and flexible widgets. The design comes with a clean white background balanced with bright accent colors and configurable template pages, giving its domained websites a fresh, lively atmosphere. Illdy’s versatile look fits a number of web needs and can be tailored as such, making it one of WordPress’ most popular and dynamic choices for a website with growing needs.


When it comes to visual minimalism, very few templates offer the clean-cut photocentric look of Kalium. Its homepage is a sharp template of crisp gallery pictures in a vertical-scroll layout, similar to that of Pinterest. Among its features you’ll find custom header and accent colors, editor styling, drag-and-drop movement, and more.


The stunning graphics and crystal sharpness of its text and icons makes Shapely another incredible and free WordPress theme. The homepage consists of a single, high-resolution Retina-supported image chosen by the domain owner that is as inviting as it polished. This one-page layout is particularly appealing for agency or commercial websites, where the large and clean landing page makes a professional first impression.


EasyMag is a text-oriented theme, a model template for news and editorially geared sites that rely on content first and images second. It supports up to six different news layouts, associated text icons, and news ticker widgets, creating a highly readable framework. EasyMag also allows a rarer option for a banner advertisement, which can be positioned in the top header of various pages, including the homepage – the key to a profitable, longterm marketing scheme.


As the name suggests, AudioTheme is one of WordPress’ templates designed specifically for music makers and lovers. Its slogan, “let your site be heard,” combines the functional needs of bands, songwriters, solo artists, and producers to let their craft be heard alongside a visually embracing spotlight. AudioTheme keeps audio files at the forefront, imbedding them with digital savvy, and comes with six variations of individual page themes to be as unique as music itself.


With one of the highest template user-friendliness ratings out there, Unite is an elegant and respectively customizable theme with versatility to boot. It greets homepage visitors with a clean, large-scale banner image and a fully automated flat design. Scrolling down, you’ll find footers and navigation menus with tailored, paired images.


Writer holds a unique template niche amongst its 2016 WordPress contemporaries, as it is one of the few content-only themes provided. It affords a readability and text-centered typography with customizable features meant to enhance the words on a screen. These include added logos, background modifications, and even the ability to use Google fonts in custom headers on its home posts page and individual postings.


Auberge has been downloaded over 30,000 times and has an impressive five-out-five star rating, making it one of WordPress’ all-time most popular frameworks. One such reason for this reputation? Auberge is a mobile-centered theme, one that keeps file compatibility and image resizing at the forefront. It’s perfect for nearly any website need given this apt mobile flexibility.


A geometric-centered theme, Awaken displays a bold magazine-style layout built around two customizable widget sections. It also includes three additional widgets specifically for posts, each of which can support social media linkage. Extra features include a theme option panel for dashboard stylization and a featured slider option.