- What Should Be the Criteria to Choose a WordPress Theme?
- Best Free WordPress Themes for Affiliate Marketing in 2021
A lot of eastern philosophy revolves around the fact that: with every good thing, there is a bad thing hidden deep within.
This article is not about that. But it certainly comes in handy.
You see, many people choose WordPress as their first platform, or they just love it so much they are using it for their next project. It may have been a chance, or it may have been through the experience.
One of the key reasons people convert from the first set of people to the second is because of their themes.
WordPress offers a lot of themes. To put a number on that, ThemeForest, one of the famous WordPress theme marketplaces, currently has an impressive 11,000 themes to offer.
That number shows how much developers have faith in the WP community and how much the WP community is looking forward to new themes to choose from.
But this creates a problem and brings us to the start, again.
With so many options to choose from, it can get very tiresome to find which theme to choose. Apart from that number of themes from ThemeForest, several other top websites offer their unique themes to make it worse.
It can get quickly tiresome to look for the best ones in the crowd.
We have been there. That is why to help you out, we have compiled the seven best free WordPress themes that stand out from the crowd.
If you are a newbie to WordPress, this list will come in handy as you will have a rough idea about the best the theme industry has to offer.
On the other hand, if you have been in the game for a long, you should still give it a look to keep up with the best of trends.
Before we dive into the post, it is essential to know the criteria to choose a good theme. You may or may not like any of the themes present on the list but having a criterion always helps you to choose the theme for your blog or website.
What Should Be the Criteria to Choose a WordPress Theme?
What is one of the best things about WordPress Themes can quickly turn into one of its nightmares.
The themes offered by WP are very flexible and can be quickly adapted for different purposes such as building e-commerce, forum, social networking websites to name a few.
This flexibility brings power to its theme, which in turn brings complexity. So much complexity that even if you have been in the game will have their head-scratching out how your theme leads to search engine penalties (that happens) and plenty more issues.
So here are some off-the-thumb rules that can help you choose a good WordPress theme.
#1. Good User Interface
Asking what's a good user interface is like asking who's the best cricket or football player.
Sure, you will get some answers, but they are going to be very contradictory. You won't be able to figure out at the end objectively who's the best.
It's a subjective question to answer. To counter that, I always make use of the minimax strategy. Here you try to minimize your maximum loss.
To do that, you have to understand one thing first. Your theme probably won't be liked by all the people. After all, they have their taste buds catering to different needs.
You can choose your theme such that even people with different tastes can find it acceptable and usable. Choosing a fancy theme that takes time to load will only make people go away.
If you use the same fancy theme with so many design elements that it gets hard for an ordinary person to navigate around the website, that can contribute a great deal to your users don't stay too long.
Just make sure that your theme is such that any layperson using it for the first time can easily navigate around the website without any problems.
You might want to make your friends try the demo theme that you selected to get an idea of whether they find it user-friendly or not.
#2. Ongoing Development
Anything related to design ought to change. For example, look at the fashion industry; the entire industry thrives on changing trends. And if you are not in terms with the times, you are going to be left out.
Similarly, it goes for themes. Major design elements change over time. Sites are more responsive and mobile-friendly now.
If you were to use a theme from 2013 without any development history, you would have to select a new theme and adjust it to your requirements. This is going to take both your time and energy.
If you had a theme with solid development history, the developers would provide you with constant updates that make sure your theme is in tune with the times.
Moreover, adding themes can be risky as well because of security loopholes. Loopholes being discovered now and then; your developer must fix them as soon as possible.
This service is only provided for a theme supported by a good track record of updates and development.
#3. Compatibility: Browser, Plugins, and Page Builders
The theme you choose has to appear consistent across different devices. It should look the same if you are viewing it from Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Chrome.
Usually, theme developers provide under the listing whether the theme is multi-browser supported or not. But you should also do a test of the same to get a hands-on confirmation.
If your theme is not multi-browser compatible, it can lead to a loss in potential traffic.
Another good thing about WordPress, besides its theme offerings, is its plugins offering. There are a lot of plugins to choose from. Theme and plugins go hand-in-hand.
Make sure your theme supports a wide variety of plugins like Yeast SEO. Plugins like those fully unlock the potential of WordPress.
Lastly, it is a good measure to see whether the theme is compatible with various page builders or not. Usually, almost all the themes are compatible with WordPress's default page builder “Gutenberg“.
But the thing with Gutenberg is that it is not as powerful as a page builder can be. There are several other advanced page builders like Elementor, which gives you more room to customize.
Checking whether it is compatible with such page builders can be helpful, especially if you decide to use it in the future. It would be a hassle-free experience.
Now that we have our criteria let's jump right into the list.
Best Free WordPress Themes for Affiliate Marketing in 2021
Here are some of the best theme which are perfect for for affiliate marketing. These are blogging optimized theme so you can easily setup a blog, write some quality articles and start making money with affiliate marketing.
1. Affiliate Booster
It's safe to assume that you are looking for ways to monetize your website and its content. One of the best ways people make money is through affiliate marketing.
A lot of people make websites on WordPress for that sole purpose. WordPress offers you many affiliate plugins to make use of, which can help with affiliate marketing.
While plugins can increase your website's functionality to drive revenue from affiliate marketing, the marketplace lacked a theme focusing solely on boosting affiliate sales and marketing.
That is until Affiliate Booster came into the picture.
Affiliate Booster is one of the rare themes that are purpose-driven and has given effective results to the users.
Despite focusing more on driving affiliate sales, the theme is power-packed on its own. On the customization front, you have four different menu options, custom color options, the ability to select fonts, and various home layouts to customize it according to your needs.
One way they help in affiliate marketing is by helping you rank better in search engine results. They manage to do this by tweaking schema and microdata.
Another way is that they made the theme fast-loading which also helps you increase your search engine visibility. Affiliate Booster has been tried on many different websites; it has even achieved a 99/100 score in GTMetrix.
Other Features: Scroll to top widget, sticky headers, breadcrumbs, author bio control, ability to define sidebars.
GeneratePress is one of the most popular free themes available. It has some crazy numbers to back that statement: GeneratePress has over 1600+ 5-star reviews.
The reason behind it is that it is very lightweight in design, making your theme load faster than other WordPress websites. It takes so little space that it takes less than 10kb of your page size.
The developer behind the theme wanted to build a lightweight theme that is both fast and highly customizable. While we talked about how fast it is owing to its lightweight nature. It's impressive that despite that, it rocks a lot of customizable options to choose from.
You get lots of color options, custom widgets and widget areas, custom backgrounds, and social icons. As brownie points, the theme is responsive as well as SEO-friendly.
The theme works amazingly well with the default WordPress block editor. It is also compatible with other major builders like Elementor. Although to make use of it, you have to buy the premium version of the theme.
Other Essential Features: Retina ready theme, WooCommerce integrated, WPML ready.
Site owners will tell you how hard it is to make a website fast, especially as the content grows. Equally important, speed is something they can't afford to overlook due to its significant role when it comes to ranking on search engines, especially Google.
However, thanks to Astra, it has eliminated the need for such efforts. Besides simplifying creating a professional site real quick, it guarantees a fast site the benefits of having such a website make all the difference.
One can't fail to mention how easy it is to customize the site. Therefore, regardless of your niche or nature of business, Astra is a theme worth a shot. You don't need a customized code to tune it to your liking.
Various users use different devices with varying screen sizes, but Astra facilitates a user-friendly experience regardless. Moreover, it is responsive hence accommodates your visitors conveniently, which is something we highly appreciate.
No one wants to use a frustrating website unless it has something to do with governmental services, most likely but only because of lack of an alternative. Never forget that when choosing a WordPress theme.
It allows you to configure various aspects such as scroll to top, buttons, container, colors, and typography globally. As a result, it saves time and also guarantees a uniform site easy to navigate.
If you need an e-commerce site, it is compatible with WooCommerce without any alteration. You don't have to be a pro to customize the Astra theme either.
The free plan is definitely enough but rest assured that the paid one is much better with extra features and addons.
With more than 400,000 websites using the free version of this WordPress theme so far, that speaks volumes regarding OceanWP. One of the main reasons for such a massive adoption is its wide compatibility with page builders and plug-ins.
That doesn't mean that it is insufficient on its own. You can do much customization on the theme without using a page builder. Besides customizing the site, you can also customize each page and post individually if there is a need for diversity.
It is also fast, which improves your site's performance, boosting engagement and ranking in the long run. You don't need to worry about responsiveness either, as its display is perfect irrespective of the device being used.
It is easy to use regardless of whether you are an expert or beginner. You only need a short period to set it up, even when not using a page builder.
For an e-commerce site, its compatibility with WooCommerce makes it an ideal choice. Furthermore, having been developed in consideration of the best SEO practices, off-page SEO optimization isn't a bother at all.
It also allows you to translate your website content from its original to other languages. That's how you increase your fan base across the world with ease.
If stuck, customer support comes to your rescue within no time. You are at liberty to choose between free and premium plans depending on your budget.
It is intriguing to realize that all other themes except Kadence haven't implemented one very crucial feature, a globally linked color palette. It is one of the reasons why this theme is quite popular.
The theme also has wide compatibility with various page builders and different plug-ins, including those about SEO. Its code is also SEO-friendly for off-page SEO optimization.
It is responsive for excellent use across devices. Its starter templates get you started fast, saving you the time you would need to get started. It is also easy to customize, even for a beginner.
Its compatibility with WooCommerce makes it suitable for anyone planning to start an e-commerce site. Equally important, it has a header and footer builder.
Other features include scroll to the top-bottom, footer widgets, sidebar widgets, and built-in social links. In addition, it easily integrates with various LMS plug-ins, including Tutor LMS, LifterLMS, and LearnDash.
You get to choose between free and pro versions. Free is good, but the pro version is also worth every penny.
As the name suggests, this theme is made for bloggers. The thing about blogging websites is that a lot of owners complain about the theme.
The theme has to be able to match their expectations. Customizing it to display your personality is essential for brand building.
To help people with that, they have made the theme highly customizable. It is minimalist in design, focusing more on the content and giving users more options to change its look according to their needs.
For example, you have unlimited options to change the website's color scheme. The theme is built such that there's focus on the author, and readers find it easy to navigate.
It comes with a clean author widget with links to all of your social media profiles. You can highlight your and your blog's philosophy and vision.
For your readers, the theme offers the option of threaded comments on all of your pages and posts. This encourages conversation among your readers and helps build a community around your blog.
Other important theme features are full-width layout, option to use left and right sidebars, and pagination options for better navigation.
WooCommerce is also integrated. It can be convenient if you want to sell products straight from your blog.
BlogWay has a pro version available. It offers you additional customizable options such as on places like site footer and layout options.
A great theme need not be one with lots of features. It should be a theme that quickly draws attention to the content and makes users stay on the website for long. Writee is an excellent example of such a website.
It is minimalist in design, with proper white space and black top bar, making the website look clean and professional. Writee also comes with a built-in image slider so that you can use the theme for both content-focused or image-focused with ease.
Let us talk about the image slider for a second here. The image slider is included in the free version of the theme. A lot of themes usually package it under their pro version.
But with this image slider, you can select the number of slides, whether you want it to display posts from a specific category or recent posts, choose fluid or non-fluid layout.
That's not it when it comes to customization. You can select background images and colors, select primary theme color, easily upload favicon and logo image files. You can even select any google web font and adjust its letter spacing, line height, etc.
If you feel lost navigating around customizing your theme, the developers also provide you extensive documentation to help you out with it.
Hestia is a modern WordPress theme for professionals. It fits creative business, small businesses (restaurants, wedding planners, sport/medical shops), startups, corporate businesses, online agencies and firms, portfolios, ecommerce (WooCommerce), and freelancers.
Multi-purpose designs for portfolio and blog makes this theme one of the most favorite themes.
Placid is highly crafted WordPress theme for Blog and Magazine. Placid is a simple, easy to use, modern and creative, user friendly WordPress theme.
In addition placid is responsive, cross-browser compatible and child theme ready. Placid comes with added custom widgets for social and author, sticky sidebar options, footer widget, sidebar options, meta option, copyright option, search option etc.
Neve is an AMP compatible theme. This Fast and lightweight theme is a perfect choice for bloggers who are just starting their career and searching for a professional looking theme.
Easy customization settings make this theme perfect even when you don't know how to do the customization.
Choosing a theme can be challenging. There are a lot of options to choose from and decide, which can quickly get confusing. Sometimes it even leads to choice paralysis where you cannot figure out what to do.
One way to get out of it is first to define what your website is. Know your audience and what you want to do with traffic (like drive affiliate sales).
Once you know that, you can look for several top authority websites in your niche, which theme they are using, and how they make use of content.
This can help you figure out what themes usually work and what you should go for.
Which WP theme is best for affiliate marketing?
If you want to focus on AffiliateMarketing, you must grab AffiliateBooster theme as it has been created for core affiliate marketers only.
What are the best free themes for WordPress?
Top best free WordPress themes to do affiliate marketing are AffiliateBooster, GeneratePress, and Astra.
How do you get a professional WordPress theme for free?
Most of the professional themes in the market have free version which can be installed on unlimited sites. You can start using their free version and ask for the demo copy of premium version if you want to test the theme.