Best WordPress themes (paid and free) of 2018

The WordPress platform is one of the simplest ways to create colourful and well laid out webpages. Setup is usually performed with a few mouse clicks, so no coding knowledge is required.

The platform supports thousands of various themes, some of which are suited to specific users such as small businesses, whilst others have a more general appeal.

When starting out you may feel overwhelmed by the choices available, especially if you’re not sure if a premium theme is worth buying.

In this guide, you’ll discover five of our very favourite free and paid WordPress themes. Whether you’re a freelancer on a tight budget or an established business, rest assured there’s a theme for you.

1. Hestia

Hestia is simple to setup and use whilst being well laid out
Free and Premium tier
One-click install
Some stability issues

Hestia is the perfect theme for those with small businesses, startups, online agencies and firms due to its multi-purpose functionality. Users do not have to pay to download this theme. Installation and setup is designed to be user friendly.

This theme is best suited to users who want to setup an ecommerce platform. Hestia integrates with WooCommerce, allowing users access to beautifully designed product listings. There is an easy to use drag and drop feature suitable.

This theme comes with custom background settings which aid in adding photos to your site and making it your own. It has a multi-purpose one page design, a widget designed footer and a blog or news section.

It integrates with Travel Map, Photo Gallery, Flat Parallax Slider and Elementor Page Builder.

As with most WordPress themes, there is a demo for users to sample before downloading.

Some users have noted that the free version is buggy and convoluted to use.

2. X

X has some excellent, exciting extra features
Highly customizable
Integrates well with WordPress
Variety of designs

X is a paid WordPress theme suitable for all types of websites. 

The theme comes with four categories of built-in demos. Each of these themes cover a wide variety of potential projects. This means that no matter what you have in mind, X more than likely has a design suited to your needs.

Cornerstone is included with X. This is one of the most popular WordPress web page builders. The drag and drop feature is easy to use. Users are able to see exactly what their page will look like live as they are building. This enables users to change and edit while building their site.

There are a huge number of customization options, with which users can build a unique webpage.

X comes with a feature called ‘the customizer’. This is a handy tool as many premium themes come with their own theme options page that are not entirely compatible with WordPress. ‘The Customizer’ is highly intuitive. It integrates seamlessly with WordPress. It will help you to customize the look and feel of your website.

The regular license for X is $45 (£34.01) which includes future updates and 6 months customer support. Users can opt to extend support to 12-months for an additional $12.38 (£9.36).

3. Allegiant

Slide to success with this highly flexible theme
Highly customizable
Slight learning curve

Allegiant is a highly customizable WordPress theme that is most suited for small businesses that are just starting out.

The theme itself is simple and well laid out. Across the top there is a large header to highlight your most popular services or products. The slides on the homepage can be displayed in any order.

The theme offers several feature blocks which can be easily inserted onto your page with details about your business team or your past endeavours amongst others.  These blocks come with the theme’s plugin ‘CPO Content Types’. The plugin is free and installs very quickly.

These pre-built blocks also come with testimonial section. It is very easy to copy and paste information into the blocks.

Allegiant integrates with other free popular WordPress themes such as WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, WPML and Contact Form 7.

It’s also free to download from the WordPress website. 

Some online commentators mention that while the theme is customizable it is not easy to figure out how to do so. They don’t recommend Allegiant for newer users.

4. Astrid

Use Astrid’s widgets to create rich business pages
Free and Premium tier
30-day money back guarantee
Some setup issues

Astrid is the perfect choice theme for most businesses. 

The theme has an impressive array of built-in widgets that users can take advantage of. Widgets and page templates are available for services and employees amongst others.

Astrid comes with a huge variety of fonts and colour options. Users can easily edit the full width header to whatever they see fit. Users can also a ‘call to action’ button with a message over it. 

The theme is translation ready meaning that it can still be accessed by those users who do not speak the same language as your business.

Users can use visual graphs and displays to show their past work and experience. WooCommerce support is provided for selling products on your website. Astrid helps to make your site look well on tablets and smartphones.

Astrid is free to download but those users who want more out of their theme can ‘Go Pro’.

The ‘Pro’ option starts at $59 (£44.60) per year for a single plugin which includes one year of updates, one year of support and unlimited domain usage. All packages offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Some online commentators have mentioned that the site can be hard to navigate making it difficult to get started.

5. Sydney

A wide range of features and fonts for free
Huge variety of fonts
Feature rich

Sydney works well for freelancers and companies who want to create a strong online presence.

It is highly customizable with many options to choose from such as Google Fonts and logo uploads. The theme has more than 600 Google fonts to choose from.

For users who want to show off, there is a full screen promotional banner that can be edited to suit your needs.

The custom elementor blocks can be designed as you see fit and to suit your promotional needs. Sydney can also display social media icons at the bottom of your page. 

The theme is translation ready and provides the necessary tools for a smooth translation process.

Users have access to full colour control, sticky navigation, header image and a full screen slider. Sydney also offers Parallax background affects. Users can add this to any row in the theme layout.

Top Image Credit: Astrid / WordPress

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #techradar http://www.techradar.com/news/best-wordpress-theme

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