how to use widgets sidebars in wordpress

When building a website, you’re juggling several different tasks, everything from design to functionality to search engine optimization. On top of that, you want to choose a high-quality WordPress theme that matches your brand’s style and helps your visitors.

Fortunately, thousands of WordPress themes exist to make your life easier. You have several options to choose from—a minimalist look, a built-in online store, or even a graphic-heavy site.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the most popular WordPress themes and give you a few tips on how to choose the best theme for your next website. Let’s dive in!

From marketing to sales, we know you have limited time when it comes to designing your website. So, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular WordPress themes for your convenience.

Plus, we’ve divided the themes into five categories: blogs, business, affiliate marketing, nonprofits, and freelancers. Let’s get into it!

Best WordPress Themes for Blogs

1. Binder PRO

binder pro wordpress theme

Build complex layouts in minutes with Binder PRO. With no coding skills required, you can create beautiful magazines, blogs, and editorial websites for your brand. The one-click install feature makes it possible to import individual pages with ease. You can compose posts using the pre-styled blocks in WordPress’ new Gutenberg editor.

You’ll have access to the Advanced Styles plugin to give you more control of your site’s design. This premium theme also comes with regular updates, so you’ll always get the latest software to improve your website. 

2. Cookely

cookely wordpress theme

Cookely is a food blog theme for chefs, bakers, or anyone who likes to show off their homemade dishes. This flexible theme helps you organize your recipes in a functional, yet stylish layout. The responsive layout adjusts to your visitors’ screen size and resolution.

The theme includes four different color schemes: orange, green, light blue, and red. With the visual customizer, you can change font color and sizes to fit your brand’s tastes. 

Trying to earn some extra cash? This theme offers four banner locations for advertisement placement, like Google Ads.

3. Vagabonds

vagabonds wordpress theme

Vagabonds provides travel bloggers with a modern and attractive theme. You can promote your travel articles and lifestyle news in a professional style. There’s no need to start from scratch; choose from several pre-made homepages and modules to get started quickly. 

This travel theme offers mobile-friendly scrollable sections and sliders to display your latest adventures with visitors. Get access to a mega menu, customizable Google Map, parallax background effects, and multi-language support. You’ll have everything you need to highlight your trips from around the world. 

4. Blocksy

blocksy wordpress theme

Blocksy is a lightweight WordPress theme. Built to be both extendable and customizable, this theme works well for several types of websites, including blogs, agencies, shops, and educational organizations. Use it with popular page builders, like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer, to design a unique site for your brand.

Blocksy comes SEO-ready for your content to rank at the top of search engines. Plus, you can use the built-in WooCommerce feature to boost your product sales. The theme creator recommends using a modern browser for the best user experience.

5. Shapely

shapely wordpress theme

Shapely is a versatile, one-page WordPress theme. It includes several homepage widgets to add a portfolio, testimonials, and parallax sections. The theme offers unmatched functionality for you to support a wide range of plugins, including Jetpack, Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, and Google Analytics. 

Use this theme as a business blog, landing page, or personal website. With a few customizations, you also can transform this theme into a magazine to impress your visitors. The layout of this theme is SEO optimized and fully responsive. 

Best WordPress Themes for Business

1. Avada

avada wordpress theme

Avada lives by the motto “design anything, build everything.” Built for beginners and professionals, this theme offers eight layout section elements and more than 70 design elements. You can even upload your custom icons to improve your visual message. 

Select and import pre-built websites to give you the flexibility to design an attractive site. You can choose a variety of images, sliders, widgets, and portfolios. If you ever need help, you’ll get world-class support to help achieve your goals.

2. Divi

divi wordpress theme

More than just a WordPress theme, Divi is a website building platform. You’ll have the power to build eye-catching designs with ease. It comes with unique page elements, like hover state styling, shape dividers, and drop shadows. 

Choose from over 800 pre-made website layouts to quickly get your brand an online presence. Divi adds new layouts weekly along with royalty-free photos, icons, and illustrations. You’ll also have access to a variety of marketing tools—pricing tables, contact form builder, and built-in split testing.

3. Astra

astra wordpress theme

Astra is a highly customizable WordPress theme for all business brands. You have complete control over your layout settings, header options, colors, and fonts. There’s no need to hire a designer because the drag-and-drop builder gives you endless options.

Ready to set up your online store? Astra integrates with WooCommerce to help you display your top-rated products. The theme also follows the latest SEO best practices and offers support via a community forum, live chat, and documentation. 

4. X

x wordpress theme

X offers your brand multiple designs within one powerful WordPress theme. Never start from scratch with more than 30 demo sites to get your site running today. The built-in page builder allows you to add a wide range of elements—block grids, callouts, columns, maps—to enhance your website. 

Plus, the theme comes with the Revolution Slider, icon fonts, and integrated social sharing tools.

Looking for support? Just login to your account to chat with support or review the documentation.

5. Bridge

bridge wordpress theme

Bridge is a responsive, multi-purpose WordPress theme for business owners. Whether you need a one-page gallery, a coming soon page, or a landing page for your app, this theme gives you all the options to create a compelling site for your visitors. 

You’ll get access to more than 500 unique demo sites, along with 24 layout concepts to build an innovative design. Wow your consumers with the full-screen image and video slider and provide easy navigation with wide menu layouts.

Best WordPress Themes for Affiliate Marketing

1. SociallyViral

socially viral wordpress theme

SociallyViral is an engaging design with fast-loading features to help you attract more traffic from social media. Optimized for social media sharing, this theme has mega menus to help increase engagement from your visitors. 

This popular WordPress theme includes unlimited color, background, and advanced typography options, Ajax loading effects, and built-in ratings and reviews. The drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to manage your layouts and posts. You also can optimize the location of ads to maximize your revenue and add floating social icons to remain sticky as the visitor scrolls down the page.

2. Genesis Pro

genesis pro wordpress theme

Genesis Pro is an all-in-one suite of content tools to help you create engaging content in the WordPress platform. Choose from a selection of themes to produce an evergreen website for your visitors.  Without any coding expertise, you can use widgets to add sidebars, opt-in forms, and social media sharing buttons.

All themes come search engine optimized to increase your ranking on Google and Bing. On top of that, you get unlimited product updates along with unlimited support for one year. 

3. Float

float wordpress theme

Requiring no coding expertise, Float offers one-of-a-kind parallax scrolling effects to instantly captivate your visitors’ attention. This theme includes more than 10 pre-designed demos with single-click imports. Choose from three header designs: top bar, left panel, and right panel. 

The post filter feature allows visitors to search your posts by categories. Moreover, the infinite scroll option produces a smooth experience without having visitors click on the next page to see more posts. Float integrates with WooCommerce to help you quickly set up an eCommerce shop.

4. OceanWP

oceanwp wordpress theme

OceanWP is a multi-purpose theme trusted by developers and hobby users.

Don’t know where to begin? No problem. You can sift through dozens of demo sites to begin your creative journey. When you’ve found the perfect one, you then can import any demo with a single click, using the free import extension.

This theme integrates with WooCommerce to offer market-leading features, like native cart popups and off-canvas filters. It also supports RTL languages and can be translated into your language.

5. Neve

neve wordpress theme

Neve is a fast, lightweight theme with easy setup and sleek designs. With speed as a top priority, this theme loads in less than one second to keep your bounce rate low. In minutes, you can create a professional website with custom headers and footers. Pick the layout that excites your audience: contained or full width. 

The theme integrates with all favorite page builders, including Elementor, Brizy, and Beaver Builder. You’ll have access to more than 80 ready-to-import starter sites. Reliable support is available to detect new theme updates, too.

Best WordPress Themes for Nonprofits

1. Zeko

zeko wordpress theme

Inspired to raise awareness for the treatment of animals, Zeko is a bold and modern design for nonprofits to engage their donors and supporters. This fully responsive theme can be enjoyed on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. 

Zeko integrates with the Give plugin for your nonprofit to easily accept donations. You also can raise funds by selling physical and digital products using the eCommerce plugin WooCommerce. 

Want to build your fan base? This theme comes pre-built with newsletter subscription options to collect visitors’ email addresses. You also can build your social network using the Peepso or BuddyPress integration.

2. Grassroots

grassroots wordpress theme

Grassroots is a theme specifically made for reaching your online fundraising goals. Each page comes with a hero section for you to choose either a video or image.  You can add your nonprofit’s logo and colors to customize the site. With the drag-and-drop layout, you can easily make any changes. 

This theme is compatible with WooCommerce for you to create custom campaigns to raise funds directly on your site. You can ask for a particular donation amount or give visitors the option to choose how much they want to give. 

3. Maranatha

maranatha wordpress theme

Maranatha is a stunning theme to build a professional church website. You can create a full-featured homepage with parallax scrolling, a video background, and a sticky menu. Take advantage of the crisp circular buttons and custom styled maps to engage your visitors. 

You can even present daily sermons in audio, video, or text. Visitors can easily navigate sermon pages by topic, series, book, or month. You also can create dynamic pages to showcase your ministries, staff profiles, and blog. You’ll have everything you need to build a unique site for your congregation. 

4. Charity

charity wordpress theme

Transform your website into a fundraising platform with Charity. This theme helps you build trust with your supporters and collect donations. You’ll get a professional design with nine custom post types and an unlimited widget area. It’s also fully responsive to look perfect on all devices. 

Showcase your latest projects on separate pages. You can display a project’s overview, status, and dates. With this theme, you can even manage and post documents to share with visitors. Publish the latest newsletters, flyers, and annual reports.

5. Foundation

foundation wordpress theme

Serving the needs of large and small nonprofits, Foundation is a responsive design that adapts to smartphone, tablet, and desktop screens. You can personalize the site by choosing a specific background, adding your logo, and using your nonprofit’s colors. 

This WordPress theme includes an eye-catching donation bar to place on your homepage. You can direct donations to PayPal or a custom URL. There’s also the option to connect visitors to your social media accounts with the Facebook and Twitter widgets. You can add links to up to 18 social network sites. 

Best WordPress Themes for Freelancers

1. Vogi

vogi wordpress theme

Vogi is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that exudes simplicity and elegance. You’ll get six pre-built homepages, a mega menu, and an intuitive product page with a powerful filtering system. Your visitors will have no issues navigating your site with the vertical menu options. 

Other customization options include a slider revolution plugin, a visual composer, and unlimited moveable sidebars. You can choose which pages get a boxed or full-width layout. If you sell to international shoppers, you’ll like that this theme comes with the WooCommerce Currency Switcher plugin.

2. RyanCV

ryancv wordpress theme

RyanCV is a versatile theme for freelancers in any profession. With more than eight ready-made layouts, you can quickly create a site to showcase your talents to potential clients. Choose from a multi-page or a one-pager and between dark and light mode to fit your brand’s personality. 

Compatible with the drag-and-drop builder Elementor, you don’t need any coding skills to design the perfect site. You can showcase your skills using cool features, like a percent bar, dotted bar, or knowledge list. Add your resume with a timeline, too.

3. Growth

growth wordpress theme

Growth is a personal portfolio theme to showcase your freelance chops. It’s trendy, clean design works for all creative individuals wanting to build a stylish online portfolio. You can highlight your skills, awards, and previous clients. Add a testimonial section to give potential clients insights on your great work.

Select from four different frameworks and customize the design with a contact form, font icons, and smooth transition effects. The theme works with the Elementor page builder and offers extensive documentation to help you get started. 

4. Pile

pile wordpress theme

Put your skills on full display for the world to see with Pile. This beautiful theme adapts to any brand, allowing you to change the fonts, colors, and layouts. You can fine-tune this design with parallax scrolling and unique transitions to catch your visitor’s eyes. 

In a few clicks, you can organize every element of your website, choosing from an aligned grid or a dramatic flowing layout. Pile integrates with WooCommerce to help you sell both projects and services to boost your cash flow.

5. Lobo

lobo wordpress theme

Lobo offers a portfolio design for a variety of creative professionals, including agencies, filmmakers, designers, and developers. Create a distinct website in minutes with its module builder. You can create every web element and choose the text, images, sliders, audio tracks, and videos. 

Plus, you can use advanced features, like parallax scrolling, immersive sticky headers, and categories to enhance your website’s presence. This fully responsive design scales to look beautiful on all modern devices, so all your clients get a seamless experience. 

Choosing a High-Quality WordPress Theme

With so many WordPress theme options, the task of finding the perfect one for your website may seem overwhelming. But no worries, we’ve put together a checklist of six qualities you should look for when choosing a high-quality theme. Refer back to this list as you make your selection.

1. Simple Design

Website design is an important part of your brand. You want visitors to quickly know they’ve reached the right online destination when landing on your site. So, when searching for the right WordPress theme, look for something simple and functional, rather than gaudy and complex. 

The primary goal of your site is to offer visitors an enjoyable site experience and to help them find the information they need. Avoid any obstacles that may block visitors, like multiple pop-up windows, blocks of text, or large-sized images. That way, you convert more visitors into subscribers or customers.

2. Mobile Responsive

Gone are days of people only sitting at their desks to surf the Internet. Now, the world has access to mobile devices and WiFi to get them online while on the go. Shoppers are performing Google searches in their favorites stores and randomly browsing websites at their doctor’s appointments. 

To fulfill this need, your website must be mobile responsive to fit various screen sizes. You don’t want your visitors squinting their eyes just to see your site’s text on their phones. Luckily, most WordPress themes are responsive by default. But double-check before you select your theme.

3. Page Builder Plugin Support

Worried about how you will design your website? The good news is you don’t need any coding expertise. WordPress is a user-friendly platform, so even novices can design a simple site. Moreover, if you want to get fancy, you also can check to see if your theme offers page builder plugin support. 

A WordPress page builder helps you customize your website layout using a drag-and-drop builder. You get pre-made templates and can add special effects, like animation, drop shadows, and background images. 

When you’re building out your theme, you’ll usually be changing the theme within the included theme settings menu or from the built-in WordPress customizer. Look for WordPress themes that support plugins, such as Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Page Builder by SiteOrigin

4. Positive Reviews & Ratings

User reviews and ratings are an effective way to evaluate the quality of a theme. They can give you insight into how the theme works behind the scenes. 

When reading reviews, you’ll want to focus on comments mentioning user-friendliness, technical setup, and any bugs. This insight will help you better understand how the theme will work for your website. 

On the other hand, avoid opinions that say the theme is great or horrible without giving a clear explanation. You need to base your theme selection on facts. Broad statements aren’t useful. Also, look for themes with at least a three-star rating.

5. Premium Options

If you’re building a website for the first time, it’s tempting to choose a free WordPress theme. And it’s okay if you’re not completely ready to invest in your website design. 

However, if you want to wow your visitors and upgrade the quality of your theme experience, you may want to try paid or premium WordPress themes. They allow you to customize your website to match your brand and offer upgraded features, like multiple layouts, mega menus, and filtering systems.

Plus, with a premium theme, you can contact their support channel with any questions or concerns. You get expert advice if you ever run into issues.

6. Demo Theme

The final factor is testing the demo theme to get an up-close view of how it looks and functions. You may be interested in making a few customizations of your own. But you don’t want to select a theme and have to revamp the entire design to fit your needs. 

If possible, install the demo theme on your site. Import content and adjust the settings to understand how the theme functions. Pinpoint what you like (and don’t like) about the theme. Also, note any customizations you need to make yourself. This approach will save you several hours as you begin to build your website.

Select a WordPress Theme for Your Website

Thousands of WordPress themes exist to help you create a stunning, yet functional website for your visitors. Use our above-mentioned suggestions to choose a high-quality theme that fits your goals.

Ready to get started? Build your website today with HostGator WordPress hosting.

Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.