Sometimes, simple is best. Clean design, refined pages, minimal navigation and lots of white space. Nothing that gets in the way of the reader and your content.
We purposely chose to use ‘simple WordPress themes’ instead of minimalist because simple has similar characteristics to minimalism but provides more freedom. Minimalism pares everything back to the bare bones, which will work for some websites but not others.
Simple keeps things minimal but also offers the opportunity to add a flourish here and there without spoiling the overall effect.
To us, simplicity isn’t just about having lots of white space. It’s also about only using necessary page elements to tell the story while not filling the page with unnecessary elements or frippery. Simple designs have been pared back enough to remain effective with nothing left to take away.
This page showcases what we consider the best simple WordPress themes available. We tried and tested an almost endless list of free and premium themes and have refined them to just 48. We think these are the best designs of their type around right now.
- Top Simple WordPress Themes
- 1. Astra
- 2. Foodie Pro
- 3. Pinmaister
- 4. Silk
- 5. Go
- 6. Minshop
- 7. Zero
- 8. Charitas Pro
- 9. Foodica
- 10. Food Blogger
- 11. Nisarg
- 12. Freedom
- 13. Zakra Pro
- 14. Cali
- 15. True North
- 16. Maisha
- 17. Revolution Pro
- 18. Minblr
- 19. Genesis
- 20. Divi
- 21. Julia
- 22. Satchmo
- 23. Kale
- 24. Studio 8
- 25. Academy Pro
- 26. Lefkada
- 27. Neve
- 28. Construction
- 29. VideoBox
- 30. Rocked
- 31. Moliere
- 32. Infinite
- 33. Extra
- 34. Heap
- 35. Futurio
- 36. Hueman
- 37. Family Blog
- 38. Cookely
- 39. Augusta
- 40. Prime News
- 41. Spacious
- 42. Astrid
- 43. Angle
- 44. Magazine
- 45. El Greco
- 46. Flash
- 47. Cenote
- 48. Responsive
- Installing a Simple WordPress Theme
- Summary of Simple WordPress Themes
Astra is an incredibly flexible WordPress theme with a mix of simple templates and more feature-rich themes. There is a large collection of demo sites available covering every subject you could possibly need. There are also the tools necessary to build your own site from scratch if you prefer.
We particularly like the Author demo website for a simple WordPress theme. It’s clean, minimal and yet has enough information on the page to convey the key message. There are simple designs in the Astra site library but this one resonates particularly well for us.
The simple WordPress theme uses a white background with grey background image in the header with simple serif fonts and pops of colour for buttons and for the product being showcased. It keeps things refreshingly simple and works very well indeed.
Astra is an exceptional WordPress theme that is compatible with Gutenberg, Elementor, Brizy Builder, Beaver Builder, WooCommerce and other leading plugins. The demo websites make superb templates for your own site and those page builders make short work of customization.
Pros of Astra:
- Selection of professional looking simple WordPress themes
- Compatible with Gutenberg, Elementor, Brizy Builder and Beaver Builder page builders
- Designed to load fast and use minimal resources
- Excellent value for money
- One of the easiest WordPress themes to set up and use
- Pages load quickly and score highly on PageSpeed
Cons of Astra:
- Sometimes too much choice is can bring its own challenges
Astra has a great free option with a couple of simple WordPress themes. The premium version costs from $47 and offers access to all available templates.
It’s hard to criticize a WordPress theme that offers so much. The demo sites are superb, the themes are easy to work with and are compatible with leading page builders. What’s not to love?
2. Foodie Pro
Foodie Pro is a simple WordPress blog theme designed around food. You could of course change the imagery to whatever you like but this theme has recipe cards and indexes, ideal for food. The design is clean, the palette soft and the overall impression is one of class.
Foodie Pro uses the Genesis Framework which is a very reliable platform from which to design a website. It works with most plugins and makes short work of building your website.
Pros of Foodie Pro:
- Uses the Genesis Framework
- Clean, simple design
- Nice modern fonts
- Simple colour palette works well
Cons of Foodie Pro:
- Genesis Framework comes with its own learning curve
Foodie Pro costs $129.99
Foodie Pro is a great design that works well but while the Genesis Framework is powerful, we wonder if it’s even necessary anymore given how effective other themes are without it?
Pinmaister doesn’t start simple, with its bold header and image slideshow but once you get past that things calm down a lot. You could of course change that header to something more subtle but it does make a good first impression.
The rest of the design is simple with a mix of white and grey background and image boxes. Modern fonts and minimal page elements lets the content speak for itself.
Pros of Pinmaister:
- Very modern design with instant impact
- Content simplifies quickly into a gallery page
- Image blocks let the content shine
- Modern fonts work well in the design
Cons of Pinmaster:
- That header is not simple but would the design work so well without it?
Pinmaster costs from $34 up to $174.
We like that initial impact the header makes but anyone looking for a truly simple site would likely remove it. That begs the question as to whether the design would work as well.
Silk is definitely a simple WordPress theme. It uses a lot of white space, strong header, simple navigation and borderless content blocks to help build a very attractive page. Images and coloured headers draw your attention while the navigation and features work almost imperceptibly.
The design is a strong one and while the demo is a little feminine, that is driven mainly by imagery, which can be changed very easily.
Pros of Silk:
- Simple, effective page layouts
- Coloured headers make a statement
- Lots of customization options
- Compatibility with leading plugins
Cons of Silk:
- The demo of Silk isn’t currently working
Silk costs €70 per year or €100 for a lifetime licence.
We like the design of Silk. Those coloured headers are a small but very effective statement while frameless content blocks allow those images to shine.
Go is an attractive free simple WordPress theme. It has a strong text header with soft contrast colours, very simple navigation and a slick layout. The page is very simple, with borderless content, nice serif fonts and optional page features depending on the use you put it to.
Go is a simple WordPress blog theme that offers a lot of freedom in terms of page layout and design. Plus, it’s free!
Pros of Go:
- Free simple WordPress blog theme
- Nice layout and page design
- Can be configured to be minimalist or contain more features
- Regularly updated
Cons of Go:
- Doesn’t have the option to add features unless you know WordPress
Go is a free simple WordPress blog theme.
Go is a credible free theme that has great design and a nice modern layout. The colours work well too.
Minshop somehow manages to combine enough page content to make a compelling store with simple design. Yes there is a strong header image in bold pink, but the rest of the page keeps things nicely pared back.
The design allows the products to stand on their own with borderless content blocks, a very simple sidebar and minimal navigation. There is just enough here to make the store work without adding anything unnecessary.
Pros of Minshop:
- Balances the requirements of simple design with eCommerce
- Allows products to stand out without any distractions
- Pages and products load quickly
Cons of Minshop:
- Those fonts would need changing to something more modern
Minshop costs $59 for the theme or $69 for theme plus images.
Minshop is a good simple WordPress theme and works well as a store. We don’t think those fonts work but they could be changed in under a minute.
Zero does push the boundaries of what simple WordPress themes are but is such a good design that we had to include it. Once you’re past the image header, the page simplifies as much as possible while still promoting the core message. It’s a light, attractive design that could work well in a number of niches.
We like Zero for its white space, blue header colour and soft graphics. It is very easy on the eye and could work exceptionally well whatever you decide to do with it.
Pros of Zero:
- Simple, modern design
- Light colours with subtle typography
- Nice page flow and layout
- Pages load quickly
Cons of Zero:
- Skirting on the edge of simple design
Zero costs $58 per year.
We like Zero. We think it’s a great design that could work as a simple theme or something more feature rich. That’s why it’s in this list of simple WordPress themes.
8. Charitas Pro
Charitas Pro is another template that has a bold header but turns into a simple WordPress theme once you’re past it. This is a charity theme and uses modern san serif fonts, lots of white space and bold contrasting colours to make its message clear.
It’s a well thought-out design with a selection of predefined page types that reflect the core design. We think it stands out for all the right reasons and thoroughly recommend it.
Pros of Charitas Pro:
- Uses page layout well
- Bold colours make a visual impact
- Has all the characteristics you expect to see on a charity website
- Additional page layouts already designed
Cons of Charitas Pro:
- Pushes simple WordPress theme a little
- Not the cheapest option here
Charitas Pro costs $75 per year or $247 for a lifetime licence.
Charitas Pro is a strong showing and well worth its spot on our list of simple WordPress themes. Great design, nice colours and instant appeal works for its target audience.
Foodica is one of our favourite simple WordPress blog themes. It’s another food blog theme but could be customized to suit most subjects by simply changing the imagery.
The page has a great design with lots of white space, attractive typography, optional page elements and a simple but effective sidebar. The frameless content blocks make this design work well while allowing those images to shine.
Pros of Foodica:
- Simple and effective simple WordPress theme
- Ideal for food blogs with recipe cards and index
- Optional page elements including subscription
- Nice page flow and smooth scrolling
Cons of Foodica:
- No lifetime licence option
Foodica costs $69 per year.
We rate the simplicity and effectiveness of Foodica very highly. It works well as a recipe blog theme but could also work for other niches with minimal customization.
10. Food Blogger
Food Blogger is a pure form of a WordPress simple theme. It’s clean, crisp, minimalist and yet has enough going on to keep your attention. The mix of fonts works well, as does the simple navigation and minimal sidebar.
This is another design where borderless content blocks work exceptionally well. A mix of traditional blog layout and modest animation keeps interest while the imagery draws you in. A very effective design.
Pros of Food Blogger:
- A pure WordPress simple theme done well
- Attractive typography
- Nice page flow with excellent use of white space
- Works with the Elementor page builder
Cons of Food Blogger:
- It’s genuinely hard to fault this template
Food Blogger costs from $79 up to $299.
Food Blogger exhibits great page balance with smooth operation, a great eye for layout and some accomplished typography. Nothing to criticize here.
Nisarg is a free and a premium theme where both versions are equally viable. Both exhibit a great eye for colour and typography while keeping things simple. The free version is a traditional blog layout while the premium offers more layout options depending on how you configure it.
Both versions use modern fonts and a subtle colour palette to deliver a very comfortable page. The premium perhaps edges out the free with its optional page features though.
Pros of Nisarg:
- Genuinely usable free version that doesn’t look free
- Lots more options with the premium version
- Great use of colour and empty space
- Nice typography and layout
Cons of Nisarg:
- Designs are less impactful than some of these other simple WordPress themes.
Nisarg is free or $35.
Nisarg uses great design and layout to create a welcoming blog or business website. It doesn’t make the same kind of impact as some of these others but that isn’t always a bad thing.
Freedom from ThemeGrill is another simple WordPress theme that works well. It’s a portfolio theme that uses a standard blog layout with minimal navigation and page elements to build a site.
A neat header image acts as both a background and foreground attention grabber then the page gives way to a plain white background with content blocks and features for you to use as required. It’s a simple but effective template.
Pros of Freedom:
- Both the free and premium version work well
- Simple portfolio theme
- Optional page elements with premium
- Smooth flow down the page
Cons of Freedom:
- Another design that makes minimal impact at first glance
Freedom costs $69 per year up to $299 per year.
Freedom is an effective WordPress simple theme ideal for those who want a subtle website that quietly makes its entrance rather than making an instant impact.
13. Zakra Pro
Zakra Pro is a simple eCommerce template for WordPress. It’s an effective design with a contemporary feel and works well. It’s a well-balanced page with fantastic spacing and typography.
It uses a modest colour palette with single colour pops for buttons. A grey background with rounded images is a simple but very effective tool to create a great first impression that keeps on giving down the page.
Pros of Zakra Pro:
- Very effective simple eCommerce template for WordPress
- Wide range of layout options built in
- Excellent typography throughout
- Rounded images are a small but effective feature
Cons of Zakra Pro:
- Cheapest option doesn’t include Elementor
Zakra Pro costs from $49 up to $199 but you will have to pay at least $69 for Elementor.
We like the contemporary typography in Zakra Pro. While you can change fonts on any website, you wouldn’t have to touch these at all.
Cali from Athemes is a very effective WordPress theme. It’s also free. It’s a blog design with a strong header slider, font and minimal navigation. The page transitions into a more minimal design after the header with a tidy sidebar and frameless content blocks throughout.
Cali is a very modern template that could work for many niches. The mainly monochrome design is all the better for strong pops of colour from buttons and the included social media elements.
Pros of Cali:
- Free theme that looks anything but
- Makes immediate impact with that header
- Simple design afterwards with a blog layout
- Pops of colour are very effective
- Social media elements add necessary features
Cons of Cali:
- It’s very hard to criticize free
Cali is a free simple WordPress theme.
Cali doesn’t look like a free theme and doesn’t work like it either. It’s a great example of just what’s out there if you look hard enough.
15. True North
True North is a free portfolio theme for WordPress. It is simple but effective and uses a modest image header with logo, minimal navigation, a white and grey background to build the picture and borderless images to build engagement.
True North is another good quality option that proves that free does not mean old, outdated or low quality. The layout is excellent, typography first class and the overall look and feel is the same as a premium template.
Pros of True North:
- Free high quality template
- Contemporary typography
- Template is older but still updated
- Nice and simple portfolio theme
Cons of True North:
- Fewer optional page features than some here
True North is free.
True North is a straightforward portfolio template that works well and makes exactly the impression you want from such a design. Pages load quickly too!
Maisha is another simple WordPress theme that manages to combine page elements with simplicity. It begins with a monochrome header image with orange contrasting colour. Once past the header, the page simplifies significantly and works exceptionally well.
Maisha is for charities and has page elements to suit. It’s still simple, with no unnecessary page elements and no design flourishes to speak of. The combination of design, colour choice and typography makes this an exceptional template in our eyes.
Pros of Maisha:
- Strong monochrome design with colour pop
- Charity-oriented features that work well
- Nice graphics
- Smooth flow throughout the website
Cons of Maisha:
- Very narrow focus
Maisha costs $59 up to $199.
Maisha is an exceptionally strong theme with a lot to recommend it. However, it also has a very narrow focus that would be difficult to customize to a different use.
17. Revolution Pro
Revolution Pro is a simple design and portfolio template that slowly unfolds as you scroll down the page. The demo has a large image that takes up all the fold and reveals once you have scrolled past. The rest of the design is clean, crisp and minimal. Just the way we like it.
The layout is excellent with a mix of borderless and bordered blocks, shadows and effects and a subtle green contrast colour. It’s a refined design that works well.
Pros of Revolution Pro:
- Slowly reveals itself once you scroll
- Great use of white space and content
- Imaginative typography
- Good mix of simple blocks and effects
Cons of Revolution Pro:
- Requires Genesis Framework
Revolution Pro costs $129.95.
Revolution Pro is one of our favourite simple WordPress themes due to the slow reveal. Once below the fold, the page opens up completely giving us a mix of minimal blocks and effects.
Minblr from Themify is a simple portfolio or blog theme for WordPress. The demo uses a nice coffee palette with light grey/brown background, a mix of white, black and brown headers and minimal page elements to build it out.
The demo is intended to be reminiscent of Tumble, hence the name and works well. Small colour pops with the social media buttons and images are surprisingly effective, as is the ease at which the design makes you scroll down the page.
Pros of Minblr:
- Nice alternative to the usual black font and white background
- Minimal navigation and page elements
- Built-in colour options if coffee isn’t your thing
Cons of Minblr:
- Fonts need changing to something more effective
Minblr costs $59 or $69 if you want the images.
Minblr has a relaxed feel that could work in many situations. It’s a simple, yet effective WordPress theme.
Genesis is the core template for the Genesis Framework. It is a minimalist theme with mainly monochrome colours and a nice blue contrast. Modern typography suits the design perfectly, as does the demo template.
The default template works surprisingly well. A left-oriented main image allows header content to shine while a mixture of white and dark background and fonts contrast perfectly to tell a story. Well worth checking out.
Pros of Genesis:
- Simple but very effective WordPress template
- Superb typography for the design
- Side image effective in this form
- Subtle blue buttons work well
Cons of Genesis:
- Requires the Genesis Framework
Genesis costs $59.95.
The Genesis theme is an effective simple WordPress theme and works very well. It could easily be tweaked to suit any niche with minimal effort, which is definitely in its favour.
Divi is a WordPress theme family, much like Astra. There are a selection of simple WordPress themes within the theme, including Wedding which we feature here. It’s a lovely theme design with a faded colour palette and great layout.
This demo suits its niche perfectly, as do the other demos. Layouts flow effortlessly as the page unfolds allowing the story to be told with minimal interruption. It’s a strong showing and definitely a theme to investigate further.
Pros of Divi:
- Strong selection of simple WordPress themes
- Easy to customize and tweak any design
- Great use of colour and typography across the range
- Optional page features possible
Cons of Divi:
- Not the cheapest option
- There’s a lot of features to get to grips with
Divi costs from $89 per year up to $249 for a lifetime licence.
Divi is popular for a reason. Because it offers some amazing designs, easy of use and flexibility. All things we appreciate in a theme. You do pay for the privilege though.
Julia is an excellent food blog theme that pushes the WordPress simple theme boundaries a little, but not too much. A strong text header works well, as does the minimal navigation underneath, followed by a standard blog layout.
There are a selection of layouts but masonry seems to work best. A mix of serif and sans serif fonts, simple colours and the willingness to let the images shine is what makes this theme worth checking out.
Pros of Julia:
- Simple and very effective food blog design
- Mixture of typography works well
- Modest palette enables images to shine
Cons of Julia:
- Relies almost entirely on imagery to create its effect
Julia costs €70 per year or €100 for a lifetime licence.
Julia is a strong design only as long as you have strong images. While it’s a good looking theme, there is something about it that wouldn’t survive as well as these others without those images.
Satchmo is a simple WordPress theme for podcasts that works very well indeed. It begins with a bold header with audio player for your latest episode while simplifying as you scroll down.
The design is mainly monochrome with colour added via buttons and images. It’s a great design that uses a mix of fonts and background shading to add interest while adding enough content to support the images.
Pros of Satchmo:
- Excellent design for its niche
- An audio player in the header should help increase engagement
- Colour pops are very effective
- The ‘Play Episode’ element is also effective
Cons of Satchmo:
- Very narrow focus that would lose effectiveness in other niches
- Lifetime licence is very expensive
Satchmo costs from $69 up to $389
We like Satchmo a lot. If you’re a podcaster and like simplicity without enough features to deliver, this is worth checking out.
Kale is a very effective free simple WordPress theme from Lyra Themes. It doesn’t look free either. It has a unique patterned background with shadowed boxed layout that sets the scene nicely. Add a colourful header slider and deceptively simple navigation and you’re onto a winner.
The rest of the page unfolds as a typical food blog with three columns and optional sidebar. It is genuinely hard to imagine that this is free.
Pros of Kale:
- Free simple WordPress theme
- Quality of design is surely worth paying for
- Patterned background makes the layout shine
Cons of Kale:
- It’s hard to argue with free!
Kale is a free simple WordPress theme.
Kale is a strong contender for best free and easy WordPress theme. It looks good enough that you would expect to have to pay for it. No more need be said really.
Studio 8 is another theme that skirts the edge of being simple. We think it works because of its mixture of image and white space with little else to distract you from the page content.
The header image and animated image blocks make a great impression, as does the contrasting white space between rows. This is a superior design that could work in many contemporary niches, hence its place in our list.
Pros of Studio 8:
- Strong modern design with heritage feel
- Great use of imagery throughout
- Contrasting white space lets you relax between rows
- No unnecessary page element to distract you
Cons of Studio 8:
- Not as simple as some on here
Studio 8 costs from $75 per year up to $247 for lifetime access.
Studio 8 stands out because of its style. The mix of heritage and new works well and the tone applied to the images just adds to that.
25. Academy Pro
Academy Pro uses simple design very well indeed. A mix of white and grey backgrounds, images and white space, shadows and fonts creates a lively page while using very few design elements.
Academy Pro is for online learning and includes lesson features and LMS elements that add value but don’t detract from the simplicity. That’s a hard balance to strike but it works well here.
Pros of Academy Pro:
- Very modern design with modest flourishes
- Keeps the page simple while delivering a lot
- Nice mix of typography
- Includes essential elements for the niche
Cons of Academy Pro:
- Very expensive for what it is
- Use Genesis Framework which adds a learning curve
Academy Pro costs $129.95.
Academy Pro is a very competent design that keeps things simple while including everything you would need from the niche. It’s also flexible enough to suit a range of industries, not just learning.
Lefkada is another simple WordPress theme that gradually unfolds. A very impactful video header makes an instant first impression but as soon as you scroll past it, white space takes over allowing you to relax and enjoy the page.
The design uses a blue palette that suits the travel niche. There is a mix of images, graphics and simple page elements that work well while the orange buttons stand out for all the right reasons.
Pros of Lefkada:
- Very effective video header
- Simple page design further down
- Colour choices are superb
- Typography suits the design perfectly
Cons of Lefkada:
- That video header isn’t going to be for everyone
Lefkada costs $34 per year up to $174 for a lifetime licence.
Lefkada has a bold design that suits its intent perfectly. Everything about the colour, font and layout works so very well.
Neve comes with a few simple WordPress themes. All of which work well. Neve is known for its flat design with modern fonts, bold contrasts and simple layouts. All combine to deliver a stylish impression.
Neve combines great typography with minimal page elements to tell a story that flows down the page. You can add or remove any element you like and for that, we like this theme a lot.
Pros of Neve:
- Wide range of simple WordPress themes
- Tons of optional page elements if you want them
- Pages load quickly
- Modern flat design that is very contemporary
Cons of Neve:
- The many designs available all have a very similar feel
Neve costs from £59 up to £159 per year.
Neve has some very strong simple WordPress themes that cover almost every niche you can think of. That makes this a very flexible option for business websites.
Construction is an effective design with image slider header with integrated enquiry from. The stark yellow contrast colour makes an instant impact to grab your attention below flowing into a simpler page below.
The use of images, font and white space in Construction is great. There is a lot of empty space, simple but effective elements and enough to tell your story while not overburdening the page. It could be quickly adapted to other industries too.
Pros of Construction:
- Strong header slider with integrated form
- Choice of yellow contrast colour works well
- Just enough white space to let you relax between content blocks
Cons of Construction:
- Will take a little customizing to change the niche
Construction costs from $69 up to $247 for lifetime access.
Construction is a strong theme with a lot to recommend it.
VideoBox has two main demos, one for video and one for podcasts. Both work well with a header slider with integrated media player and content sliders down the page. There is nothing else going on which allows the content to shine on its own merit.
The layout works well with contrasting white and grey backgrounds, modern contrasting typography and a subtle colour palette throughout. The subject could easily be tweaked to suit any niche as long as that niche uses video or audio.
Pros of VideoBox:
- Integrated media player
- Nice design with smooth flow
- Lots of content and nothing to distract from it
- Pages load quickly
Cons of VideoBox:
- Only suitable for video or audio websites
VideoBox costs $69 per year.
If you’re hosting videos or podcasts, this is a very strong option. It has a great layout with a modern feel and has nothing to take attention away from what you’re showcasing.
Rocked could be either a blog theme or business website theme. It is a free theme that uses contemporary colours and typography to create a great first impression before utilizing a lot of white space to allow the content to really stand out.
The blog design works well with a traditional timeline layout. The business theme also uses similar design cues with additional elements for services and employees. Both make great use of the orange contrast colour.
Pros of Rocked:
- It’s free
- Simple but very effective WordPress theme
- Blog or business layout options
- Typography is on point
- Orange makes a great contrast colour
Cons of Rocked:
- Limited flexibility with included demo templates
Rocked is free.
Rocked is a great free option if you’re looking for a blog or basic business template. The design looks and feels premium and has been configured to let your content really stand out.
Moliere is an accomplished template that manages to be both a simple WordPress theme and a fully functional hotel booking theme. It uses a strong image slider but transitions seamlessly into a much simpler page. All while including the features you want to see on a hotel website.
The design is bold, yet simple. Colourful yet plain. It’s an excellent design that includes all the options you expect with nothing superfluous. Just what we want from simple design.
Pros of Moliere:
- Balances the needs of simplicity with those of the niche
- Includes forms and hotel elements
- Strong header image with smooth transition
- Premium look and feel
Cons of Moliere:
- Narrow focus
Moliere costs from $34 per year up to $174 for a lifetime licence.
Moliere is a superb hotel website theme. It’s strong, impactful and well designed. All while maintaining elegant simplicity.
Infinite is one of a number of simple WordPress themes based around fashion but is definitely one of the best. The design isn’t quite minimalist but uses white space well, has exceptional images and typography and slowly unfolds to reveal the rest of the page contents.
The minimal navigation also works well, as does the full page layout. It’s a very clean and crisp theme built with a great eye.
Pros of Infinite:
- Combination of fonts and images means there is no weak link
- Nice layout that unfolds as you scroll
- Excellent use of minimal navigation and layout
Cons of Infinite:
- You will need some exceptional images to pull this theme off
Infinite costs $59 or $69 including images.
Infinite is a very effective WordPress simple theme that combines images and typography well. Despite that, this will require significant Photoshop skills to get the best out of it.
Extra from Divi is another design that skirts the edges of simple WordPress themes but is well worth it. This is a magazine theme that manages to pack in the features while not adding anything that shouldn’t be there. That’s why it’s in our list.
Extra uses a grey theme with contrast colours to differentiate the categories which works well. Those colours appear throughout the page creating a coherent feel that offers reassurance as you explore. This is a very effective template for almost any niche.
Pros of Extra:
- Great layout and arrangement
- No superfluous page elements or content
- Simple, unfussy design that still offers a lot
- A ton of extra page elements are available if required
Cons of Extra:
- Not a pure simple WordPress theme
- Not cheap
Extra costs $89 per year or $249 for a lifetime licence.
Extra is a stylish magazine theme that balances simplicity with being content-rich. That’s a difficult balance to strike and Extra does it well.
Heap is a simple WordPress blog theme from Pixelgrade. The main demo uses a masonry layout but others are possible. It’s a simple template with minimal page elements and just a straightforward sidebar and top menu to maintain functionality.
The design is all the better for its simplicity. It can support images, audio and video posts and can be made as feature-rich as you want.
Pros of Heap:
- Simple yet effective design
- Minimal page features make it stronger
- Masonry layout works very well
- Lots of options to add or change features
Cons of Heap:
- Relies heavily on images for appeal
Heap costs €70 per year or €85 for a lifetime licence.
Heap is a clean blog design that is happy to let the posts speak for themselves. You will need to choose your images carefully but that’s the case for many of these simple WordPress themes.
Futurio is a pared-back design that can work as an online store, blog or business website. It’s a crisp, clean design with modern fonts, great borderless image blocks and a calm blue contrast colour in all the right places.
Futurio is a flexible design with demos covering its intended niches. Each has the right balance of content and white space, nice colour options and just enough on the page to engage.
Pros of Futurio:
- Free and premium options
- Well balanced designs
- Simple with enough page content to deliver
- Modern typography with off-black colouring
- Pages load quickly
Cons of Futurio:
- There is nothing wrong with this design
Futurio has a free version and a premium that costs $39 per year or $89 for a lifetime.
Futurio is a very contemporary design that offers a credible free option plus premium templates. There is very little to criticize with either of these.
Hueman is reminiscent of Extra in that it’s a magazine theme that also manages to be simple. It is content-rich but there is nothing on the page that shouldn’t be there. The typography, page balance and white space all combine to deliver a professional product.
The subtle colours, grey background and white content box work well. As does the side menu and contrasting accent colours. It’s an excellent option for news or hobby websites.
Pros of Hueman:
- Free and a premium version
- Combines content-rich pages with simple design
- Allows the content to stand out
- Navigation and page elements kept to a minimum
- Typography and colours are top class
Cons of Hueman:
- Support for the free version is on a best-endeavour basis
Hueman is free with premium versions costing €59 or €89 for a lifetime.
Hueman is a very competent design whether you pay or use the free version. There is very little to complain about with this theme.
37. Family Blog
Family Blog is ostensibly a family blog theme but could easily be transformed to fit any niche. The strong header image is what sets the scene and the sidebar can be transformed in minutes. It’s the design itself that shines.
This is a great WordPress simple theme with a grey background and white content boxes, subtle colours and modern fonts. It is this straightforward, no-nonsense design that we value most here.
Pros of Family Blog:
- Modern blog design with a lightweight feel
- Attractive sans serif typography
- Complementing colour scheme that works well
- Everything you need on a page and nothing you don’t
Cons of Family Blog:
- The blog layout means the template isn’t as flexible as other themes
- More expensive than some
Family Blog costs $75 per year or $247 for lifetime access.
Family Blog makes a great first impression that is entirely reliant on that header image. That offers a lot of flexibility for the niche with the minimum of customization.
Cookely is a very pleasing WordPress theme with a fantastic complementing colour scheme. Alongside crisp typography, modern navigation and some strong images, this is a theme that delivers on all counts.
While the demo theme is a food blog, it is flexible enough to suit many niches. It comes with recipe cards and indexing as well as a store, so delivers everything you’re likely to need.
Pros of Cookely:
- Strong first impression with clean lines
- Lovely colour scheme
- Mix of fonts is top class
- Includes recipe cards and store options
Cons of Cookely:
- Customization options not as generous as some themes
Cookely costs $69 per year.
Cookely is a premium food blog theme and it looks it. The design is clean and accomplished and colour schemes are very well chosen. Nothing more needs to be said really!
Augusta is borderline minimalist, in a good way. It’s a free blog theme with simple white content blocks and grey background. Straightforward navigation and sidebars keep you on track while staying out of the way to allow the content to stand out.
It’s an easy WordPress theme to set up and could feasibly work in any niche with minimal setup. For those who want absolute simplicity without reducing impact, Augusta could deliver.
Pros of Augusta:
- It’s a free simple WordPress theme
- Strong yet modest design
- Minimal headers and sidebar increases the effect
- Nice typography throughout
Cons of Augusta:
- Suitable for blogs only
- Limited customization options
Augusta is a free theme.
Augusta certainly doesn’t look or feel free and while your options are limited in terms of customization, if you know CSS, you could do a lot with this template.
40. Prime News
Prime News is a simple WordPress magazine theme that delivers the news while keeping it simple. It’s another example of how you can design a magazine template and fill it with content while still maintaining an elegant simplicity.
The demo template is ready to go and would require minimal customization to fit almost any use. Colours are as simple as the design yet are very effective, as are the fonts used throughout the page.
Pros of Prime News:
- Simple but effective magazine layout
- Superb fonts throughout
- Minimal page elements keeps your attention on the content
- Optional news sliders offer flexibility
Cons of Prime News:
- This is a good but not outstanding theme and will require good images to shine
Prime News costs $69 per year.
We think Prime News is another great example of how you can combine the requirements of a magazine layout with simplicity. It is genuinely hard to find fault with it.
Spacious has both a free and a premium version that uses simple design to maximum effect. The free version is good, with a traditional layout with image header and product blocks while the premium has more layout options. Either could be easily customized using built-in tools.
These are simple WordPress themes that can cover a wide variety of industries. Pages can be kept minimalist or populated a little more depending on your needs. The design is robust enough to take whatever content you want without losing its integrity.
Pros of Spacious:
- Free and a premium version
- Clean design with no superfluous elements
- Flexible premium versions offer different layouts
- Soft palettes work well throughout
Cons of Spacious:
- Customization will need a careful eye to make an impact
Spacious costs $69 per year.
Spacious is a simple WordPress theme that still delivers the goods. You will have to be careful how you go to ensure your pages make an impact though.
Astrid has a free and a premium version, both of which offer elegantly simple design with a touch of class. The design uses a coffee palette that can be tweaked to suit any niche. Pages use white space well while offering all the optional elements you might need.
Astrid stands out because of the quality of layout and modernity. Even the free version looks like it should have cost money which says a lot about the quality of design.
Pros of Astrid:
- Free and premium version
- Lovely colour palette with real ease of use
- Mix of content elements with white space
- Modern typography throughout
Cons of Astrid:
- It’s difficult to argue with free
Astrid is free or the Pro version costs £59.
Astrid is a contemporary design with some strong features. While it may push the boundaries of what simple WordPress themes are, it’s well worth checking out.
Angle is a simple WordPress theme with a definite Scandi influence. There is a clean header slider with contemporary fonts and layout, strong contrasting typography and background and crisp images, all combine to deliver a great first impression.
Further down the page, white space takes over a little more. Borderless blocks keep things clean while offering a range of layout options depending on your needs.
Pros of Angle:
- Very flexible design with lots of options
- Effective typography and colours
- Great use of layout and images
- Portfolio and store options built-in
Cons of Angle:
- The design is another of those dependent on quality images to stand out
Angle costs $59 and $69 with images.
Angle is a very accomplished design with a relaxed feel. It could genuinely work for just about any niche and has the flexibility of a store built-in. Hard to fault that!
Magazine, as the name suggests, is a simple WordPress magazine theme. Where this one differs is in the layout. It has fewer dividers and a far simpler layout than many magazines while still retaining categories and logical navigation.
The template does depend a lot on its images but the subtle colour scheme and typography to help with that. A simple menu and optional news ticker completes the very competent look.
Pros of Magazine:
- A different magazine theme than the norm
- Well designed with a nice flow down the page
- Fewer navigational cues but still works
- Complementing colours work with the fonts
Cons of Magazine:
- Will need to work hard to stand out from the crowd
Magazine costs $59 per year or $69 with images.
We love it when a design does something different and that’s the case here. This is a genuinely simple WordPress theme that still fulfils its role admirably.
45. El Greco
El Greco is reminiscent of Lefkada which appears earlier in this list of simple WordPress themes. It has a fresh design with an image slider that transitions immediately into the simplicity we selected it for.
A grey background contrasts the white content blocks and the images along with the fonts and contrast colour combine to deliver an impactful page that gets the message across.
Pros of El Greco:
- Simple but very effective design
- Balance of white space and content is almost perfect
- Colour options are very well chosen
- Could work equally well without the image slider
- Works with Elementor, Beaver Builder or Divi
Cons of El Greco:
- Limited layout options
El Greco costs from $34 per year to $174 for lifetime access.
El Greco is a pleasing design that adds nothing while taking nothing away. A very effective layout with an excellent look and feel.
Flash has a free and a premium version that delivers a serene experience depending on how you lay it out. The demo page is very easy on the eye with a soft header image, green colour and lots and lots of white space.
The overall design seems oriented towards a business, which is fine. Navigation is very straightforward, the content blocks deliver everything you need and the overall impression is one of quality.
Pros of Flash:
- Free and premium versions
- Pleasing design with unfussy elements
- Nice page balance with lots of white space
- Colour choice and fonts are first class
- Range of layouts to choose from
Cons of Flash:
- Would be markedly weaker without a strong header image
Flash is free or $69 for Pro.
Flash has a serene feel about it that almost welcomes you onto the page. There are some very nice touches here.
Cenote is a thoroughly modern template that epitomizes simple WordPress themes. It uses isolated content blocks surrounded by lots of white space, borderless elements, crisp black sans serif fonts and flat design to great effect.
This is a blog layout with subtle navigation and sidebar that doesn’t detract. It will require strong images to carry off but would work exceptionally well in the right hands.
Pros of Cenote:
- Free and premium version available
- Selection of layout options
- Crisp fonts and colours throughout
- Minimalist design with an eye for content
Cons of Cenote:
- The better demos are premium only
Cenote has a free version while premium costs $69 per year.
Cenote exhibits superb design that has a leg in minimalism and a leg in simplicity. Both legs deliver a superior experience while on the page.
Responsive is a simple WordPress portfolio theme that does a great job of setting the scene ready for your images or video. The patterned nav bar and divider is a nice touch while the imagery makes a genuine impact.
The design is simple, use of white space perfect, font use is great and mixes black body content with coloured headers well. The main event is the images and the page includes animations and effects to help you create the impression you’re looking for.
Pros of Responsive:
- Minimalist design with strong content elements
- Nice image effects adds to the appeal
- Sans serif fonts make a difference in such a modern design
- Pages load quickly even when full of images
Cons of Responsive:
- The stark design won’t be for everyone
Responsive costs $39 up to $299.
We consider Responsive to be a great example of minimalist design. It’s a pared back template which allows the imagery to stand on its own merit. Exactly what you want from a portfolio.
Installing a simple WordPress Theme is a breeze. It can be completed in less than two minutes and includes just these simple steps:
- Purchase your chosen WordPress theme and download it to your computer
- Decompress the file until you see the ‘themename.zip’ file.
- Log into your WordPress website.
- Select Appearance from the left menu of your WordPress dashboard.
- Select Themes and the Add New button.
- Select the Upload Theme button at the top of the page.
- Select Choose File and select the ‘themename.zip’ file.
- Select Install Now and Activate when the button appears.
Depending on the speed of your internet connection, there may be a small delay between, selecting Install Now and Activate. That is perfectly normal.
Demo data is what you use to recreate the website you saw in the live preview. It can be a fast and easy way to get your website up and running. We’ll use an Astra free theme to demonstrate how to do it.
- Select Appearance from the left menu of your WordPress dashboard.
- Select Starter Templates and the demo you want to import from the main window.
- Select the Preview Site button to make sure it’s the correct theme.
- Select the blue Import Complete Site button on the right of the window.
- Select the import options from the popup box and select Import.
Like uploading the theme, there may be a short delay while WordPress loads all the demo data. Again, this is normal. Once complete, you can now customize your theme.
It would be a mistake to consider ‘simple’ WordPress themes as anything less than any other theme. It takes a lot of skill to create an attractive page with minimal elements.
We think each of these simple WordPress themes is worthy of its place in our list as we would be happy using any of them.
Personal taste is everything when selecting a new web theme. However, we do think a few simple WordPress themes stand out.
Astra stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of ease of use, professional design and the sheer volume of options. There are demos for minimalist tastes as well as demos for more feature-rich. To add to the appeal, Astra uses drag and drop page builders so you can build an entire website without typing a single line of code!
We also rate Satchmo for the podcast elements, Foodica for combining simple design with lots of features and Angle for delivering a great user experience while relaxing you at the same time.
Do you use any of these simple WordPress themes? Have a theme to recommend? Tell us about it below!