Best Of 2012: 50 Free WordPress Themes

December 31st, 2012

We have come to the end of 2012, and a new year is knocking or has already arrived in some areas of the world. High time for this article. Each year, hundreds of amazing free WordPress themes are released: the good, the bad and the ugly. Naturally, 2012 wasn’t an exception. WordPress lovers received numerous free themes for their blogs and websites.


In this round-up, we enlist 50 awesome free themes for self-hosted WordPress sites.

The Best 50 Free WordPress Themes From 2012

Note: In order to view the Demo and Download URLs for any given theme, click on that particular theme’s screenshot in this gallery.

Description of Theme Features

Salient features of each theme:

Theme Name  Genre Responsive Localization  Custom Elements USP
 Ascetica  Portfolio  Yes  Yes  Custom page templates  Hybrid Core framework
 AzSimple  Blog  No  No  Nil BxSlider
 Bello  Blog  No  No  Post types  NA
 Clean Retina  Blog, Corporate Yes  Yes  9 homepage layouts, 5 post layouts, Gallery post type  Retina-ready
 Best  Magazine  Yes  Yes  Shortcodes, page templates  NA
 Buttercream  Blog  Yes  Yes  Nil  NA
 Delicacy  Blog  No  No  Meta boxes, widgets  NA
 Codium Extend  Blog  Yes  Yes (French and Russian included)  Nil  NA
 Digifoto  Portfolio  No No  Custom sliders, widgets, contact forms, portfolio template  Part of WP Business Bundle Free edition
 Elegant Photography  Portfolio, Photoblog  Yes  Yes  Page templates, photo galleries  NA
 Glider  Blog  Yes  No  Nil  Uses jQuery’s .load() function, no images
 Grid  Portfolio  Yes  Yes  Nil  Infinite scroll
 Gridly  Portfolio Yes  No  Nil  jQuery masonry
 Hatch  Portfolio  Yes  Yes  Nil Hybrid Core framework
 Launch Tumblog  No  Yes  Widgets, post formats, page templates  NA
Leatherly  Single-page  Yes  Yes Custom Shortcodes  NA
 Lugada  Blog  Yes  No  Nil  NA
 Launcher  Placeholder  Yes  No  Twitter box  NA
 Meeta  Blog  Yes  Yes  Page templates, widgets  NA
 Origami Blog,  Portfolio  Yes  No  Nil  NA
 Nomad  Portfolio  No  No  Nil  NA
 Origin  Blog  Yes  Yes  Nil  Hybrid Core framework
 Oxygen  Magazine  Yes  Yes  Custom homepage template  Hybrid Core framework
 Orion  Portfolio, Magazine  Yes  No  Custom widgets  Skeleton framework
 Panoramica  Portfolio  Yes  No  Custom page templates  NA
 Photolistic  Photoblog  No  No  Nil  NA
 Pilot Fish  Portfolio  Yes  Yes (Japanese and Spanish included)  Portfolio post type  NA
 Photo  Photoblog  Yes  Yes  Nil  Homepage slider using Soliloquy
 Responsive  Corporate, Multipurpose  Yes (obviously)  Yes  9 custom templates  Retina-ready
 Respo  Blog, Magazine  Yes  Yes  41 custom fonts, 3 widgets, shortcode generator, page templates  NA
 Prospect  Corporate  No  No  Custom slider, contact forms  Part of WP Business Bundle Free edition
 silverOrchid  Magazine  No  No  Custom page templates, widgets  NA
 Shutterloop  Photoblog  Yes  Yes  Customizable homepage  NA
 Shortnotes  Tumblog  Yes  Yes  Custom post formats  NA
 Solio  Single-page  No  No  Portfolio items  NA
 Simple Grid  Portfolio  Yes  No  Nil  NA
 SimpleCorp  Portfolio, Corporate  Yes  Yes  Custom post types, page templates  NA
 Thoughts  Blog  Yes  No Custom post formats  No sidebar, no footer
 Tetris  Tumblog  Yes  No  Custom post formats   Homepage slider using Soliloquy
 Stumblr  Tumblog  No  No  Post formats  NA
 Unique  Portfolio  Yes  No  Nil  NA
 Truly Minimal  Blog  Yes  Yes Custom widgets, page templates, shortcodes  NA
 Tiara  Portfolio  No  No  Nil  NA
 VeeCard  vCard  Yes  Yes  Post types, resume uploader, vCard settings  NA
 Western  Magazine (tutorial sites)  No  No  Custom post types, taxonomy, meta boxes  NA
 Workality  Portfolio  Yes  Yes  Custom post types, page templates  Paid version also available
 WordPress Svbtle  Blog  No  No  Nil  NA
 Zenon Lite  Blog, Magazine  No  No  Custom page templates  NA
 Yasmin  Portfolio  Yes  No  Custom post types, taxonomies  NA
 Zenshop  eCommerce  No  No  Custom post types, taxonomies, metaboxes, page templates  Requires Cart66 plugin

Over to You…

With that, we come to the end of this round-up. What are your thoughts? Any favorite WP theme of 2012 that you think we missed? Have your say in the comments below!


Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for various magazine and blogs, and has authored several books. He blogs about technology, Linux and open source, mobile, web design and development, typography, and Content Management Systems at Code Carbon. You can learn more about him, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.

27 comments for „Best Of 2012: 50 Free WordPress Themes
  1. Slim on December 31st, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    very great collection ; thanks :)

  2. Zhu on December 31st, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Ugh, I hate the new gallery setup for articles like these… I don’t want to click all over the place to get the info! Sorry guys :-(

    • Forrest on January 1st, 2013 at 12:22 am

      TOTALLY agree. All the extra clicking is lame.

  3. SGD on January 1st, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Seconded: thumbs down on the redesign for this type of article. This new style makes it difficult to quickly move through the collection and take a quick look at potential good finds. The tiny thumbnails aren’t that helpful, and separating the screenshots (all grouped up at the top now) from the details on each theme (jumbled into a not-that-friendly chart at the bottom) is really lacking from an information design perspective.

    If we can’t convince you to switch back to the previous layout (which, while taking up more vertical space, was *much* more user-friendly), perhaps you’d consider offering both versions, and let readers swap between them?

  4. Annie1948 on January 1st, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Wow! The theme on this site is awesome. Wish my garden at home was this pretty!

  5. Steve Kent on January 1st, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Agree with Zhu, it looks like tiled wallpaper made up by the same two designs over and over, what this screams is that WordPress designs are painfully same-y and consist entirely of black, grey, grey-green and grey-brown colour options, at least lose the colour killing overlay!

  6. Venkatesh Bashetty on January 4th, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Awesome Themes…. Really enjoyed the new layout :)

  7. Fbboy Himu on January 5th, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Really Nice Theme.But Where Is The Download Link ?

    • abouttec on January 5th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Just click on each of the themes Thumbnail and this will take you to a new page. where you will get the Demo and Download link.

  8. greg on January 5th, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I, too, dislike the small thumbs. At least have them open in a new tab.

  9. abouttec on January 5th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Wow, The Articles Gallery setup look is really cool. Great collection. Thanks.

  10. Lee on January 7th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    amazing collection of themes thanks for sharing

  11. Harshad on January 10th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I liked the way you used tables for the description of each theme. Pretty unique style! And, it definitely helps compare all the themes at once. Nice!

  12. kanav kathuria on January 14th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Nice Collection!!!
    It will really help me out for making my

    clients website.
    Thanks a Lot!!

  13. kenneth on January 18th, 2013 at 4:22 am

    I love the theme of your site?

  14. Prabhu on January 18th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Great collection. I am going to try this.

  15. scott on January 23rd, 2013 at 6:54 am

    teach me your ways. your website is awesome. I would love to know what theme you use and/or what themes you would suggest if im going for the exact same type of layout on my website. any info would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Enlaces compartidos on January 28th, 2013 at 7:00 am

    […] Best Of 2012: 50 Free WordPress Themes […]

  17. Yskan on January 30th, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing the themes.

  18. Julia on February 21st, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    well I like this style, it is nice and easy to a theme instead of scrolling down. Good work :)

  19. rood on March 3rd, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Great collection! thanks!

  20. Bill Moore on March 4th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    This is really cool collection.
    Thanks for another awesome post! I love the tips and tutorial you gave and I’m sure
    they are very helpful to your readers who aren’t already taking advantage of this really cool option.

    Thank you!

  21. Sam on March 19th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    WOW the Nomad one looks amazing. Nice list. Though I wish the pictures of those themes on this post were a bit larger.

  22. Usman on March 25th, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Nice themes collection.
    But have you seen Mantra theme?. I am using it and have 10 Plugins installed on hostgator’s shared hosting. My website loads very slowly :(. Does theme effects performance or plugins or hosting?. Please tell me the solution for it. As I have also have plugin W3 Total Cache. But now I deactivated all plugins due to speed problem.

  23. KRISHNA on April 5th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Excellent collections of themes, all are very much colouful. Thanks a lot for sharing

  24. Dave on June 14th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    You’re tha man Sufyan!!! I can use these themes for my clients here in Manila.. ciao!

  25. WPmaestros on March 10th, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I have used more than 20 from above……!!