There are probably a good amount of Noupe readers who would think little to nothing of paying money for a high quality WordPress theme if it was exactly what they were looking for. When compared to spending thousands of dollars on a unique design, a $40 investment in a premium theme for your website design is relatively painless. The number of premium WordPress theme stores and marketplaces has increased considerably over the last two years. Thankfully, many developers are still releasing quality designs for free.
Today we will be showing you 50 great WordPress themes that were released in 2011 for free. A few of the themes listed are the free version of a premium theme. Upgrading to the premium version usually gives you priority support and/or more features.
We hope you enjoy the list :)
A clean design from DevPress that could be used for a blog, news or magazine website. The home page has a beautiful featured slider for showcasing your important articles or videos.
A free business and portfolio design that was developed to celebrate the release of the 100th theme from WooThemes. Features a custom homepage, featured slider, custom widgets, custom typography and multiple colour schemes.
A free ecommerce design that was released in conjunction with the launch of the WooCommerce WordPress Plugin (which is a modified version of Jigoshop, the free ecommerce plugin we reviewed in Extending the Functionality of WordPress). With a featured slider, custom home page and custom widgets; Wootique is a great example of what can be achieved with Wootique.
A Colourful blogging design that has social media links integrated in the sidebar and support for post image thumbnails.
Released at the beginning of 2011 by Matt Mullenweg and ‘The WordPress Crew’, the anniversary theme has a traditional blog structure with a prominent header image.
A simply minimal design that would be suitable for a blog or a portfolio. Includes an advanced option panel, 8 different colour schemes and social media integration.
Designed for artists and photographers, Fotofolio Landscape automatically resizes uploaded images to fit the surrounding area and includes a useful slideshow option.
8. Big Square
A clean minimal design that is suitable for photo blogs. Perfect for travel blogs, personal blogs, portfolios and photography websites.
A brand new eCommerce designed for Smashing Magazine that was created to help sell children’s toys and related products. It was designed using HTML5 and CSS3 and features a beautiful home page slider, custom shopping cart and Facebook integration.
A simplistic portfolio design that features a large homepage slider and a useful portfolio template page.
Designed for photographers, AutoFocus lite is a simple HTML5 powered design that has a grid design and clean typography.
A retro style design that was designed in HTML5 and CSS3. It uses Google web fonts, has built-in pagination and an AJAX powered contact form. Uploaded photos are displayed beautifully using lightbox.
Based on the Twenty Ten theme, this is a feature rich colourful blogging theme from Smashing Magazine. One of the few free designs that also comes with the original layered photoshop psd files.
14. Gynix Tema
A business design which places featured articles on the home page. The theme could easily be used for a blog as well.
15. Triton Lite
Triton Lite is a self-proclaimed ‘All In One’ design that features a beautiful home page slider, shortcodes for styling content and 3 built in widget areas.
A portfolio design with a difference, Shuttershot shows photos in full screen in the background of the design. Even when a visitor views a blog page or page the background continues to change. A unique idea that has thankully been implemented well.
A colourful blogging theme that supports custom widgets. It includes custom widgets for social media services and comes in 4 colour schemes (blue, black, pink, orange).
A minimal blogging design that was created for WordPress 3.0+. It supports post thumbnails and includes built in pagination and an author information box on blog pages.
A business theme that features a home page slider, custom post types and custom fonts.
Featuring post image thumbnail support, social media integration and a beautiful home page slider. GazpoMag is a great option for an online magazine.
A fun blogging design that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The home page has a featured post image slider and you can use custom fonts using Google fonts.
A social media theme that is powered entirely by custom widgets. Through the options page you can style the colour of the background, fonts, links and borders.
23. Side Blog
A great looking blogging theme that uses post image thumbnails in the index and in the recent posts section on the sidebar.
A multimedia friendly design that would be suitable for a blog, news website or online magazine.
25. Blissful Blog
A simple yet elegant WordPress theme that was created specifically for wedding related websites.
Inspired by classic literature, Melville is a clean minimal theme that has beautiful typography.
One of the few one-column themes that was released in 2011. It comes in two colour schemes and includes short codes and custom widgets.
A fantastic looking minimal theme that has a beautiful image slider on the home page. This feature rich theme is perfect for blogs, portfolios or video websites.
This is an extremely simple, clean and to the point theme. It has two widgetized footer areas to handle navigation or anything else you feel like sticking in there.
A beautiful 3 column blogging theme that comes in a light and dark version. It uses Google fonts and has great social media integration.
A fantastic fast loading minimal design that uses a 4 column grid layout to display posts. Perfect for a portfolio or blog.
32. Amphion Lite
A blogging design that comes with 2 theme skins, 2 custom widgets, 2 short codes and 2 WordPress menus. Featured articles are displayed prominently on the home page in an image slider.
33. Grid Portfolio
A beautiful minimal theme that was designed for illustrators, photographers and graphic designers. There are several custom home page layouts to choose from with most displaying posts in a grid layout.
A simple, clean and minimal design which features a widget ready sidebar, custom header image and custom background.
A portfolio design that could also be used for a corporate website or blog.
36. WP Creativix
A nice corporate design that also features a basic portfolio template (which has jQuery lightbox support).
Another fantastic design from Smashing Magazine, Spectacular includes short codes for styling content. An elegant theme that is perfect for blogs.
A boxy minimal blogging theme from the Automattic team.
Designed in HTML5, Platform is a drag and drop framework that makes creating your ideal site a breeze. One of the best free blogging themes released in 2011.
40. Retro Fitted
A fun retro style blogging theme that comes with several widget areas.
An HTML blogging design that is optimised for viewing on mobile devices. It features 4 widget areas, two custom menus and an option to stick posts.
Created using HTML5 and CSS3, the theme lets you choose from over 40 Google fonts. It includes a featured posts slider, post image support, post format support and 6 colour schemes (pink, blue, green, red, orange, and bluish purple).
43. Portfolio Press
Another theme that was designed using HTML5, Portfolio Press is a good option for a simple portfolio blog.
A beautiful vintage design that uses Google fonts.
A clean minimal blogging design that was created using the NattyWP framework.
An HTML5 WordPress Framework for designers, developers & publishers. The user friendly front page editor allows you to move things around and modify your website in a live environment.
A good choice for a business or portfolio website. The home page features a beautiful jQuery slider. It also features post image thumbnails, social media integration, built in page navigation, custom font integration and much more.
A great looking minimal blogging theme from Caroline Moore.
A clean blogging theme that was built using the UpThemes Theme Framework. It includes social media integration in the header and a featured post slider on the home page.
Last but not least is Blog-O-Folio, a great looking blog and portfolio design from Noupe. Features portfolio integration, built in advertisement options and an email subscription form.
Do you know of a great WordPress design that was released for free in 2011 that didn’t make the list? If so, we encourage you to share it with fellow readers in the comment area.