I use WordPress for my blog and other websites I currently have or had in the past. Consequently, I'm often on the hunt for new WordPress themes.
I actually love looking at new theme options. Especially great free themes.
I'm also a big fan of quite minimal, sleek themes.

Theme development

A couple of years ago, I developed my own WordPress themes for my websites or projects. And that was great because I learned a lot about WordPress development, PHP, and generally about dynamic web design.

Nowadays I don't really have the time to develop much myself. So I stick to free themes I find around the web.

WordPress themes 2021

A few months ago, I updated a few sites to new themes. And I found an awesome theme developer based in Sweden who has plenty of great, free, and well-built themes in his catalog.

I actually used two of his themes before. Without checking more into it. But this time around I got to know Anders. I highly suggest you check him and his work out if you want a new look, a new feel to your website or blog. As I said, all of his themes are free, with no hidden costs.

Donating a small amount to him and his great work is highly appreciated, but you don't have to. Everything is free. And with over 1.4 million downloads his themes are popular as well. You'll find him on his site as well as on Wordpress.org or Wordpress.com

What I like about the themes

I like a few of Ander's WordPress themes a lot. One is called "Koji" and has a minimal feel to it while still being super useful and packed with features. I love the subtle effects in this theme as well. I basically used it out-of-the-box with just a very small number of quick changes to the menus and widgets. Nothing added to the code so far although I'd like to do that in the future. They work great out of the box though. Pagespeed is also fine. I would still add or remove a couple of unnecessary things like unneeded CSS and Javascript.

My favorite free WordPress themes 2021

Now let's have a look at my 3 favorite free WordPress themes by Anders Noren. But check out his other themes as well. He has 20 free themes so far. And a new one is coming soon.

1. Chaplin

Number 1 has got to be his latest theme "Chaplin". It is highly customizable, takes advantage of block features, and adds awesome visual effects & professionality.
With this theme and a little time for some modifications, you can create an eye-catching, professional, and practical theme for your blog, site, shop... anything really. There is also a nice YouTube tutorial for this theme here.

view demo


2. Koji

I already talked about "Koji". It is simple to use and understand, easy to modify, and looks very nice. Not as many features or modifications possible with this as with "Chaplin" but good enough for a lot of blogs and sites. Try it!

view demo


3. Miyazaki

Miyazaki is a really cool theme. It looks amazing, definitely better than most free themes out there. It has a minimal, but fun, and quirky vibe to it. It is also filled with images. A great option for creative sites that use a lot of pictures and artwork. Portfolios, photography, etc.
If that's your niche, check this theme out.

view demo


Closing words

As you might have guessed... I like Anders Noren's designs. But rightfully so, I think. It's sometimes hard to find a great but free WordPress theme. And it gets more and more difficult now that most developers go the"freemium" route. Meaning they're offering their themes for free but only with limited capability or functionality. For more, you need to pay. While I fully understand that and support great work, it is just too much for many people who want to start a small blog or portfolio. For all of those, Ander's free themes will be a great option.