Do you want a simple and clean theme for your WordPress website? A design that is uncluttered so that your readers don’t get distracted? A theme that has a high-quality design, provides a beautiful reading experience and doesn’t weigh down on the server?
Well, you need a minimal theme.
I’ve collected 30 awesome minimal themes for you in this post. All these themes are designed to keep the focus on content, thereby minimising distraction and giving your readers a great user experience. And yes, they’re all responsive and free.
Note: Before you install and tweak your favorite theme, remember to make a child theme first so that you leave the original code untouched and don’t lose the custom changes on theme update. Now, on with the list.
Popper is a mobile first design theme based on Underscore. The theme support one widget section which can be set to left, right, or to the bottom via customizer. There is two enhanced custom widget for “Recent Posts” and “Recent Comments”.
Casper theme is inspired from Ghost Blogging platform. The theme has plenty of customization options including logo upload, social URLs, and custom footer.
Libre is a stylish, classic look theme for personal blogging. It supports full-width template and the main menu is fixed on the top. There are three footer widget areas which can be used to add secondary content.
A true minimal theme with beautiful typography to focus on content and pleased to the yes. It has no widgets, no settings, and no drop down menu. Just you and your words.
Harmonic is a theme to make your content sing. The main menu and social menu visible on the top header which sticks while scrolling. The theme also supports a custom front page template which can be personalized through customizer.
Founder is designed to show your content in a simple, clean and professional manner. Widget section pulls down with a click on the arrow button visible right below the website title. You can upload a custom logo and add social media links via customizer. Some more enhanced feature can be added through an upgrade.
Freedom is a theme for photo Blogging by Theme Grill. The theme has many options built into the customizer, including site logo, site layout, category layout and slider. You can add up to 4 slides which displayed below the main navigation menu. Through upgrade, you can get some more advanced features.
Daily is a minimal responsive theme which can be used as blog or portfolio. It has a full-screen intro section which can be personalized from the admin. The theme is integrated with lightbox and primary menu sticks on the top while scrolling.
Briar is based upon Bootstrap framework with more than a dozen customization options include background, colors, and social buttons. It also supports custom layouts for specific pages (home, post, archive, category etc). The menu toggled into the view with a click on hamburger icon.
Editor is a theme with bold and legible typography. There is a sticky sidebar which can be customized to light or dark color scheme. Using theme customizer, you can upload your own logo and set featured category.
11. Independent Publisher
Independent Publisher is a reader-focused theme. The theme offers support for all post formats and has plenty of options in the customizer like managing post meta, excerpts, layout, and header image.
Radcliffe is a theme for writers with a full width featured image, bold headlines, and a single centered column for content. The theme has several options built into the customizer, including logo upload and changing accent color.
13. Book Lite
Book Lite is a classic book style Blog theme. It has large fonts which are easy to read. Header and background image can be added via customizer. There is one primary menu for the top and three widgets for the bottom.
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Landscape is a dark black & white theme for personal and business sites. There is one primary menu on the top and one social menu visible at the bottom. You can also add three featured pages on the home page via customizer.
Author is a theme for writers. It’s fast since all scripts are minified, concatenated, and loaded conditionally. In the left side panel, you can add your Gravatar image or a custom image along with your favorite social media links.
Perfect for personal blogs, magazines, and photography websites. There are a lot of customization options including custom CSS, managing social media links and post meta. With an upgrade, you can get premium layouts.
Fortunato is a one column theme with a full-width template. Theme supports all the basic features including post formats, social media icons, and changing text and background colors. You can purchase pro version to get more advanced features.
Argent is a clean and modern portfolio theme. Good for artists, designers, and photographers. It has a custom front page template where you can put your portfolio right in the front of your prospects. Header and background can be personalized through customizer.
Hew is a personal blog theme by Automattic. Great for putting your words right in front of your audience. It takes your Gravatar’s image in the header by default, though you can change it via theme settings. You can open widget area with a click on three dots on top right corner.
Coherent is a simple theme for writers with the robust structure. It displays featured image in a full-width on the single post. There is a sliding panel on left that contains social media links, main navigation, and widgets.
Minnow is designed to boost your social media presence and keep your content focused in the center. The menu comes in the slide on click three lines in the right corner. It supports all standard post formats.
Scrawl is for long form writing. Show featured image in bold on a single post and let your content shine. The menu appears with a click on three horizontal lines on the top right corner where you can also add social media links and widgets.
23. Bad Johnny
It is actually a redesigned version of twenty twelve theme. New typography style has been added which is great for a personal blog. The theme is developed by WordPress team itself so that you can trust on the quality of code.
Libretto is a one column theme with a classic look. It supports drop-cap typography and all standard post formats. You can also add your favorite social media profiles in a secondary menu.
25. Reyl Lite
This is a user-friendly, SEO optimized theme that supports some beautiful CSS animations. There is no widget section, the main menu hangs on the top right corner, and your content is focused in the center.
With bright colors and bold typography, Aventurine gets the focus back to the content. This theme has one primary menu on the top and two widget section at the bottom.
Thoughts is a simple responsive theme for writers. It doesn’t have any widget, sidebar, and footer section. Though, the theme supports all the standard post formats.
Hannover is a theme to show off your portfolio in a beautiful manner which can be controlled through customizer. Theme support primary menu, social menu, and one for the footer.
29. Simple Melody
Simple melody displays blog posts in a mansory style. You can add custom intro text and set post layout via theme options. There are three widget areas for the bottom and one for the sidebar. Unlock some other special features with an upgrade.
Iwata is a clean, lightweight theme with clean and crisp fonts. There is no widget section. Although you can personalize background color, accent color, and header image via theme customizer.
Which your favorite minimalist WordPress theme? Also, if you’re using any of these theme, do share your experience in the comments.
This is a guest contribution by Munender Singh, a freelance blogger for hire, who works with web startups and bloggers.