Top Customizable Free WordPress Themes & Plugins

Transform your WordPress site without spending a penny with any of these highly customizable free themes, plus some useful free plugins.

Published Categorized as WordPress
Customizable WordPress themes.

Not all of us have a plump budget to spend on fancy WordPress themes. Thankfully, some brilliant designers make theirs for free.

But to avoid looking like everyone else without a budget, the more customizable the theme, the better.

You could have several sites with the same theme but customized enough to the point that no one would be any the wiser.

When choosing from a limited selection of themes, you may feel inclined to sacrifice ease of use for customization, but we’d argue that’s not the right approach to design or customization.

It’s important to think about the user experience and ease of use, not just how pretty it might look. Your site should be inviting and easy to navigate.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the most customizable WordPress themes available for free, plus some plugins that’ll make your themes immensely more customizable.

What Are the Most Customizable Free WordPress Themes?

Here are our top 10 free customizable WordPress themes. You can find them all in the themes section under Appearance.

Note that many of the most customizable themes are multipurpose, meaning that they can be used for a variety of business types and use cases.

But before you get excited and start downloading them one by one, we urge that you be patient because further down we have a list of plugins that might change everything for you 👇

1. Cubic

The Cubic theme.

What’s quite likable about this theme is that it’s image-focused, which is good for designers, architects, and photographers for example. Essentially, your theme is your work.

You’ll also notice that you don’t need the paid version of WordPress to use this theme, it’s completely free to use for all users.

Find out more here.

2. Suffice

The Suffice theme.

Suffice is a very multipurpose theme by ThemeGrill and is suitable for many business types and claims to be one of the most customizable WordPress themes.

It also boasts WooCommerce compliance, which makes it a good option for ecommerce businesses, and uses the best SEO practices so you won’t get left behind in page rankings.

Find out more here or at the ThemeGrill website.

3. OceanWP

The OceanWP theme.

OceanWP is another multipurpose free WordPress theme that is well-suited for ecommerce (suitable for WooCommerce), portfolios, blogs, and the like. 

What makes OceanWP stand out it’s particularly good for any multilingual WordPress site with right-to-left text ready, so you can change the direction of the text.

Find out more here.

4. Blocksy

The Blocksy theme.

If you’re looking to create a blog or include one on your site, Blocksy is one of the most flexible in terms of design layout.

Blocksy has also been built to be lightweight (reducing loading time), extendable, and of course, highly customizable.

Find out more here.

5. Neve

The Neve theme.

Neve is a highly popular theme from Themeisle with over 300,000 active installations and a lot of five-star ratings. 

It works on many of the top page builders and supports right-to-left text and WooCommerce. If you decide you really like Neve, you can pay for additional services.

Find out more here or at the Themeisle website.

6. Hestia

The Hestia theme.

The Hestia theme is designed for a fluid ‘one-page design,’ though you can use it on multiple pages. You can also take advantage of the ‘widgetized footer’ and travel map.

Hestia is another theme made by Themeisle, just like Neve, so if you like them both, it might be worth checking out their other themes.

Find out more here or at the Themeisle website.

7. Calyx

The Calyx theme.

Just like Cubic, the Calyx theme is very image-focused and is also available on the free version of WordPress.

With this theme, the imagery you use takes center stage and will define much of the style of your WordPress site. So, if you plan to use a lot of your own photos, this could be ideal.

Find out more here.

8. Flash

The Flash theme.

To make the most out of the Flash theme, you’ll likely want to install the ‘ThemeGrill Demo Importer Plugin’ to import pre-built demos which will make it easier to find the right design.

The Flash theme can also be used with the Flash Toolkit and the SiteOrigin Page Builder Plugin. While this may sound like a lot, may make it easier to design your site’s theme.

Find out more here.

9. Astra

The Astra theme.

The Astra theme is one of the lightest you’ll find at a puny 50kb on the front end, so you won’t be worried about speed. It also offers templates and works with site builders.

Do note that there is a plugin created by Brainstorm Force, the same company behind the Astra theme that may be a better alternative—more on that shortly!

Find out more here.

10. Customify

The Customify theme.

Customify is perhaps the best theme for eCommerce and is designed to work well with numerous plugins.

This theme also offers what they say is a “true WYSIWYG” (what you see is what you get) header and footer builder.

Find out more here.

Are there more free and customizable WordPress themes out there? Yes, many. But naming them all is a major task that might not get you any closer to the theme your heart desires.

What Is the Most Customizable WordPress Theme?

From our list above, Astra and OceanWP are often cited as the two most customizable for users who aren’t ready to pay for a theme.

Not to backtrack too much, but there are some good reasons to pay for themes aside from an extra bit of customization.

Most importantly, a paid or premium theme will make your brand more unique. Meanwhile, free themes are less likely to be updated and support can be limited.

This can be a problem over time and can even be a security risk.

Sometimes you need to pay more to get more, unfortunately. Not only will a paid theme look more serious, but it can also mean supporting more features you need for your site.

So, with that in mind, if you have a budget for a theme and you’re looking for customization, Divi, by Elegant Themes, is probably your best bet.

Unsurprisingly, though, it comes with a mighty price tag. Yearly access will cost you $89 a year or $249 for lifetime access.

That said, it’s not just a theme—it’s a site builder that changes the entire way you put your site together. So, again, it’s all about those extra features.

With all of that now out of the way, we’re going to show you how to save heaps of money using free plugins to turn dull default themes into highly customizable and unique themes!

Top WordPress Theme Plugins

Now here’s where things start to get really interesting. If you really want WordPress customization, you shouldn’t just be browsing themes—you also need to check out plugins.

Quite a few WordPress plugins are free to use and enable you to customize themes in sophisticated ways without sacrificing usability (and eating up your WordPress budget).

To get the most out of WordPress, you may use multiple plugins to reach your desired design and any missing features.

But note that too many plugins can be a security risk and slow your site down. Brad Smith of Torque recommends not exceeding 20 plugins or 5 on shared or budget cloud hosting.

Also, if you’re using a free version of WordPress, you’ll have to update your plan to get these free plugins, so in a sense, they’re not completely free.

You can find all these plugins by going to the Plugin sidebar on the WordPress dashboard.

1. Twentig

The Twentig plugin.

The Twentig plugin makes the less customizable default themes of WordPress highly customizable. You won’t need to shop around tons of new themes or spend money.

Technically, the plugin is called, “Toolkit for Block Theme (Gutenberg Blocks, Templates, Patterns, Google Fonts) – Twentig” so it may take a moment to find it.

The Twentig plugin is perhaps one of the most cost-efficient plugins for WordPress when it comes to design and customization.

Find out more at WordPress or the Twentig website.

2. Theme Tweaker

The Theme Tweaker plugin.

Theme Tweaker is similar to the Twentig plugin in that it enables further customization of themes already available to you, though, it focuses more on colors

What is also quite good about this plugin is that it can save your colors and can be used to create separate child themes.

And just like Twentig, using the Theme Tweaker requires absolutely no coding or design knowledge.

Find out more at WordPress.

3. Starter Templates

The Starter Templates plugin.

This plugin is quite literally just a library of over 300 free themes that you can use to update your WordPress site and might be what you’re looking for if you just want more variety.

The Starter Templates plugin has 1 million active installations and a five-star rating, which is a pretty good indication that it’s worth using. It’s also been updated recently.

Note that you’ll notice many, including Brainstorm Force themselves may refer to this plugin as ‘Astra Sites’ or ‘the Astra Starter Sites’ plugin.

Find out more at WordPress or the Brainstorm Force website.

4. Simple Custom CSS and JS

The Simple Custom CSS and JS plugin.

For the more technically advanced, the Simple Custom CSS and JS plugin allows you to add any custom CSS you want.

With this level of control, your WordPress themes will be super customizable. The only catch is that you need good knowledge of CSS.

This plugin is also extremely popular with over 500,000 active installations and a 4.4-star rating. The custom JS feature is also highly useful for those that may need it.

Find out more at WordPress or the SilkyPress website.

Other Useful Design Plugins

There are also several useful plugins for specific purposes that could give you the edge when designing your WordPress theme.

You might not actually need a new theme but a specific functionality to make your design more practical. You may actually like your current theme but just feel it’s missing something.

For starters, it might just be the font that you don’t actually like about your current theme.

In that case, then you can check out the Custom Fonts plugin which adds more fonts and more formatting options, and the Easy Google Fonts plugin which adds fonts from Google.

And then there are specific pages that you might not have thought to customize, like login pages. A great idea if you want them to have a similar design to the rest of your site.

If that’s what you’re looking for, then there’s Theme My Login and there’s LoginPress.

And finally, there are a lot of plugins designed to help you customize child themes. Some free plugins include:

Before you go around testing a million themes in a million different color combinations, make sure you’ve checked out these plugins and how they work.

By Craig Britton

Jack of all trades on writing-related topics with extensive experience in copywriting.

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