If you’re using WordPress, odds are you have started exploring the wonders that are WordPress themes. The right WordPress theme can make your blog pop, and while that won’t make or break your blog it might give you the inspiration to continue blogging and making a great site.
Sometimes it’s not easy to find the perfect WordPress theme. There are a lot of WordPress themes out there, but the perfect theme can at times seem like a needle in a haystack. To help you in your searching, we’ve put together the following guide to finding WordPress themes. If we’re missing a solid method, feel free to add your own tips in the comments.
The various methods we’ll be looking at are:
- Browse the WordPress Theme Directory
- Visit your favorite commercial theme provider or marketplace
- Search for, and bookmark, collections of WordPress themes on various WordPress blogs
- Use a theme finding tool: ThemeSorter, Theme Finder, other theme search engines
Browse the WordPress Theme Directory
We’ve all said our piece about the state of WordPress themes in the free dot org directory at one point or another. While the designs of Theme Directory themes aren’t always top notch, there are a few gems to be found. Plus, you never know when the quality might improve.
How you browse the Theme Directory is up to you. You can browse themes straight from your WordPress Dashboard from the Appearance > Themes > Install screen. On that screen you can search for certain kinds of themes. If you would like to browse a bit more casually, I would recommend visiting the WordPress Theme Directory directly. Check out the most popular themes, browse by tag, or just page through those most recently added.
Visit your favorite commercial theme provider or marketplace
Commercial theme shops are popular with good reason: people love quality work. By and large, the quality produced by professional theme designers and developers is top notch. So sometimes, depending on what you’re looking for, it’s best to stick to the quality and support you know and can count on. This won’t work out every time, but hey: when’s the last time you browsed through your favorite theme shop’s collection? It certainly couldn’t hurt.
Worth mentioning here are also theme marketplaces. They differ from what I call shops in that they offer themes from many different authors, rather than only a specific few. There aren’t as many marketplaces as there are shops: Theme Forest, Mojo Themes, Wonder Themes (when they are public), and Theme Garden are all marketplaces that may have what you are looking for.
On the topic of theme shops, WPCandy (and myself, actually) tend to be pretty neutral. There are plenty of folks out there doing awesome, awesome work. Which shops are your favorite, and which ones would you recommend others spend time searching through? Share with us in the comments.
Search for, and bookmark, collections of WordPress themes
Sometimes the easiest way to find WordPress themes is to let others do the work for you. There are a number of WordPress blogs out there (including our own, here) that take time tracking down WordPress themes for the sole purpose of collecting similar ones in a list for others. For instance, we have brought together a few collections recently:
- Retro and vintage WordPress themes
- Business card WordPress themes
- WordPress themes (and plugins) that create mobile-friendly sites
- Comparison of WordPress theme frameworks
You can see other collections within our Best Of section, or by heading straight to our Best WordPress Themes series. We’re not the only ones doing this, though. Oli Dale at WPLift has put together some pretty awesome lists over there too, which are easily some of my favorite lists around. One thing I would not recommend is simply searching for lists of WordPress themes online. You may end up finding themes that aren’t reputable, safe, or worth your time. In this case it’s very important to use trusted sources.
Do you have your own favorite sources for WordPress theme collection posts? Be sure to share them in the comments, particularly if you have assembled your own lists!
Use a tool to find your theme
If you’re looking for a very specific type of theme, sometimes the normal searching methods won’t work. In those cases using the methods listed above will take a long time. Instead, try out a specialty theme search tool.
We built Theme Finder a few months back to solve just this problem for ourselves. Currently you can use it to search for themes by color, by layout, and by price. It currently holds over 600 high quality WordPress themes, with new ones added every month.
I would also recommend checking out ThemeSorter, another similar theme search engine that operates a bit differently than Theme Finder. QualiThemes is another solid resource that’s useful for finding themes by searching for keywords. Yellow Themes is another theme search engine worth trying out.
Hopefully you feel a bit more equipped to find WordPress themes than you were before. Did we miss a solid theme resource? Share your own tips for finding WordPress themes in the comments below.