Do you know how much it costs to design a “professional” website? It can range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per project. And God knows how much any further customization is going to cost you. It’s simply not viable for small startups to invest such a ridiculous amount of money into designing a personal startup website. As a result, startup owners are flocking in their thousands to platforms like WordPress. Why? Simply because WordPress is an open-source platform upon which great things can be built. There’s no shortage of examples of how startups have used WordPress to create SaaS, PaaS and other service websites. And the overall investment is next to nothing. Hosting these days comes as cheap as chips.
And you’re about to find out that great startup themes can be download completely for free. But first, what does a startup require in terms of website features? First thing is definitely the way a theme is structured. Unlike blogs, where content is a priority, for a startup website the core priority is product description. You want to instantly capture your reader’s attention and entice them with your product details. In order to do so, a design must remove any blog elements per say, and rather use Sliders, Content Boxes and Lists to quickly present content.
So, during the course of going through this list of the best free WordPress theme for startups, watch out for designs that feel good to you. Don’t seek answers, but rather, seek a solution to what your problems with design currently are. We will be surprised if you can’t find something you like because a theme is only the beginning. Once you get the foundation theme, it’s time to spice it up with customizations, page builders, and third-party plugins. In the unlikely event that you don’t find “the one”, you can jump to our sister-post for Best Startup & IT Themes.
Shapely is the creative child of Colorlib — a WordPress agency specializing in WordPress themes. As a startup theme, Shapely offers an extensive catalog of features and website elements to amplify your business’s online presence. Similarly to agency websites, startups use a core set of business components to outline a concise business description. The main elements are product details, product team, and any kind of previews of the actual product.
Theme details can be customized with WP Customizer. So, if you want a theme that doesn’t require too much effort to configure, Shapely is a wonderful theme to begin your digital journey.
What’s WorkPress? It’s a theme fork of another business theme, Rambo. The WorkPress versions integrate simplistic design features for business, startup, and corporate projects. The design is not only responsive and built with a mobile design attitude, it’s completely repurposed with retina-ready styling. Key features of WorkPress are separate templates for the homepage, blog, and individual pages. Comments are “nested” with up to 5 levels of comments, which allows your readers to engage in meaningful discussions.
The WorkPress theme is RTL-ready, so you can translate in as many languages as you need. Furthermore, manipulating design or adding new features/options can be accomplished using a concise theme options panel. Within the demo preview of WorkPress, you will find a full-width slideshow, custom banners for buttons, and two grid-based elements for services and portfolio projects.
Promote is a mobile-responsive theme with a superb and clean design. We have to give credit where it’s due and congratulate ThemezWP on publishing this theme for free. Of course, a PRO versions is available for purchase. Within the pro edition, Promote comes with additional pages, a portfolio design, and multiple blog post layouts. Nevertheless, the free version of Promote should be more than enough for a startup to establish a solid website.
ThemezWP have added dynamic features like shadow hovering and other JS-based animations. It adds a bit of a modern flavor to your site and helps to strengthen the image of your brand. Unless you don’t find animations so interesting. Either way, Promote covers the crucial aspects of startup websites and throws in a magnificent Blog section. For a startup, it’s mandatory to run a consistent blog with regular content updates. As a result, your organic traffic numbers are growing and solidifying over time. Most of all, Promote theme can effortlessly be converted into a unique design for a client or a side-project.
ThemeIsle isn’t a stranger to the WordPress ecosystem. The work of ThemeIsle has seen millions of users, and their free themes are always a big hit amongst the community. Hestia theme is a great example of how ThemeIsle uses creative thinking to build unique themes. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to find a good and reliable Material Design template for WordPress. But, Hestia manages to incorporate the MD principle effortlessly, which translates into a one of a kind WordPress design.
Besides a brilliant design which is ready for a business/startup site, the Hestia theme includes a custom design for an eCommerce storefront. Using WooCommerce and Material Design, Hestia shows just how beautiful a store design can be. And customizing? It’s easier than you think. Everything in the Hestia theme is interconnected, so making changes is quick and accessible. Most of all, Hestia is plugged into SiteOrigin Page Builder. Have you ever designed something just by dragging things up and down? Well, now is your chance. And SiteOrigin’s builder is very user-friendly. The optimized source code and thoughtful code markup provide industry-standard performance and seamless SEO optimization without a third-party plugin.
Proficient is a child-theme of the Specia theme, which is developed by the Specia group! As a business WordPress theme, Proficient is ideal for startups of all sizes. The multipurpose nature of this theme allows you to utilize it for diverse situations simultaneously. For example, Proficient could be a brilliant choice for a marketing agency, but that doesn’t stop it from being great for blogs, freelancers, and even restaurants! At the end of the day, it’s how much you’re willing to study a theme, to find out how much it can do for you. Despite the fact that Proficient is a free theme, it manages to include a luxury-level design, an eCommerce store design, and a design that understands different container sizes.
Furthermore, you can try out Proficient theme as a free product and gradually upgrade to the Pro edition. Within Pro, there are additional plugins like Contact Forms, Google Maps, Content Layouts, and Theme Templates. The ease and grace of scrolling Proficient theme is evident and will do just fine for the right project. The settings, in particular, are stripped down of any “funky” options, and instead, the Proficient theme focuses on efficiency. Simply to help you set up the website as fast as possible, whilst retaining a superb design.
Madalyn Milea is the publisher of two free WordPress themes, one for a magazine blog and one for startups. The Clarina theme is for startups and businesses in general. A theme of this quality is a rare find, but nonetheless a welcome one. Clarina utilizes the concept of a single-page design, so everything about your startup/business is listed on one homepage. As a result, you can experiment with aligning your content in a way that feels natural and easy to view. Of course, any theme comes with its own challenges.
Thankfully, Clarina is integrated with a Page Builder from SiteOrigins. As a result, you are not required to know any coding whatsoever and can edit a homepage design using only drag and drop tools. Would you like a theme that allows you to sell online, or perhaps you’d like to create a community as well? You totally can with Clarina, plugins like WooCommerce, bbPress, and Jetpack is the recommended tools to use with this stunning template. Just take a peek at the demo, we guarantee that you won’t regret it, and who knows, you might fall in love!
The name itself, “StartRight”, is a bit of a play on words for this particular niche; startups. Presenting your startup using a website is like putting a dress out in the store view window. The dress is going to leave an impression, and so is your website. As the understanding of design evolves and so do the capabilities, it’s much easier to differentiate an average website from a truly professional presence. And StartRight provides anything you would need to make your brand website feel authentic. It begins with a stylish design.
Create and Code has been working on website design for more than 10 years, over a decade, and infuse their themes with all of their passion and knowledge. Sometimes a great design requires a compromise, yet Create and Code sticks to their own methods of style, and still manage to make a theme feel light, fresh, and with a modern boost. Anything that the demo website shows is open to customization through Live Customizer. Just open up your WordPress dashboard and go wild with editing the default style.
The StartRight template uses Elementor, a custom drag and drop design editor. You can literally edit your design from the front of your homepage, and see the effects of your adjustments in real-time. For example, if you resize an element, it will show you how that is going to affect any elements nearby.
Here is one more theme from ThemeIsle. One Edge relies on a one-page design concept to maximize the exposure of your startup and the products you provide. As a professional theme, the One Edge encompasses crucial elements of design but also builds on top of what WordPress is already providing. So, for example, if you wanted to add an online store to your One Edge website, it would require nothing else but to install WooCommerce. Similarly, you can translate One Edge with full RTL support! The customization of One Edge is divided into two groups. The first group is for those who plan to use One Edge as a website theme only. Whilst the second group includes developers who would like to add extra functionality on top of what is included in the One Edge theme.
The beauty of a niche like Startups is that startups generally aren’t locked out to one single category. For example, a startup is most commonly associated with technology projects, but any business which operates with a digital user base can be considered a startup. Naturelle is a beautiful template for startups who work with nature and products related to nature. Of course, you could use Naturelle for a SaaS startup if you like. It’s not something that you must obey per say. When theme designers make a theme and build it for a specific niche, what happens is that the color scheme and visuals are kept to that specific category.
But, as far as usability goes, a theme like Naturelle is as good for a tech startup as it is for a nature-related project. Looking at the features and tools that Naturelle provides, you get a one-page design which focuses on actionable segments on the homepage. Furthermore, a clean codebase with a validated markup is ideal for cross-browser support. And Localization enables for you to rewrite the theme in any preferred language. You can open the pre-built text file and simply replace WordPress language structure using your own native language.
ElitePress theme is designed for business sites, and startups as well. The elegant look and simplistic feel of the site is swift to get the point across to your readers. With an existing user base of thousands of active users, the ElitePress theme doesn’t fail to impress. Users include bloggers, CEO’s of startups, freelance agencies, artists, and corporate businesses. ElitePress uses Bootstrap 3 for all of its layout design and management. So, if you are familiar with Bootstrap already, then editing the CSS files is going to be a breeze for you. Furthermore, Bootstrap framework ensures high availability for mobile and tablet devices.
Because it is the Lite version, some features of the Pro version aren’t available for non-paying customers. But even then, ElitePress Lite manages to cover the basic business website needs. Callouts, Services Boxes, Social Media Icons, Portfolio Lists, and Widgetized website areas are totally free to use. For example, if you upgrade to ElitePress Pro, you will get additional designs, a premium slider, a layout manager, and other similar tools. Can only find good things to say about ElitePress, and is a well-deserved addition to this resourceful roundup.
Theme selection process isn’t always a joyful process. Even I’ve struggled with picking a theme, optimizing and designing it, and then realizing it isn’t what I was looking for. Then, you feel like you’ve wasted so much time only to disband your efforts. As a result, I’ve started to spend more time testing out every feature of a theme before I settle for my final decision. How do you select a theme, and do you always follow your gut feeling? Do tell us in the comments.
Anyhow, here is Corpbiz — a free theme for corporate businesses, but usable for a startup website too. The creative design, combined with responsive features and a solid user base, is remarkably fluid, and easy to work with. Corpbiz is using Bootstrap as the back-end framework for all styling of the site. Those of you with Bootstrap experience can jump right into the process of working with the stylesheet. And if you don’t know how to write CSS (you should learn!) you can edit Corpbiz using theme customizer. Either method is perfectly fine. Lite version included features banners and sliders, and a handful of elements for displaying business info.
Business Hub is an ambitious theme with a responsive design. A powerful back-end structure ensures maximum versatility so that you can edit and manage with ease. Furthermore, setting up Business Hub doesn’t take any effort. With an entirely mobile-friendly layout, the Business Hub is ready to welcomes visitors from a device of any screen size. Certainly, it’s an impressive template, and without an added price-tag is a safe choice to try. When you feel comfortable with the Lite version, you can infuse Business Hub with new features and tools by upgrading. An upgrade includes a direct communication line with the developers for a better support service. And is also integrated with WooCommerce, Events Calendar, and widgets like Pricing Plans and Data Counters.
Would you like a theme where everything makes sense? Of course, such themes don’t exist! Whether we like to admit it or not, our personality plays a big decision bias in how we see a given theme. But, during the decision process, it’s natural to find styles/design that appeal to our taste. As such, the Kickstart Business theme uses a modern design concept to deliver on the needs of a startup website. The excellence of any WordPress theme, or a plugin, is largely based on how quickly you can change something to reflect your ideals. In the case of Kickstart Business, you can spend as little or as much time as you like to iron out any quirks that require customization. After all, Kickstart flawlessly integrates its own features within Live Customizer. In addition to intuitive features, you can become a master at using this theme through the documentation.
Catch Themes is a regular publisher on the WordPress theme directory, with a new theme release nearly every month. Clean Business is their stylish business theme, which is full of resources for startups and business sites alike. Whether you’re a small company or a corporate business, the Clean Business theme has more than enough features to offer for both. Aimed at users who are goal determined, this responsive theme is highly flexible, with customization tools for nearly every aspect of the theme. We couldn’t possibly list ALL Clean Business features, but to give you a good taste here are some of them. You can add featured content and make it stand out, or you can use a featured content slider to display important content. Furthermore, Clean Business provides its own widgets, titles, and navigation tools to make your life easier.
Business Press is a fast growing theme with 1,000 active users as reported by WordPress. Likely, there are thousands more who have download Business Press from the EWP website. Anyway, let’s get straight to the point. As a business theme, it packs a swiftly loading design thanks to an optimized codebase. In addition to performance, Business Press encourages users to express themselves through design customization. The Bootstrap-design is responsive, and you can find thousands of Bootstrap tutorials online to learn how to design a website more effectively. Markup and page structure is generally optimized for Google Guidelines, so your content can skyrocket to the top of Google Search. It’s a nice touch, but is it nicer than having a store inbuilt into the theme? It probably is if you’re looking to start selling.
Being innovate is always a challenge. Chances are that someone else has done it before you have. But the best innovative works always get the recognition they deserve. As is the case with Business World — a true business theme for WordPress users. With interactive and dynamic features, Business World is capable of handling serious business websites. You can’t put a price on a theme which is built by business owners themselves. This sparkling theme consists of SEO optimization, social media friendly widgets, and an alternative one-page design which uses a sticky menu. Furthermore, Web-Dorado has designed TEN unique page templates, all with a business purpose in mind. Your favorite tools like bbPress, WooCommerce and BuddyPress are more than welcome to be used with Business World.
Since we liked their World theme, which has 80,000 downloads, we thought it would be wise to mention Elite. Business Elite has 230,000 downloads and is a very popular theme amongst startups, corporate business companies, and agencies. The Elite theme uses a one-page design with deep Parallax integration. Some of the best business websites in the world use Parallax to create a multi-dimensional reading experience. And it works. Why wouldn’t it? When you combine modern features with a precise roadmap, the design is bound to carry the heavy load. Web-Dorado uses a custom built Framework for managing updates and validating the code. Similarly, Web-Dorado has its own Visual Page Builder, which can design a page fully compliant with modern browsers.
DesirePress is one of the leading marketplaces for themes and was founded by a group of designers from India. In total, these guys have more than a decade worth of experience and consistently infuse their theme designs with creativity, passion, and attention to detail. Profine, a free business theme, is a mobile-friendly, flexible theme for business companies or individuals. Whether you’re an individual looking to promote your product, or a company looking to bring more engagement, the Profine theme can ease the transition on your behalf. When you preview the live demo, pay close attention to simplicity. And, notice that passionate creativity, which can be seen through elements like Parallax rows. The effects of Parallax are so captivating, your readers can’t help but remain focused on your message.
The original version of Bizwhoop is actually a material design based HTML template, which was later converted into a WordPress theme. This business theme uses Bootstrap in combination with Material Design. And despite its heavy artillery of technology, is still fairly easy to maintain and customize. The design has been kept clean, with a modern twist. The kind of twist that makes your website stand out. Great user experience has always been at the core of good design, and that’s what Bizwhoop can offer to you, a user experience which flows with ease.
BB Mobile Application
If you look at the most popular startups in the world today, you will notice a trend. Perhaps, you know what this trend is already. If you don’t, it’s mobile applications. Look at startups like Tinder, Airbnb, etc, They’re all platforms which people use mostly on their mobile devices. As a result, a website design which complements a mobile app is required. Such is the purpose of BB, to provide startups with a theme which handles mobile applications. Unlike platform-based themes, BB uses a unique approach to explaining product features and details. For example, features elements use a centered image (preferably a demo of your app) and on the sides, you can explain what features your product is packing.
You can go even deeper with explaining your mobile product by adding colorful bars which show the best product features. The Gallery section is a grid built portfolio system where you can add endless amounts of pictures. Photos/visuals of a product are generally the first things a potential customer is going to observe. And with BB, adding images to your homepage is simple, and easy to do.
Enlighten theme tries to dominate the education startup sector, and with great success so far. There are 3,000 active installations of Enlighten, an education-first based theme. Colleges, schools, universities and similar educational institutions have used Enlighten to build a spectacular website. As a startup sector, Education is blowing up with new startups every day. With the addition of Machine Learning, we will see a massive influx of education startups in the coming years. You can start preparing your idea with a website by using Enlighten theme, which will be more than happy to meet your needs. Access Keys, who maintain Enlighten, haven’t backed down from giving this theme everything they could. It’s a demonstration of design skills and understanding of user experience semantics. You will be more than pleased to build your startup site with Enlighten, guaranteed!
eDigital is a unique style startup/business theme, which mainly functions as a marketplace platform. Affiliate marketers unite because eDigital lets you create a stunning online marketplace of startup products. But, it’s really the flexibility of eDigital that caught our attention. Even though eCommerce is the heart of this beautiful template, it is still flexible enough to be customized for a startup project. You can remove the majority of the eCommerce features altogether, and only keep the stuff that would help to sell your products alone. Because of the design, well, it’s professional, and that’s key to maintain reader’s attention. Speaking of attention and readers, eDigital’s blog design is based on readability principles. So, keep pushing out your best content and readers will have a reason to stay and read.
It’s fairly easy to tell when a company is passionate about their work. In the case of ThinkUpThemes, this is not their first release on the free theme directory. In fact, ThinkUpThemes have released dozens of amazing themes, and Harest is one of the better themes for a business site. Professionals, startups, and freelancers with a portfolio are the dominant users of Harest theme. The unique style, like a massive grid layout for blog posts on the homepage, is that makes Harest so original. It has character, but not without a personality.
Do you care about SEO and don’t want to mess around with plugins? You don’t have to, Harest is perfectly compatible with SEO guidelines, so you can enjoy good content rankings from day one. In addition to SEO, you get a responsive layout, retina-ready optimization, and a friendly support team to help you out when things get rough.
Free stuff ain’t always bad! And it’s absolutely amazing that so many WordPress developers have dedicated their time to release free themes. If you look back a few years, neither browsers nor HTML was capable of the things you can do with them today. As a result, those developers who publish free themes are required to put in even more of their free time. Sometimes, it’s for the purpose of marketing, but most of the time it is because of passion for such an amazing product (WordPress!).
Anyway, let’s take a look at Cronus — a free multipurpose theme. Right out of the bat we have Cronus using Bootstrap, so responsive design isn’t an issue. What about customization? Well, Cronus is happy to let you edit your design with the WordPress Customizer. The codebase is coded accordingly, so many editing features are directly accessible from Customizer. And isn’t it nice when you can see your decisions affect changes in real-time? Hell yes! The Header Section in Cronus is separated from other homepage elements. As a result, you can add custom images, change appearances, and customize menu settings independent of your homepage design.
Sagar Jadhav is trying to make Marvy as an independent theme project. So far, it seems that luck is on his side, as some 500+ users have installed his work. It’s always encouraging when people appreciate your work and end up using it regularly. So, what has made Marvy such a hit amongst fellow WP bloggers? For one, it’s a free business theme, with nice design at that. The combination of free and business isn’t always up to people’s standards. What it means is that if you glance at any WordPress premium business theme, it becomes clear just how big of a gap there is between free and premium themes.
The Marvy is relying on Flat design, which of course, is absolutely responsive. Another feature Marvy loves is Icon Fonts, which help to add more detail to your descriptions. Any startup website made in the last year or two has used an icon font for better lists presentation. And lastly, Marvy is super easy to use. In fact, Sagar is so passionate about his creation that he has given Marvy its own website. And, last but not lease, Sagar consistently writes blog posts that explain how Marvy can be utilized in the best fashion possible.
Would you care for one more startup theme? It’s been a collection of some exciting, unique and unparalleled designs, but we have one more to show before we close the doors on yet another great list. Linten is a modern business theme with interactive functionality. The interactive aspects come from features like quick content, social icons, dynamic content sliders, and a seamless blog integration. Content marketing is definitely picking up the pace, but many startups still ignore how viable it is to market content for the sake of growth. The Linten theme lets you put all of your business stuff in the first part of the homepage. The second part is dedicated to your content. Whether it’s a full blog list you want to show or only the featured posts, you can easily do so and enjoy a much higher reader engagement.