When you start your own blog, you’ll first have to choose the perfect blog topic, right? When that’s done, you want to focus on creating great content for your readers.
If you haven’t already, you can start a blog with my step-by-step tutorial here: How to Start a Successful Blog in 15 Minutes.
So what’s the next step?
You’ll obviously want your WordPress blog to look awesome!
That’s what I’m here to help you with today. Luckily, WordPress is a platform that lets you freely customize the look and design of your blog.
Yep, you can make your blog look exactly the way you want! You just need to use a THEME to design your content how you want it to look.
Here are the best WordPress themes for blogs we’ll go through in this post:
Let’s get started!
Here are a couple of related posts you may find helpful, too:
- How to Start a WordPress Blog in 10 Minutes: Step-by-Step Tutorial
- Blog Hosting Review: How to Find the Best Blog Hosting?
- 8 Tips for Starting a Successful Blog TODAY
What are WordPress themes?
You can think of a WordPress theme as a pre-made design template you can customize freely.
A theme is basically a bunch of files with code that lets you adjust your blog’s design without knowing how to write code yourself.
Needless to say, you want to find a WordPress theme for your blog that has:
- Easy-to-use, beginner-friendly features
- Fully customizable design tools
- Automatic responsiveness for all screen sizes
- 24/7 support or customer service for your questions
So, before you decide which theme to use, you need to understand that each WordPress theme is different. You will see different customization tools and options depending on who’s behind the theme.
With that said, you simply need to find a WordPress theme that has the tools and options you’d like to have, such as:
- Changing the menu bar structure (horizontal, vertical, centered, left-aligned, etc.)
- Uploading your logo
- Changing the colors of your menu, footer, and other static elements
Depending on the theme you choose, you will sometimes have much less customization options available.
I know the world of WordPress themes for blogs can feel daunting and intimidating at first. There is simply so much to choose from.
If you want to learn more details, check out my article on how to find the perfect WordPress theme for your blog step-by-step.
What’s important right now is that you understand one thing: a single theme can’t deliver EVERYTHING. Ever. You will come across heaps of themes that are just rubbish. Some themes may come close to your needs. And just a few themes will deliver ALMOST everything you need.
Therefore, it’s important to choose a theme that is very beginner-friendly and intuitive.
But before we dive into the actual recommendations, let’s answer one more question…
Should I use a paid WordPress theme?
Here’s the deal: you get what you pay for.
Free WordPress themes are free for a very good reason. They have:
- Less customization options,
- No proper customer support, and
- Less tools that make blogging easier and quicker for you.
That’s just something you can’t get around, trust me.
Creating the perfect WordPress theme is a BIG project. I know exactly how much work goes into it – I’m a web developer myself.
The process of creating a new WordPress theme from scratch requires an entire team of developers to come up with user-friendly features and tools that actually work.
Needless to say, professional designers and developers don’t work for free.
So, even though there are a few good free themes available, remember that they come with certain limitations.
What will you get with a paid WordPress theme?
If you wish to have completely free hands with designing and customizing your blog, I recommend you invest a few bucks in a popular, paid WordPress theme.
Not only will your blog look and feel more professional, but you’ll also save an incredible amount of time when you don’t need to worry about cryptic errors or missing features.
That said, I actually think you will upgrade to a paid theme at some point anyways.
Once your blog starts to grow and you see lots of traffic, a well-selected paid theme will make things easier for you.
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Which WordPress theme is best for blogging in 2021?
Do you remember when Indiana Jones was choosing the Holy Grail in The Last Crusade?
“But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”, the 1,000-year-old knight said.
And that’s kind of how it works with WordPress themes, too. (Ha!)
Choose wisely and your blog will live eternally without a glitch.
Choose poorly and you’re doomed from that very moment onwards.
Ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating this a little bit. But you get the idea, right?
I’ve spent countless hours trying to find the perfect WordPress themes for my blogs and my clients’ website projects.
It hasn’t always been a walk in the park. I’ve had a few sleepless nights trying to fix design problems after a poor-quality WordPress theme broke an entire website, for example.
That’s why I wanted to share my experience in this post. I genuinely don’t want you to go through the same trouble. You are busy and you have enough on your plate as a blogger – I would know!
Here are a few of the themes I’ve worked with so far:
Some of these are still in my toolbox. As for a few others, I just wanted to set them on fire and throw them down a treacherous, deadly ravine after a couple of hours.
Now, let me walk you through a few of my favorite WordPress themes for blogs. I’m sure you will find the perfect theme for your blog here, too. Let me know what you think in the comments section!
1: Divi Theme
Divi Theme is an incredibly user-friendly and intuitive but still extremely powerful theme by Elegant Themes.
It’s been my #1 recommendation for quite a while now and I use it for most of my own projects, too.
Here’s why I love Divi:
No matter if you’ve never used WordPress before OR you’re a professional web designer, Divi will get the job done.
Although you’ll find tons of powerful customization tools in Divi, the basics are super easy and quick to learn.
As you keep blogging, you can learn new tricks with Divi – so it’s all about learning by doing.
And whenever you have a question, you can rely on the 24/7 friendly support. Elegant Themes offers unbeatable customer service to solve any problems you may run into.
Also, make sure you check out the super comprehensive Divi documentation to discover new, nifty features to design your blog like a pro.
The best part?
Divi comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. There is no risk whatsoever in trying it. I really can’t recommend this theme enough!
Pros of Divi:
- Beginner-friendly and intuitive:
This is the best part of Divi. Although it’s a powerful theme, it comes with such an intuitive builder and customizer that you’ll feel like a pro in just a few days.
- Powerful customization tools:
You want it – you’ll get it. Whatever you wish to customize, Divi lets you do it easily. Forget about the headaches you’ve had with WordPress themes so far. Divi will practically do the job for you.
- Premade design templates:
You don’t have to design your blog from scratch. Divi comes with 100+ pre-made, professional layout packs you can use as templates for your blog.
- Access to 80+ further premium themes (like Extra – great for blogs, too!):
Buying Divi gives you full access to every other WordPress theme with Elegant Themes. That’s $1.02 per theme!
- Valuable add-ons and plugins:
When you purchase a Divi licence, you will gain full access to the entire plugin selection of Elegant Themes. I use the social sharing plugin, Monarch, and the e-mail marketing plugin, Bloom, to drive more traffic to my blogs.
- Customer helpdesk and support:
If you can’t find an answer to your question in the thorough and extensive documentation, the quick and friendly Elegant Themes helpdesk will solve your problems for you.
- Continuous updates and new features:
Elegant themes releases new, cool features for Divi regularly. They make it even easier and quicker to create even more beautiful blog posts and pages.
Cons of Divi:
- Comes with a price tag:
The Divi Theme costs $89 for a 1-year licence. Considering the value for your money, Divi is among the mid-range of themes price-wise. A lifetime licence costs $249, but I’d recommend you choose the yearly plan first. Once you’ve bought a licence, you can upgrade later – with a discount equal to the price you paid, of course.
Is Divi the right theme for me?
If you are a beginner blogger and want a solid, powerful WordPress theme right from the start, Divi is perfect for you.
Divi lets you customize your blog to your heart’s content. It’s perfect for beginners, but also for more experienced WordPress bloggers.
Using Divi is so intuitive that you can start customizing the design of your blog in a matter of minutes.
But as with all WordPress themes for bloggers, you will need some time to learn Divi inside out, step-by-step. Once you feel more comfortable with it, you can discover a bunch of advanced features and push your design even further.
All in all, no other premium theme comes even close to Divi.
That said, it’s no wonder Divi is the most popular premium WordPress theme in the world.
Avada Theme was my first WordPress theme when I started to use WordPress.org for my websites and blogs.
Back then, Avada was already a fantastic WordPress theme for blogging, but it lacked a few customization options I needed. That’s why I gradually switched to Divi.
Pros of Avada:
- Reliable company:
Avada is sold via ThemeForest, whose customer service is incredibly friendly and prompt.
- Endless customization options:
Whatever you want to customize, Avada lets you do it. If you’re into designing each individual aspect of your blog, you’ll have no problem doing that with Avada.
Cons of Avada:
- More complex than Divi:
If this is your first blog, learning Avada inside out will take a bit longer than Divi. But once you get going, Avada is a fun theme to use!
- Strict refund policy:
ThemeForest doesn’t have a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee! So, before you purchase Avada, make sure it’s exactly what you need!
3: X Theme
X Theme used to be my go-to WordPress theme for a while when I started blogging.
X is a powerful theme with even more detailed customization features than Divi, but it’s slightly less user-friendly.
There was a huge update in 2017 that changed the theme completely and made it more complex.
Nevertheless, the X Theme is a highly customizable theme, but it takes a while to discover all the features you will need.
Pros of X Theme:
- Very granular customization tools:
Just like Avada, the X Theme lets you customize every element of your blog individually. Unlike the customization tools in Avada, the ones in X Theme sometimes feel complex and even overwhelming. If you’re familiar with other WordPress themes for bloggers, you won’t have any trouble with X, though.
Cons of X Theme:
- Slightly more complex than Divi or Avada:
It will take a bit longer to learn the basics. But once you do, X will work wonders on your blog’s design!
- 1 licence, 1 website:
Unlike the unlimited licence with Divi, you can use the X Theme for only a single website or blog. If you’re considering starting a second blog at some point, you’ll need to buy a second licence for the X Theme.
4: Genesis Framework
Genesis is an entire framework for customizing WordPress.
But a word of warning first: Genesis is NOT beginner-friendly. At all.
I tried Genesis way too soon when I started working with WordPress. I thought I was doing a great job, but man, I had no idea what I was doing!
My website looked great, but most of the time only by coincidence.
Even though I’m a web designer and know how to code, it took me a while to learn how to use Genesis properly.
But when I did, Genesis showed me its true POWER.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend Genesis as your first WordPress theme. You will simply waste too much time learning the theme when you should be using your time for creating awesome content to grow your blog.
Pros of Genesis Framework:
- Page speed:
Genesis is famous for its speed. Your pages will load faster than with most other premium themes. That means less impatient visitors leaving your blog because it’s loading too slowly. Therefore, once your blog starts growing and attracts more traffic, consider switching to Genesis to keep those visitors on your blog.
Cons of Genesis Framework:
First, you have to buy the basic framework for $60. But you also need to buy a Genesis child theme to another $50–60. Again, I’d suggest going with Divi and using the pre-made design templates to get started. You’ll save a TON of money and time.
As I mentioned, the Genesis Framework is not exactly beginner-friendly. If you want to use it, consider hiring a professional WordPress designer to make your blog look the way you want.
5: Free themes (e.g. Twenty Twenty & Twenty Eighteen)
As with anything in life, you get what you pay for with WordPress themes, too.
Using a free theme is perfectly OK to learn how to use WordPress, yes.
But if you want to start a successful blog, I recommend investing in a solid premium theme from the beginning.
As I said earlier, free themes don’t let you customize your blog the way premium themes do. If you want to design your blog from the ground up, you will run into problems rather soon.
That said, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of free WordPress blog themes:
Pros of free themes:
- No investment needed:
If you’re not prepared to invest in your blogging business, a free WordPress theme will save you some cash. Yet, don’t forget that every business needs to make investments to earn that money back at some point. Treat your blog like it’s a business to make money with. Those $60 will pay themselves back sooner than you think.
Cons of free themes:
- Limited customization options:
If a theme is free, why would anyone put in the work to make it customizable? Choosing a free theme means having fewer tools and options for designing your blog the way you want it.
- No proper customer support:
When you’re starting out, you WILL have questions about the WordPress theme you’re using. Keep in mind that free WordPress themes for bloggers don’t have proper customer service to help you out.
- No guarantee of updates:
The developers of free themes can stop releasing updates at any time. And they’re free to do so, of course. But when you’ve built your blog using a free theme and suddenly there are no updates, you’ll be working overtime to switch to another theme!
Final thoughts: The best WordPress themes for blogs in 2021
- Use Divi Theme or Avada Theme if you’re a total beginner and want to get your blog up and running quickly and easily.
- Use a free theme if you’re short on cash and don’t want to make an investment yet.
- Choose Genesis Framework if you are a well-rounded web designer or if you are willing to hire one to design your blog for you.
As a rule of thumb, don’t spend too much time choosing your first WordPress theme.
If you’re not quite sure, go with Divi. I’ve used it for 50+ WordPress blogs and websites and I’ve never had any trouble customizing and designing them the way I wanted. Even when I was new to WordPress, Divi was easy to learn and use with no experience.
In case you haven’t started your blog already, head over to my Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide on How to Start a Blog in 15 Minutes. I’ll see you there!
Here are a couple of helpful posts you might want to read:
If you liked this post on the best WordPress themes for blogs, drop me a line in the comments below! Which WordPress theme have you been using?
P.S. If you found this article helpful, make sure you share it with others so that they can find it, too! Thanks, you’re awesome!