Making a website that reflects your goals and meets your standards can be a daunting task. With so many options to choose from, there’s a veritable jungle of themes laden with options, customization features, SEO optimization suites and countless other features that you may or may not be interested in.
For many, especially those just starting out, you might want the most basic of starter sets, a cheap, serviceable site to give you a taste of what more expensive themes might have to offer. Of course, on the flip side, you might just want to be able to hit your targets while spending the least amount of money possible. When costs start mounting, paying 70 or even 100 dollars for a theme suddenly seems like an immense upfront cost to pay.
With that in mind, here are 20 amazing yet cheap WordPress themes, most within the the range of 29 and 39 USD, that will help you get your site off the ground without breaking the bank. No one ever said that style and usability had to be expensive, and these themes prove that point.
The TeslaThemes Collection
Before we go any further, special mention should be given to the Teslathemes option. Rather than simply gve you one theme for a flat rate, you can subscribe to their website and get multiple themes for a yearly fee. Considering that you gain access to all of its themes, the price of $59 per year is quite affordable, and can be a tremendous savings if you have multiple sites that you’d like to have themed. You’re getting up to 50 themes by subscribing, which, even if you don’t use all of them, is still an immense savings. Tesla’s themes are all extremely well-developed, and are a great choice if you want to dip your toes into a wide range of themes without an individual payment for each one.
We’re starting our individual themes off with a solid choice for any burgeoning site manager. WordPressia comes with an array of powerful features, including plenty of options for digging around in jquery. While this might be a little intimidating to newbies, WordPressia also comes standard with a control panel to allow for easy customization if you don’t feel like digging in too deeply by yourself.
Excellent quality for the price, Brave is more in-line with what you’d get from a higher-tier premium theme, including excellent technical support and in-depth documentation if you feel like learning the ins-and-outs of the theme on your own time. This theme is also fully optimized for mobile devices, and the featured demo showcases a layout built around touch controls. Don’t worry, you can still use Brave if you expect a fair amount of traffic from desktop browsers, but the experience will be superlative on mobile devices.
Mint is a clean, minimalist portfolio site with a few key features to get you started. It is a pretty standard theme, and includes most of the core features expected in an entry-level theme. You have documentation, a few shortcodes, and the nice bonus of an Ajax contact form. Another thing to keep in mind with WordPress themes is that many of the features they include can all be added separately, but a big part of the appeal of themes is that they are all packaged in an organized manner. Don’t underestimate the ease of use that comes from a professionally organized file structure for your website, it will save so many headaches in the long run.
Another great entry from BonfireThemes, Hero has all the same functionality as Brave, but with a focus on darker tones and an overall theme of being a news source rather than a portfolio site. Additionally, all BonfireThemes releases have the option for users to install it as an app on their smartphones. It’s a great way for users to stay connected, but we note that the feature may yield the most benefit if your site pushes a lot of content on a daily basis.
Don’t let the initial site’s focus on health dissuade you from picking up this theme, it’s perfectly serviceable for any type of business or information-oriented sites. With support for HTML5, translation services, and premade, balanced color scheme options, this is a great theme for any site that expects a healthy amount of traffic. Special layouts for staff members, Mailchimp plugin compatibility, and an integrated appointment form makes Healthpoint an affordable option for any business or individual with a focus on having customers reach out through their website.
A clean, small theme best used as a landing page, Smartify is a great choice for the creative or freelancer who wants a way to show off their portfolio without a lot of bloat in their file structure. There’s plenty to love here, including integrated contact forms for the convenience of potential clients reaching out to you. This is also a good time to mention the inclusion of PSD files. These are photoshop files, and while usually they’re packaged in themes at the optimal resolution, there is always a chance that you might want to edit images or change them in order to include your own watermarks or personal brand. In that case, pay very close attention to the resolutions of these files, and you can use them as a template for later additions.
If you’re obsessed with jquery plugins, then Nostalgia is your theme of choice. Thematically, Nostalgia prefers a blend of minimalist page elements and recommends more retro-inspired imagery to balance it out. We covered the best 20 vintage themes in another post here on FltDsgn, and this theme could easily fit in with that other of top 20 themes. What stands out in this theme is a music track plugin. If you’re a musician or showing off a band, this is a great option for integrated media without having to load something like a YouTube video.
Another single page theme, Launch is a single-page WordPress theme, built with integration in mind. A twitter feed plug-in, subscription form, and Ajax contact form are all balanced in order to bring users into your circle and retain them. If they prefer twitter, your feed allows them to follow you. The page can also highlight the opt-in function for users that would like to subscribe to your site’s newsletters.
One common factor that you see again and again with cheaper themes is the limited number of customization options, followed by limited responsiveness for desktop versions of the theme. This is simply and issue of the additional labor that goes into making sure that theme is compatible with browsers, typefaces, and can take advantage of the increased power of the average desktop compared to the average mobile device. MobiElite is a cheap WordPress theme that is very flexible in how it can be customized, and is a perfectly serviceable theme, standing toe-to-toe with some of the best offered so far.
A stylish, fun theme that has a nice balance of skewmorphic elements to balance out the general trend of purely minimalist elements. We get it, minimalism looks good, it’s easy to design with, and you usually don’t have to worry about weird resolution issues if you make a vector image. Darknote has the feeling of a school bulletin board, and can be a great theme for any site documenting a school project or DIY efforts.
Apps make Chalis what it is. With integration for Gmail, Path, and Facebook support, the developers have shown off their dedication to providing versatile themes. In addition to 6 months of support when you purchase the theme, Chalis also has an active development channel and blog where they post developer diaries and updates to general best practices when it comes to WordPress themes and mobile development. It’s a nice option for people who want to learn about their theme and grow their skill set as they grow their readership.
An older theme, but an effective one nonetheless, Folio was designed a few years ago as basically a blank slate for designers to work their magic on. Support is no longer offered, but the theme is basic enough that it’s hard to break on its own. Rounded buttons are still decent, there’s a robust commenting system, and it does what it needs to do. When you’re looking for a cheap, innocuous theme, Folio is definitely one to consider.
A great product-oriented WordPress theme, like many others it is constantly being updated as WebFactory develops more features and better integrated plug-ins for their work. A wide variety of fonts and preloaded color schemes make it a breeze to change the mood of the blog. Typeface pairings and color is a more delicate balancing act than most people give it credit for, and you can literally spend hours just messing around with potential combinations to give your blog the exact feel you’re going for.
A very heavily customized WordPress theme, Bonjour’s description does not lie, it is basically perfect for any small cafe or restaurant that wants a quick landing page. There are a lot of CSS elements in this theme, but there’s very little beyond the gorgeous menu, so it actually loads fairly quickly. While the preview theming might jump at you, there’s absolutely no need to be afraid in customizing this theme or doing a little bit of digging into the HTML and CSS to add your own changes. At only $29, it is definitely one of the amazing yet cheap WordPress themes to be had, and can be an absolute steal for the level of professionalism it can give your business.
A theme that recently completed its features list, impressivCard is a more advanced version of a digital business card. If you’ve ever used a site like about.me, you might already be familiar with the purpose of impressivCard. It’s focused as a portfolio site first, with space for a picture and a brief personal description, and a limited side bar for links to your work and a contact form. Filter options are also present, which is a godsend for people with variegated portfolios who wish to give potential clients and employers a chance to look at the most relevant pieces.
Event promotion is a fairly unusual topic for a WordPress theme, as usually events large enough to warrant their own website will hire out a freelance web designer. For middling shows, or even local independent shows, Rocketick might actually be a perfect solution and one of the best cheap WordPress themes around. Everything about Rocketick is balanced to show off relevant information, such as time until event, performers, sponsorship partners, links to tickets, anything that might be relevant. There is the usual spate of color and element customization options, but the real value comes from the pre-generated fields that you just need to fill in to tell your audience everything they need to know.
Mobile Pro is one of the great yet cheap WordPress themes that specializes in mobile news feeds, with additional post management tags, nested comments, codes optimized for SEO visibility, and special spaces put aside for widgets. The theme boasts excellent load times, and the widget spaces make this a good choice for a site that may want to include real-time updates. Finding an API that allows real-time sports scores or stock market values would be easy enough, and there’s enough space to keep your users engaged and coming back.
Ultimate may as well be called Ultimate Value. For the price of one, you effectively get 2 completely fleshed-out themes, both loaded with features and awesome compatibility options that you’d really expect in a pricier theme. It has a responsive design for desktop and mobile, a custom webapp if you want to use your own loading icons and splash screens, Ajax contact forms, retina support, and literally dozens of other key features that you’d want in any theme. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the best yet cheapest WordPress themes you can get on a budget.