45+ Clean and Simple WordPress Themes – Less is More!

August 12, 2013 · 182 comments

by Lars

With a simple WordPress theme you often get a good start on a web design project. A simple start often makes a better platform for adding a personal touch.

I am sure you noticed that simplicity is a strong trend right now in web design. This is why simple WordPress themes tend to be very popular – they are good for usability and typically good as a starting point for creating an individual online look and feel. Lucky for you there are many high quality cool minimalistic WordPress themes available to pick from. This is why we keep updating this resource with new themes quite often. Website and blog designs certainly can be complex, colorful and overwhelming and many themes for WordPress belong to that category.

Some web-masters and bloggers on the other hand prefer simple and clean layouts for their sites leaving more space for the text itself to be in focus. Minimalistic designs generally help visitors find what they are looking for easier and compared to heavy loaded web designs, they are often more inviting and easy to navigate. If you are looking for simple WordPress themes that help your design comply with basic elements of minimalistic design you have come to the right place! I am sure the list of WordPress simple themes below will be a real time saver and a source of good inspiration. You will find both premium and free minimalistic and simple WordPress themes organized into two sections. This makes it easy for you to find the type of theme you are looking for.

One of the hot and current trends in web design right now is themes with responsive design and WordPress layout builders. The WordPress community have picked this up, there are many interesting responsive themes for WordPress available now, and they are worth considering making sure your site looks great on all platforms including mobile devices. Many of the themes in this article are responsive, but check the preview to test how each theme looks in mobile browsers. Just resize your browser if it is easier for you to test on a PC or MAC. I recently updated this resource with more simple WordPress themes and all links have been checked.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.


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The simple WordPress websites below below are good for many purposes as they are clean and have good space for content. Remember that most premium themes are supported, documented and typically well coded by the theme vendors and they are often updated quickly when WordPress is taking large steps in its development. There are many options and finding the right premium theme for your WordPress site can be a challenge. I hope this post will help you out.

Article Overview

Premium Simple WordPress Themes

Cleaner Business  & Portfolio WordPress Theme - MORE INFO

Cleaner Business  & Portfolio WordPress Theme

This is the Cleaner WordPress theme. It is a responsive business and portfolio template with a very minialistic and clean design. The clean layout and sleek features make Cleaner a great option for your e-resume, online portfolio, agency, small business, entrepreneur or other professional website. The theme uses portfolio and services custom post types to make it easy to add and edit items, and the awesome homepage template can be customized with the Drag & Drop Homepage Builder in the SMOF admin panel.

Nine – Responsive Multipurpose Theme - MORE INFO

nine is a responsive multipurpose theme for wordpress used to create stunning sites like for business and more

Nine is a responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress theme with a simple and clean design. It is best suited for business websites and users who want to showcase their work on a professional portfolio style website. The theme have to powerful slider scripts build in and tons of useful shortcodes.

Flexible – Theme for WordPress - MORE INFO

flexible is a nice and simple portfolio theme for wordpress

Flexible is a simplistic and cool looking portfolio theme for WordPress. With ElegantThemes page builder this theme turns into a powerful web design framework. the style is flat and minimalistic but with great use of colors to keep users happy. While perfect for online portfolios I also think the blog layout makes Flexible useful as a simple blog theme.

Brada Innovative WordPress Template - MORE INFO

brada

Brada is a fresh new theme with a clean and different design that will make your website stand out. The layout makes use of a left-hand side navigation and sidebar. The theme is responsive and adapts well to mobile screens. There are several built in scripts suchs, flexslider, masonry, filterable portfolio and more.

SimpleMag – Magazine Theme for Creative - MORE INFO

simplemag is a responsive retina ready theme made for photographers, freelancers and more

Simple Mag is a responsive, retina ready, minimalistic magazine theme with lots of useful, unique and awesome features.

Revenant – Responsive Business WordPress Theme - MORE INFO

revenant is a dfresh clean theme that uses ajax for loading contents

Revenant is a responsive business WordPress theme with a clean and fresh design. The theme comes with a drag and drop page builder, Revolutions slider, innovative AJAX loading of posts and portfolio items and more.

TRIM – Simple Responsive Theme – MORE INFO

trim is a simple designed theme  that is used to create business sites

TRIM is one of the cool responsive themes with a simple design one need to check out. It is optimal for a business portfolio website. With the page builder from the theme vendor it is possible to set up nearly any type of web page without coding at all. The theme comes with a mobile friendly design and adapt to the visitors screen size.

Trim is a WordPress template and it is simple, professional, versatile and fast. at first sight Trim might look simple, but with this also get a good balance and a user friendly layout. The theme have many build in features and it is a great theme that will prove useful for a variety of different websites. Trim is a fully mobile friendly with a responsive design that adapts to your user’s variable screen size.

System – Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme - MORE INFO

system

System is called a multi-purpose theme and for a reason. It includes overall layouts for business, portfolio and creative one page websites. Further, you will find a page builder with drag and drop that will help you build your own page layouts without coding. System also have the Revelution slider in the package and much more.

Epical – Simple Business WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

epical is a clean and simple looked business wordpress theme

Epical is a business WordPress theme with a clean and simple look. It comes with a minimalistic and bold web design that makes perfect space for your content. The theme is fully responsive and helps you give mobile visitors a great experience. It is packed with design options for customizing you website: unlimited colors, 10 custom page templates, 6 custom widgets, 100+ shortcodes, 6 post formats and a meaty admin panel.

Responsive – MORE INFO

responsive is a clean theme ideal for creating a portfolio website

Responsive is  a dynamic theme that helps you create a responsive portfolio site that displays beautifully on all devices, be it a smartphone or a tablet or monitors with different resolutions. Ideal for business owners, freelance photographers and professional individuals. Responsive also supports WooCommerse and therefore may function as a professional online store.

Pixelogic Responsive Multi-purpose WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

pixelogic

With Pixelogic you get a WordPress theme with a simple and minimal design however it is far from simple when it comes to layout options and features. The theme comes with 7 home page layouts, 7 blog variations, a page builder, various post types, flexslider and much more.

Metropix  – Responsive Multipurpose WordPress Theme - MORE INFO

metropix is a great multipurpose theme with a great metro design

Metropix is a minimalist WordPress theme with a clean metro design and a multi-purpose focus. In this theme you will find a good option for creating galleries. In the blog section you will find a standard format and one for video posts.

Smarald – Retina Ready Responsive WordPress Theme - MORE INFO

smarald is a retina ready theme for wordpress

Smarald is a responsive WordPress portfolio theme with a simple design. It is well suited for creatives, agencies and it will also do a great job for blogs. There is a cool page builder included in the theme and several portfolio templates, custom post types and more.

Septimus Responsive Portfolio WP Theme – MORE INFO

sep7imus

Septimus is a business style theme with a clean and minimal design. The theme is built with Bootstrap and offers a great responsive layout. There are more than 65 shortcodes included, a shortcode generator, custom widgets, custom post types and more.

Qualeb Simple and Clean WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

qualeb

With Qualeb you have two color schemes – Dark and Light. The theme is responsive and well prepared for mobile visitors. The slider is also responsive and adapt to small screens. You get plenty of page building blocks in the custom widgets, custom post types and shortcodes included in this theme.

ProMotion Responsive WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

promotion is a clean beautiful theme used to create business websites

ProMotion is a premium responsive WordPress theme simple aimed for business and service or product promotion. Features mOover slider with amazing effects and super easy drag&drop interface. Includes many features and is controlled by powerful option panel with possibilities to change styles, sizes and colors for many elements, also includes background uploaders for all areas. Theme is SEO friendly with usage of heading tags and content placement above the sidebars. Promotion theme includes full user guide and quick setup guide with visual illustrations. Demo content with replacement images are provided to setup “as seen in preview” pages in minutes.

Rumblings – Responsive MultiPurpose WP Theme – MORE INFO

rumblings is a classic powerful theme packed with awesome features

Rumblings is a powerful responsive business/corporate/portfolio & blog premium WordPress theme jam-packed with features. The theme is very powerful yet easy to use and customize, whether you’re a WordPress pro or a beginner with no coding skills.

SimplePress – Simple WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

simplepress a fresh and professional looked theme for wordpress

SimplePress is a page-based corporate WordPress theme clean and simple design. It is great for anyone looking to give their website professional look and feel. The theme features a business style homepage with a beautiful well integrated JavaScript slider and clear hierarchy, as well as fully functional Blog and Gallery sections. This theme is part of the very interesting Theme Club at ElegantThemes where everyone can get access to around 70 very professional themes at around half the price of most Premium themes. This is in particular interesting for web designers as they will be able to deliver great websites to their clients. It is even possible to get the PSD files also if some changes will be needed. Check out the video showing the ElegantThemes options framework enabling high flexibility with no-coding needed.

Molly – MORE INFO

molly

Molly is a clean and minimal blogging theme for WordPress with a responsive layout. The theme have an audio player built in, support for galleries and video embedding.

Slate Responsive WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

slate is a fully scalable and swipe-able theme for wordpress

Slate is a simple and minimal WordPress theme with a responsive design. The theme comes with both a light and a dark design. Slate offers built-in swipe support for your portfolio images, videos and more for mobile visitors. Slate makes useof a mixture of custom styles and shortcodes to help you set up your own page layouts.

Reason WP: Smart, Responsive, Customizable – MORE INFO

reason is a is very customizable resnponsive wordpress theme

A radically customizable responsive theme that promises to do what it says and not pull your leg with silly over-the-top features. It’s designed for users, not geeks – all by a dude in Southern California who just loves making rockin’ WP themes for other folks.

Sensica – Responsive WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

 sensica
Sensica is a corporate WordPress theme with support for WooCommerce. The design of this theme is simple and clean and it may also be used for a portfolio website.

Shepard – Premium responsive corporate theme – MORE INFO

shepard a responsive corporate wordpress theme used to create beautiful business sites

Shepard Premium responsive corporate theme is exactly what you need! Enjoy a great variety of possibilities to adjust your own site to be totally awesome: admin panel, slider manager, form builder and others. Let the graceful design and convenient functionality represent yourself or your company!

Elemin – MORE INFO

elemin

Elemin is a blogging theme with a simple design and great responsive layout. The theme includes several custom post formats that are well integrated into the design of the pages. There are 11 skins included, wigetized footer and more fueatures as well.

HyperMind – MORE INFO

hypermind is a clean easy to customize theme for wordpress

Hypermind is an incredibly easy to use WordPress portfolio theme. Quick to setup and easy to customize, thanks to the powerful admin panel, the detailed manual, and the carefully structured code, HyperMind is the perfect theme for showcasing your most important work directly in front of your visitors. HyperMind has got you covered on all fronts, so if you ever get stuck on anything, rest assured that you’re going to get the help of a professional, if and when you need it, because HyperMind comes with excellent customer support.

Structure – MORE INFO

structure is a minimal  and modern layout theme for wordpress

The Structure Theme is a set of premium WordPress themes masterfully created with a modern and minimalist design aesthetic.

Aries – Responsive Business WordPress Theme – MORE INFO

arieswp

Aries is not simple from a feature point of view. It is loaded with great stuff but comes with a simple and minimal design. In Aries you find a page creator, SliderRevolution and 4 more slider scripts, Font manager, portfolio manager, table manager, 50+ shortcodes  and a manager to insert them, unlimited sidebars, custom widgets

Echo Theme – MORE INFO

echo is a powerful and highly customizable theme for wordpress

Echo is a clean and simple WordPress Theme, but a very powerful and a highly customizable portfolio theme, aimed at anyone who needs a showcase. If you’re looking for a gorgeous portfolio theme, then you’ve just found it.Echo comes with an excellent customer support and a bulletproof documentation file that discusses every aspect of the theme in details, ensuring you don’t face any difficulties in setting up the theme and maintaining it. This is one of the Simple WordPress themes you should check out!

Odyssey – MORE INFO

odyssey

Odyssey is a minimalistic and simple WordPress theme for building a magazine style website. The theme support a double sidebar layout that is often used in online magazines. With Odyssey you get a few custom widgets, multiple layouts and more.

Free simple website templates for WordPress

It is possible to find great free WordPress themes with a simple design and layout. Some are even responsive and have cool otpions pages to set up the theme. Having said that, it is likely that free themes are not supported now and less likely when planning long term.

Minimable – MORE INFO

minimable

Minimable is a cool simple one page WordPress theme with an exceptional parallax scrolling effect. The theme is based on Bootstrap and comes with cool features such as page templates, adjustable colors, portfolio function and more.

Imbalance - MORE INFO

imbalance a cool unique magazine style theme for wordpress

Imbalance is a cool free choice for building an online magazine, a blog or your personal portfolio website. This simple WordPress theme is designed with a contemporary modern vibe in a minimalistic style. If you choose the Imbalance theme, you can easily fresh-up your project whether it is a blog or i-magazine.

Tint Free Portfolio Theme – MORE INFO

tint

With Tint you get a free portfolio theme with a minimal and simple look and feel. The theme use colors to spice up the design and the interactive slider at the top is great for featuring content, videos and images. You will find custom widgets, shortcode generator, page templates that you can use to set up your own pages.

Time – MORE INFO

time

Time is a clean responsive theme for personal blogs. It comes with an advanced options manager, portfolio and slider functions.

Shutterloop - MORE INFO

shutterloop is a free responsive photography theme for wordpress

ShutterLoop is a fully responsive free photography wordpress theme. The theme has great feature control through with custom control panel.

Hatch - MORE INFO

hatch is a cool photography theme for wordpress build with the hybrid core framework

Hatch is a simple photography and portfolio WordPress theme. Optimized for mobile browsing – the responsive layout will automatically detect if the visitor is viewing your site on a desktop screen or a mobile device (Smartphone or tablet) and will adjust accordingly. A parent theme – easy to customize via child themes, and built on the Hybrid Core framework.

Responsive Theme - MORE INFO / DEMO

responsive theme is a classic theme for wordpress used to create beautiful websites

Responsive Pro adds exciting new customization features to WordPress including the Theme Customizer which lets you visually change the appearance of the theme live with 12 colorful skins to select from, typography options with Google Fonts, and other powerful customization tools.

SimpleCorp - MORE INFO

simplecorp is e responsive corporate theme that works well in mobile devices

A simple corporate theme for wordpress. It is super responsive that it adapts up to mobile devices.

Aselia WordPress Theme - MORE INFO

aselia is a clean wordpress theme used to build beautiful websites

The aselia WordPress theme, concisely with other theme elephant themes, is clean, minimalistic, but nevertheless absolutely breathtaking. A featured image slider with a customizable title and slider make the landing page a true attention-catcher.

Free Base WordPress Theme - MORE INFO

base is a simple responsive wordpress theme that is easy to customize

Base is a simple responsive wordpress theme that is easy to customize. It has a lot of customization options that will suite your very needs. It also has animated back to top button, Custom header and footer navigation, Custom comment template, Basic column grid included, Child theme support and many more.

TrulyMinimal - MORE INFO / DEMO

trulyminimal is a highly customizable minimalistic theme

TrulyMinimal is a free highly customizable minimalistic theme fully focused on typography. Powered by a powerful backend TrulyMinimal can be easily personalized.

WordPress Svbtle - MORE INFO

Wordpress svbtle is a clean and simple theme for wordpress

WordPress svbtle is a clean and simple theme for wordpress.

Hybrid Minimalist WordPress Theme Framework - MORE INFO

hybrid is a user friendly theme with a clean and legant design

Hybrid is a user-friendly, search-engine optimized parent theme, featuring several custom page templates and multiple widget-ready areas, allowing you to create any type of site you want.

Modern - MORE INFO / DEMO

modern a cool unique theme for wordpress perfect for showcasing awesome projects and artworks

Here is a free themethat you’re sure to love (as long as you’re into super-clean, killer looking Swiss design style themes!

Foghorn - MORE INFO / DEMO

foghorn is a clean minimal theme and loaded with awesome features

Foghorn is a minimalist WordPress theme built off the foundation of Twenty Eleven. It has a custom options panel for switching layouts, removing sidebars, uploading a logo, and changing footer text. Further it is responsive, and therefore it looks good at any browser width including iPhones and other mobile devices.

Modern Clix - MORE INFO

modern clix is a clean minimal theme with a swiss style twist perfect for creating a blog site

Modern Clix is a minimal blog theme inspired in the Swiss Style of Design: It features Arial/Helvetica, grids, a generous use of whitespace for better readability and a strong focus in typography.

Essential tips for selecting the perfect simple WordPress theme

I have collected some hard earned experiences as a quick reference to help you make the most important considerations before choosing your theme.

  • Keep you investment safe. Setting up a new site takes a lot of effort and sometimes it is a costly project to finish. So how do you ensure your new website is easy to maintain and update. First, you have accept that it is not enough to look at the design and features of a WordPress theme. It is essential that the theme you choose is relatively fresh (still maintained), well documented and comes with support. Otherwise, you risk your website investment get in trouble the first time WordPress release a major update or a critical security fix. Look for active support, other user’s comments, check the documentation, and test the theme preview page to see if it seems solid. When it comes to documentation then I personally like video demonstrations of the initial setup and the most important features.
  • Keep it simple! Make sure the design is simple and stripped from all unnecessary design elements. This is a much easier approach for setting up a unique web site compared to finding a crowded and busy theme where you need to start removing stuff.

  • Invest som time in analysing your needs before choosing a simple WordPress theme. This is the hard part, knowing what features you need long term is like reading the stars. One way, however, to get safe through this stage is to look for a theme that have been build for multi-purpose websites. This category of themes get more and more popular and often have a huge collection of layout specific shortcodes, widgets or a powerful page builder. In addtion, multi-purpose themes often have flexible layouts, such as placements of sidebars, multiple header and footer layouts etc.
  • Be clear on what page items you need, such as image slider, animated content slider, news widget, call to action bars, content boxes, build in icons, support for custom fonts etc.
  • Another important feature to look out for is a demo content importer. This is a true time-saver in most projects because you get the demo site setup on your own server. This way you can quickly see how specific parts of the demo website was configured and you can replicate it on your own pages.

Author : Lars Vraa

Lars started tripwire magazine back in January 2009. He is really passionate about web design, web development and loves to look into new technologies, techniques, tools etc. and to write articles for his readers.

{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

Damien December 29, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Very smooth, cheers for these Lars!

Reply

Steve November 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm

This is very simple and attractive collection of wordpress blogs. I really like this collection. Lars your tips at the end are great ones to start a website…Thanks buddy.

Reply

Jerralyn Tanoc September 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

Yes! I am 100% agree and I would like to quote it again “With a simple WordPress theme you often get a good start on a web design project. A simple start often makes a better platform for adding a personal touch.”

Reply

Anup August 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for this awesome collection . Minimal themes are the best :)

Reply

Lars August 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

Completely agree Anup that for many purposes they are!

Reply

Bayu Hernawan August 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Thanks, I found awesome themes in here, thank you very much :D

Reply

Lars August 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

You are welcome Bayu, thanks for sharing you feedback!

Reply

Flemming August 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Thanks – found some pretty awesome new ones!

Reply

Lars August 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

You are welcome Flemming, thanks for checking out the article!

Reply

Fiona July 9, 2013 at 8:07 am

At this time it appears like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform available right
now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

Reply

Lars August 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Fiona, we are using WordPress and I personally think it is one of the best platforms available due to the high availability of themes and plugins. I have not tested BlogEngine myself so I cannot comment on how good it is. Agree though that it get a lot of good reviews

Reply

Nico June 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

Nice collection! Thank you man

Reply

Lars August 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

You are welcome Nico!

Reply

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