HUSTLR Awards for

Best WordPress Themes

Whether you’re a podcaster or an entrepreneur, you need a visually stunning website to build your audience and generate revenue. The good news is that you can use WordPress to choose from a wide array of attractive, responsive, and user-friendly themes. It is crucial to select the right theme based on your niche and objectives. However, considering the overwhelming diversity of WordPress themes, making the right choice can be a herculean task.

We’ve curated our top picks for the best WordPress themes in various subcategories to help you make an informed decision.

Here’s how we shortlisted the top contenders and picked the winners in each subcategory:

BEST FOR PODCASTING

Are you looking for a fast, lightweight, responsive, and visually attractive WordPress theme that fulfills the needs of modern podcasters? Podcaster, a trusted and popular theme by ThemeForest, is the right choice for you. The best part is that it lets your audience listen to the latest episodes from the homepage of your website.

The theme is fully customizable and easy to configure. You can upload a custom header and even add a sticky header to different web pages. Moreover, it’s compatible with frequently used podcasting plugins such as Seriously Simple Podcasting and Blubrry PowerPress.

  • Fast and lightweight
  • Users can choose between light and dark themes
  • Easily customizable (including color palette, fonts, and headers)
  • Compatible with major podcasting plugins and hosting services
  • Lets website visitors listen to the latest episodes from the homepage
  • Responsive support and extensive documentation
  • The variety of features can be overwhelming for beginners
  • No free version

HUSTLR reviewed more than 20 free and premium WordPress themes. Our team evaluated various factors including layout, responsiveness, price, support, customizability, and compatibility.

We selected Podcaster as the owner because it puts your podcast episodes at the forefront of your website. You can easily customize the theme to add your logo and headers. Moreover, it’s optimized for popular WordPress podcasting plugins such as Blubrry PowerPress and Seriously Simple Podcasting.

Apart from ratings, our team considered how well a theme fulfilled the needs of novice and experienced podcasters. We also looked into user reviews on various online platforms. Additionally, our team interacted with popular podcasters who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

BEST FOR ECOMMERCE

If you want to build a sleek and responsive eCommerce store that offers a seamless shopping experience, Flatsome is the right choice. It’s a fast, secure, and mobile-responsive theme that is compatible with all versions of WooCommerce. Moreover, it’s easy to install and configure.

You can use the Live Page Builder tool to easily customize your website. Additionally, Flatsome offers an extensive library of free images, layouts, and templates. You can even use shortcodes to add Google Maps and testimonials on your website. It also supports plugins such as Yoast, WPML, and Polylang.

  • One-click demo installation
    300+ pre-built page layouts
  • Fully customizable, mobile-responsive, and optimized
  • Supports all existing versions of WooCommerce
  • Easy-to-use page builder tool
  • Compatible with useful WordPress plugins
  • No free version
  • Switching to another theme will be cumbersome

HUSTLR evaluated more than 30 WordPress themes specifically designed for eCommerce business. Our team analyzed various factors including WooCommerce integration, pricing, add-ons, ease-of-use, scalability, and compatibility with other plugins.

We selected Flatsome as the winner because it lets you create an awesome-looking online store without any prior knowledge of web programming. Having said that, it also fulfills the needs of professional web developers. It offers a simple and intuitive page builder as well as a wide array of impressive pre-built templates.

Apart from ratings, our team considered how well a theme met the needs of e-commerce businesses in different niches. Additionally, we looked into user reviews on various online platforms. Our team also interacted with various eCommerce marketers and business owners who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

BEST FOR BLOGGERS

Although it was initially designed for news sites and online magazines, Newspaper is a great theme for new-age bloggers. Its most distinguishing feature is the user-friendly tagDiv Composer that lets you customize more than 100 elements to build awesome-looking web pages. Additionally, you can choose from a wide variety of pre-built layouts and templates.

Newspaper is a fast-loading, mobile-responsive, and SEO-friendly theme. It’s AMP ready and compatible with WooCommerce and Google AdSense. Additionally, it offers a wide range of header and footer options.

  • Suitable for all blogging niches
  • Wide range of pre-built templates
  • Responsive and SEO-friendly
  • Compatible with Google AdSense and WooCommerce
  • Easy-to-use tagDiv Composer
  • Flawless support and regular updates
  • No free version (can be a deterrent for novice bloggers)
  • New users might feel overwhelmed with the full range of features

HUSTLR evaluated more than 40 free and premium WordPress themes. We analyzed various factors including ease-of-use, versatility, scalability, features, and pricing. Additionally, we reviewed specific features such as compatibility with Google AdSense and AMP readiness.

We selected Newspaper as the winner because it offers a powerful drag-and-drop page builder that lets users create attractive websites in a few clicks. You can even choose from a treasure trove of excellent pre-designed templates.

Apart from ratings, our team considered how well a theme catered to the needs of bloggers in different niches. We also looked into user reviews on various online platforms. Additionally, we consulted popular bloggers who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

BEST FOR CONTENT CREATORS

Astra is a mobile-responsive and SEO-friendly theme that lets you create awesome-looking websites to display your content. Whether you want to start a blog or showcase your portfolio, Astra offers a plethora of options. The best part is that it’s compatible with popular page builders plugins such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Gutenberg.

Additionally, you can use various customizable pre-built templates that eliminate the need for coding. If you purchase the Pro version, you can install the theme on multiple websites. It also offers a free version with limited features.

  • Versatile and customizable pre-built templates
  • SEO-friendly and responsive
  • Supports Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Gutenberg
  • Compatible with popular WordPress plugins
  • Supports multiples domains
  • Offers a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Tech support is often slow
  • Lifetime license fee is expensive

HUSTLR reviewed more than 40 WordPress themes. Our team evaluated various factors including features, supported plugins, add-ons, and pricing.

We selected Astra as the winner because it’s a great multi-purpose WordPress theme that’s suitable for modern content creators. It’s SEO-friendly and RTL ready. Moreover, it lets users quickly build eye-catching websites, thereby saving time to create more amazing content.

Apart from ratings, our team analyzed how well a theme fulfilled the needs of different types of content creators. We also looked into user reviews on various online platforms. Additionally, our team consulted popular YouTubers, podcasters, bloggers, authors, and other content creators who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

BEST FOR CREATIVES

Are you looking for a simple and user-friendly WordPress theme that doesn’t compromise on your creative freedom? TheGem is the right fit for your needs. Developed by Codex Themes, TheGem is a relatively new yet feature-rich WordPress theme. It’s known for its versatility, speed, and security.

You can choose from more than 400 pre-built templates or use the hassle-free WPBaker Page Builder to design your website. It also comes with a plethora of navigation styles and is user-friendly. It is equally suitable for independent professionals and creative agencies.

  • 400+ customizable pre-built templates
  • Easy to install and customize
  • Supports major WordPress plugins
  • 20+ navigation styles and settings
  • Sleek, mobile-responsive, and SEO-friendly
  • Impressive documentation and tech support
  • No free version
  • Can be overwhelming for beginners

HUSTLR reviewed more than 25 modern WordPress themes. Our team analyzed various factors including features, plugins, support, versatility, scalability, and pricing.

We selected TheGem as the winner because of its sleek layout and impressive versatility. It provides the right tools to let users create visually stunning websites without delving into the intricacies of web programming. Additionally, it offers a wide array of website demos, templates, and navigation styles.

Apart from ratings, we analyzed how well a theme catered to the needs of freelancers and agencies. Our team also looked into user ratings on various online platforms. Additionally, we consulted many content creators, professionals, and website developers who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

BEST IN LOADING SPEED

Developed by Themeisle, Neve is a versatile and lightweight WordPress theme. The default WordPress install is as tiny as 28 KB and loads in less than a second. However, it doesn’t compromise on the visual appeal to improve speed. Even websites with plenty of media files demonstrate impressive loading speeds.

Neve is compatible with popular page builder tools like Elementor and Gutenberg. It also supports WooCommerce and comes with a free version. Moreover, it’s mobile-responsive and compatible with AMP.

  • Lightweight core theme (less than 28 KB)
  • Multi-purpose theme
  • Free version includes decent features
  • Fully-customizable, mobile-responsive, and AMP ready
  • Easy to configure and customize
  • Frequent and reliable updates
  • 80+ pre-built starter sites
  • Starter sites could be better designed
  • Lacks in-built schema markup support

HUSTLR reviewed more than 20 high-speed WordPress themes. Our team evaluated various factors including features, versatility, plugins, scalability, and pricing. We also considered how a theme would fare for websites that include images, animations, and videos.

We selected Neve as the winner because it strikes a fine balance between speed, functionality, and visual appeal. While the default theme loads in less than a second, complicated websites also have great speeds. It’s fully customizable and caters to a wide range of users.

Apart from ratings, our team also considered whether a theme could handle gradual or sudden spikes in traffic. Additionally, we used tools such as Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights to verify the results. We also looked into user reviews across various online platforms.

BEST IN CUSTOMIZABILITY

Divi is a powerful, multi-purpose, and widely-used WordPress theme developed by Elegant Themes. Its core strength lies in Divi Builder, the hassle-free in-built drag-and-drop page builder plugin. It lets you build stunning web pages using customizable elements such as sidebars, menus, headers, etc.

Additionally, it supports WordPress Theme Customizer that lets you change the color palette, typography, widgets, etc. You can even add custom backgrounds (including videos) to any web page. Being a popular WordPress theme, Divi is regularly updated and includes extensive documentation.

  • Easy-to-use visual Divi Builder
  • 18+ pre-designed website templates
  • Supports WordPress Theme Customizers
  • Mobile-responsive, fast, and SEO-friendly
  • Frequently updated
  • Affordable (offers a free version too)
  • Customization features can be limiting for developers
  • Lacks advanced documentation for developers

HUSTLR reviewed more than 30 free and premium WordPress themes. Our team evaluated various factors including features, plugins, documentation, versatility, and affordability. Additionally, we considered specific features such as ease-of-use, quality of pre-built templates, and mobile-responsiveness.

We selected Divi as the winner because of its rock-solid visual page builder plugin. It offers a wide range of sophisticated tools to give users complete control of the way their website looks. Moreover, it’s easy to configure and works for different types of users including companies, freelancers, content creators, etc.

Apart from ratings, our team considered how well a theme can adapt to the growing needs of a user. We also looked into user reviews on various online platforms. Additionally, we consulted many web developers and designers who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

BEST FREE THEME

OceanWP is one of the most popular and fastest-growing WordPress themes. Unlike other WordPress themes, it packs a wide range of powerful features in the free version. These include high-quality pre-built templates, useful plugins, and developer-friendly extensions. This makes it suitable for novices as well as professionals.

OceanWP is known for its excellent speed and performance. It supports WooCommerce and Elementor. Despite being feature-rich, it’s easy to use and configure. Additionally, it’s mobile-responsive and offers impeccable tech support.

  • User-friendly interface
  • Plenty of useful pre-built templates, plugins, and extensions
  • Fast, SEO-friendly, and RTL ready
  • Supports WooCommerce integration
  • Proactive tech support
  • Suitable for beginners as well as experienced users
  • Incompatible with speed optimization plugins
  • Static header
  • Unknown developer

HUSTLR evaluated more than 50 free WordPress themes. Our team analyzed various factors including ease-of-use, features, performance, plugins, extensions, and add-ons. We also considered specific features such as eCommerce integration, page builder, and responsive design.

We selected OceanWP as the winner because it lets users create different types of advanced websites based on their needs and objectives. It is easy to use and supports commonly used page builder plugins such as Elementor and Beaver Builder. From eCommerce stores and membership sites to portfolios and blogs – you can build any website using OceanWP.

Apart from ratings, our team considered how well a theme fit the demands of beginners and experienced developers. We also looked into user reviews on various online platforms. Additionally, we consulted various web developers, bloggers, and webmasters who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

Conclusion

Selecting the right theme is a crucial step in the process of developing an amazing website. While a powerful theme enhances your website, an inferior theme often hinders its performance. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the best WordPress theme based on your niche, requirements, and goals. HUSTLR reviewed more than 100 WordPress themes to help you make the right choice.

Our team analyzed various factors such as pricing, features, performance, support, and versatility. We selected the top five contenders in each category based on the ratings. However, the final decision was made considering the overall usability of a theme. We also consulted experienced real-life users such as content creators, web developers, and marketers.

Our Methodology for Best WordPress Themes Award

How We Shortlisted the Top Contenders:

HUSTLR reviewed more than 100 free and premium WordPress themes to cover all the subcategories. For each subcategory, our team shortlisted between 20 and 50 themes based on the following parameters:

  • Performance – Is the theme fast, secure, reliable, and mobile-responsive
  • SEO – Is the theme SEO-friendly? Does it offer in-built schema markup support?
  • Ease of use – How easy is it for a new user to start building a website using a particular theme
  • Versatility – How well does a theme fulfill the needs of different types of users?
  • Scalability – How well does a theme satisfy the growing needs of a user
  • Customization – How easy is it to customize the core theme? Does the theme support popular page builder tools?
  • Affordability – Does a theme offer a free version or a free trial? Is the premium version affordable for its target users?

In addition to these criteria, our team evaluated specific parameters for each subcategory. For instance, integration with WooCommerce played a crucial role in selecting the best themes for eCommerce. Likewise, layout and templates were considered while shortlisting the best themes for bloggers. We also reviewed when a theme was first launched and how frequently it’s updated.

How We Selected the Winners:

Our team assigned ratings (between 1 and 5) to each shortlisted themes in a subcategory. We used specific parameters to assign these ratings based on the subcategory. Here are some of the common parameters:

  • Compatibility – Is a theme compatible with other useful WordPress plugins
  • Support – Does a theme’s developer offer round-the-clock tech support? How robust is the documentation
  • Value for money – Do the features, plugins, and add-ons justify the cost?

Once the ratings were assigned, we shortlisted the top five themes in each subcategory. Thereafter, we evaluated how well each theme fulfilled the needs of different types of users. We also reviewed the overall performance of a theme and analyzed whether it exceeded a user’s expectations.

How We Validated the Winners:

Our team validated each winner based on user reviews from various online platforms. We also used tools such as Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights to verify the overall performance of a theme. Additionally, we check the developer’s official website to confirm the pricing and features. We also consulted several web developers, content creators, business owners, designers, and webmasters who have the first-hand experience of using these themes.

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