This article was updated on February 27, 2013. Discontinued themes have been removed while other information has been modified.
Today I’d like to share with you 30 of the best free designs that have been released so far in 2012. There’s been some good free WordPress themes released over the last two and a half months including blog templates, magazine templates and portfolio designs.
For a list of dedicated free WordPress theme providers and theme providers that you should avoid, please check out our
Free WordPress Themes page.
A minimal drag and drop theme framework from the CyberChimps guys. The design is responsive so will look great on all devices and there is a pro version available with more features for $25.
Another great free design from CyberChimps. Built using HTML5 and CSS3, the responsive design allows you to customise the design via widgetized boxes and a useful options page.
A clean responsive magazine style design that features a content slider, 3 menu areas and 5 widget areas. The design is set up for child themes too.
A beautiful retro microblogging theme that supports post formats and comes with 3 widget areas in the footer. It comes with 5 different colour schemes and has a responsive design so will look great on mobiles and tablets too.
Designed for food blogs, Delicacy good easily be adapted for use on any type of blog. It comes with 6 colour schemes, a great looking nivo slider and 4 custom widgets.
Relying heavily on featured images, Adventure Bound Basic is a magazine style blog theme that will appear to those who want a unique style for their blog.
7. Hey Cookie
Released at the end of 2011 though it has seen a few major updates in 2012 so it sneaked into our theme list. The grid style layout makes it a good choice for portfolios or online magazines.
Built using Hybrid Core and optimised for mobile devices, Origin allows you to add beautiful typography to your website using Google fonts. It’s a good choice for an online blog.
9. Swift Basic
A magazine design that comes with advanced SEO options, 8 widget area and 10 advertising zones.
10. Adam’s Razor
A beautiful minimal blog design that is suitable for personal blogs.
Another clean blog template that is suitable for online blogs.
12. Basic Law
A simple two column WordPress theme that has two menu areas.
A minimal 3 column blog design from General Themes.
Info & Download
A two column minimal blog theme that allows you to change some basic things via the theme options area.
With a responsive design and a basic options page, Hatch is a minimal design suitable for online portfolios.
16. Very Minimal
A great looking two column blog design that places social media profile icons at the right hand side of the page.
When I originally reviewed the Howling Dog Framework it retailed for $89.50. Howling Dog recently addressed my criticism of their design being too expensive and have released their flagship theme framework for free. The framework allows you to customise every major aspect of your website via the framework options area.
A responsive gallery design that is suitable for portfolios and blogs. It comes with its own options page and custom page templates.
Note, when testing this design to check whether the footer credit link can be removed easily, I noticed that due to the way the theme was designed, the link cannot be found in the footer.php template. Therefore, to remove the credit link you will have to change individual page templates such as single.php, blog-page.php and page.php.
Info & Download
Boasting a beautiful nivo slider, an SEO builder and 10 background patterns. It supports Google Analytics and cufon fonts and comes with the original Photoshop PSD file for the logo.
Info & Download
20. Grid Style
A minimal magazine style portfolio template that is optimised for search engines.
21. Font Folio
A great looking grid style portfolio template from Dessign.net.
Info & Download | Demo
Another great free portfolio design from Dessign.net. Also comes with a image friendly blog template so could be used for blogs too.
One of the best looking free blog designs released so far this year. Posts are displayed in only one column to place more emphasis on content and it comes with 5 widget areas: 4 in the footer and one in the sidebar.
A clean business and portfolio that features a homepage nivo slider and great looking portfolio and blog page templates. Also includes some shortcodes for styling your content.
A gallery design that is perfect for showcasing photos and portfolio items. It has a great blog template too and an image slider for portfolios with multiple images.
A minimal WordPress design that is suitable for online magazines, news websites and blogs. The home page has a post slider with a grid style layout underneath for displaying your latest posts.
Developed by Automattic, Sundance is a great blogging theme that has a video carousel on the home page. It supports videos and has support for widgets, custom backgrounds, custom headers and WordPress menus.
A simple two column WordPress theme that is widget ready.
Built using the _s starter design from Automattic, Stripay is a simple two column blogging design that supports sticky posts.
Info & Download | Demo
30. Weaver II
Originally developed as an extension of the default WordPress theme 2010, Weaver has come a long way and has developed into a fantastic theme in its own right. Weaver II looks great on mobile devices and via it’s checkbox system you can easily enable and disable important site elements.
What is your favorite free design from 2012 so far? Please leave a comment below explaining your favorite design and more.