Everyone’s going minimal these days.
Reduce the clutter, get rid of distractions and create a clean canvas to design your life upon.
But what about your digital life?
Should we, as bloggers, start minimizing the clutter on our sites? And when it comes to design, should we choose a minimal WordPress theme over those with copious features and flashy options?
Why consider going minimal for your blog theme?
The thing is, choosing a minimal WordPress theme is more than just making your blog look clutter-free. A minimal web design:
- Has faster loading times
- Is easier to maintain
- Helps put the focus on your content
- Converts better
- Is easier to navigate
- Uses fewer server resources
It makes sense that you’d want to take advantage of that right?
While shelling out for a theme that’s supposed to be streamlined might seem counter-intuitive, remember you’re not just paying for the design. You’re also paying for the expertise that makes a minimal theme lightweight and clutter-free.
Premium themes pack a lot of features and typically offer better support, but if this is your very first website it can be a little overwhelming, this is where free themes come in.
Although their functionality and support offering will usually be limited, they have the basic features every website needs, and sometimes that is all you need to showcase your content.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best minimal WordPress themes for bloggers – both paid and free.
1. Thrive Theme Builder
Thrive Theme Builder is somewhat different from other minimal WordPress themes on this list.
Instead of a standard WordPress theme, you get a visual theme builder that allows you to customise every aspect of your theme – while being pretty simple to use thanks to a site wizard.
The excellent stock themes (Shapeshift + Bookwise + Omni + Kwik) offer a selection of different templates that you can use. Each one includes a variety of different ones.
For example, you get to choose exactly what your homepage, header, footer, blog posts and pages look like.
Want to make any part of your site even more minimal? Just use the editor to remove elements you don’t want. This means you get the perfect balance between your content and white space.
Thrive Theme Builder is best suited to bloggers, content creators, solopreneurs and personal brands that want to build a conversion-focused website.
Price: $97/year for the standalone product or $299/year as part of Thrive Suite (includes all Thrive products).
Want to learn more? Check out our Thrive Theme Builder Review.
2. Kadence Theme
If you’re looking for a minimal WordPress theme that is blazing fast and Gutenberg ready then check out what Kadence has to offer.
Kadence is a free WordPress theme which has a bunch of starter templates you can use to craft the perfect minimal website for your business or just for pleasure.
You can customize text, color and images and also use the drag & drop function to craft your header and footer.
The premium version comes with additional options for customization such as ultimate menus, WooCommerce and 20 header add ons.
Price: Free for core theme. Pro version part of the Essentials, and Full Bundle from $149/year.
3. GeneratePress Pro
GeneratePress is a performance-focused WordPress theme with an emphasis on minimal design. Weighing in at less than 30kb it’s also super light-weight.
Layout control lets you define your site layout on both desktop and mobile. And if you’re not code-savvy, you can use your favorite page builder to design the perfect site.
Going pro is where the real benefits are. Premium GeneratePress users can enjoy a full library of pre-made site templates featuring streamlined designs. You’ll also get WooCommerce compatibility and control over backgrounds, page elements and even turn some elements off.
Price: $59 for use on unlimited websites and with 1 year of updates and support.
Typology is a gorgeous minimal WordPress theme with a heavy focus on typography. It features a number of homepage customizations along with either material or flat design.
Different post layouts allow you to change up how your content is displayed. Want a featured image? Simply activate that option, otherwise, continue with a sleek text-focused layout.
Typology is compatible with all the popular WordPress plugins including JetPack, WPForms and Yoast. It’s also GDPR compatible and features unlimited font and color combinations.
If you’re familiar or a fan of the new Gutenberg editor for WordPress, then Gutentim will be simple and easy to use. It’s a modern and clean WordPress theme based on the Gutenberg page builder.
It has a live style editor where you can customize any part of the theme such as text style and color, along with your header, footer and widgets. Or if you’re looking to build a website with ease, you can use one of their pre-made demos.
Interested in creating a food blog? Or perhaps a blog about the creative Arts? Or maybe you’re looking for a crisp and clean modern looking minimal theme. GutenBlog has got you covered for all three.
Boasting a wide range of pre made templates such as 7+ blog layout options, 4+ header types and 13+ types of featured posts, that even if you don’t use one of the three demo sites you can easily piece together your own.
It has a simple and easy to use built in customizer and is already out of the box optimized for fast loading.
Price: $24 for one site and 6 months of updates
7. Monochrome Pro
A popular theme for a sleek and minimal look is Monochrome Pro from StudioPress. With its automatic setup you can install the theme and hit the ground running with it’s demo content.
Customization options are limited to ensure fast load times. The theme is also mobile responsive, and styled so you can easily setup an online store. The theme also installs and activates the Atomic Blocks plugin and WP Forms, allowing you more Gutenberg block options as well contact forms.
Price: Available via Genesis Pro membership – $360/year
Typograph has been designed specifically as a content focused WordPress theme, it even looks great with no images.
It is Gutenberg optimized, allowing you to take full advantage of this new editor. It also has an A performance grade for load times, which is great because no one likes slow websites.
The theme also supports language translations for all your content, there are a variety of ad spaces, auto-load next article function, article labels and much more.
Price: $49 for 1 site and 6 months of support
9. Astra Pro
Astra Pro is so much more than your average WordPress theme. It’s a powerful theme which enables you to design your very own WordPress theme without having to learn about coding, or hiring a web designer.
It boasts features such as over 800+ Google fonts, 4 different site layouts, the customization of any area of your website, multiple blog layouts, and multiple header and footer designs.
It has integration for WooCommerce, LifterLMS and LearnDash, if you need to host courses and products on your website.
Or if you prefer something premade, Astra Pro has over 20 starter sites you can upload and use.
Price: $59 (limited free version available)
Read our Astra review.
10. Smart Theme
Smart is a minimal portfolio WordPress theme. The theme can be used for multiple purposes, especially those niches that focus heavily on visual elements such as photography or travel.
It has a drag and drop builder, therefore making page creation simple and easy.
You have the option for a one-click demo importer, from there on you can edit the demo to suit your branding or start from scratch using the drag and drop editor.
The WordPress theme is mobile-responsive, and has over 600 Google fonts.
Price: $89 for 1 site & 6 months support
With its elegant, minimal and ultra-clean design, Blank makes your content the main focus of your website.
It’s mobile-responsive, translation ready for multiple languages, customizable with over 500 Google fonts.
The code is optimized for SEO and for speed, to ensure users will have a great experience on your website.
It boasts many features such as: useful shortcodes with TinyMCE integration, 4 portfolios ayouts, options to change how your featured images look, 2 header styles, JetPack compatibility and much more…
Price: $39 for 1 site & 6 months support
12. Hello + Elementor Pro
Hello WordPress theme is a simple, lightweight theme built especially to be edited with the Elementor page builder.
It has clean and efficient code which help your pages load faster, to help improve your conversions. Because the theme is light with minimal styling and scripts, it supports all popular WordPress plugins.
The idea is that you rely on Elementor Pro’s Theme Builder functionality to build a website that looks how you want it to look.
Aside from the obvious drag & drop page builder functionality, Elementor Pro has features such as popover builder, responsive design, WooCommerce builder and RTL supported (for multilingual sites).
Price: Theme free, Elementor Pro $49/year for 1 site or $99/year for 3 sites
Read our Elementor review.
13. Hestia Pro
Hestia Pro is a stylish one-page theme that is suitable for any type of niche.
This WordPress theme is highly customizable and can be used to design a minimal or a more complex website. It seamlessly integrates with a variety of page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi, making customizing your website incredibly easy.
Planning on having an online store? Hestia Pro comes with 2 different designs for your online store premade to make the setting up process a lot smoother.
Feeling a little lazy and what a site prebuilt where all you need to do is change the branding? Well, Hestia Pro has 8 starter sites which can be uploaded in a single click.
Price: £69 for 1 site & 1 year of support
Doris is a modern magazine theme that is clean, simple and minimal.
It has its own drag and drop page builder powered by BKNinja Composer Plugin, which allows you to create your ideal page layout. Or if you’re looking for something quick and easy, the theme has 5 demos which can be imported in a single click.
Doris also has the following features: Ajax Load Posts which will continuous load posts, sticky sidebar, mobile-responsive, advanced post option, translation ready and much more…
Price: $59 for 1 site & 6 months support
15. Revolution Pro
A popular minimal WordPress theme, Revolution Pro is perfect for showcasing your imagery as well as written content.
It boasts beautifully presented white space, to make the theme look elegant and clean. The theme is suitable for any person or business from photographers to agencies.
The process of starting your website simple, with an automatic setup and downloading of recommended plugins, you can have your site ready in no time.
If you’re planning on having an online store, Revolution Pro is pre-styled to cater for this need so you can easily setup your store.
Like other child themes for the Genesis Framework, Revolution Pro is lightweight to ensure fast load times.
Price: $129.95 (includes Genesis Framework)
16. The Issue
The Issue is a versatile magazine WordPress theme that boasts over 9 pre-built demos, each which are unique and suited to different niches.
One great feature is the ability to mix sections between templates in the WordPress post editor. It is as simple as scroll through the different types of sections such as homepages, sidebar, post carousel etc. and pick the design you like the most and click to import. Therefore you have the possibility of over 8000 post layouts to create with their templates.
Other features include: social integrations, 10 header styles, over 10 custom widgets, lightbox galleries and much more…
Price: $59 for 1 site & 6 months support
Typer is a blog and multi-author publishing theme. This WordPress theme is easy to use with a one-click install and has unique post layouts as well as unlimited colors.
This super light theme has been well optimized for fast performance, with Lazy Image loading already built-in. It is mobile-responsive and has built-in elements for Elementor.
Other features include: Stax header builder, Google fonts, pre-styled front-end user profiles and much more.
Price: $59 for 1 site & 6 months support
If you’re looking for a minimal, yet visual WordPress theme check out Venissa. With its stylish typography and spacious layout you can create a stunning website.
The theme is highly functional with flexible page and post styles, with the option to add widgets if you need them.
With the growing use of Instagram, this theme integrates with the social media platform so you can showcase your images you publish right on your website.
Venissa also allows you to place trending and related posts in various places on your website.
Other features include a one-click demo import, WooCommerce integration and the ability to translate your website to multiple languages.
Price: $24/year to access 60+ Theme Junkie themes, or $49 lifetime
Hellen is an elegant and minimal WordPress theme that focuses on visual imagery and is well-suited for all niches especially photography. Whether you’re a blogger, a retailer, a magazine or restaurant you can showcase your work using the WPBakery Page Builder which allows you to craft unlimited layouts with your content.
If you’re looking to launch your website as soon as possible then Hellen has 11 premade homepages you can choose, or see what’s possible to create.
You can choose from over 800 Google fonts, setup WooCommerce, have an unlimited color scheme and much more with this theme.
Price: $58 for 1 site & 6 months support
20. Boston Pro
Boston Pro is the ideal theme choice for bloggers looking for a clean and organized website. The magazine-style design keeps your homepage interesting without getting in the way of your content.
With the featured content slider you can showcase recent blog posts in the header area. Four different layouts for your articles provide further control over how your content looks.
To make your writing stand out, Boston Pro has more than 600 Google Fonts to choose from. Combine that with an Instagram widget and social media icons, your blog will be ready to go in no time.
If you’re looking for a minimal theme with the ultimate compatibility then check out Posted.
It boasts an integrated social media sharing and widgets, e-commerce support and Elementor compatibility. This means you can customize any page or post to fit exactly to your own needs.
The design has a wide range of theme settings and options, as well as being highly responsive, and has the ability to be translated into multiple languages.
But if you’re looking for something pre-made, then you can choose the one-click demo import and have a website up and running quickly.
Price: $24/year to access 60+ Theme Junkie themes, or $49 lifetime
OceanWP is a free multi-purpose WordPress Theme that allows plenty of control over how your website looks and feels. It works in a similar way to GeneratePress with drag and drop functionality to build out your blog.
Where the minimal aspect comes in, is with its premium page templates. These can be imported into your website with a single click, and feature some stunning, minimalist designs that look and perform beautifully.
Fast page speeds make loading your blog lightning fast, and with the core extensions that come bundled with the premium upgrade, you can implement Elementor widgets, sticky elements, sliders, callouts and much more.
Price: Core extensions bundle starts at $39 for 1 site.
Memory is an elegant, mobile-friendly WordPress blog theme that can also be used as an ecommerce website.
It has a visual drag and drop page builder to make page creation simple and easy, 8 post formats and over 600+ Google fonts.
If you’re looking for the process to be even easier there are 12 homepage demos you can select, and a built in mega menu so you can have your website looking as clean and minimal as possible.
Memory also has 39 shortcodes that you can use such as: buttons, block quotes, Google maps, progress bars and social media icons.
Price: $49 for 1 site & 6 months support
24. Wisdom Pro
Want a minimal WordPress theme you can just import and get started with? Check out Wisdom Pro to see if it’ll do the trick for you.
Wisdom has 3 header layouts, 2 footer layouts, 4 archive page layout and 2 single page layouts, as well as over 600+ Google fonts.
Wisdom has an optimized and responsive design suitable from the iPhone to the desktop computer, and is compatible with WooCommerce. It also has an unlimited color palette, it has translation ready features, options to include or exclude sidebars and various page layouts.
If you’re a fan of the Genesis Framework and already have this purchased, then Keeper is an excellent child theme to add to it.
It is a flexible, minimal WordPress theme with integration for WooCommerce.
With its clean and simple code you can expect quick load times, and it’s mobile responsive. You have multiple widget areas on your website, as well as multiple layout options for your content.
26. Kale Pro
Kale Pro as the name suggests is dedicated towards the food enthusiast wanting to create a food blog that is beautifully crafted and designed specifically to showcase your photos.
It has a wide range of features such as recipe cards which have been coded to be Google-friendly, a built-in recipe index, built-in ad space to monetize your blog, matching social media sharing icons and much more.
You can set your site up in less than 30 minutes, and it’s been SEO optimized so the site will automatically be light and fast to load.
Price: $35 and $7.99/month for ongoing support and updates
This next theme is a great choice for bloggers wanting to emphasize their writing and with a passion for readability. The special attention given to the typeface, spacing and structure, makes it a truly minimal option.
Readable features SiteOrigin’s drag and drop page builder, pre-built layouts and over 40 widgets to play with. You’ll also benefit from the one-click demo import which will help you get started quickly.
Combine this with cross-browser compatibility and SEO Optimization for a truly fuss-free blogging experience.
Price: $79 for 1 year of updates and support.
Davis is a very simple and lightweight minimal WordPress theme. It features a basic header with dropdown options, a featured banner which can display an image or text, followed by your list of most recent blog posts which can show an excerpt along with date and comments.
It is ideal for someone just starting out in the blogging world, and wants a design that is hassle-free and easy to navigate.
29. Twenty Twenty
Twenty Twenty is the default WordPress theme for 2020 and it’s a minimal masterpiece. It’s the first new default theme since Gutenberg was rolled into the WordPress core.
Its primary focus is on business sites but it works well for individuals such as freelancers and bloggers.
It’s surprisingly flexible for a free theme, and it has a rather unique feature. The colours of each element is calculated to offer the best contrast. For example, if you change your background colour to dark grey, your text will turn to white so it’s easy to read.
Lovecraft is a beautiful and minimal theme ideal for bloggers regardless of their niche.
It has elegant typography, and is mobile-responsive.
It features a dropdown menu option, full-width page template, and a sidebar which includes a search bar, about me widget and a category widget. The footer includes options for recents posts and comments, as well as a tag cloud.
Should you choose a free or premium minimal WordPress theme?
There are a huge number of free WordPress themes available from the theme repository. And a lot of them feature minimal design.
But there are a few downsides to using free themes:
- They’re not always maintained and can often be pulled from the theme repository with no option for future updates – Some themes are well maintained, but sometimes a developer may be unable to continue maintaining a theme, and it’ll be removed.
- Most free WordPress themes have feature limitations – Some themes are a cut down version of a premium theme and you may need to pay to get the functionality you want.
- Expect the developer not to offer support – Some developers do a great job and offer support for themes they don’t earn money for. But we should never expect it. Providing technical support is costly.
- Your WordPress website may not stand out – If 100,000 people are using the same theme, your site won’t look that unique.
That said, if you’re just starting a blog, choosing a free WordPress theme is a great way to get started when you’re on a budget.
So, if that’s the situation you’re in – definitely go for a free theme. You can try out a bunch of themes without paying a thing and stick with the one you like the most.
You can always switch to a premium theme once you’re ready.
Choosing the best minimal WordPress theme for you
Choosing any WordPress theme is a highly subjective choice.
First, decide whether free or premium is the best route for your website.
From there, consider what features you’ll need and exactly how you want the website to look.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
- If you want a flexible but lightweight theme that looks great and is backed by great support – GeneratePress is the best option here and it’s incredibly affordable too.
- You want cutting edge minimal design – There are quite a few themes on this list that would be suitable. Typer is a great example. Most StudioPress themes would be suitable as well. We have a dedicated article for themes that run on StudioPress’s Genesis Framework but we’re a big fan of the Monochrome Pro theme.
- Need a page-builder friendly theme? GeneratePress is lightweight and behaves well with page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder.
- You want the freedom to customize every aspect of your website – Consider going for a super basic theme like Hello, then using Elementor Pro’s Theme Builder feature to design everything using a drag & drop editor. There is a more significant learning curve so it will take longer to launch your site. Again, GeneratePress would work well in this situation too.
Now, it’s time to go grab your new theme and get it installed.
Need more WordPress theme suggestions? You may find these theme roundups useful: