Blogging is about more than just crafting prose, it is a creative endeavour, an examination, and an unraveling of the fabric we call life. Just as your unique perspective matters, so does the design of your WordPress blog and the theme you choose to use. In this article, we’ll explore the best WordPress blog themes available for 2017 – 2018 to help you share your thoughts and visions with the world.

There are countless blogs on the Internet, dedicated to as many different industries or interests. In fact, on WordPress.org alone there are close to a 1,000 blog themes – Just imagine all the other marketplaces combined!

In our carefully crafted theme reviews, we consider the main attributes that make up a quality WordPress theme. We make it easy for you to find the right theme by taking care of all the boring stuff. Some of the factors we use to evaluate a WordPress theme include:

  • Page load speed
  • Ease of use
  • Attractiveness of design
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Extensiveness of functionality

If you want to know why we think these factors are important, check out our article on the how to choose a WordPress theme. We carefully choose and weigh each factor to give you the best advice. So without further ado, let’s look at the top 20 blog WordPress themes to help you choose the one that’s best for you!

Top 20 Blog WordPress Themes 2017 – 2018

  1. Olsen WordPress Theme
  2. The Voux WordPress Theme
  3. TheBlogger WordPress Theme
  4. Foodica WordPress Theme
  5. Writing WordPress Theme
  6. Paperbag WordPress Theme
  7. The Chatter WordPress Theme
  8. Super Grid WordPress Theme
  9. Wrap WordPress Theme
  10. The Motion WordPress Theme
  11. MyBlog WordPress Theme
  12. Relive WordPress Theme
  13. BuzzBlog WordPress Theme
  14. Brixton WordPress Theme
  15. The Essence WordPress Theme
  16. Divi WordPress Theme
  17. BloggingBox WordPress Theme
  18. Rosemary WordPress Theme
  19. Viral Pro WordPress Theme
  20. Modern Studio Pro WordPress Theme

If you need some help getting your blog started, then check out our article on How to start a blog in five simple steps. Alternatively, watch one of our free WordPress tutorials.

Review: 3 Best WordPress Blog Themes 2017 – 2018

Measuring the page load speed, ease of use, attractiveness of design, mobile responsiveness, and extensiveness of functionality, we have reviewed and ranked the top 20 WordPress blog themes in order. Below are the themes that made the top 3.

Olsen Theme At a Glance:

  • The most attractive design in this list
  • Very deep landing page navigation
  • Slow page load speed

CSSigniter has some amazing themes, and Olsen is no exception. This theme will work well for fashion blogs, but it could also work well for lifestyle and travel blogs. The main page has a ton of different widgets, sections and navigation options. This theme has a real elegance to it, and manages to include a huge amount of content, information, and features, without it feeling cluttered.

Olsen Page Load (7/10)

Yes, the load speed is not great at all – but it can be justified to an extent by the amount of content, features, and artifacts that are on every page. Both desktop and mobile speed come in at just under 50, making it one of the worst performers in this list. The sheer number of images and content is a contributing factor to it’s sluggish performance, however Olsen makes up for it in other areas as you will soon see.

Olsen Ease of Use (9/10)

Navigation is pretty straight-forward on most pages but runs very deep on the landing page so that you can reach almost anywhere immediately. The main page and articles contain easy-to-use image sliders. Despite the gigantic amount of content, media, and widgets on each page it rarely feels overwhelming. Everything is still where it needs to belong and is relatively intuitive. If the default landing page is a little overwhelming, you can choose another layout with only one sidebar, amongst other options.

Olsen Design (10/10)

First of all, the visuals are stunning. The contrast between black, white and full-color images create a very interesting and pleasant viewing experience. A gold hover state adds a dash of sophistication. The different typefaces complement each other very nicely. A classy serif for the main headings and sans-serif for the main text, navigation, buttons and other bits of information works well together – The padding, whitespace and lines that are used also allows more breathing room for content.

Olsen Mobile Responsiveness (9/10)

Olsen translates almost perfectly to mobile display. The biggest problem is the huge number of images used in the default designs, but this would be the same for any blog. The image slider is still available and they kept the horizontal layout of some elements, which is actually a pleasant change compared to mobile’s vertical nature. The shop also works well on mobile, with the only negative being that you might completely overlook the small rating system.

Olsen Functionality (9/10)

E-commerce is fully integrated into the Olsen theme through Woocommerce. It also has a very nice “Grouped Products” feature that is simple, yet effective – Also, there is a large amount of widgets. Everything standard that you would expect to be in a blog is available. Specifically for fashion bloggers, it also has a fashion specific feature called “Lookbooks” to show off collections of clothes.

The Voux theme at a glance:

  • Elegant design
  • Good use of media
  • A ton of features

Although it may not be for everyone or certain types of blogs, The Voux is an elegant, beautifully crafted and functional WordPress blog theme that we have fallen in love with. It has numerous layouts for you to choose from, each retains attributes that makes this a great theme. If you run a food, lifestyle or fashion blog, The Voux may be the perfect fit. Expect elegant visuals and animations.

The Voux Page Load (8/10)

8/10 may not seem like an impressive score, however, in this case, it is! That’s because this site isn’t one of the leanest on this list. It has a lot of features and uses a lot of media. It scores a perfect “A” in regards to browser caching, minimizing redirects and request size as well as avoiding bad requests. This proves that the developers put a lot of work into rounding off the edges. Your biggest speed bump will be all the images that make this theme what it is.

The Voux Ease of Use (8/10)

Let’s start from the top. At first glance, The Voux has a pretty standard navigation menu. However, it expands in a functional and easy to use mega menu. Below it has a nice sliding image gallery that displays useful information on the articles. In short, it has a good balance between standard and innovative navigation. It loses some points because of the confusing use of infinite scrolling in article pages and despite being an image-reliant blog that has no zoom options.

The Voux Design (9/10)

We had to dig deep to find anything wrong with this design. Sharp colors are used beautifully on top of images to create some interesting contrasts. The typography is elegant and also utilizes bright colors to highlight quotes and keep your eyes engaged. To enhance the elegance, images softly fade when you hover over them and most menus also has soothing animations. The design may also come off looking a little too ‘busy’, though its use of whitespace and padding helps ever so slightly, we still think that it may
feel a little too ‘cluttered’ for some.

The Voux Mobile Responsiveness (10/10)

This is one of the few themes where mobile experience beats desktop! The Voux has the best mobile experience when compared to other themes in this list. The layout adapts well to the smaller screen and feels even less cluttered than its big brother. Shopping is still a very easy experience as the simple design translates well. The mega menu is also usable despite its tiered design. It’s no surprise that it passed the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

The Voux Functionality (9/10)

The Voux provides built-in e-commerce through full Woocommerce support. The simple shopping experience should allow you to sell any kind of product. For all the bloggers out there, it’s good to know that social media is integrated into every single detail of this theme. Every page and every piece of content can be shared, liked or pinned.

TheBlogger Theme At a Glance:

  • A jack of all trades
  • Minimalist design
  • Completely different mobile experience

TheBlogger is a good all-rounder. It performs well above average in most departments – It only needs that one really outstanding factor to help push it to the top spot. The minimalist look and feel of this theme might make you think it is lightweight, but it has one of the biggest feature ranges and customization options in this list. Blog away, blogger!

TheBlogger Page Load (6/10)

This theme is also not a great performer when it comes to page speed. It just comes in the top half of themes with a score of 54 and 56 for mobile and desktop, respectively. One of the contributors to this is the large percentage of script requests. Just like Olsen, this theme justifies its low score a little, because it offers a lot of features. The developers should put more work into browser caching where it scored dismally low compared to straight A’s it got in other departments.

TheBlogger Ease of Use (9/10)

Despite all its features, TheBlogger still has a very simple and easy-to-use design. It features a standard mega menu that allows for easy navigation between sections. The shopping section is really well done with a simple number box to increase quantity and a nice tab design to switch between product information. The image sliders functionality is also easy-to-use which is great for bloggers!

TheBlogger Design (9/10)

Sometimes simplicity is best and TheBlogger nailed this! The design overwhelmingly makes use of black artifacts on a white backdrop – Images in turn have white typography or shapes on them. This gives the design plenty of breathing space. The theme also makes good use of some parallax in its images.

TheBlogger Mobile Responsiveness (8/10)

The theme completely changes its appearance for mobile. You’d almost not recognize it if you didn’t know it was the same theme. It does have a really nice landing page with some awesome text animations. Overall the experience isn’t that great with very shallow navigation that can make you scratch your head a bit on how to get to a certain page. Going in circles is a real danger.

TheBlogger Functionality (9/10)

TheBlogger comes with a pretty neat shop through Woocommerce support that includes some cool features. The developers also pride themselves on giving their clients a huge amount of customization options and include one of the biggest pre-set layout ranges you will see in this list. There are also a bunch of custom widgets supporting different social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. All images also have lightbox support so you can zoom in till your heart’s content.

Additional blog WordPress theme reviews

Below are the WordPress blog themes that made the top 20, but on this occasion didn’t finish on the podium.

Foodica just missed out on our top 3, but could easily make it in any other list. If the name hasn’t given it away, this blog theme is all about food! It has great article templates for recipes and ingredient lists. The design is also clean and elegant, with good use of white space and modern, readable fonts. It is easily one of the most attractive themes in this list.

All the color layout options play well into the food topic, and features simply and easy to use navigation. eCommerce enabled with extensive widgets and features, Foodica is ‘the theme’ to use if you’re running or starting a food blog.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 7
  • Ease of use: 9
  • Design: 9
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 7

This theme is a picture of simplicity. Interestingly, this blog theme seems to be geared towards artisans. With it’s minimal and clean design encouraging readers to indulge in the content, this theme is ideal for sharing your handiwork, creativity, or prose with the world.

What lets this theme down slightly is it’s slower page load speed, and it’s limited features. Although, just like Foodica, it uses white space and standard navigation really well to provide an easy-to-use experience. This theme is a shining example of minimalism.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 9
  • Design: 9
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 7

This theme comes from the same creators as Olsen and shares most of its merits. It shares the same features, navigation and is all round very similar. Unfortunately, this includes having a slower page load speed, compared to some of its peers. Olsen has the upper hand when it comes to design, however, large readable fonts, and a wide range of layouts are a huge plus.

This theme has a lot of the features you would want in a blog theme including a number of custom widgets, easy social media and newsletter integration, and a clean and minimal design. Unlike the Olsen theme, Paperbag doesn’t include eCommerce integration. So if that’s important to you, go with Olsen instead.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 9
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 8

The Chatter is a good looking blog theme. Every font, color, and graphical element feels suave and sophisticated. It’s also intuitive and very easy to use, and includes some unique blog features. This is a well balanced theme and runs off The Core, Themefuse’s theme infrastructure that allows for easy customization, and advanced features.

When you purchase this theme you get access to a number of other layouts and designs as part of their core offering. The mobile experience is also fantastic in that it’s not just a resized version, but they solve some smaller display problems in unique ways, with great navigation.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 7
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 8
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 8

Viral news blogs can often seem tacky, however, Super Grid brings some style to the genre. There aren’t many layout options, but it does what it’s meant to do, and as far as Grid layouts go, this one is a winner. E-commerce is available and the shopping experience is straightforward.

It offers plenty of space for advertising and has a unique tag cloud feature. It also adapts well to mobile screens. With a minimal design that really brings your content into focus, there is nothing to complain about. Its simplistic nature also makes it the fastest blog on this list.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 9
  • Ease of use: 7
  • Design: 6
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 8

This one is for is for all the vloggers out there. Tesla themes dramatic and visually appealing style seems to suit the entertainment industry perfectly. Wrap would be an ideal blog theme for a vlogger, or someone focusing on the movie or entertainment industry.

This theme features a number of unique layouts, all of which are straight to the point, yet flexible and deal well with video elements and images. There is also a unique ‘submit your video’ feature, which allows users to submit video content. Because they kept it simple the theme responds well on other displays to provide a consistent user experience.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 7
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 8
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 7

As you can see this theme scored reasonably well across all categories, our only concern is that the design isn’t overly inspiring. It’s very square and to the point, however, we realize that may suit certain types of blogs and design styles.

It’s one of the few blogs on this list dedicated to video content and has some specific features, for example, a YouTube-ish widget next to videos which highlights related videos and/or the next videos in the series, which is great if you’re in the vlogging, education, or digital product space. It also supports WooCommerce, to easily integrate an online store.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 7
  • Ease of use: 9
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 8
  • Functionality: 8

MyBlog is lightning fast and is in the top 3 for page speed. It does depend slightly on which design you choose, for example, the gaming skin understandably performs a little worse.

All of the styles feel like the use of color and typography needs an update and some refinement. Other than that though, the navigation, layout options, and mobile responsiveness all tick the box. This theme includes eCommerce functionality and comes with a number of pre-defined layouts to get up and running quickly.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 9
  • Ease of use: 7
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 7
  • Functionality: 9

The look of this theme is nothing short of spectacular. It’s one of the few themes that has very little white space, but manages to pull it off! As you can expect with all the imagery, it’s a little slower than some of its counterparts.

Relive however, would make an excellent travel and experience blog. It doesn’t have much in terms of functionality, and it’s not really geared towards bloggers that want to run an online shop. However, for any thrill seekers, adventurers, or explorers out there, this theme is worth a look. The only small fault with the design is that some links aren’t clickable for the whole area, only the text is clickable, an easy fix with a little extra CSS.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 10
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 5

What we like about this theme is that it’s one of the only themes on this list with zoomable images! It’s another theme that leans towards the hipster vibe, and feature one-click demo content which is an awesome feature.

It’s a very cool theme, but feels a little washed out. We don’t love the textured backgrounds but they do add a little character, similarly the choice of gray doesn’t quite feel right, however, the good news is, this can be easily customized. BuzzBlog gets points for having e-commerce support, a bunch of features, and some pretty hover animations.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 7
  • Functionality: 9

This theme has a very modern / trendy vibe that would be a perfect match for a fashion, beauty, lifestyle, high-end travel, or shopping blog. It has a real elegance and sophistication to it, with its minimalistic design and nice use of CSS animation and general styling.

What lets this theme down is its page speed, and lack of features, namely eCommerce support. Other than that though, it’s an attractive and eclectic theme with a number of layout options, widgets, and styles to choose from.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 8
  • Mobile experience: 7
  • Functionality: 8

This theme had the potential to be great, but unfortunately settled for good. With an elegant and feminine design this theme does a lot of things right, and looks great on all devices. The navigation is solid and has some unique elements. The theme also comes with a number of custom widgets and features, which helps to really customize your blog.

However, the lack of hover states on links, buttons, and images leave you feeling a little emotionally detached. These things can easily be fixed with some custom CSS, but they really should have thought about this. The lack of eCommerce integration may present a challenge for some, although if you can get over this, and happen to know a little CSS, then this theme could be the one.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 7
  • Ease of use: 7
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 7

It could potentially be a very good blogging WordPress theme, in fact it’s the theme we’re using on the Lurn Digital blog at the moment. The keyword however, is potentially. Divi is a multi-purpose theme, and is really suited more towards building websites, rather than a stand-alone blog.

That being said, Divi is one of the most popular themes around, and has a huge community of followers and contributors, which means you get access to support, forums, layouts and designs, and tutorials. One of the best things about Divi is it’s intuitive page builder and mobile responsiveness.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 6
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 9

We chose the default “blogging” skin for the analysis of this theme. This theme comes with a number of layout options tailored towards a news, travel, or fitness oriented blog. BloggingBox is a more informal and light-hearted blogging theme, however the design feels a little heavier compared to other options on this list, which we recognize may suit certain users.

One thing we really like about this theme is that it integrates with, and allows you to share content on almost any platform you can think of, even GitHub! This theme responds well on mobile, and is compatible with WooCommerce, which adds to its appeal.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 7
  • Functionality: 8

It’s mobile responsiveness is by far this theme’s best attribute. Like The Voux, its mobile experience is even better than the desktop version. Unlike The Voux however, it doesn’t have that many features and it doesn’t have any e-commerce support.

Other than that, it’s a relatively easy-to-use site with a clean and simple design. The text in paragraphs feels a little too small, which is an easy fix in the customizer settings. There is also very little in the way of animations, which makes it feel a little too static. Once again though, if you know a little CSS, this is an easy fix.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 7
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 9
  • Functionality: 6

It is geared exclusively towards Viral news blogs. If you don’t run this kind of blog, then we’ll cover off on this one quickly! For what it does, it does well. This theme is not meant to be attractive, but to get people to click and read articles.

It scores reasonable well for speed, ease of use, mobile experience, and functionality and includes a number of features and widgets tailored to this niche. It doesn’t have eCommerce functionality built in, and isn’t likely to win any design awards, but it is effective.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 7
  • Ease of use: 8
  • Design: 5
  • Mobile experience: 7
  • Functionality: 8

The biggest issue with Modern Studio Pro despite it being lightweight in features (it doesn’t support e-commerce), is that it’s still ranked at the bottom third in page speed. Other than that flaw, it’s easy-to-use and it has elements of space with the design looking neat and the text is big and readable for the user. The space however could be a little tighter as the content seems far separated from each other and feel that other themes on this list might support this functionality better.

Summary statistics

  • Speed: 6
  • Ease of use: 9
  • Design: 7
  • Mobile experience: 7
  • Functionality: 5

Steps to setting up your blog

Below is a quick guide for setting up your WordPress blog with Bluehost. For a step by step instructions and a video tutorial check out our How to Set Up a WordPress blog article. We’ll cover off, how to register your domain and secure hosting, install WordPress, and upload and activate your WordPress theme.

Get hosting discount

Step 1: Secure a domain and web hosting

As part of the Lurn Digital community, you get access to a free domain and a discount on hosting through Bluehost. To get started, follow this link to the Bluehost website, and click ‘Get Started Now’.

Select the plan that’s right for you and then choose your free domain name by entering it into the ‘new domain’ field. If you’ve already purchased your domain name, enter it into the ‘transfer domain’ field.

If you’ve secured your domain elsewhere, you will need to change the nameservers to point at Bluehost. If you need help with this, contact your domain registrar and ask them ‘how to change the DNS records for your domain’ (they will know what you mean). You will need to point them to:

  • ns1.BlueHost.com | 74.220.195.31
  • ns1.BlueHost.com | 69.89.16.4

Once you’ve selected the domain for your blog, choose your desired hosting term and domain add-on preferences. I typically recommend selecting ‘domain privacy protection’ so that your personal information isn’t associated to your domain and publicly available (optional). Enter your personal information, payment details, and click ‘Next’ to move on to the next step.

You will need to create a password for your hosting account. Make sure you pick a secure password – To help with this, use the password generator. Once you’re logged in to your Bluehost dashboard, the next step is to install WordPress.

Step 2: Install WordPress

One of the reasons we love Bluehost is their easy to use One-click WordPress installation feature. In this step, we’ll show you how to install WordPress using the One-click install

To get started, login to the backend of your Bluehost dashboard.

Steps to install WordPress:

  1. From your Bluehost dashboard, scroll down to the ‘Website’ section and click ‘Install WordPress’.
  2. This will start the WordPress install process, select ‘Continue installation’.
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 2
  3. Select the domain that you would like to install WordPress on from the dropdown box. I would recommend unselecting the option to install additional plugins – I like to use as few plugins as possible to begin with as you can always install these later on if you actually need them. Then click ‘Next’.
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 3
  4. In the ‘Admin information’ section, enter the name of your blog, and create your admin user details (admin name, email, and password). This is the login you’ll use to access the backend of your blog. Leave the boxes checked, and click ‘Next’.
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 4
  5. This will start the WordPress installation on your domain, creating the required database and file structures.
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 5
  6. You will receive a confirmation message once WordPress has been successfully installed on your domain. Click the ‘View your credentials’.
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 6
  7. Follow the link through to the ‘Installation location’, or add /wp-admin to the end of your domain to access the back-end of your website.
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 7
  8. Finally, enter the admin user name and password you created earlier and select ‘log in’, to access the back-end of your new blog!
    How to start a blog - Install WordPress step 8

Congratulations! You officially have a blog!

Step 3: Upload your WordPress theme

Once you’ve purchased your WordPress theme and downloaded the theme file (usually a zip file), the next step is to upload it via your WordPress dashboard.

How to upload your WordPress theme:

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Appearance’, then ‘Themes’
  2. Click ‘Add New’, then ‘Upload Theme’
  3. Select ‘Choose File’
  4. Navigate to find your theme file ‘theme.zip’, then select ‘Open’, and ‘Install Now’ (this may take a minute or so to upload).
  5. Once your theme has uploaded successfully, select ‘Activate’ and you’re good to go!

You’re all set

You should now start to see your blog coming together. We would recommend reviewing the theme documentation for the specific theme you’ve chosen to learn more about how you can customize your blog to suit you.

Share This