The Best SEO-Friendly WordPress Themes for Free in 2024
When you want to launch a new personal or professional blog, finding the best SEO-friendly WordPress theme for free is a great place to start. New themes are constantly released and existing themes get updates for compatibility with the WordPress platform and changing best web development practices. Find out more about five contenders for the best SEO WordPress theme in 2024 that offer free versions.
Finding The Best SEO-Friendly WordPress Theme for Free
Themes are sets of style sheets and templates that customize the appearance of WordPress websites. There are currently over 30,000 options to choose from, including free and paid themes. Many theme designers provide free versions of themes and give site owners the option to upgrade for additional features or to use a theme on more than one site.
You can browse or search for free themes on the WordPress website, but this approach is time-consuming. Some themes also work better than others for organic SEO purposes. Our shortlist of free SEO WordPress themes points you towards the best starter themes.
How To Choose the Best SEO WordPress Theme
Site owners seeking the best SEO-friendly WordPress theme for free should consider several factors. While the criteria that leading search engines use to rank pages change over time, the following features set the best WordPress themes for SEO apart from the rest:
- Fast page speed
- Light page weight
- Native Accelerated Mobile Pages support
- Schema markup
- SEO plugin compatibility
The average loading time for websites that rank on the first page of search results is 1.65 seconds. Lightweight pages load more quickly than larger pages. Some of the best free themes for SEO can create pages that weigh less than 50 kilobytes. Native AMP support can also make sites load faster, as search engines cache and pre-render AMP pages.
Integrated schema markup is another useful feature for the best WordPress theme for SEO. Themes that support contextual microdata for HTML elements allow for rich snippets, or the inclusion of details from web pages in search results. The best SEO WordPress theme is also compatible with SEO plugins or third-party auditing tools that measure site performance.
Top 5 Free SEO WordPress Themes
The following themes have many demo site designs and are compatible with leading page builders for customization with minimal coding.
Arguably the best SEO-friendly WordPress theme for free is Astra by Brainstorm Force. Astra is a lightweight theme that can create pages that weigh less than 50KB and load in under half a second. The codebase adheres to SEO best practices, including native AMP support and schema markup. Astra is WooCommerce ready and compatible with popular WordPress page builders.
The technical SEO advantages of Astra include self-hosted Google Fonts and the fact that the free theme does not use jQuery, which can create insecure code. There are no reports of serious security incidents involving this theme at the time of writing. Astra offers a free version and users can upgrade to extend functionality. Brainstorm Force regularly updates this theme, which currently has over 1 million active installations and a five-star average rating on WordPress.
Work With WordPress SEO Pros
Regularly posting high-quality content is one of the best ways to optimize your WordPress site. We can provide SEO content to raise the ranking of your website in search engine results.
The runner-up for the best SEO WordPress theme is Neve by Themeisle. Neve is a minimalist theme that is WooCommerce ready and optimized for AMP. The free version of Neve actually includes more features than Astra, but this may not be desirable for new WordPress site owners.
Neve is compatible with popular page builders, but performance tests indicate that these plugins can slow down loading speeds. Color customization options are also limited in the free version. Some users also report slow support response times. This frequently updated theme currently has more than 300,000 active installations and an average rating of five stars.
The third best SEO-friendly WordPress theme for free is OceanWP. This theme is relatively fast and responsive and follows best practices for high search rankings. OceanWP features WooCommerce integration and the free theme includes a wide range of features.
OceanWP ranks third on our list because this theme recommends the use of additional WordPress plugins and requires the Ocean Extra plugin for theme functionality. Some reviewers also remark on the number of ads in the free theme. Ocean WP gets regular updates and currently has over 700,000 active installations and a five-star average rating on WordPress.
GeneratePress by Tom Usborne ranks as the fourth-best WordPress theme for SEO. This theme prioritizes fast loading and light page weight. GeneratePress outranks some of the preceding themes solely in terms of performance. Its fourth-place position is due to limitations of the free version and the technical challenges of optimizing this theme.
This free SEO-friendly WordPress theme is compatible with all major page builders, but theme controls take precedence. A fresh GeneratePress installation adds less than 10KB to page sizes with GZIP compression. GeneratePress gets periodic updates and currently has more than 600,000 active installations and an average rating of five stars.
Zakra by ThemeGrill is last on our list of the best SEO WordPress themes, but it still can be a great choice for your site. Zakra has a five-star average rating on WordPress, though it only has around 50,000 active installations. ThemeGrill regularly updates Zakra.
The Zakra theme is SEO-friendly, integrates with popular page builders and offers more than 50 starter demo sites. This theme prioritizes fast load speeds and mobile-first responsive design. Should you decide to upgrade to access premium features, Zakra is more expensive than the other themes on this list.
Customize the Best SEO-Friendly WordPress Theme for Free
These SEO WordPress themes allow for customization out of the box. The best SEO WordPress theme should include features that you can use to raise the search ranking of your site. When you are ready to launch or optimize the best SEO-friendly WordPress theme for free, get in touch with the content marketing experts at BKA Content. Use our content shop to boost search rankings and add lasting value to your WordPress site.
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