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Freemium WordPress Themes: Free Now, Grow Later

For a small business, a website used to be an option. These days, customers expect a web presence.

With mobile shopping rising in popularity, a web presence puts your products and services in front of people when and where they are searching. Forty-nine percent of users say they use Google to discover or find a new item or product.

While it’s essential to be on the web, a slow or non-functioning website is worse than no web presence. That’s why a freemium WordPress theme is a genius solution for a business on a budget.

You can build a great-looking and responsive website now for little to no investment. As your marketing budget grows, your freemium theme will grow with you.

What is a Freemium WordPress Theme?

A WordPress theme is the source code and design framework for a website that you can personalize — similar to renting an empty apartment that you can fill and decorate. A theme is flexible enough to mold into a simple portfolio website or use it as the framework for a large e-commerce store.

WordPress has plenty of free themes for starter websites, but they won’t grow with your business. Even if you find one that works for now, you’ll have to redo hours of editing work when you upgrade to a better theme.

Freemium themes offer the best of both worlds:

  • Get it free now – fully-functional and with no ads
  • Expand as you need later

Because freemium themes have paid versions, they receive regular updates and provide support. Your website can grow with your business.

What Makes a WordPress Theme Outstanding?

Design and layout are what your customers will see, but they are only one crucial part of a theme. In addition to design, a top-notch WordPress theme is:

  • Lightweight – has responsive coding and a simple but powerful structure.
  • Mobile-ready
  • Designed to support standard plugins
  • Already loaded with both demo sites and a page builder
  • SEO-friendly
  • Actively maintained with upgrades and updates.

Here are three Freemium themes that meet all of these requirements: OceanWP, Arvada, and GeneratePress.

OceanWP WordPress Theme

OceanWP brings style and flexibility. You can create any business website: from an artist’s portfolio to a yoga studio and scheduler, to a local store, to a large e-commerce business.

The free OceanWP theme comes with thirteen pre-built demos, and eight free extensions more are available with the Core Extensions Bundle upgrade.

A demo is a fully functional website you can edit. In some free themes, your power to alter design elements is limited. With these freemium themes, you can change any design element including font, color, and images. You can customize your footer and sidebars and adapt the layout of any page or create new ones.

A modern WordPress design, OceanWP is well suited to e-commerce and supports multiple languages. It is compatible with page builders like:

  • Elementor
  • Beaver Builder
  • Divi
  • Visual Composer
  • Site Origin

OceanWP is a lightweight, responsive, and stylish theme for any website.

Astra WordPress Theme

Astra also creates stylish websites, although its priority focus is performance. It’s a customizable and lightweight theme known for speed. Since customers pass on websites that take too long to load – 53 percent of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it hasn’t loaded in three seconds – speed is an asset to any business website.

With Astra, you have full control over typography and colors. Hundreds of Google fonts are available through the theme. With the Astra Starter Sites plugin installed, you can access ready-made website demos. They have over 100 pre-made websites, and most are free.

Astra is designed to work with Beaver Builder or Elementor, but users say it is compatible with any page builder, including:

  • Elementor
  • Beaver Builder
  • Divi
  • Thrive Architect
  • Brizy

Astra is simple, responsive, and practical.

GeneratePress WordPress Theme

GeneratePress presents a stable balance between robust features and a lightweight framework. The developers focused on ease of use.

With this WordPress theme, you get precise control over design elements. It also offers a modular approach to page building that lets you build layouts from stripes of stacked, styled sections.

From a corporate website to an international online store, you can make GeneratePress do (almost) anything.

Unlike Astra and OceanWP, the freemium version of GeneratePress does not come with pre-built demo websites. It looks barebones when you first install it. However, the GP Premium option is only $49.00 a year.

GeneratePress is compatible with popular plugins like Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, and Easy Digital Downloads.

It works with many page builders including:

  • Beaver Builder
  • Elementor
  • Thrive Architect

With a lightweight framework and a modular approach to page building, GeneratePress allows you to build the site you want.


There is a reason why, worldwide, WordPress powers 37 percent of websites. Its open-source platform is a stage for brilliant developers around the world. These three themes do WordPress proud.

Before you select your theme, browse the available demo sites (on OceanWP and Astra). The closer a demo site is to what you need, the less time you or your staff spends editing.

If you like the free theme, investigate what the upgraded version includes. Even if you don’t need it today, you know what’s available as your business expands.