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6 Best Free WordPress Themes for Writers + Bonus Plugins

Bella Rose Pope

If you’re a writer, especially if you’re just starting out, you don’t have a ton of money to throw around, which means you’re probably in the market for the best free WordPress themes for writers. Because let’s be honest, unless you publish a book (or a few) and get paid significantly for guest post gigs and other author(ity)-given treatment, you might not have the $50-$200 to spend on a theme that’s conducive for your writing life.

But that’s okay. As someone who’s had a blog and website on and off for half my life (literally—it started at 14-years-old), long before I made a dime from writing, I know how to get by on WordPress for cheap and make it look like you’ve got some money behind the site.

Keep in mind that while free WordPress themes for writers may work well, learning even a tiny bit of HTML coding can be massively helpful, as is adding some helpful plugins—more on that later.

Best Free WordPress Themes for Writers, Authors, & Word-Lovers

Even the best free wordpress themes have limitations. After all, what you pay for with more advanced themes are the customizations and features. That said, not all writers need all the bells and whistles. If you just need something to get you off the ground, these are the best ones to use:

1. Kadence

While there is a paid version of this theme, the free version still provides plenty of customization because of the drag-and-drop editor, something that’s becoming more popular with many websites, especially WordPress sites.

This editor allows you to pick and choose columns, elements, typography, and more. Just take a look at the samples of their pre-designed versions of this theme you can use:

If you want to use one of these or check out the template for yourself, go here and click on one you like, then follow the prompts on the page to start with it. Note again: not all of these exact templates are available for free, but there is a “free forever” version of this theme.

2. Blocksy

Just like the example of the best free WordPress themes for writers, this one is a drag-and-drop builder to help writers customize their sites to fit their niches. Because “writer” doesn’t do much to describe someone outside of the fact that they use words, more options need to be available to build your site to fit your needs.

The pros of this theme are:

  • download-ready pre-made themes
  • multiple industry designs to choose from
  • free with the option to upgrade

The cons for this WordPress theme for writers:

  • many good features are only included in the paid versions
  • there is a learning curve to the builder
  • limited customizations in the free version

Here’s a peek at what this theme looks like in the editor:

3. Bookstore Exhibition

While block editors are great, some of the best free WordPress themes for writers are the simple, low-maintenance type. Before block builders, you would choose a theme and customize a small amount of details, like the font type and a few colors. It might seem less intriguing, but it’s much simpler.

With themes like this one, you can focus most on the writing quality and get less distracted with what it all looks like. Plus, it’s better to focus on improving your writing if you want to get paid to write, instead of learning website design when that’s not your real goal.

You can see more about this theme here, and take a peek at the design below.

The pros of this theme are simple: it’s easy to implement, easy to install, and easy to learn the design functions.

The cons are just as simple: limited customizations without knowing coding.

4. Travel Hiking

While the name might suggest it’s for something other than writing, the style makes this one of the best free wordpress themes for writers. It’s simple, but has a handwritten and torn-paper effect that’s perfect if you’re going for a raw and reel writing style.

This theme keeps it simple with a soft grid layout that includes the title and an excerpt over the image, below a header image you can use to further share your niche with your audience. Of course, with a theme like this, the colors and other customizations are limited.

Click here to check out this simple theme.

5. Uni Course

If your style is cleaner and more professional-looking, then this free wordpress theme is for you. It has a classic header where you can upload a custom image, followed by a section to direct traffic, depending on your niche.

The blog post grid is simple, with squared designs, an image, and the titles easily displayed.

One again, this is a simpler design that’s not meant to have much customization. It’s good for uploading your content, writing your copy, and then leaving it be. Perfect for those who want a set-it-and-forget-it wordpress theme.

6. Hello Elementor

And finally, the last of the best free wordpress themes for writers is another drag-and-drop builder by the name of Hello Elementor. It boasts over 100 ready-made designs so even those with no knowledge of website building or coding can implement quickly with a high-quality interface.

Here’s a peek at the template designs to choose from:

You can choose from several types of navigation bars, headers, and footers, not to mention the library of other elements to build custom blog grids and more.

And of course, as with all builders like this theme, there are options to pay and get more customization and design options.

3 Plugins to Pair with Themes for Customization

Themes aren’t the only thing you need as a writer on WordPress, especially if you choose the simpler themes. For that, we recommend additional plugins you can install and add features to your website.

1. Shortcodes Ultimate

When you need to add visual details but don’t know how to code, this plugin is for you. Whether you want to add a newsletter sign-up, a table to your blog posts, or even buttons within your text, this plugin will help you do it—no coding required.

Above you can see only some of the features you can get access to by using this plugin. While there is a free version, additional options are available by upgrading to a reasonable paid version.

2. Yoast SEO

If you haven’t heard of this plugin yet, you’re just probably new to the WordPress world. It’s one of the most popular plugins to help you understand if your content is optimized for search engines.

You can simply plug in the keyword and it will guide you through checks to update the content in a way that helps your writing rank on Google. While not required for everyone, if you do want to bring organic traffic to your website through search engines, this plugin is for you—and it has a great free version!

3. Akismet Anti-Spam

The last thing you want is your writing spammed with random comments and links. This plugin is essential for any WordPress site operation, but especially writers as most spammers target blog posts specifically. It’s very easy to install and even the free version blocks spam in your comments by withholding them for your approval.

Once that’s done, you can go to your comments, select the spam ones, and trash them. It will automatically stop comments that are spammed and only send you to review just in case one is authentic. This keeps your website healthy and safe!

WordPress can be confusing if you’re new to it. That’s why having a few of the best free WordPress themes for writers on hand will help save you the headache of trying to figure it all out so you can get back to doing what you came to do—write.

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