How to Choose a WordPress Theme

When you’re first starting out, it’s best to choose a simple theme and grow your site gradually. This is why WordPress is such a popular choice. You never have to start over because all your content remains, even if you drastically redesign your site. So take a look at these popular (free!) themes. They’re all great for authors with a simple and attractive home page and an integrated blog. You can start with four or five menu items and grow from there. I suggest:


Here are screen shots of a few simple themes you might consider. There a lots more. You can replace headers and other images with your own, and change the background colors. What you’re looking for is a good structure for your site and blog. (Click the image to find out more about each theme.)

In your research you’ll find the term “responsive,” which simply means that the theme scales down to make your site look great in mobile devices as well on big computer screens.

Graphy Free WordPress Theme

I like Graphy because it’s so clean and simple. The highlight is on your words, the immersive reading experience. This is a great theme for literature, creative nonfiction and fiction. The emphasis is on beautiful typography. It is developed using mobile-first responsive design, ensuring that your blog will be no less beautiful when viewed on a smartphone or tablet. Graphy has five widgets available (one sidebar, four footers), and using the sidebar widget also enables you to make a two-column design. In addition, footer widget display is automatically adjusted depending on how many are used. Graphy also supports Customizer, Custom Menu, and Custom Header, enabling flexible configuration.


Fruitful is also a very clean theme with the opportunity to highlight blog posts in columns. Great for newsy blog posts for nonfiction authors. Ability to modify styles and options according to your needs. Two different layout types responsive and fixed. Easily upload logo, background, edit colors, header and menu positions, slider, fonts, social icons, footer, custom css and much more. Translated to Russian, German, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, RTL ready. Works perfect with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, WPML, Contact form 7.


The 2011 theme for WordPress is sophisticated, lightweight, and adaptable. Make it yours with a custom menu, header image, and background — then go further with available theme options for light or dark color scheme, custom link colors, and three layout choices. Twenty Eleven comes equipped with a Showcase page template that transforms your front page into a showcase to show off your best content, widget support galore (sidebar, three footer areas, and a Showcase page widget area), and a custom “Ephemera” widget to display your Aside, Link, Quote, or Status posts. Included are styles for print and for the admin editor, support for featured images (as custom header images on posts and pages and as large images on featured “sticky” posts), and special styles for six different post formats. Author Alex Segura makes good use of this theme.


The 2013 theme has simple site structure you can customize endlessly. It emphasizes the blog, featuring a full range of post formats, each displayed beautifully in their own unique way. Design details abound, starting with a vibrant color scheme and matching header images, beautiful typography and icons, and a flexible layout that looks great on any device, big or small. We produced a simple author website using this theme for author John P. Wagner.


In 2014 you can create a responsive magazine website with a sleek, modern design. Feature your favorite homepage content in either a grid or a slider. Use the three widget areas to customize your website, and change your content’s layout with a full-width page template and a contributor page to show off your authors. Creating a magazine website with WordPress has never been easier. We built a simple website using this theme for author Phyllis J. Brown.


The 2015 theme is clean, blog-focused, and designed for clarity. Twenty Fifteen’s simple, straightforward typography is readable on a wide variety of screen sizes, and suitable for multiple languages. We designed it using a mobile-first approach, meaning your content takes center-stage, regardless of whether your visitors arrive by smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.


Children’s book authors might consider the Kindergarten theme from Dinozoom. The theme is also good for your childCare, baby website or site for toys. The design is Apple retina ready, and having customize your home page, where you banner, services, portfolio, projects, widgets and the footer, etc.

If you’re a fiction or creative non-fiction author, you’ll probably want a simple site that highlights your words. If your book is heavy on images – photography, illustrations, or graphics – you’ll obviously want a site that features your images.

Search for “free wordpress themes” and you’ll find a ton of them. But don’t go dotty trying to figure it out yourself. Drop me a line and let me know how we can help find an Author Friendly solution for you. Just click CONTACT in the menu and I’ll get right back to you!