Minimalism gives a sleek and modern look that's perfect for websites. That kind of look - focusing only on the text and media you have, rather than the website itself - if perfect for many kinds of people and businesses. For bloggers, photographers, lawyers, artists, and everyone in between – there's a WordPress minimalist theme to suit them.
But with so much on offer, how can we find the best minimalist WordPress themes out there? By testing loads of them, of course! So I did.
Which WordPress minimalist theme is right for you and your website? In this list right here, I've gathered the best ones:
- Crate (for writers and bloggers)
- Alimo (for visual and musical artists)
- Sharliz (for beautiful image-first pages)
- Felix (for easy setting up and using)
- Kalium (for businesses and online shops)
$49.00 - one-time fee.
Recommended for: freelance artists and writers.
Crate is a minimalist theme that doesn’t try to be anything else. From the get-go, it’s obvious that the theme is meant to store and show off pieces of work - and if that is actually the case for you, then you don’t even need to worry about the set-up. It has a one-click demo import that'll have you up and running within minutes.
What’s more, the minimalism of the theme also comes with a great side effect. Crate WordPress theme is so well-organized and optimized, it has brilliant performance. Load time of under half a second and full Google Speed optimization make browsing Crate websites both a great user and SEO experience.
Editing the page is going to be quick, too. The theme has a live customizer that works great. While most of the time you only see what the draft version of your theme looks like (before clicking save and realizing the live version looks a hell of a lot different), in Crate you’ll be able to see the changes to the live version. This will help you save time and prevent mistakes.
The theme also comes with a fancy box gallery option. This will be particularly great for photographers to show off their images and HTML content. However, this may seem to take away the minimalist aspect, but ultimately it is up to you how you design your theme.
- Live customizer
- Fancy box gallery option
- Great performance
- Not optimized for WordPress 5.0 just yet
$59.00 - one-time fee.
Recommended for: magazines, visual artists
Combining minimalist design and advanced features, which are incredibly easy to set up - Alimo is a theme helping your website stand out.
A lot of that is achieved thanks to the inclusion of a Visual Composer – a drag and drop page builder. So, for those who prefer to take the visual approach, this will be particularly useful. Full responsive design is also going to mean all of your changes will translate well to look good on all devices.
And if one day you'll wish to break out of your minimalist ways, well, Alimo has more than enough interesting features to give your website a little bit of that extra oomph.
Seriously - one of the theme's best and unique features is that it comes with background music capability!
And with Alimo's easy editing system, adding that is going to be very simple. Just remember, that with great power, comes great responsibility. Don't make your fancy opera hall website open with "let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor...".
Don't say I didn't warn you.
- A very powerful drag and drop page builder
- 4K media and full-width videos supported
- The theme allows you to set background music
- Not optimized for browsers such as IE8 or IE9
Recommended for: fashion websites, blogs.
Sharliz is a theme, fully focused on clean design and supreme readability. It's a great option for people not looking to spend much time on building a website - there are 8 beautifully designed homepages to choose from, so you can get started in no time.
Of course, for a theme focusing on readability, it's no surprise to see it putting a lot of focus into blog posts. There are plenty of post formats you can choose from. You don’t need to just express yourself through photos and text, you’ll have access to videos, galleries, audio, quotes and full-width posts too. These different formats have the potential to express yourself through unique ways. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.
But what most stands out about the Sharliz theme is its modern and elegant style. It's not minimalist in the sense that it lacks features - this theme is minimalist because it maintains a simple, modern style.
Nonetheless, the lack of documents included with the theme may seem unorthodox to some and therefore doesn't make the theme as beginner friendly as some of the others mentioned.
- 8 homepages to choose from
- 6+ post formats
- Modern, elegant style
- Lack of documents included in the theme – not great for potential beginners
Recommended for: those who want to start their own personal blog for venting, journalism, photography and much more.
With 11 demos to choose from, Felix is great at being modern, sophisticated and (most importantly) as minimalist as you’d like.
The Felix theme is completely independent. This means that the theme works brilliantly with zero plug-ins needed, which works well for the less technical users out there who just want the theme to show off how great their writing is. And it's great for the longevity of the theme, too. Just imagine buying a theme which depends on many plugins, and then seeing the plugin get deleted, or updated so much, it stops supporting your theme. That would suck - and that won't happen with Felix.
Just because of that, it's a great theme for personal blogs: as its simplicity and longevity makes this a no-hassle theme for years to go.
That said, if you want to include to go bigger and install plug-ins yourself, that's obviously still possible. Felix is supported by the Jetpack plug-in. This plug-in offers infinite scroll, subscription widget, tiled gallery, carousel, etc. There’s even more to come from this theme, though, so if you plan on purchasing it, make sure to watch out for future updates.
Sadly, this theme does not work on a few browsers such as IE8 or IE9. So, those who are most comfortable on those browsers will, unfortunately, have to look elsewhere. Somewhere back in 2008.
- Modern and sophisticated
- Runs completely independent – no plug-ins needed
- Has Jetpack plug-in support that offers several cool features
- Has over 11 demos to choose from
- Doesn’t run on old Microsoft browsers
Recommended for: professionals and businesses, looking for a minimalist look for their projects.
With 15+ demos available, labeled for various business fields and occupations, Kalium is a theme that tries to fit all.
There are options for bloggers looking for something sleek and simple: and there are advanced picks for online shops looking to give their websites that trendy minimalist feel. The demos are also not limited to homepages only, which means the same look will be persistent throughout the entire website.
All of that selection may be very exciting but that also might be the reason this theme could be overwhelming to beginners. If you're willing to learn and master this theme, it will yield great results. Not interested in that? You may want to choose your WordPress minimalist theme from the other 4 options.
- 15+ demos available to choose from
- Comes with one-click demo import
- Great accessibility with light and dark variations of themes
- Can be overwhelming for newcomers to WordPress
Still not sure what's the best WordPress minimalist theme for you?
Choosing a theme can be both a tedious and very responsible task. And switching it in the middle of building your website is risky as well - some things that work in one theme may not work, when you move to another.
It's also important to note that sometimes, one theme may be perfect for websites of one kind, and pretty useless to the other. For example, a personal blog would look pretty sad in a theme meant for online shops.
This is what makes these 5 WordPress minimalist themes so good - they're all different and suited to very different businesses, so you get what you want and don't have to switch halfway.
Here's a list of which minimalist theme is best for what kind of project:
- Crate is great for writers and artists. This is due to its simple grid layout, which works wonderfully for showing off pieces of art.
- Alimo stands out as a good layout for a magazine template. It has social media plug-ins and widgets, and its multi-grid layout stands out as an effective way to show off different news stories.
- Sharliz is recommended for users who want to start up a blog, that's strongly dependant on images: for example, fashion or art-related. That's due to its elegant style and full-width pictures.
- Felix is suited for bloggers and writers who want a blog without having to worry about constant updates, plug-ins and widgets.
- Kalium is best suited for online shops and businesses - particularly those who need a lot of features and a variety of styles to choose from.
And I hope that with this, you'll find exactly what you need to start a beautiful, stylish, minimalist site.
Did you use any of the themes? Or maybe you have any theme recommendations that I perhaps should have included? Let me know in the comments section below!