42 Free WordPress Themes That Work Best With The Gutenberg Editor

Thinking of changing the theme of your blog?

One of the best methods you can use to give your blog a refreshing new look, and attract new readers and visitors, is to change the theme of your blog.

Photo by MockupEditor.com on Pexels.com

I change the theme of my blog at least once a year. Not only does changing it seem to motivate me and give my blog a refreshing new look, but many of my readers also see the changes as a positive step.

Listed below are 42 free WordPress themes that work best with the new Gutenberg editor.

  1. Affinity
  2. AltoFocus
  3. Business
  4. Button 2
  5. Calm Business 
  6. Canard
  7. Dara
  8. Dyad 2
  9. Elegant Business
  10. Friendly Business
  11. Gazette
  12. Illustratr
  13. Independent Publisher 2
  14. Intergalactic 2
  15. Ixion
  16. Karuna
  17. Libre 2
  18. Libretto
  19. Lodestar
  20. Modern Business
  21. Penscratch 2
  22. Pique
  23. Photos
  24. Professional Business
  25. Publication
  26. Radcliffe 2
  27. Rebalance
  28. Scratchpad
  29. Shoreditch
  30. Sketch
  31. Sophisticated Business
  32. Textbook
  33. Toujours
  34. Twenty Ten
  35. Twenty Eleven
  36. Twenty Twelve
  37. Twenty Thirteen
  38. Twenty Fourteen
  39. Twenty Fifteen
  40. Twenty Sixteen
  41. Twenty Seventeen
  42. Twenty Nineteen

Haven’t tried out the new Gutenberg editor yet? Click here to read one of the best posts I have read about the new editor, from author and blogger Natalie Ducey.

Plus, you can check out one of my recent posts about Gutenberg by clicking here.

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72 thoughts

  1. Hi Hugh,

    We have also selected some theme best theme as news magazine wordpress theme. Can u give some of your thought on this list.



    1. Hi Simon,

      They all look great themes. Probably not any that I would use, though. WordPress offers so many themes that I often have a tough choice in deciding which one to select. I usually change my blog theme at least once a year as I think it helps give a blog a fresh new look.

      Thanks for reading and for your comment.

    1. Hi Colleen, that’s great news about being in your new home. I hope you both get settled in quickly. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

      Thank you. This post was one sat in my draft folder for too long. I’m glad I finally pushed the ‘publish’ button.

      Hugs to you both.

  2. Thanks for the comprehensive list, Hugh! This is very helpful as I’m in the process of creating a new website. I have also wondered about changing the theme to my blog but been worried about the layout of the posts as most were produced with the Classic Editor and I’ve only been using Gutenberg for a few months. Have you ever encountered any issues/problems?

    1. Changing the theme of your blog won’t change the posts regardless of which editor they were written in, Annika. During my time blogging, I’ve changed my blog theme several times. Each time, the posts stayed the same. Most of the work had to be done on the widget bar(s) or menu of my blog. It’s much easier to now change the theme of a blog compared to what it was like a few years ago. I hope that helps?

      1. Definitely, Hugh! That’s really reassured me. I’ll try and make my new one first before changing the theme to this one – quite nerve-wrecking after five years with the same one. Thanks for all your help!😀

        1. I can understand why you’re feeling nervous about changing the theme of your blog, Annika. A few years ago, I’d have said don’t change it unless you really have to, but WordPress has now made the process so much easier.

  3. Ok well my theme is not on your list and I haven’t been brave enough to try gutenburg yet.. I know the classic editor. I have changed my theme a few times but it is alot of work, especially when you have affiliate links to re add..

    1. The last time I changed my theme (end of Dec 2018), it was far less a job than before. It was certainly easier than a few years ago where changing themes seemed like a job that had to be done over several days. I believe WordPress has improved the process. The only thing I had to do (after changing themes) was to rearrange the order of some of the widgets on my sidebar. I don’t recall having to reconnect any links, although I don’t have any affiliate links on my blog, so maybe that is why? Now, come to think of it, perhaps I should check the links are still working. They often break for no reason or if the page they take readers to has changed. That’s a piece of blogging housework I keep forgetting about. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hugh, and the links to Natalie’s post. There’s much to digest. I haven’t changed my theme – ever – and I’ve not yet tried Gutenberg. I guess I haven’t moved with the times. I must say, though, that I don’t like many of the new ways in which people are presenting their blogs with moving bits that cover the main text and those that look like a whole lot of sticky notes on a notice board. I guess I prefer to just read rather than deal with gimmicks.

    1. I’m not a fan of anything that moves on a blog post, Norah. It’s one of the reasons why I disabled WordPress ads on my blog. I find gifs and moving photo galleries very distracting while trying to read a post. I don’t mind a slideshow where you have to click to move to the next photo/image, just so as long as it’s not moving while I’m reading.
      I’ve not come across a blog where moving images have covered the text of a post yet (that could have something to do with the author not checking the proper layout of the post before publishing it), and the ‘sticky notes’ you mentioned sounds like a blog theme. I’ve checked many blog themes out and have to say that I found some of them dreadful, but I guess it all comes down to a personal choice.
      What I do like about Gutenberg is that images/photos are embedded into a post, giving (in my opinion) the post a better look. But that’s me. I know many would disagree with me. 😀

      1. I’ll have to check out Gutenberg then, and find out if it suits my blog.
        I agree with you about slide shows.
        If I think of it, next time I come across a post with all those moving bits on the screen, I’ll let you know. Fortunately, there are not many and I generally don’t follow them if I find their layout annoying.

  5. I also found the Gutenberg overwhelming at first and realized I needed to walk through the tutorial first. Now I appreciate the extra features, especially being able to create reusable blocks, which saves me much time. The main problem I have is trying to update and reuse an old post, I basically have to start over and arrange the content into blocks, I can’t just edit what is already there. At least I haven’t found a way to do so.

    1. Older posts that were written using the Classic editor can easily be converted to Gutenberg. In edit mode, you’ll find the contents of the post inside the ‘Classic’ block. When you click on the classic bar, it opens up to show a menu bar. At the end of the bar are three verticle dots. Click on them and then click on the ‘convert to blocks’ option that appears. The post will now be converted to other blocks (depending on what they are – image block, paragraph block, etc.). You may need to do some tidying up, but it’s by far the easiest and quickest way to convert a post written in the classic editor to the Gutenberg editor.

      I may write and publish a ‘how to’ post with screenshots, as it may make what I’ve said easier to follow.

      I’m glad you’re benefiting from using Gutenberg. As far as I’m concerned, Gutenberg is a game-changer in the blogging world and has undoubtedly helped improve the way I blog.

        1. There’s usually a way around most things, Aletha. It’s finding out all the secrets and hidden gems that can be the best bit. I knew how to do it (because I’ve converted some of my most popular posts to Gutenberg), but couldn’t recall how I did it. I soon found the key, though. 😀
          I’ll get that post written and published.

    1. I’m afraid not, although WordPress did tell me that most of their themes are now Gutenberg friendly. Once support for the Classic editor is withdrawn, the themes that do not work with Gutenberg will be removed.

  6. I’ve been satisfied with the classic editor – and have read all kinds of reports of headaches with Gutenberg – but I still want to change up my theme. I’m concerned about losing content in a change. Any tips about reducing that risk?

    1. I admit that Gutenberg can take some getting used to, but it has far more benefits for bloggers than the classic editor does. It’s been offered more as an improvement to the Classic editor rather than a replacement. The main problem with it seems to currently be its gallery blocks, although I know that many bloggers who prefer to use it, use the classic block when inserting galleries into their posts, so there’s a way around that too.

      I’ve never lost any content when changing my blog theme. The only concern I’ve had is some of my widgets going missing or being placed in the wrong order, but that was easily fixed. If you’re concerned about losing content, I’d recommend you back up your blog before changing the theme, although we should all be backing up our blogs regularly anyway.

      1. Thank you for your advice! As far as backing up my blog, I’ve been given various and conflicting suggestions as to how to do that. Copying post by post (into a word document) is taking forever. Which is what was suggested by a “Happiness Engineer.” There must be a better way.

  7. Thanks for this Hugh, I have thought for a while that I’d like to have a change of theme, but have wondered how complicated it is to do it? I may just give it a go 🙂

    1. It’s straightforward to do, Sam. It can be quite time-consuming (if you allow it to be). When I feel like changing my blog theme, I stick with the first one I really like (rather than check too many out).

  8. I know I need to change my theme and I admire your goal to change yours once a year. It feels overwhelming to me! But I’m going to try some of the ones you’ve listed to see how I like them. Maybe I’ll finally pull the trigger on a new theme!

    1. Don’t change it if you’re happy with it, Molly. I only change mine when I think my blog needs a refresh. For some reason, when I do change it, it seems to give me and my blogging a boost. I like, too, that WordPress gives the option of trying a new theme out first. It’s almost like trying out a new wallpaper or paints for a room which needs decorating and then deciding if you like it or not.

  9. Thank you for the list of themes, Hugh. It’s very helpful. I have premium plan. Even though I’m 90% happy with my theme and maybe I’ll find one that I’m 100% happy with, when I have time.

  10. Wow, Hugh, this is a fantastic lineup of WordPress themes! I’m with you on a website refresh. It can be time-consuming but energizing, too. I have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow on just this topic. 🙂
    A huge thank you for sharing my post with such kind words. I greatly appreciate it! I’m constantly discovering something new with Gutenberg and Plugin add-ons. I have you to thank for the guided and encouraging nudge I needed to jump on board. Now, it’s great to be able to pass it along. Cheers to blogging it forward! Thanks again. You rock! 🙂

    1. You’re very welcome, Natalie. Your posts are so easy to follow. The screenshots certainly help.

      I’ve read so much poor feedback and reviews about Gutenberg, mostly all unfair because the person giving the feedback or writing the review had simply not given it enough time or read any guidelines or watched any tutorials about how it works. Many also complained ‘why fix something that is not broken?’ which was referring to WordPress replacing the Classic editor with Gutenberg, which, of course, is not the case. All they are doing is improving the way we blog. I see it a little like HD TV being upgraded to 4K TV. It’s an improvement, not a repair.

      I wanted to share your link so that readers could read a tutorial that gives Gutenberg credit, rather than negatives. Sure, Gutenberg has its glitches, but so does the Classic editor.

      Thanks again for all the posts you’ve written and publish on Gutenberg.

  11. Thanks for the list, Hugh. I like to change my site regularly, so this is handy 🙂
    I like Gutenberg for regular posts, but the HTML feature is clunky. It won’t let me add things like memes, excerpts or links. I hope they straighten this out before removing the classic format.

    1. One of the reasons that Gutenberg appealed to me is that WordPress claimed that you wouldn’t need to use HTML with it, Jacquie. To be honest, I hardly ever used it, although I have used it to get rid of a large gap that would often appear at the end of a post, just before the sharing buttons and comments. I see that gap on the blog posts of many other bloggers. WordPress is adding new blocks all the time, many of which I’ve yet to try out. From what I know, they won’t be removing the classic editor for good, just stopping support for it by the end of 2020. Hopefully, by then, all the bugs in Gutenberg will be gone, although even the classic editor gets bugs from time to time.
      I’m glad you’ve given Gutenberg a go, Jacquie. If you get the chance, check out Natalie’s post (the link is in this post). She’s also written and published a few other posts about Gutenberg and has many more planned.

    1. Any reason(s) why you’re avoiding it, Teri? I avoided it when it was first released, but then read some guides and watched some tutorials on how it worked. I still was not keen on giving it a try, but then gave it go. I now wonder why it took me so long to start using it.

      1. I was in exactly the same position as you, Hugh. After a bit of playing, I am able to do most things I want. Most recently I discovered shift+enter will give a new line, NOT a new block. News to me!
        Really helpful list of themes, by the way!

  12. I am one of those who has been hesitant to even try Gutenberg because of all the complaints. Now, there is hope. Your links are so helpful. Thanks for the help. 😊

    1. Many of the complaints I have read have been either because the person hasn’t given Gutenberg enough time to try (in some cases, less than 10 minutes), or because they haven’t read the guides or watched tutorials on how it works, Irene. It took me a long time to give it a try (because I dislike change) but now I’m glad I invested some time in checking it out.

      Like any software, it does have some glitches, (mainly with the galleries where there is more than one image being added), but WordPress is working on improving the new editor all the time. Just by playing with it on a test post in a draft folder, I’ve been amazed by what it can do; plus WordPress seem to be adding new features all most every week. Don’t let those complaints put you off from trying it out. Natalie’s post (which I’ve linked to in this post) is especially helpful.

        1. It took me a good few goes before I finally got the hang of it, Irene, but the guides and tutorials will definitely help. I recommend setting up a draft post and playing with Gutenberg on that post. That helped me too. 😀 Plus, I still play with the draft post everyday.

  13. Thanks for these tips Hugh. I’ve tried to find new themes to try out that work well with Gutenberg but found it quite difficult. I’m on the premium plan so I’d be interested to know if you have suggestions there too! I also like to change my theme regularly for the reasons you mention but it can be a big job! I also enjoyed the link you left as a useful post about Gutenberg. I think I’ve got it sorted now but without your earlier post I may not have even tried it.

    1. Hi Debbie, I’m afraid I don’t have any information on the best premium themes for Gutenberg, but I do know that WordPress is steadily working on all their themes to make them work better with Gutenberg. They told me that some themes have been specially created or adapted with Gutenberg in mind. I got the list in this post because somebody enquired about it after reading one of my recent posts about Gutenberg, and because many complaints about Gutenberg are because bloggers are using themes that have not been adapted yet, or which can not be modified. Unfortunately, some bloggers may be forced to change themes once support for the classic editor is withdrawn.

      I agree that it can be a big job changing a blog theme, but I’ve always found it great fun to do. It’s also now a lot easier to change your blog theme than it was a few years ago. It can be very time-consuming, so I’m strict with myself and go for the first one I like when changing my theme.

      1. I have actually contacted the happiness engineers at WordPress and they gave me a few suggestions – none of which I’m overly keen on. I’ve gone through your list again and am thinking of taking the plunge and changing themes but need to get myself psyched up first 🙂 Thanks again for the tips Hugh!

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