Chapter 20: Top Personal Blog WordPress Themes

Posted on May 11, 2024 | Updated on May 22, 2024

People from all walks of life start blogs. Business owners use them to create content to post across social platforms and drive traffic to their sites, moms share their tips and tricks for daily living and travel bloggers utilize their websites for fun and revenue. If you own a blog or are thinking of starting one, we’ve gone through hundreds of potential blog themes and come up with a few we think are the best out there.

The WordPress themes guide includes potential themes for different industries. For each article in the series, we keep a few things in mind as we narrow down the options. First, is the theme simple enough for a person without tech savvy to navitage. We also look at overall aesthetics, functionality for a specific niche and costs.

We throw out any themes that haven’t been updated in the past year, as they may not function well with current WordPress versions. Designerly staff also looks at ratings to see if the theme is glitchy. While we can’t test every single theme, we do pay attention to what others are saying and we often install the winning choice and try it out to ensure it stands out amongst the others.

What to Look for in Blog Themes

Tech News reports there are around 600 million blogs out of the 1.9 billion websites globally. They estimate there are 7.5 million new blog posts every day, generating around 2.7 billion pieces of content annually. 

While each blog has its specialization, standing out amidst all the chatter and noise of so much content is challenging. Finding excellent blog themes is a start to give yours a professional edge people flock to. A blog site is all about offering information and helping people learn, which makes it different from e-commerce and other categories. Here are the things to look for in a theme to create a viable blog:

  • Readability
  • Clean, uncluttered design
  • User engagement
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • About Me section

Our Favorite Themes for Blogs

Considering the unique aspects of blogging, we narrowed down the options for the best WordPress blog themes out there. Here are the ones we loved. 

Component Blog

blog themes examples
Source: https://www.creativthemes.com/downloads/component-blog

Component blog has a clean, block layout that features recent blog posts with an image and text overlay. The free version isn’t nearly as customizable but will give you an idea of how this blog theme functions. You can change the header text color, background color and the header image with the free theme. 

For $39.99 per site, you can upgrade to the Pro version. You’ll gain customization options for the top header, social links, typography, page settings and blog settings. Component Blog theme is a child theme of Blog Element, so you’ll need to download both themes. Keep in mind that changes to the main theme can impact the child theme, so be aware of where you’re making CSS and coding changes. 

Emily Grace

blog themes examples
Source: https://creativemarket.com/pixandhue/3834369-Emily-Grace-A-Blog-Shop-Theme

Emily Grace theme has a high-profile look that puts the focus on the blogger and their personality. The featured calls to action (CTAs) draw the user in and move them through the areas you want them to visit on your site. 

Theme features include Gutenberg readiness, compatible with Elementor and WooCommerce and theme color adjustments. You will pay $89 for access to the theme but you’ll have bonuses such as a customized subscription form, horizontal or vertical grid layout, gallery, Affiliate HTML, post sliders and custom sidebar widgets. 

Digital Blog

blog themes examples
Source: https://ascendoor.com/themes/digital-blog

Digital Blog is the perfect blog theme for a technology-based site. The top slider offers a huge hero image that gives the design a professional edge. The dark backgrounds work well for a wide variety of topics, including food, technology, events and automobiles.

The free version comes with a responsive design, demo import, three fonts and banner section. The Pro version runs $59.99 and adds one-click demo import, transparent header color on front page, additional widget areas, dark and light modes and a sortable homepage option. 

Elastic Blog

blog themes examples
Source: https://www.creativthemes.com/downloads/elastic-blog

Elastic Blog offers a minimalist look that is clean and refreshing. Plenty of white space gives it an uplifting feel. Blog themes that are light and bright work well for travel, lifestyle and personal interest blogs. 

Some of the features with the free version include customizable header image, sidebar layout and a few other options. The Pro version runs $39.99 and comes with more theme options, preloader, header and footer color, more layouts, sticky menu and blog post options. 

Choose from a free or premium version for each theme listed above. Keep in mind that we list some of the key features you gain with a paid upgrade but there are many more that are too extensive to list. Pro accounts typically get free upgrades, too. 

Our Winner: Journal

blog themes examples
Source: https://jekyllthemes.io/theme/journal-personal-jekyll-theme

Journal blog theme features an image-filled background for the sidebar, links to social media and beautiful images for the body of the page. Features include:

  • Sidebar images 
  • Single column post layout 
  • Responsive design Image galleries 
  • Social media icons 
  • Customize colors, spacing and fonts

Out of all the blog themes we looked at, this one had a high-end, photography-based feel. Although some image-heavy sites look cluttered, the addition of white space around areas gives the design a clean aesthetic. The focus goes directly on the images, drawing users in and keeping them on the page. 

For $79 you get a single license for use on one project or site. The license includes complete documentation to help you customize the theme to suit your needs. 

Versatility With Blog Themes

The themes above are excellent options to get your new blog started. Over time, you’ll gain a following and start to better understand your target audience. Any of the themes above offer opportunities to customize your look to better meet your readers where they stand. Happy blogging!

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