In today's world, a website is a necessary component of any business or organization. But not just any website will do — your site needs to be fast, reliable, and look fabulous on all devices. That's what makes Minimalist WordPress themes so powerful.
WordPress is the most popular platform for creating websites, and there are thousands of minimalist WordPress themes to choose from. So how do you know which minimalist WordPress theme is suitable for you?
Well, if you're looking for the best minimalist WordPress theme that will make your website invincible, look no further! This post will share nine of the best minimalist WordPress themes that impress your visitors. Read on to learn more!
What is a Minimalist WordPress Theme?
The best minimalist WordPress themes are designed with simplicity in mind — both from a visual perspective and a code perspective. These WordPress themes present sleek and modern layouts with few enhancements, limited effects and animation, and little decoration or ornamentation. There are no complex sliders, social media widgets, or over-the-top animations.
The best minimalist WordPress themes are clean and only offer the design elements and features needed to eliminate distractions. Many minimalist WordPress themes offer multiple website templates and easy integration with a builder plugin to create an attractive and modern design for your website.
Minimalist web design aims to help users focus their attention on important information and essential messages. Striking a balance between emptiness and content takes work. Empty white space can guide the user's eye to headlines, calls to action, and images of interest and importance.
Minimal, however, can mean something other than boring. If done right, clean and minimal design is elegant and stunning and presents a subtle beauty wherein every element has a purpose. This less-is-more approach to web design has been around forever and has seen its popularity come and go throughout history.
In 1919, the German school of art, Bauhaus, emerged. Artists of this school attempted to combine aesthetics with function. They tended to avoid elaborate decorations and argued that there should be no distinction between an object's form and function. This has also been stated as “form follows function,” meaning the way something looks is secondary to its use or at least does not detract from its use.
Minimalism also became prominent in the 1960s, especially in furniture and interior design. Artists of this period focused on industrial materials, white space, and sleek, simplistic design. This spilled over into the 1970s when Dieter Rams introduced his principles of good design, focusing on user-friendly product design.
And, of course, let's not forget the minimalism of Swiss design seen in every Ikea product.
Minimalism in website design became trendy with Material Design and Flat Design which rose to prominence in response to early website design. Remember all those blinking icons, unreadable multi-colored text on a rainbow or textured backgrounds, and clutter?
Why are Minimalist WordPress Themes so Popular in 2022
Minimalist WordPress themes and website design have become very popular in 2022 for several reasons. First and foremost, these WordPress minimalist themes are naturally faster.
With fewer graphical elements and layout changes through animation, the best minimalist WordPress themes typically perform better in page speed tests. This is good for people who want fast-loading pages and instant gratification, and search engines trying to serve websites with better user experience.
These themes can also work well for various website types and industries. They can showcase a photographer's work and ensure a potential customer is focused entirely on the features and benefits of a service or product.
The cleanliness of these sites and pages allows users to focus where you want them to. By more thoughtfully using color and typography, minimalist design can:
- improve the user experience
- help SEO
- reduce bounce rate
- reduce distraction
Choosing a Minimalist Theme
Choosing a suitable minimalist theme for a WordPress website can be complex with the immense number of themes available on the market. Here is a list of some things you should look for when choosing a theme:
Responsive WordPress themes are built so that the layouts and elements scale or are reorganized depending on screen size and are adaptable to different devices and device orientations. A fully responsive WordPress theme aims to provide the best user experience regardless of where or how they view your site.
SEO-friendly minimalist WordPress themes help you create a website optimized for search engines. These themes are built to ensure page load times are as low as possible and are developed according to coding best practices and standards.
It is straightforward to search engines to optimize a website with a minimalist, SEO-friendly theme. They include valid markup to help search engines index pages and page content and support SEO plugins such as Rank Math, Yoast, and All-in-One SEO.
Lightweight and fast
People want everything, like, yesterday. No one wants to wait. And the same is true when browsing websites. A lightweight WordPress theme that can quickly load your site's content gives users the instant gratification they crave and prevents visitors from leaving or bouncing before seeing what you offer.
Easy to use
Only some people building a website are website developers. Look for themes that are easy to use, especially if you are starting. The best minimalist WordPress themes will enable you to create a modern design with little customization and no need to learn code.
Well-documented and supported
Nothing is more frustrating when building a website than being unable to figure something out and needing help from the theme developer. Look for an elegant theme with detailed usage instructions or an extensive knowledge base. Also, read the reviews and see if there are any comments related to support response times and overall helpfulness.
Other things to look for when evaluating your minimalist theme options include the following:
- Appropriate for your industry
- Supports page builders like Elementor or is designed to work well with Gutenberg
- Compatible with modern browsers
- Supports a variety of WordPress plugins
- Complies with WordPress standards
Where to find minimalist themes
Minimalist themes can be found on several websites and theme marketplaces. Below is a list of theme providers from which to source the best minimalist WordPress themes (listed in no particular order):
- Envato / Themeforest
- Elegant Themes
- Template Monster
- Monster One
- Creative Market
- Theme Grill
- Nice Page
What are the 9 Best Minimalist Themes?
We've rounded up 9 of the best minimalist WordPress themes available. These best WordPress themes are fully responsive, SEO optimized, and generally lightweight or optimized for speed.
Astra is a lightweight, fast, and highly customizable minimalist WordPress theme suitable for websites of all types and sizes. It is also one of the most popular themes and reports over one million installations.
Requiring less than 50 KB of resources and loading in under 0.5 seconds, this lightening fast, minimalist theme is entirely SEO optimized and comes with basic schema markup already implemented. The theme options panel is easy to use, and the drag-and-drop header and footer builder allow even novice website creators to develop feature-rich navigation.
Compatible with popular WordPress page builders, users can easily customize every page of their site, regardless of the type of site they wish to create. This minimalist theme allows you to design anything from a personal blog to an online store.
For creators looking to build a minimalist site, Astra theme offers many ready-to-import starter templates with super clean layouts and designs. An example is the “Simply Natural” starter template. These templates are easy to modify, flexible, and a great starting point for beginners and professionals.
- Automatically adds schema markup
- Well-supported for both free and pro users
- Completely customizable
- Works with a variety of page builders
- Minimalist templates
Astra has a free version available to get you started and includes access to plenty of starter templates with minimalist designs. The pro version, which includes several valuable features, starts at $59 per year. Additionally, you can extend the available blocks for Gutenberg with their Spectra plugin (formerly Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg) — for free!
Divi, by Elegant Themes, is a premium, multipurpose minimalist WordPress theme that can be used to create a minimalist WordPress website. Multiple features can be accessed in the theme options panel providing choices to make the website look more professional.
The theme options panel includes multiple post layouts, grid layout options, footer layouts, and other layout options. Divi is one of the best free minimalist WordPress themes. You can create anything from a personal blog to an online store using this theme.
This attractive theme comes with its page builder — the Divi Builder — a drag-and-drop builder that can be used on either the backend or the front end for those who prefer more visual editing. The theme also includes multiple header styles giving the user more options.
And there are over 2000 pre-made designs and 200+ full website layout packs available, which novice users can load to jumpstart their minimalist page design. This clean WordPress theme can create popular web design styles for demo sites, portfolio websites, personal blogs, online stores, and other websites.
Additionally, due to the popularity of this modern theme, there are plenty of third-party sites offering child themes, starter templates, and starter packs that can be purchased separately if the included items need to be revised for your site or design sensibilities.
Divi is a responsive and SEO-friendly minimalist theme. Its developer has invested a lot in improving performance and speed, making it one of the best theme options for minimalist websites of all kinds.
- Includes SEO tools and SEO optimized
- Allows for global page templating and global modules for easy site-wide editing
- Drag and drop visual builder
- Live Editing
- Includes Bloom (email opt-in plugin) and Monarch (social sharing plugin)
Divi starts at $89/year but offers a lifetime access license for a $249 1-time fee.
Elegant by Themify is, like others, a multipurpose theme used by WordPress website creators of all kinds who want to elegantly (as the name suggests) showcase their work without distracting users with fancy animations and graphic effects.
This portfolio WordPress theme was created with minimalism in mind and strives to provide great design through clever use of white space and attention to typography. This portfolio theme offers left and center layout alignments, either set globally or per page/post, and provides image grayscale and sepia filters for images.
Elegant comes with the Themify drag & drop builder, allowing users to include content as they would prefer, simply by dragging and dropping modules on the page.
- WooCommere styling included
- Pre-designed color skins
- Customization options for all areas of the site
- Native page builder
- Responsive and retina ready
- Includes support
The theme starts at $59. But you can get the theme plus Photoshop files for $69. Additionally, Themify offers access to the “Master Club” for $89, which allows access to all their themes and plugins.
Neve is a lightweight theme and is consistently listed as one of the fastest. Built by ThemeIsle, a company known for creating speedy themes and plugins, Neve scored a 100% in GTMetrix for performance and a 99% for structure with a Total Blocking Time (TBT) of 0ms and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) of 0.
This theme is fully responsive and focuses on mobile for faster loading and a better user experience for phone and tablet users.
Customization of the header and footer is available with multiple header styles, and layouts can be adjusted for full-width and contained versions. Neve has a library of demos to help users launch a beautiful site in minutes. An example of a minimalist design among their starter demos is “Agency,” which uses minimal colors and elements to showcase the content truly.
The pro version includes upgrades for Elementor, “scroll to top” features, WooCommerce customizations and layouts, and other upgrades.
- Lightweight and fast
- AMP compatible
- Works with page builders
- Easy to set up
- Free and Pro versions are available
- Regularly updated
- Minimalist templates
Neve starts at $89/year but now sells for $69/year because of a special promotion.
5. Ocean WP
Another fast, minimalist theme is Ocean WP. This theme performs well in speed tests, even when adding images and content or installing one of their demos. The theme and demos are fully responsive and look good even on smaller devices.
The free version is trendy, with over 300,000 installations and a close-to five-star rating on WordPress.org.
This theme also has a setup wizard to help you customize your site.
The OceanWP templating system lets users create templates using the Gutenberg block editor or other page builder and insert templates into posts and pages using shortcodes.
An exciting feature in this theme is the “Scripts and Styles” panel which allows users to disable features they don't intend to use, reducing page size and page loading times.
However, with many available options, users must practice restraint to keep the site design and page layouts minimalist.
- Translation tools built-in
- Supports page builders
- WooCommerce features such as native cart popup
- Available extensions
- Unlimited color schemes
- Unlimited custom sidebars
Ocean WP offers a free version and a premium version. The premium version starts at $54/year and includes seven free extensions and 14 premium extensions, 15 free demos, and 210 premium demos.
Kalium is a great minimalist WordPress theme and is one of the top-selling themes on ThemeForest. A multipurpose theme, Kalium is geared more toward creatives such as photographers, architects, and bloggers, as seen in the Freelancer, Agency, and Photography demo/starter sites.
However, the theme is flexible and can be used by various businesses and industries to showcase content in a distraction-free design.
The theme offers 12 header layouts, nine blog layouts, 15 portfolio layouts, and 23 project layouts to allow users to make the site their own. However, in keeping with a minimalist design, consider the “Minimal” header type and less cluttered blog and project layouts.
The theme also comes packaged with Visual Composer but is compatible with Elementor page builder. It includes two sliders: Layer Slider and Revolution Slider — neither of which would be needed in keeping with a truly minimalist design.
- Font management library
- WooCommerce integration
- SEO optimized
- Responsive and retina ready
- WPML Compatible
Kalium is $59 and includes six months of support. Support can be extended to 12 months for an additional fee.
Arnold, by Seatheme, touts itself as an Ultra Minimalist WordPress theme featuring a modern flat design. The fully responsive layouts and lightweight coding make this an excellent solution for creating a portfolio site or an online store. The theme effectively uses whitespace and typography to showcase content in a clean and elegant design.
With 12 unique pre-made demos and various project layouts to showcase your work, including image galleries, this theme executes a minimal design. It allows content and images to stand out. It also includes 21 header layouts and a variety of shop layouts for WooCommerce.
In addition to these prebuilt options, Arnold includes the BM Content Builder for drag-and-drop live mode editing. This builder contains just 11 modules. However, this limitation can also help site creators stick to their minimalist design goals by limiting the types of the content inserted on the page.
Arnold allows site creators to select from over 900 Google fonts and 1700 Adobe Fonts.
- Compatible with WooCommerce and WPML
- Multi-browser compatibility
- One-click-import demo data
- Font management
- Lifetime updates
Arnold is available for $59 from ThemeForest and includes lifetime updates and six months of support.
MinimalistBlogger by SuperbThemes is a simple, easy-to-use, and fully customizable minimalist theme for bloggers and publishers. From installation to setup, the theme is user-friendly and designed to be easy to set up and use.
There is a free version of this theme. However, customization is limited to the header logo, text, and background color. To truly unlock the full potential of this theme, you'll need to upgrade to premium.
But the price is very reasonable, and this is a relatively low-cost minimalist theme.
The premium version is entirely SEO optimized and allows creators to customize all fonts and colors, replace copyright text, import demo content, use Elementor, access premium support, and more.
With five demos, this theme has fewer options to get started, but the designs are clean and will give authors access to a professionally designed site with little effort.
- Sidebar widgets
- Google fonts
- SEO optimized
MinimalistBlogger premium starts at just $29 lifetime (regularly $39) and includes access to 5 child themes.
9. Studio Press – Infinity Pro or Monochrome Pro
StudioPress offers some of the best minimalist WordPress themes, which are block-based and built on the Genesis Framework, making it easy to create attractive websites using the WordPress block editor.
Two of those themes are Infinity Pro and Monochrome pro.
Both themes have clean, minimalist designs and a customizer, allowing users to control site colors and other settings.
These themes showcase your content in a simple but elegant layout made possible through whitespace and typography and help keep visitors' attention on your content and message.
Load demo content with a one-click theme setup and modify it to suit your needs.
- Fully responsive
- SEO optimized
- Built on Genesis framework
- Accessibility ready
- Pre-styled for WooCommerce
- A large community of designers and developers
You can buy Genesis Pro and get access to all StudioPress-made themes and Genesis Pro blocks for $360/year. Or get the theme for free with hosting on WPEngine.
Honorable Mention: Hestia
There are so many popular minimalist WordPress themes we wanted to mention one more.
Hestia by ThemIsle is a highly customizable and flexible multipurpose minimalist WordPress theme that offers a one-click import of minimalist design starter templates and is built for speed. It's appropriate for creative professionals, small businesses, corporate businesses, agencies, retailers, and freelancers.
Its beautiful material design will ensure your site looks professional and displays well on any device.
For sites that might need a more complex navigation structure, Hestia comes with a responsive, user-friendly mega menu.
The customizer includes a variety of appearance settings and options for the home page, header, footer, and blog. Or use Gutenberg or the page builder of your choice to customize every page.
Hestia also comes with enhanced compatibility for WooComerce. The user-focused design of the shop and product pages allows product information and imagery to stand out, free from distraction.
There is a free version available. However, the free version does not give users access to the starter sites library and has limited options for the header, footer, blog, and home page.
- Material Design
- Page Builder Compatible
- Gutenberg ready
- Access to starter templates
Free version available. Hestia Pro is currently $69 per year.
Tips to Effectively Use Minimalist Themes
- Regardless of the WordPress theme you choose, or which prebuilt minimalist template or demo you install to start designing and building your minimalist WordPress site, you need to remember that you have complete control over how minimal you keep the design and how much you choose to clutter it.
- It's easy, especially with all the options, features, animations, and “stuff” available in Gutenberg or other popular page builders, to start adding more to your pages.
- Remember, less is more. If you've selected a minimal layout and design, respect it and work to maintain that same simple elegance. A simple, well-planned design can accomplish more than a website full of extraneous and flashy features.
- Don't be fooled. Minimalist design is complex. Practicing restraint, effectively using space, and ensuring that every element on the page serves a particular purpose requires a lot of work, and you need to pay more attention to what is on the page and what is not. It's a tricky balancing act.
Minimalist WordPress Themes Wrap-up
Finding the best minimalist WordPress themes is a great starting point when trying to design and develop a lightweight, fast-performing website with a minimalist design. The best minimalist WordPress themes on the market provide professionally designed starter templates or demo content that give users a foundation to build their minimalist website. These starter templates can also inform and inspire the designer or site owner.
An important thing to remember, though, is that minimalist themes, like any theme, can either be highly limiting with few customization options — which can help you stick to the minimalist design intended — or can provide so many “shiny things” that you accidentally lose site of your minimalist design and layout goals.