WordPress is arguably the most popular self-hosted blogging platform available today and with that comes a big following of gifted WordPress theme and plugin coders. There are thousands of free WordPress themes available for download and use.
The first place to look for WordPress themes is the official WordPress Theme Directory. This is probably the safest place to find a decent free WordPress theme. Why is it the safest? Well, all themes uploaded are subject to review and if it doesn’t cut it it will not be made available for download on this site.
Requirements for a theme on the WordPress Theme Directory are as follows:
In order to be added to the directory each theme must meet the following requirements:
1. A single zip file, with all of the files themes file included.
2. There must be a style.css file containing:
1. Name (which must be unique to the directory)
3. Version (in the format of x.x or x.x.x and must be unique to the theme)
4. Align classes: .alignright, .alignleft, .aligncenter (see https://codex.wordpress.org/CSS for more details)
3. The screenshot file name must be screenshot.png, and be a real screenshot of the theme, not a splash screen.
4. Licensing must be GPL compatible.
5. No hidden, paid or sponsored links in the theme. Links back to the author’s site are fine.
6. Expose RSS feeds
7. Support Gravatars
8. Support widgets
9. Show post categories and tags
10. Show the blog title and tag line
11. The theme must be your own original work.
12. Adult/mature themes are not allowed.
All themes are subject to review.
So why do these people spend all this time cranking out free WordPress themes for others to use? I am not sure but I guess one reason would be that some geeks just love to mess with code! Another is to get their website’s link on as many blogs as possible and usually have a link in the footer of the theme. So if you are using a free WordPress theme please show the geek some link love and keep his link intact.