Numbers one till 5

Top 5: Best Free Elementor Themes For 2021

With the wide selection of free Elementor themes for WordPress, you can get overwhelmed easily.

Which theme is the right pick for your Elementor website? Last year’s best theme may have already been passed this year by another good and free WordPress theme.

That’s why I’ve tested 5 popular free Elementor themes and compared them, so you can decide which one is best for you!

Elementor?

If you have never heard of Elementor, than here is a little introduction. Of all the page-builders WordPress has to offer, Elementor is the most popular. This is because of his user-friendly interface, that makes it possible to build a page or post by dragging and dropping elements on to you page. On the same screen, you can also adjust your lay-outs and preferences, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between screens to do that, like with other page-builders.

Elementor contains a lot of building blocks and templates. You get even more with the paid pro version or the many plugins, that are available in WordPress.

The Elementor drag-and-drop interface

Let’s talk about the themes.

The choice of themes.

I’ve tested 5 popular themes for you to give you a nudge in the right direction. The choice of these 5 themes depended on a number of requirements. For example, all themes had to:

– Be compatible with Elementor

– Be tested with the latest WordPress version 5.7

– Have a good support base

– Be lightweight and fast

Especially the last point on this list is very important when choosing a theme to use with Elementor. Elementor is a very popular, but somewhat heavy page builder. Therefore, it is useful to use the page builder in combination with a light and fast theme.

Free Elementor Themes

For the test, I chose the free version of the themes below. Of course, these have their limits. Most of the themes also have paid premium versions availabe, giving you many more options than are listed below. It might be good to know that all these tested themes are all of very high quality and well maintained by the creators.

How were the themes tested?

To test the themes for loading speed and Google PageSpeed score, I used a clean, new installation of WordPress on the local server. The free theme was installed and the Sample Page, which is created by default by WordPress, was used for the Google Lighthouse test.

Each theme was tested three times or more until a score matched the previous one. No theme had major discrepancies here.

Enough info, don’t let me hold you up any longer! Then here are the test results:

The 5 Themes

1. Neve

Functionality

Neve is made by Themeisle and works with all popular page builders, including Elementor.

It comes with a header and footer builder and with multiple layout options for pages and posts. You can customize the colors and typography to your liking.

You can even style the buttons and forms, which is pretty unique for a free theme.

If you want to build your page from a template, the free version offers 9 templates for this, which are all suitable for Elementor.

As the only theme on this list, Neve uses the new AMP standard (Accelerated Mobile Pages) from Google for the mobile pages. With this technique, the mobile web page can load up to 10 times faster.

Neve theme

Speed

Neve scores a perfect 100% on PageSpeed and has a loading time of only half a second.

This makes it the fastest theme of these top 5.

Pagespeed result with Neve theme
Google Lighthouse results of Neve

2. Astra

Functionality

For many a familiar name and also personally for me a favorite is the theme Astra.

The free version of Astra offers 85 templates for Elementor. This makes it the theme with the most free templates of all themes.

With Astra you can use a header and footer builder, you can set layouts for your pages and post and you can set the width of the sidebar.

You can also set whether or not to show certain data from your post, such as the author’s name, the publication date and more. As with the other themes, you can also set the colors and typography.

Astra theme

Speed

In terms of speed, the Astra theme also performs very well. It has the second fastest loading time of these top 5 free Elementor themes and a perfect PageSpeed score.

Pagespeed result with Astra theme
Google Lighthouse results of Astra

3. GeneratePress

Functionality

The GeneratePress theme is built with lightweight in mind. The installation only adds about 10kb to your page data. The theme supports all popular page-builders, including Elementor.

Generatepress doesn’t offer any templates with the free version, but luckily you have plenty of options with Elementor, so this probably won’t be a huge problem.

Unfortunately, the free version does not include a header and footer builder. But you do have a choice of layouts for your header , footer , navigation sidebar and blog page.

As with other themes, you can also set your colors and fonts with this theme.

GeneratePress theme

Speed

From such a lightweight theme as GeneratePress, you would also expect a good perfrormance score. It scores 99% on PageSpeed and has a good loading time.

agespeed result with GeneratePress theme
Google Lighthouse results of GeneratePress

4. Kadence

Functionality

This is the theme I was personally most curious about, because despite Kadence’s popularity, this was a new name for me.

In terms of page-builders, the Kadence theme offers support for Elementor, Gutenberg and Beaver Builder.

The theme also offers standard functionality, as we see with the other themes.

You can customize the colors, fonts and layouts. You can further style the buttons, by choosing the border radius, color and border and even set a scroll-to-top button. Furthermore, a header and footer builder can be used, which is of course always very handy.

Kadence theme

Speed

Kadence also scores great in terms of performance. It scores as well as Astra and therefore also shares the shared 2nd place in this test.

agespeed result with Kadence theme
Google Lighthouse results of Kadence

5. OceanWP

Functionality

OceanWP is just a little bit different than the other themes. You can not use a builder, but there is a wide choice between different layouts and styling. With the OceanWP theme you can not only change the lay-out and styling of your pages and posts, but also of the forms, buttons and the 404 page.

For the header, you have a choice of 7 layouts in the free version. You can even use a header video.

Also, FontAwesome icons is integrated to customize your icons.

On the other hand, OceanWP does not include any templates in its free version.

OceanWP theme
OceanWP theme

Speed

OceanWP does not achieve a perfect score and therefore ends up in the shared last place, together with GeneratePress. Nevertheless, this is a very good score and this theme provides an excellent performance. Notice that the differences between the 5 themes are very small.

agespeed result with OceanWP theme
Google Lighthouse results of OceanWP

Which theme is the best?

Which theme is the best choice for you among these top 5 free Elementor themes depends entirely on your own preferences.

If you like to work with the standard templates, beyond those offered by Elementor, then choose Astra or Neve, with their wide selection of starter templates.

Want a theme with extensive customization options? Then OceanWP is probably the best fit for you.

In any case, you don’t have to worry about performance. That’s fine with all these 5 WordPress themes!

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