Do you enjoy the clean modern look of a website without a sidebar? We do too. Yet it can be surprisingly difficult to find WordPress themes that have no sidebar; many developers have not caught on that there are plenty of site owners who want no sidebar.
Here is our list of our top favorite no-sidebar themes from the official free WordPress repository. All of these are multi-purpose themes.
To qualify for inclusion in our list, the themes had to either have no sidebar by default, or have a no-sidebar layout option you can select from within the Customizer. We therefore did not consider themes which achieve the no-sidebar look via page templates. (If you’re new to WordPress and don’t know what that means it’s OK – we just mean it has to be really easy for you to switch all parts of the website to no sidebar all at once, without editing individual posts or pages).
To make sure everything worked well, we tested these free themes with a real WordPress site.
Tip: While feel confident you’ll find a theme you like within our list of favorites, if you’d like choices beyond the 11 below, it’s a good idea to look at other themes from each of these developers. This is because if a theme maker supports a no-sidebar layout in one of their themes, there’s a good chance they may offer some other themes with that feature too.
Blogism by WEN Themes is a stylish, crisp modern theme with impactful use of color accents. It’s neither boring black-and-white, nor is it overly busy. Blogism comes with breadcrumbs enabled. Good clear use of categories in archives and home page make it easy for users to navigate between different categories, for example if you have a magazine-style blog.
Overall, Blogism is a wonderful choice that will work well for many different purposes.
2. Clean Retina
As its title suggests, Clean Retina by Theme Horse is a very clean-looking theme. Its superb use of fonts and backgrounds combine to create a soft look which is perfectly suited to a blog with a more personal creative touch and less as a business blog. One feature we love here is the choice between two image sizes for the front page blogroll, as all too often the default image size in many themes is way too large for all-purpose use.
3. Hoot Ubix
Hoot Ubix by wpHoot has an upbeat modern look. It supports two menus and many frontpage widget areas including slider and much more; features which relatively few free themes offer. All its features are highly customizable, much more so than most other free themes.
Counsel is an elegant crisp business-oriented theme by mudThemes. It features a stunning masonry front page, an optional front page slideshow with text overlay, and a choice of 3 built-in color schemes.
Jomsom by Catch Themes is fresh, streamlined and modern. It is far and away a favorite with me, not just for its outstanding looks but its features too. It boasts 2 menu locations, breadcrumbs (handy for user navigation when you’re not using a sidebar), featured content, slider, and many more theme options. It’s also worth taking a look at other themes by Catch Themes, as many of their others also have the option of no sidebar.
Level by Sandy has a masonry-style front page and a sticky menu, making it fun and easy for your readers to navigate. You can change the main colors from within the customizer – another feature we always love to see.
In the MadHat theme by InkHive, beautiful use of fonts and a clean design combines to create a very upscale look. Two menu locations and the ability to use Google Web fonts makes this stand out from other themes. Besides the standard list-style blogroll layout, you can also choose from a 2-column or 3-column grid. Ability to add your own footer text (e.g. copyright notice) is also really great to see in a free theme.
Lucida by Catch Themes is the best if you’re looking for a minimalist yet still business-friendly theme. It’s a very clean and simple look but bundled with advanced features that you can turn on or off: promotion headline, breadcrumbs, slider, featured page ticker, and much more. If you’re looking to showcase your work in a clean yet fully-featured package, then this is the theme for you. In particular, any visually-friendly content will have the chance to shine here.
Oblique by Themeisle is eye-catching and stunningly different. As its name suggests, it features diagonal separators for a unique look. This is a fantastic choice for a blog in the fields of design, interior decorating, art and more. The front page has a pinterest-like grid, but using diagonal separators that makes it stand out. The menu (even on desktop) is mobile-style: a slide-in-out menu. If you don’t need your users to make much use of your menu, this theme could work well for you as it keeps the design simple and uncluttered.
The unusual design of Oblique is not for everyone, but your website is guaranteed to stand out and look very upscale with it. I’m currently using Oblique on one of my other sites (a general-topic magazine site) at the time of writing this, showing that the theme can be used for a range of different purposes. Not only does it look good, Oblique is also packed with great features, such as selecting the main colors and using alternate fonts from within the Customizer; options which most other free themes do not offer.
I’ve used Envince by ThemeGrill before, and it’s a favorite. Envince offers a magazine-style look which is incredibly customizable. Although the theme pic shown here makes the theme look rather busy, it’s easily possible to implement a much more minimalist look from within the customizer. Regardless of how many or few of the features you implement, clever use of accent colors ensures your blog will never look boring.
Some of the its features are hard to find anywhere else. You have the ability to choose layout width, to select number of widgets in footer area, the option of a widget in the header area (e.g. for an ad banner), ability to color-label the blogroll pics by category (you get to pick the colors), and more. This makes Envince one of the most fully-featured themes around. In particular, the excellent use of color-coded category labels and the strong look of the menu makes this ideal if you’d like your readers to hang around more and browse other topics in your site. Envince is a superb choice, particularly for a magazine-style blog or one where you’re covering a range of sub-topics from within your niche.
11. Theia Lite
Theia Lite by gecodigital is a very different and exciting theme. The front page shows a Pinterest-style layout of “cards”, and the menu is a mobile-style slide-in-out menu. This makes for an exciting yet uncluttered site. What makes Theia Lite different from the other themes featured here is that you don’t have a particular button to select to remove the sidebar. Instead, the sidebar slides in and out from the side (similar to the way the menu works). If you want to remove the sidebar altogether, simply remove all widgets from your sidebar and voila! – the theme will remove the sidebar-toggle button completely from the display. Because the menu is tucked away and because categories are not mentioned on the home page, this theme is better suited for when you don’t need your user to navigate much within all areas of your site.
These eleven free themes from the WordPress repository all have a no-sidebar option. This list is great for site owners who are seeking a streamlined and modern look to their site.