My search for the best free WordPress theme continues and I may have found it. Illdy by Colorlib (their tagline: Probably The Best WordPress Themes) has what I think is a very current design, just enough customization options, a Jumbotron (more on that below), and some great widgets to boot.
One of the first things I look for in a free theme is the ability to put your own copyright text in the footer in WordPress customization. This theme fits that bill. In WordPress customization there’s a field named Footer Copyright under the Footer Details section where you can enter your text (copyright, business name, etc.), and it allows simple HTML. I like being able to use HTML in the field because as the designer I can add my business name with a link to my website.
Illdy is fully responsive and mobile friendly and lends itself to the concept of a one-page website. Not that you have to build your website with the one-page concept because all the functionality of pages, posts, custom menus, and the rest of what WordPress does, is available of course.
The large homepage background image behind a call-to-action is nicely implemented into what the Colorlib folks call a Jumbotron. And it provides two buttons, which I think is brilliant. The first button for visitors that want to learn more about your business, and the second button for those that are ready to pull the trigger. At least that’s my interpretation of how the two buttons are meant to be used.
As I mentioned, Illdy supports the one-page website concept. If you choose to use that part of the theme you have a number of sections below the Jumbotron where you can use the Colorlib custom widgets, or any widget you want. You can rename the title of each section to your liking. Obviously this theme isn’t as flexible as a theme like Divi, but the fact that you have the ability to use any widget in the homepage sections is probably enough flexibility for many if not most websites. Frankly I’m starting to like themes that help lead the design process. It helps me to more easily build better looking websites and build them faster.
Lately I’ve been moving away from using a child theme and trying to stay within the functionality of what the theme and plugins provide. Of course there’s always the need for some custom CSS to tweak a few things. I recently found that Jetpack adds the ability to add custom CSS without a child theme. I use that to easily customize font sizes, colors, etc. in Illdy.
So I’ll keep looking around for a better free WordPress theme, but as it stands for now, Illdy is my new number one.