WordPress themes come in many flavors. You have the official themes from WordPress, and you have other free themes. But you also have an ocean of premium themes.
I have mostly used premium themes as you tend to get better support and more frequent updates from the developers (which can be expected, since it’s something they get paid for and therefore can put more time and energy on).
Here is a shortlist of four themes I’ve been in touch with and can recommend in some capacity or another.
Genesis(affiliate link) was the theme I turned to after researching a professional theme to work with back in the early days of my web development journey.
It was the only theme I used for any client site during my freelancing years. I tried other themes in between but always fell back on Genesis, since it is robust and developer-friendly.
For the last two years, I haven’t been working very much with it, but I still recommend it to anyone who wants a solid ground for their website.
I know Studiopress/WPEngine is working on a Block-based theme, for the next generation of WordPress themes with full-site editing support.
Blocksy(affiliate link) is a theme built for the new Gutenberg editor, with lots of nice features that will let you build a website quickly, and without touching code.
It’s created by Creative themes, and after having used it for a bit, I catch myself liking many parts of it. For one, it’s well-built and isn’t buggy at all.
A con may be that you sort of need to use third-party (or custom-made) blocks to create unique, good-looking layouts.
On the whole, I like Blocksy and intend to use it more for my side projects over the next year, so it may come to some updates on this later.
Understrap is a theme based on Bootstrap. So if you like Bootstrap, this theme might be for you. I’ve come into contact with it through work as a client-site is built with it. After figuring things out and learning how it worked, I’ve started to like it more and more.
What’s nice is that there is a child theme available, which is set up with a gulp file, so it1s truly a developer-friendly theme. This is the theme I would recommend if you want to dive into building your site with sass, without having to set up a gulpfile and things like that before you go.
Thrive Theme Builder
This is a theme I both like and dislike, to be honest. It’s the only visual theme-builder I could recommend, but on the other hand, it lacks quite a few things at the point of writing.
I’ve noticed archive pages can be pretty buggy, and if you’re used to developing things with code, you’ll probably find it pretty redundant to set up different templates here.
What’s nice about TTB, is the great number of sections (kind of like blocks) and ready-made layouts. It doesn’t use the Gutenberg editor (at least not yet), but instead the page-builder Thrive Architect. Which is a great editor for landing pages.
I’m still waiting for better integration with the Gutenberg editor, but maybe that will come at some point.
TTB is part of the Thrive suite, which also includes several other plugins that can be useful for you.
Choose a theme you like, and stick to it
Depending on what you’re needs are, and how you like to work with your theme, any of these themes can be the right for you.
If you’re more of a developer, Understrap may be for you since it’s already set up with task automation with Gulp. Genesis is also a great alternative here, even though there is no setup with Gulp out of the box.
If you want to focus on your content, Blocksy or TTB might be for you.