Before we move on to the list of the free and responsive Joomla templates, let us try to understand the purpose of using templates in Joomla. The default Joomla installation comes with a back-end (administration area) and a couple of front-end templates.
We usually don’t need to change the default administrator template or add a new one. However, the default front-end templates could use some help. It is that part of the website that appears on the World Wide Web.
We tend to like and be impressed by people who dress smartly and neatly. Likewise, a website should look neat and smart with matching colors. That is how you attract more visitors to the website besides the content.
A template determines the look and feel of a website. Starting right from the header, a template has a preset combination of fonts, colors and module positions. If we already have an appropriate template installed, it becomes a lot easier to arrive at our goal with minimal tweaks to the preset designs and styles.
There are many template developers offering free and responsive Joomla templates for almost every type of website – blogs, news and magazine, e-commerce, education, business etc. However with free templates, certain features such as support, maintenance and an elaborate and detailed template panel may either be absent or cut-down from the paid versions.
We are talking about free templates here, so from the onset, it pays to take certain things into consideration before choosing one.
How to choose a free template
- It should be responsive – the ability to adjust accordingly with the screen size or resolution of the device on which the website is loaded. Besides the visitors convenience by having your template adapt to their screen size, Search Engines such as Google has decided to rank websites higher if they are responsive.
- The layout should be appropriate for the type of website you’re trying to build. It is especially true for beginners who can only add modules according to the template module positions i-e, until they gain enough knowledge and expertise to become more adventurous.
- Speed. Period.
- Finally, the template should be supported and maintained by its authors – something that we don’t see very often with free templates.
Now that you have an idea about Joomla templates, the difference between free and paid versions and how to choose a free template, lets move on to the list of some of the best free and responsive Joomla templates available as of now.
These are just some of my choices and not necessarily in order. Most of the template developers listed here have more free and responsive templates to offer. So feel free to browse for more while you’re at it.
List of Free and Responsive Joomla Templates
JA Purity III by Joomlart
This is one of the most popular free and responsive Joomla template offered by Joomlart. It is a multi-purpose template, which means the template has been designed to suit most of the known types of websites and there are more than 13 layouts to choose from. An outstanding feature of JA Purity III, besides being free is that, the template is compatible with some of the most popular Joomla extensions.
The template sports a beautifully designed and feature-rich panel on the back-end from where you can control most of the template attributes. The Theme Magic Tool gives you real-time customizations, which means you get to see the effects as you customize.
Designed on the T3 Framework, JA Purity III definitely leads the pack as far as free Joomla Templates are concerned. Joomlart also offers more free and responsive Joomla Templates besides JA Putiry III.
BT Magazine by Bowthemes.
This free and responsive Joomla template can be used for blogs and magazines or online news websites. As claimed by its developers, the template is fully compatible with Easyblog – a popular Joomla blogging component. The default layout and style looks very neat and promising with well-designed and appropriate modules. With a couple of tweaks here and there, this template can be at par with any premium news and magazine templates.
Portfolio by Gavick.
Portfolio, as the name suggests, is a clean and light weight responsive Joomla template offered by Gavick for free. The template loads quickly even with a handful of images on its homepage. The template panel on the back-end allows you to control some basic attributes to the site as layouts, fonts and colors. This trendy-looking template looks perfect for personal blogs with a touch of photography.
Baseline by Youjoomla.
Baseline is another free and responsive Joomla template offered by Youjoomla which is ideal for business websites. It is light weight and sports a modern design. It comes with three template styles and many enhanced features. If you plan on building a business website, look no further.
Radon by Joomshaper.
Radon is an outstanding free and responsive Joomla template with the multi-purpose tag, Joomshaper templates are known for their feature-rich and user-friendly template panel on the back-end. So you will hardly face any difficulty during its customization. As with any of their paid versions, Radon comes with Mega Menu built in and a wide array of fonts to choose from. The templates also gives you the option to insert Google Analytics code from the panel itself.
Xeon by Joomshaper.
Xeon, also developed by Joomshaper, is a one-page free and and responsive Joomla template. It is beautifully designed and gives you the option to choose from three color themes – blue, green and red. Xeon is suitable for business, corporate and even personal websites. With almost every feature of their paid versions thrown in, Xeon is a good free template to start with.
Forte by Shape5.
Forte comes with a lot of features that we normally don’t see on free templates. The template has 97 core template positions and 4 custom module suffixes. Built on the Vertex framework, Forte brings with it a lot of tools for customization. Besides Forte, Shape5 does offer some more free and responsive templates.
SJ News II by Smartaddons.
It is a beautiful template made for news and magazine websites. SJ News II comes with 8 different color styles and Mega Menus. The template itself is being built on the YT Framework V3 and is integrated with the Joomla K2 component. It should be noted that SJ News II is free to download as a template but its quick-start package as well its extensions are not.
So these are some of the free and responsive Joomla templates that you can play around and start with. Most of them are as good as premium templates or with some effort, you can tune it into one. The article is a part of the Post-Installation Steps of Joomla and with this we’re trying to introduce you to Joomla templates and also to its developers. As it was mentioned before, do remember to check the other free templates on their sites as well.