As a human that builds WordPress sites for various other humans, I’m always running up against free themes that are loaded with malicious code. So, alas, thank goodness I found this post from Siobhan McKeown at WPMU.org on “Why You Should Never Search for Free WordPress Themes.” Even though the post is dated 2011, it is still a valid read that teaches you how to look for malicious code. At the end of the article, there’s a list of some sites that offer free themes. Let’s look at those sites in 2013:
ThemeShaper – This site was put together by a group of people who actually worked for Automattic developing themes for WordPress.com (Automattic is the parent “company” that created WordPress ala Matt Mullenweg). They offer a theme tutorial to help you create your own in 16 lessons starting from scratch! So, why download a freebie when you can create your own? They do offer a free theme – the _s theme, and a link to get Themmatic, a free WordPress framework, too.