Free Jekyll themes for 2021: 10 great community options

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Farrel Burns
03 February 2021 | 5 mins

Building a website from scratch can be a rewarding experience. But it can also be a long and taxing process that not everyone can afford to do.

Fortunately, Jekyll has a great catalog of popular, modern themes to choose from and customize, making your life easier - and importantly at no cost.

 

Jekyll themes in 2021

Jekyll is a well-established, easy-to-learn static site generator framework with an active community. It’s also more than just a way to create a simple blog or docs. Minimal or maxed out, blog or business, documentation or design, it’s all there. The community has been working hard over the years to showcase their talent and create some amazing, free themes for many different use cases.

Many of these themes provide a number of powerful features out of the box, such as search, dark mode, and easy API integrations - all great for the age of Jamstack.

Here, we want to show some fantastic, free Jekyll themes that are popular and have seen recent development, to help you get up and running quickly.

To make your decision easier, we’ve divided the themes into blog/personal and professional categories, with some of their best features outlined.

 

Jekyll blog themes 

 

1. Jekflix theme

Love Netflix’s design? Now you can have your own beautiful, responsive Jekyll theme Netflix-style site for blogging or showcasing other content.

Key features: 

  • Built-in live search and SEO
  • Estimated reading time and reading progress
  • Lazy-loaded images for best performance

2. Basically Basic theme

From the creator of the most popular Jekyll theme out there, Minimal Mistakes, this theme aims to be your new replacement for the standard Minima theme. 

Key features:

  • Modern, responsive design with six color variations (skins)
  • Built-in search options and easy SEO
  • Resume/CV layout ready to go

 

Basically Basic Jekyll theme screenshot

 

3. TeXt theme 

The TeXt theme is a hugely customizable Jekyll theme option for just about any project, such as personal/team sites, blogs, or documentation. Influenced by iOS 11 style, it is visually pleasing and responsive, with a number of plugin options.

Key features:

  • Six responsive skins, built with semantic HTML for accessibility
  • Enhancements for multiple media types, math, diagrams, and charts
  • Built-in search and multiple plugin options

Text Jekyll theme screenshot

 

4. Type-on-Strap theme

For those looking for great flexibility in a personal/presentation site, Type-on-Strap is a great Jekyll theme option that does everything. Easily customizable for blogging, portfolios, galleries, and multiple other content types.

Key features:

  • Responsive design and flexible page options 
  • Built-in syntax highlighting, as well as math and diagram rendering
  • Built-in search and optional plugins

Type-on-Strap Jekyll theme screenshot

 

5. Devlopr-Jekyll theme

For developers in need of a personal site, this is a great, flexible option. It’s more than just a portfolio, however, with a whole showcase of other page options available.

Key features:

  • Built-in real-time search and dark-mode toggle
  • Local admin built in with Jekyll Admin
  • Multiple API, hosting, and code-related options

Devlopr Jekyll theme screenshot

 

Jekyll professional themes

 

1. Jekyll Serif theme 

Jekyll Serif gives you all you need to get a business site up and running quickly. The creators have gone to great lengths to make a great-looking, performant site, with a clean, modern theme that’s appropriate for many typical setups.

Key features:

  • Responsive, with 100% Lighthouse score in all categories
  • Minimal size for maximum UX, with under 80kb including all assets
  • Great aesthetics with royalty-free illustrations and content 

Serif Jekyll theme screenshot

 

2. Chirpy theme

On the lookout for a great-looking, flexible Jekyll theme focusing on text presentation/documentation? Chirpy might be just what you need for almost any kind of documenting need.

Key features:

  • Minimal and responsive, with great sidebar
  • Built-in search and dark mode
  • Syntax highlighting and math presentation

Chirpy Jekyll theme screenshot

 

3. Automatic theme 

A specialized theme designed to make it incredibly quick to deploy an iOS app landing page. Highly customizable and feature-rich, with built-in features to automatically retrieve information from the iOS store.

Key features:

  • Preview area for videos or screenshots
  • Easy to tweak through _config.yml to drive customization options
  • Automatic icon and metadata fetching through Apple ID

Automatic Jekyll theme screenshot

 

4. Carte theme 

APIs are an important part of the Jamstack model. The authors of this Jekyll theme wanted a simple solution for documenting them, without the complexity of enterprise solutions. This theme is great for getting documented quickly, focusing purely on written content.

Key features:

  • All static, no server, inspired by Swagger and I/O docs
  • Customizable boilerplate with simple, responsive design
  • Easy to add new API calls via _posts, not POST

Carte Jekyll theme screenshot

 

5. Just the Docs theme

Need a lightweight but powerful Jekyll theme for documentation? Just the Docs offers you just that, in a responsive, highly customizable package. No fluff - just clean docs.

Key features:

  • Few dependencies with a focus on simplicity and speed
  • Powerful built-in search with great feedback
  • Fully customizable and first-class mobile experience

Just the Docs Jekyll theme screenshot

 

Wrap-up

With these amazing Jekyll themes for different needs, you’ll be ready to go for your next project, or just take inspiration from expert-designed solutions. 

Even if these themes aren’t quite what you’re looking for, there’s plenty more options and updates happening in the Jekyll community - check them out on the Jekyll GitHub theme page and Jekyll’s themes page. Plus, CloudCannon also offers a number of great-looking, free and open-source Jekyll themes for lots of purposes.

Lastly, for launching your site with a favorite theme, CloudCannon is the Jekyll CMS and all-in-one platform for you to get started in just a few steps. 

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