7 Affordable (or Free!) Responsive Web Design Templates

7 Affordable (or Free!) Responsive Web Design Templates

As of July 2022, around 58% of web visitors browse from their mobile devices. If your website doesn’t provide a seamless experience across all screen sizes, including smartphones or tablets, you’re likely missing out on reaching many potential customers.

The growing number of mobile-device users makes it more important than ever to create (or update) your website to include responsive design. Responsive layouts can be built with HTML5 or Bootstrap frameworks and can automatically adjust user experiences accordingly, whether browsers are on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer with an ultra-wide monitor. If that’s not enough motivation, responsive layouts are recommended by developers of search engines like Google and are a ranking factor for search engine optimization (SEO).

What are the key elements of responsive design?

The three key components of responsive web design and development are fluid grid systems, fluid image use, and media queries.

  • Fluid grid systems. Websites today are viewed using many different devices with varying screen sizes. Additionally, smartphones, tablets, and computers have touchscreen interfaces, meaning menus and interactive elements must be accessible in any configuration so users can navigate a website. Fluid grid systems that can change their orientation as screen sizes change have replaced fixed-width grids that can become unusable when not on a fixed-sized screen. Fluid grids change a web page’s layout on the fly and ensure usability on any device or screen size.
  • Fluid image use. In addition to fluid grid systems, responsive HTML templates should also use fluid images. Fluid image sizing allows users to see full images that fit their screen regardless of their browser or device. Images are managed by adjusting them to the largest possible size based on the size of the user's screen. Web developers previously specified image sizes in the code (for example, the HTML code would be something like <img src="img_test.jpg" width="500" height="600">). However, image sizes are not specified using responsive web development. Instead, browsers determine image sizes based on individual user parameters using CSS (cascading style sheets) to maintain their relative size.
  • Media queries. CSS media queries allow web developers to apply specific rules to responsive design templates. For example, a developer can specify an action like removing an image when a user is on a mobile browser or adjusting layouts based on the width of a monitor or browser window. Media queries can also detect user browsing environments (like if a user is on a touchscreen computer or is using a mouse), which can improve the user experience as it relates to website design.

If you need a website that is optimized for all devices and follows the recommended design standards for the top search engines, it’s time to develop a site with a responsive design.

Whether you are upgrading an older website or creating a brand new site, we’ve got some really good news for you. Many inexpensive (even free) website templates are available to accelerate the design and build process for your business.

This article highlights a few great responsive website template options from popular theme providers. Our list includes site templates for a variety of industries and needs, including e-commerce integration, portfolio gallery, and pricing grids. Check out the list below.

Glint

Glint

Glint offers a one-page template with a dramatic full-screen header image and text overlay. The theme's default configuration uses light and dark elements and an eye-popping green accent color. Glint includes cool features that aren’t typically included in an inexpensive template, like an animating stats option and a portfolio area.

Glint’s clean and modern design and feature set make it an excellent HTML template option for a creative agency, graphic designer, or photographer.

Key features

  • Contact form integration
  • Portfolio section with grid style gallery
  • Animated counter feature
  • Hamburger menu
  • Parallax scrolling effect
  • Easy to customize

Sona

Sona

Sleek and elegant, Sona is a Bootstrap template designed with hotels in mind. The free theme includes a page template to showcase individual rooms, booking integration, and a sliding testimonials feature. The theme includes a blog, which businesses can use as a landing page for promoting seasonal specials, “things to do” posts, and other timely or marketing-related messaging.

Sona is a great option for a hotel or motel and may be an option for some event venues.

Key features

  • Online booking-ready form
  • Room highlights page
  • Variety of internal page layouts
  • Blog integration
  • Contact form
  • Newsletter sign-up
  • Google Maps plug-in integration

Tough

Tough

The Tough theme offers a professional and clean look designed to highlight project portfolios for large-scale design and construction work.

With portfolios front and center in this template, users can showcase their best projects to entice potential clients. Tough also includes an animated statistics feature to highlight experience or offer levity—like cups of coffee consumed. The theme is user-friendly, while also being customizable and robust enough for professional developers to make a website that’s unique for their clients.

Tough is a workhorse template designed to highlight building and design works and is recommended for commercial builders, engineers, or architects.

Key features

  • Portfolio-rich homepage with carousel slider
  • Testimonials slider
  • Pricing plan tables
  • Scroll content loading
  • Animated statistic area
  • Button hover effects
  • Social media icons

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Animal Shelter

Animal Shelter

The Animal Shelter theme is designed to connect individuals with a “mew” best friend. The template’s homepage includes image spots to feature the “hot” dogs and “cool” cats in the facility, a built-in video features spot, and an additional slider section for testimonials or sponsors. There is also a landing page with an integrated form for volunteers and an image gallery function for featuring pictures of available pets. Use the blog to share rescue success stories, shelter news, or marketing and promotional efforts.

Animal Shelter is a great theme for rescues and shelters wanting to quickly develop a website to bring their community online.

Key features

  • Full-screen banner
  • Video support
  • Multilevel drop-down menu
  • Volunteer landing page
  • Google map integration

Photon

Photon

Photon is a single-page responsive HTML5 template. The design features a gradient color scheme with a simple text overlay that catches the eye and looks awesome on a retina display. The theme includes a gallery section for your photos and smooth animations when scrolling. You can also add pre-styled elements to spice up your design.

Photon would be a good choice for a small digital agency or startup website.

Key features

  • HTML5 framework
  • Photo gallery support
  • Stylish parallax effect
  • Buttons with hover effects
  • Retina-display ready

WebMag

Webmag

WebMag is a clean and minimalist WordPress theme that’s ready for a content-based, magazine-style website. WebMag (like a web magazine) offers a clean layout designed to feature individual stories and keep content organized and easily searchable with label overlays and navigation. The template also offers integrated ad placements to help you generate advertising revenue for your website once you add content.

WebMag is a multipurpose theme that would be a good choice for many industries. Its clean and minimalist look is popular with companies in tech web design, travel, lifestyle, or general news.

Key features

  • Bootstrap framework
  • Floating navigation
  • Menu pop-up
  • Social media iconography
  • Contact form integration
  • Newsletter subscription form

Landed

Landed

Landed is a free HTML5-based template with a modern-tech feel. The template includes a full-screen hero image on the homepage with a parallax effect to add to the layout's modern vibe. Landed includes options for pricing tables and customizable buttons that change color when hovered over. It offers two social media icon options (white outline or red) and a contact form plug-in.

Landed is a good, multipurpose-theme option for small digital agencies or startup tech companies.

Key features

  • Full-screen hero image homepage
  • Lazy-loading image support
  • Two choices for social media icons
  • Sidebar options
  • Customizable buttons with hover effects

Create a beautiful responsive site with expert help

There you have it: 10 affordable (or free!) responsive design templates that you can put to work for your business in short order. These templates make it easy to have a contemporary website that meets the latest search engine standards, while also helping your customers navigate your site whether they’re on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

If you’re ready to invest in a responsive design website for your business, you can start by doing a simple search for a freelance web developer with experience in responsive design. Upwork’s network makes it easier than ever before to find qualified freelance talent.

Responsive design web developers can also leverage Upwork’s network to find new projects or job opportunities that can help advance their careers while they continue to live the freelance dream.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

Author Spotlight

7 Affordable (or Free!) Responsive Web Design Templates
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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