Drupal 8 Themes for Beginners

Drupal 8 Themes for Beginners
A couple of years ago, we realized that a lot of Drupal beginners were asking us for simple, good-looking Drupal themes.

These beginners didn’t want sub-themes, base themes, frameworks or complicated installs. So that meant no Omega, Zen, Fusion or Bootstrap. These beginners just wanted a theme that could be installed easily and didn’t look embarrassing. That lead to “Recommended Themes for Drupal Beginners“, one of the most popular posts on this blog.

Now that Drupal 8 is here, we’ve started to hear the same question: “What theme should beginners use to create their first site?”

Only 86 themes are ready for Drupal 8 currently, so we will make sure to update this list as time goes on. If you know of any more, please let us know in the comments.

Theme #1. Zircon

By a large distance, Zircon is the most complete and professional-looking beginner theme. The details of theme are nicely done and there are no areas that obviously need more work. For this reason, Zircon is the theme we chose to use in our Drupal 8 Beginner class.

Here’s the block region layout for Zircon:

Theme #2. Integrity

Integrity is a solid theme that uses Bootstrap 3 and has a reasonable design. However, there are some flaws in the design, including the main menu which looks incomplete. It would need some work to make it ready for use on a real site.

Here’s the block region layout for Integrity:

Theme #3. Paxton

Paxton is from the same designers as Integrity. Again, it’s a reasonably designed Bootstrap 3 theme that needs some tidying-up, especially with the main menu. I can imagine using this for a test site, but not a real project.

Here’s the block region layout for Paxton:

If you know of any more, please let us know in the comments.


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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Yeah for me one of the issues is the number of response you get from the search clearly not all 86 are ready to be used either. I demoed as many as I could back in December but when one broke my site I stopped. I fixed it with drush but that is beside the point. I settled on bootstrap 3 beta it might say beta but I’ve found it to be more stable than some others. [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/bootstrap]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url]


Thanks Daniel. I’m pleasantly surprised to see the Bootstrap is the most popular Drupal 8 theme right now.

leo pathu

The integrity Main menu issue has fixed Now, You could try latest version of the theme.


Thanks Leo. It’s a good theme, thanks for creating it.

Darryl Norris

Light Skeleton is another theme that is D8 ready – [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/light_skeleton]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url]


@darol100 Thanks. I gave it a test. Perhaps a little too plain for beginners?


Interesting article Steve, thanks. I’ve been looking for some good D8 ready base themes as my usual goto theme (Zen) isn’t ready yet. Although I have been playing with Bootstrap, which at beta2 at least wasn’t liking my subtheme, and I’m waiting for Bootstrap 4 too. Thinking about it though, a beginner’s theme may be a good way of learning Twig.


David Thorne Yes, those basic themes are great for people to get a foothold in Drupal.
Looks like another Bootstrap user … it is is the most popular Drupal 8 theme currently.


Hi Steve and everyone,
Thanks for the nice discussion and summary.
We just released the beta-1 of our News+ Lite theme for Drupal 8, in case you want to take a look and give it a try [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/newsplus_lite]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url].
Questions, issues, comments more than welcome. Hope you enjoy it 🙂
The team at More than Themes


That’s good to hear 🙂 We always liked and used your Drupal 7 themes.


I started my first D8 website a few days ago – and stopped after a few hours. Nothing or everything, depending on the view, I was looking for was (not) available, even themes. So I gave up – for the time being and let’s say the next three months at least. I did not expect it to be the same situation as from D6 to D7.
Thanks for this news, now I know this was not my fault.


You’re welcome, Tina. After a lot of testing over the last few days, I’d still say that D8 is still mainly for experts.

Israel Morales

you should try my theme is basic but at least works with D8, is currently on development soon is going to be in [url=http://drupal.org]drupal.org[/url].
Was created for simple websites, you can change the color of the theme in settings.

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón

Dear Steve!I have installed Zircon Theme for Drupal 8 in order to study it,following all the Installation guide´s steps but I cannot access at the administration area.During the installation I didnt have the option to write the user name or the password´s site.What can I do to get the right user name and password?What am I doing wrong?


You installed this via the Drupal 8 admin interface?

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón

Dear Steve! I installed XAMPP,then I copied the zircon directory at C:\xampp\htdocs…and I created the database and imported the zircon.sql.I went to the browser through XAMPP interface and wrote localhost/zircon/core/install.php…and the installation process began as the pictures of the Installation Guide shows.It asked for Choose Language,Select an installation profile,Database Configuration,and finally…Drupal already Installed…but no step for the Site Info.


Sorry, I haven’t tested any total install package, just the theme itself

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón

Thanks anyhow!I sent the same question to the WeebPal people.While I am waiting I will keep looking for answers at Google.Take care!

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón

I used this guide: [url=http://www.weebpal.com/guides/step-step-guide-install-drupal-8-theme]http://www.weebpal.com/guid…[/url]


Just looking at this post now. Last December, when I was first playing around with D8, I had trouble with most of the themes. However, I did have good luck with Waterloo, which I liked because it gave me some color and style options, without having to get into serious theming. Recently, I have found that Mayo is working well, which has lots of appearance options and yet isn’t too complicated for beginners.


@robertlucore Great, thanks!

Zhilevan Ibra

Good article, Do you Know any RTL support base theme?

Adal Arasu

Steve, i am the author of mbase base theme, [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/mbase]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url], You can create sub themes online with quick drag and drop here [url=http://cmsbots.com]http://cmsbots.com[/url], so for 2000 custom drupal 7 and 8 themes delivered. And per days average 10-15 themes generated by users. Its free.

Eric Terkpertey

how can i change the css color of the sidebar in integrity theme. I have done that severally but I can not still change it

Eric Terkpertey

I really need a help


Hi Eric,
You can do it with your CSS if you need more advise I would recommend you take our theming course.



Shame the first theme does not have security approval, and that other themes have a preview on dropthemes.in which no longer exists.

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