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Before you launch a website, you need to figure out how you are going to build it. This list has 99 of the best free, open source HTML website templates that can help. Before we get to the list, let us take you back to a simpler time. The 1990s. Old school HTML enthusiasts call these “the good old days.” Where the only way you were going to get a website up was to hand code it yourself with the help of awesome open source sites like HTML goodies (which surprisingly still exists).
This was long before the explosion of solutions like WordPress, Wix, Weebly and Joomla made it easy for any old geezer to install a professional website with a few clicks.
Nowadays it's common to use a CMS (content management system) like WordPress or a website building service such as Squarespace without a second thought. These are great solutions that produce high quality sites, but they aren't always the best option. For people who want a simple, lightweight website a CMS can be overkill. Creating a simple site using an HTML/CSS template can offer a few advantages right off the bat.
- Speed — using a CMS can be heavy on resources, leading to things like longer page loading times.
- More Control — you can get a site that looks just as good as a WordPress site and it's easier to change things down to the pixel without having to brave the murky tunnels of a complex CMS architecture.
- Security — it's a fact that hackers and spammers target popular CMS instalations because it's easier. Using an HTML template doesn't mean you are completely secure, but you may be less vulnerable to hackers targeting well known security holes.
Below is the list of our favorite templates, categorized by type. Check them out. One of them might be just what you're looking for.
- Asperion HTML5 — a clean, minimal template geared toward businesses dealing with IT.
- Bio Farming — a decent template built for sustainable farming. The elements and design are laid out just like a standard landing page for a design agency.
- Blue Skies — this fixed width website is good for blogging or business.
- Bootstrap Restaurant — everything you need for a restaurant site including booking, a map, online orders and sliders to showcase menu items.
- Cafe — it includes high quality images, interesting typography, and mobile first features like the hamburger menu.
- Corporate Bizz — complete template for a serious corporate site using a dark color scheme.
- Crossfit — a cool modern theme for any niche related to fitness. It's responsive and ready for mobile browsing.
- Environmental Brand — this one is a minimal and great for any sort of professional organization.
- Home Property — this is for real estate professionals. It can be for a company or serve as a directory.
- HTML5 Streets — great for a simple business site. Construction would be a good niche to use this for.
- HTML5 Water —the image background and color scheme are reminiscent of seascapes. This would be nice for a diving site or anything to do with aquatics.
- HTML 919 — classic 5 page full width website with a header, body, footer, sub header and textured background.
- Leather and Coffee — a 5 page template good for cafes. It uses a jQuery image fader and boasts a rich color scheme.
- Medicine — Suitable for healthcare professionals.
- Natural Paper Co — shades of brown give this site a down to earth vibe. The design is well organized and effective.
- Nautica 05 Dark — this one is easy to modify and validate. Four layouts are included.
- Organic Farm — have a client who needs an organic farm website? Here's the perfect template for it.
- Parallax Template — built with HTML/CSS/JS, this template is useful for small businesses and startups.
- Six Dark — the color scheme breathes life into this simple, clean template.
- The Tree Hills — built for designers, this site template has a refreshing color scheme and a professional yet creative feel.
- Web 2.0 — check this one out if you are looking for a simple static website for business. Nothing fancy or new to see here, but it is a solid template.
- Wind Power — another template for a sustainable business by Studio7Designs. It's over 5 years old but still works great.
- Cool Layout — this isn't an entire website, but it could easily be. This template has a five-section layout with chainable animation. It's great for showing off images.
- Forty — a really simple yet stunning material design theme for photographers.
- Helios — another freebie from HTML5up.net, Helios is great for photographers.
- Nautica — the demo is built for a wedding photographer. It's simple, whimsical, and classy.
- The Piano — this is a music themed template, perfect for a piano teacher.
- Pure CSS Parallax — if you have some high quality images, this template would work well. It's got four parallax sections.
- Sigma — this metro-style image grid has multiple columns and a responsive lightbox. If you have lots of images you can make good use of Sigma.
- BIWAS — this looks like many other IT business websites. This landing page has parallax sections, tiered pricing tables, a contact form, and a slide out menu.
- Coloi — if you need to design a site for a web service company Coloi is perfect.
- Creative Winter — this simple full width parallax website is a nice one page site with for creatives.
- Fancy Mobile Flat — a flat design with bright pastels and a sticky header.
- Fractal — a very simple template that you can use as a starting point for your own ideas.
- Grayscale — the grayscale color scheme has a very dramatic effect. This is one of my favorites. The design is very sophisticated and it naturally focuses your eyes on the content.
- Jasmin — a very minimal and clean site. It's a simple, clean site that is mobile friendly and nice CSS animation.
- Landing Page — one of the cleanest landing pages for freelancers and designers. Just like good design, it's simple, functional, and feels right.
- Metallic Slider — just like the name implies, you get a metallic slider. This one pager has interactive sliding panels that reveal your content.
- Modeling — this is a clean and fashion friendly site.
- Personal Website — if you are a designer/creative type, this website will be sure to impress. It's very clean and has some impressive animation.
- Rex — this landing page has all the essentials ready for you to customize.
- rLAKPm — this modern one page site is for startups and developers. It uses animated effects and color schemes that fall in line with material design.
- Simple Life — a clean one page template that gives you all the basics for blogging or business. The nav menu takes you to different sections of the page.
- Spa Gardenia — this long one page template can work for health spas, hair salons or any other sort of landing page.
- Stylish Portfolio — a good start for a portfolio based on material design.
- Agency — good for any small agency or business. This well designed full-width site draws your eye to the center of the page.
- Art Portfolio — this can serve as a strong portfolio for all sorts of different creative professionals.
- Audio — audiophiles need websites too. This is great for any audio tech, programmer, even a music teacher.
- Bokeh — this flexible theme uses lots of red and has a built-in drop down navigational menu at the top of the page. It's geared toward designers.
- CLJxH — a minimal one page template with parallax scrolling over a single background image. It's a nice choice for anyone who wants a simple web presence.
- Creative Portfolio — This couldn't be simpler. This portfolio cuts out the fat. It gives visitors the who, what, and where without any frills.
- Gamer Template — this full width site is for a gaming blog. It's basic but looks modern.
- I'm Tim — the author of this template is a web designer. This template is a landing page for his services. Freelancers of all kinds can use it.
- Kaptain Kitty — this uses material design principles to create a soothing effect for visitors. It's great for a personal blog or portfolio.
- Material Design Blog — this one uses cutting edge web design trends to create a nice blog. It's a very cool template though with card-style layouts you'd see on Twitter or Facebook.
- OnePager — as the name implies, a one-page template, but designed for portfolio and business websites.
- Photo_Dark — this dark template sets the mood to showcase powerful photos.
- Scrolling Website — this jQuery parallax scrolling site has beautiful images and is setup like a diorama. It's great for an event, story, or even a portfolio.
- Simple Style_7 — this sharp looking template would make a nice portfolio for someone who is very organized and precise.
- Tim Robert-Fitzgerald — this is a dead-simple portfolio for anyone to use. It's clean, focused and requires very little to make it your own.
- Video Blog — this is a video blog template written in 2013. The color scheme and graphic design is pleasant and earthy.
- Your Design Portfolio— this template has a portfolio section and a sidebar to help you showcase your work.
- Bazaar — this flat responsive website is impressive! The source files include Photoshop files.
- Best Store — this online mall template is catered toward selling high quality goods. It's classy, professional, and nicely laid out.
- The Big Store — this template is free to help you build an online grocery store. Manage users, showcase products, and accept payments.
- Blue Clean — it's all in the name. This one uses different shades of blue and is very clean. Use it to set up a shop that sells tech products.
- Bootstrap Shop — this is a readymade online store. It's modern, and has a shopping cart ready to go.
- Curtain Store — this 2 column layout has a dark color scheme. Add a shopping cart and you can have a full-fledged shop.
- Digi Shop — This modern online shop is ideal for selling a wide range of products.
- FooseShoes — sell women's shoes — or anything, really.
- Free Style — lots of white space and plenty of clean grids help showoff product pics.
- Furnyish — sliders, whitespace and well organized grids give this furniture store site a homey feel to it.
- Grocery Store — sell anything related to food online with this gem.
- Home Shoppe — a beautiful online shop for selling all sorts of goods.
- H Shape — this colorful flat design features fitness products like clothing, active wear and workout gear.
- IWear —This eyewear shop is shiek with a vintage feel.
- Leoshop — this flat ecommerce template can help you build a high caliber site like Amazon or Snapdeal.
- Markito — a flat T-shirt shop for you to customize and make your own.
- New Shop — another flat responsive template built on bootstrap. This template is current and ready for selling.
- Resale — resale makes it easy to create a site where people can buy and sell used goods.
- Sell Anything — This 4 column template is responsive and quite stunning. It's a good choice for selling clothing or anything else.
- ShopList — nice features include a unique slider, product pages, image previews and a shopping cart.
- Smart Sale — this site is nice to browse and has some interesting material design elements. It's ideal for any type of store.
- Smart Store — this template has a unique grid layout compared to most of the others on this list and color scheme that really pops.
- Surf Company — need to build site for a surf company? You can get started with this template.
- Women's Fashion — this has everything you need to run a swanky fashion boutique online. Tailor it to your needs to make it fit your purpose.
- Youth Fashion — shopping cart site for fashion. Launch an online store, just add your content and setup your payment gateway.
- Colormag — a simple and easy to read magazine template with a fresh color scheme.
- Cyber Tech — a very comprehensive web template for a zine or blog about anything tech.
- Daily Newspaper — showcase your content with easy to read typography and a clean layout.
- Magazine — tab style nav menu, full width sections and some clean graphic design makes Magazine worth a try.
- MagExpress — this is a stunning magazine that would work well for news or lifestyle.
- News Aggregate — pull the best content with this aggregate template. Build a site like Alltop.com.
- Newspaper —interesting newspaper theme that is flexible and easy to customize.
- Organic Design — another fixed width site made for an eco-friendly business.
- Pixabella04 — this one has a blog, multiple layouts, a boxed layout and sidebars.
- Theme #4 — simple fixed width layout with a crisp feel. It's nice for a tech blog.
- Wine Social — great site for a winery, brewery or any other beverage business.
- Yellow Blog — this blog is professional looking and beautiful. If you are looking to an alternative to WordPress this is a smart choice.
Build a Custom Site
Some of these templates may be a few years old but that may work in your favor. Software does evolve quickly but HTML doesn't seem to be going anywhere at the moment. You may notice that some of these templates can be used for more than one niche, despite their categories. Regardless, just know these templates will let you build a custom site (with a little help) that's sure to stand out.