Best Free Themes For Moodle LMS — 2019 Summer Cut Update

By Cristian T. Duque -July 11, 2019

Welcome to yet another exciting time for Open Source Beauty lovers!

Below you will check out the community’s picks for Moodle themes, one of the best reasons why Moodle is the top LMS worldwide.

These themes have gained the raving love of the community for being modern, high-performing, fully featured and —the icing on the cake— completely free.

How did your favorite theme stacked up this year? Let’s find out!

Important notice: Halted Themes

Despite being among the most popular, we strongly advise against using the following themes due to the long time since they were last updated.

It is troubling to see that, despite showing their development halted by a year if not longer, they still continue to be the default theme in hundreds or thousands of sites. They are often installed in later versions of Moodle, for which they are officially compatible, leading to glaring functionality and security issues.

  • Aardvark Last updated: October, 2017 (Moodle 3.3) Active on 3,474 sites
  • Bootstrap Last updated: August, 2016 (Moodle 3.1) Active on 3,316 sites
  • Contemporary Last updated: August, 2017 (Moodle 3.4) Active on 1,221 sites
  • Eduhub Last updated: January, 2017 (Moodle 3.2) Active on 918 sites
  • evolve-D Last updated: September, 2015 (Moodle 2.9) Active on 1,149 sites

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The 10 most active themes on live, active, registered sites

  1. Adaptable: 10,967
  2. Essential: 9,652
  3. Academi: 4,796
  4. Klass: 4,429
  5. Moove: 4,068
  6. Fordson: 3,860
  7. Eguru: 3,791
  8. Aardvark: 3,474
  9. Bootstrap: 3,316
  10. Campus: 1,372
  11. Enlightlite: 1,223
  12. Contemporary: 1,221
  13. Evolve-D: 1,149
  14. Snap: 1,135
  15. Roshnilite: 1,123
  16. Eduhub: 918
  17. Boost Campus: 664
  18. Trema: 398
  19. Waxed: 320
  20. Degrade: 171

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The 20 most downloaded themes in the last 12 months

  1. 64,463 Adaptable
  2. 34,037 Essential
  3. 31,643 Eguru
  4. 29,739 Moove
  5. 27,981 Fordson
  6. 27,091 Klass
  7. 26,528 Academi
  8. 12,559 Enlightlite
  9. 9,460 Aardvark
  10. 6,951 Campus
  11. 6,731 Snap
  12. 4,736 Boost Campus
  13. 4,372 Roshnilite
  14. 3,637 Bootstrap
  15. 3,555 Trema
  16. 2,717 Contemporary
  17. 2,619 Eduhub
  18. 2,340 evolve-D
  19. 2,280 waxed
  20. 2,183 Degrade

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The best themes of 2019 so far
(All Moodle 3.7 compatible)

#10. “waxed”

by Richard Oelmann

A dependable theme by a dependable Moodler, which now got more stable and better performing thanks to a PHP upgrade. “waxed” has earned the “Early Bird” badge for being readily available after each new Moodle release.


#9-7. “Academi,” “Klass” and “Eguru”

by The LMSACE Team (formerly Nephzat)

Responsive, multilingual, highly configurable and all around sleek, these offerings are testament to the reliable work by the Open Source EdTech team at Tamil Nadu, India. Together they account for a near third of all top theme downloads in the year.


#6. “Boost Campus”

by Kathrin Osswald, Alexander Bias and the Ulm University IT Team

The weapon of choice across European campuses continues to deliver on a clean, no-nonsense experience. “Boost Campus” is perhaps the most often updated theme, with enhancements just early in July already logged.


#5. “Enlightlite”

by The LMSACE Team

Were it not enough with 3 spots on this list, this theme is one of the fastest growing among active sites, with 12% in the last quarter. It is proof of the quality work of LMSACE, which develops its themes in tandem to guarantee the same level of functionality; as well as the general consistency of free Moodle themes.


#4. “Adaptable”

by Fernando Acedo, Jez H & Manoj Solanki

The most popular theme from the most popular LMS of all time, and the theme of choice in one out of every active and registered sites, the team behind “Adaptable” is ready to defend its title. It tracked a 3% growth in terms of active sites, which seems a lesser feat compared to others in this list. But actually, they recorded the second largest number of active sites in the quarter.


#3. “Fordson”

by Chris Kenniburg

There is always something new and innovative from the Moodler’s Moodler, a theme trailblazer and a reason to be excited about the future of open learning technologies. Kenniburg’s closeness to real K-12 educators is one of “Fordson”‘s sources of strength. Catch him this summer at MountainMoot and the Dearborn Moot, where he plays host.

“Forsdon” Pulse


#2. “Trema”

by Trevor Furtado & Rodrigo Mady

It’s been a frantic pace for “Trema”, who’s breathtaking login page based on procedurally generated particle animation (see demo) swept our readers and the Moodleverse by their feet. Few themes have reached the thousand-site mark so quickly, let alone the over 3,500 active Moodle installations which already adopted it. One of two great examples, among many, of why the future of open learning technologies lives on emerging markets, Brazil in particular.


#1. “Moove”

by William Mano Araujo

Another summer of glory for Brazil! Is this a Moodle theme ranking, or la Copa América?

A series of outstanding achievements make of “Moove” the strongest offer among Moodle themes today. With a record 387 new active sites for the quarter, this solo operation and the only donationware on the list already has 10% of the share among themes. What makes “Moove” the best theme available? A leap ahead in focus, intuitiveness hours behind carefully crafted pages, blocks and elements.

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Other notable stats (top 20 only)

Themes with the largest raw gains in active sites, Q2

  1. Moove: 387
  2. Adaptable: 359
  3. Fordson: 336
  4. Enlightlite: 131
  5. Trema: 125
  6. Boost Campus: 113
  7. Eguru: 109

Themes with the largest percentage gains in active sites, Q2

  1. Trema: 46%
  2. Boost Campus: 21%
  3. Enlightlite: 12%
  4. Moove: 11%
  5. Fordson: 10%

Themes with the largest drops in active sites, Q2

It is somewhat of a relief that all the halted themes dropped users. In fact, they were the biggest losers with the exception of “Essential”‘s massive site setback. A surprising development, as it is for “Roshnilite”‘s drop, in a less significant magnitude but higher as a percentage.

  1. Essential: 252 (-3%)
  2. Aardvark: 75 (-2%)
  3. Contemporary: 59 (-5%)
  4. evolve-D: 56 (-5%)
  5. Roshnilite: 53 (-5%)
  6. Bootstrap: 40 (-1%)
  7. Eduhub: 35 (-4%)
  8. Campus: 15 (-1%)

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