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Theme Stores

28 Dec Theme Stores

One of the many things that makes WordPress so awesome is the community that’s built around it. Since it’s open source, and can be used for profit tons of people have built themes, or basically pre made website templates for others to purchase. Some are even free. I don’t recommend buying a free one, but they can be good for some very basic uses.

The truth of the matter is websites are expensive. And I’m not just saying that because I build them. Each one takes a lot of time and effort to go from planning to launch, and pre-made themes just help to facilitate that process. These should, by no means, however, be used as an end all be all. In some cases, it can even be faster to build from the ground up, as a developer will have complete control and knowledge over everything.

But lets say you’re on a limited budget. Where should you look, and what should you look for? There is a lot of garbage out there, as well as some really good options. Lets take a look at the latter.

  1. WooThemes – WooThemes has a collection of beautifully designed themes, most of which are responsive. They all come with a bunch of options in the WordPress dashboard, and are usually my number one choice. They’ve got a rock solid code base, promoting fast, easy to use sites. They’re quite expensive at $125 just to sign up, and then another $15 per month. You can buy themes on a per theme basis, however.
  2. Elegant Themes – Elegant Themes are more design-centric and are often good for the creative professionals. They’ve got about 80 total themes, and it only costs $40 to gain access to all of them. This site was built with an Elegant Theme.
  3. Theme Trust – Smaller than Woo and Elegant themes, Theme Trust can certainly hold their own. They’ve got a bunch of responsive and beautifully designed themes for all types of sites. At $40 for two sites, the price is hard to beat. Their support is unparalleled (note: I’m a moderator in their support forum).
  4. Themify.me – A relatively new player in the game, Themify.me has some awesome themes. They’re a small team based in Toronto, and have really built quite a reputation for responsive, niche themes.
  5. Theme Forest – When all else fails, check out Theme Forest. A lot of what you’ll get is unknown, so it helps to check user reviews, and make sure the author provides support. The disadvantage to having so many different themes in one place is uniformity. All the others have the same general back end options, layout, look and feel. With Theme Forest, every author is at their whim to do whatever they want.

All in all paid themes make sense. They’re pretty inexpensive for what you’re getting, they often have free support, and they’re usually much more robust than a free theme would be. In a lot of cases (as with the stores above) it is their full time job to build awesome themes, and make sure their customers are happy.

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