Jan 13, 2012
So your personal blog is picking up momentum and you’re ready to spend a few dollars sprucing it up, or perhaps you’re setting up a website for your new home business and you need it to look awesome, or maybe you’re a WordPress freelancer looking for economic solutions for your clients. Whatever the need, premium WordPress themes are an excellent way to build a professional looking blog or website quickly and without coding. There are a lot of places you can go to buy these themes. Which are the best premium theme markets around? I have selected my personal favorites.
Themeforest is an absolutely huge marketplace, with hundreds of good quality themes in many cateogries (not only WordPress). Themes are sold individually, with a small discount if you use pre-paid credits. Themeforest allows the authors themselves to sell their themes, so each author provides support in a different manner. I’ve never had any problems, but I guess it’s always good practice to read through some of the comments for the theme you’re considering to get a feel of the temperature in there. One of the nice things about using Themeforest is that any credit that you purchase can be also used in any of the marketplaces ran by Envato, its parent company, and there are quite a few of them: Photodune for stock photography, Code Canyon for code snippets and plugins, Active Den for Flash files, and so on.
Elegant Themes is one of the cheapest solution for premium themes. They offer a subscription model in which for only US$39 per year you get access to all of their themes. Quality is always good, even if some of the designs already look a little dated and their “ePanel” admin interface isn’t always as flexible as I’d like. Since all themes are designed by Elegant Themes themselves, support is through their own forum and is excellent – very fast replies, and I’ve never seen a problem left unsolved.
Woothemes is one of the better known names in the WordPress theme market, having been around for a while now. Their theme framework is widely recognized as one of the best around. Recently they’ve released Woo Commerce, an e-commerce platform built around their themes, which has met with some very positive feedback (I’ve not used it yet for production sites, but it looks great). Support is provided by Woothemes themselves. As for pricing, they lean towards the higher end of the spectrum, with individual themes costing arount US$70 withoud PSD files or US$150 with PSDs. They also have a subscription option which gives access to all the themes, which has a US$125 setup fee with a monthly charge of US$15 for the themes without PSDs, and US$200+US$20/mo for the themes with PSD files.
Organic Themes is another option that sells individual items (around US$69 each, with full PSDs) and gives you the option to buy all of their themes (current and future) for US$249. So far they have a smaller collection, but their themes are good quality. I have experienced slower response times in their support forums, but I do like the general design and quality of their themes.
5. Mojo Themes
Mojo Themes is more like Themeforest in that it is a real marketplace where authors sign up to sell their items. It doesn’t have the advantage Themeforest has of having a bunch of related marketplaces, but it does have some great themes and the purchasing process is very straightforward. Certainly a place to check out when looking for your themes.
The WordPress theme space is growing a lot, now that WordPress has a virtual monopoly in the blogging platform arena – who remembers Typepad these days? Purchasing a premium theme is an easy and fairly cheap way to make a professional looking website, and these marketplaces are definitely good places to start your search for the perfect theme.
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