One of the hardest things in building a WordPress site is picking a theme! You can spend hours trolling the internet finding the perfect theme.
Although there are many free WordPress themes available from WordPress.org’s Theme Directory, my recommendation is to go with a premium (paid) theme from a reputable WordPress theme company.
Why? …..Well, here are some things you should consider before jumping at any free themes:
- Not many free theme designers provide technical support or active user forums.
- As WordPress improves, it’s very important for the themes to stay compatible with it so that you can take advantage of the latest tools and technology that WordPress offers. However, free themes tend to be not maintained as well as the premium themes. (for obvious reasons… they are not getting paid)
- And using a theme that’s not up to the latest technology that changes every day means it just might be vulnerable to hackers and malware.
Considering the above, here are five theme companies I recommend to my Website Creation Workshop students:
Elegant Themes WordPress Themes*
Known for the simplicity, functionality, and beautiful design, Elegant Themes provides many easy-to-use, yet gorgeous looking themes. You can find them here: http://www.thebestthemes.com/elegantthemes*
Using Genesis framework, StudioPress themes are very versatile, and hence, many professional web designers use their themes as the base to create custom themes. (This blog site is running on a StudioPress theme called “Prose.”)
Find them here: http://www.thebestthemes.com/studiopress/*
iThemes themes run on a framework called Builder, which lets you customize the layout by “drag and drop” each design blocks. A great way to customize to exactly how you want it! You can find them here: http://www.thebestthemes.com/ithemes*
WooCommerce is best known for their WooCommerce plugin for creating ecommerce WordPress sites. They have an open and clean look and an easy way to browse for their themes. You can find them here: http://www.thebestthemes.com/woothemes
And Finally there is InkThemes. They are a company that gives you a great looking theme, without a lot of customization needed. This company is great for the newbie who does not know WordPress well, as in no time at all, you can get your site looking great! . You can find them here: http://www.thebestthemes.com/inkthemes*
If you want to see a quick video on picking a theme, check out this article on the 6 things to ask when picking a WordPress theme.
Do you have any favorite WordPress themes? Please share in the comment box below!
*Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. And if clicked and purchased, we may receive a small compensation for the recommendation.
I heard about you through an employment advisor. I would like to start a coaching business and would like to know the first step as I have tried many steps and they didn’t work for me.
You were referred to me by an employment advisor. I would love to be a life coach. Where do I begin.
There are so many steps, and I don’t know where you are. The first step is to evaluate a market, a community that has a problem that you can help give a solution to. Get clear on what you can offer people, and how you are unique.
In my training, the process of building a website can help you through those steps.
Even when someone like you – who I trust enormously especially in respect of all things WordPress – recommends WordPress themes I still struggle to see the difference between them all. I noticed you didn’t mention Headway or Thesis – any particular reason why ? I’ve built all my websites using Thesis but they changed it all a while ago and the way it now works is so different and so non-intuitive that I find it a time sucker for building websites. I was thinking about going for one of the Woo themes then I could perhaps also dispense with 1 Shopping Cart.
Those would have been the other 2 companies I would have included in my list, but I wanted to keep it to 5 😉
I have never used Headway, and I only used Thesis a long time ago.
But they are both reputable companies with a large following, so I would feel confident with them.
I found Headway and really love it.
I tried Thesis and Genesis and neither made sense to my brain. I’ve used Elegant Themes before, but I don’t know enough code to modify what they have. Some of them are super great, but there were a few hiccups that I just couldn’t accomplish on my own.
Headway is the bomb.
yes each theme company is it’s own world, and it takes time to learn their world. So glad you like Headway!
I loved Thesis until it was totally restructured no I find it so totally un-user friendly that I want to get a new theme. I’m torn between Headway, Genesis and some of the ones Christina refers to here.
Look at the theme companies and see which ones match the style you are looking for. They are all good, but it’s a personal preference 🙂
thank you so much for this handy all in one place summary. and also thanks to the comments from others. i am still looking at themes to find the right one for me. i appreciate you all narrowing that field down.