Great WordPress Themes That Are Worth Buying
I have seen this question a lot across different social media communities for podcasting and the answer is usually the same. Frankly, the days of “themed” WordPress themes are on their way out. This is because more theme developers are putting more flexibility into their products than ever before. Generally, this might not exist for a free theme, but I don’t use free themes any more. I will not be covering free themes in this because I am not actively using any.
I like to purchase a good theme from somewhere like Themeforest, however if you understand basic front-end design and coding you could easily build your own to fit your need. It’s always money vs time and in this case the upfront $60 or less is probably the wiser choice.
Personally, I am not 100% there just yet to develop my own and I don’t see it worth my time to jump into it. Instead, I’m searching for one that is highly customizable to save time and get to rocking a great site. I know there will be more people that will ask why their theme didn’t make this list or how I should expand my horizons. Nah,I am going to stick with what I know.
One thing that triggered this post was the constant ask about specific podcasting themes in several social communities. You don’t need a podcast-focused theme is that between HTML5 and plugins like Powerpress, a player can be embedded anywhere. In fact, you don’t need a specific theme for any niche, but there are developers that know people will buy their theme when they say it’s a “band theme”, “podcast theme”, or some other specific niche. Skip them. The flexibility is amazing in today’s themes that you can take almost any theme and turn it into whatever you want.
Let’s look for one that gives you the power to present your text, images, and audio to your listeners. Your taste will probably be much different than mine so take your time and look for the layouts and not necessarily the design. The layout is the most important because you can completely adjust the typography and design easily. In most of the flexible themes you can creating millions of different designs.
I really like the Avada theme for sites that don’t publish content. It’s a great recommendation and is #1 on my list as well.
Visual Composer is a plugin that I have seen recommended many times…but I still haven’t tried it out. Now I definitely will if it also made your list.
Thanks for this!
Disclaimer: All links are affiliate links to Envato’s product pages.
Once you have a theme with a layout you like, you can add the following plugins to help make it more fitting for audio, video and content:
- PowerPress (created by Bluebrry): Local RSS, Embeds, and more.
- oEmbed for dropping content into the posts.
- Pressthis for quick snippets.
- Visual Composer: This can help with page and post layouts.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: This is just a must have anyways.
- eForm: A premium form builder for contact and other pages.
- The entire suite of Postmatic: These are the only plugins I now use for comments.
- There are many others too. Hopefully some other folks will add more in the comments. (No spamming!)
This site is using Avada and it’s fast, updated very frequently, and highly supported. It’s also the #1 selling theme on Themeforest. It is certainly the most flexible theme I have used in all of these years. I loved it so much that I bought 2 licenses and I am considering another. The endless amounts of options and flexibility of this design is perfect for responsive websites. This site looks good on all screens and that is a huge bonus.
One thing I like above the many others is that I can turn on and off sections to load on large, medium, or small screens. If you are reading this on your phone, you may not be getting the entire page that you would on your desktop. Don’t worry, I only turn off the images and heavy stuff that doesn’t waste your bandwidth. See, I am always thinking about you.
Avada is the #1 choice and only increased the price from $59 to $60 dollars in the last few years. The support team gets back to me quickly when I have those really dumb questions at 1am when I should be sleeping. That is one of the biggest features. They continue to support their products from what I have seen, for life of the purchase. This is not normal by any means.
I don’t really like this theme and it’s mostly the way things are implemented in the support, knowledge base, and the way it functions. My mother’s eCommerce store uses it now and it has been a work horse. It was the issue of getting it when it was fairly new and not really pushing the limits. I got frustrated with it upfront instead of dealing with a polished theme that it is now. So I say that I don’t really like it because I didn’t get to where I wanted with it and I am very visually demanding.
Like the Avada theme, the X-Theme is a premium multi-use theme that can fit many needs. You have the flexibility to create almost any result you could desire. Unlike the other themes I have used this one uses stacks. Basically pre-formatted layouts and functions that give you a heads start and choice. This is probably the bigger selling point, and it’s the reason why I used it on this site from 2013-2015. Still a great choice, but second to Avada.
It’s $4 more than Avada so my recommendation is that while it’s a great theme, buy yourself a coffee and get Avada.
I bought Sahifa a long time ago when it was more of the $30-$40 range. Envato changed the fixed pricing model after they played around with the support terms. Envato has been trying new things to bring more revenue for themselves and the developers. This change is what led to a $69 asking price.
It’s a good theme, and I used it for a couple years. It really shines and has flexibility to showcase a magazine type of site. I gave my copy to a podcaster that is on my podcast network. It looks good there and I haven’t completely thrown it away. The newest version probably blows the door off the original one that I started with.
I am going to be blunt though. At $69 for a license, this is a poor buy and I firmly believe it is not worth more than $40 and that is at least slightly high. I would never buy this theme again at this price. I included it because it certainly is a choice and I have used it. It may offer something that fits your project better and I want you to make an informed decision.
Next Theme – $Unknown
More to come as I try other themes. If you have a theme that should be on this list please send me an email and let me know. Please keep in mind that I won’t add it until I have used it for at least 30 days. No need to send me a link to the demo as it’s not something I would base an opinion on. I am reserving this space for more themes in the future.
I haven’t used all of the themes available and I won’t make a list solely for the purpose of making affiliate money. I will only recommend a theme that I have used and believe should exist. There are too many themes that we don’t need, but that’s a different post. I will update this list as more themes enter my world, and if you have an opinion on what I listed let me know why.
This blog is about trust and I have seen so many of the lists that give you the top 10 themes of 2016. I only link to things that are really good and something I think is worth the money and time.
If you want to see the other things I believe in then can check out my WordPress plugin page. I list all of the current ones I am using, the ones I removed and why, and themes and hosting I believe in. You don’t have to use my referral code or take my advice. I am not a top-level theme junkie. I am just a dude that has been using and learning WordPress since 2007.