The WordPress CMS is well renowned throughout most of all web designers and developers. The capabilities endowed with each installation are extraordinary. Through powerful extensions webmasters are able to manipulate site modules, templates, and sidebar widgets.
We’ll be exercising a look into the comparison between premium and free WordPress themes. As a developer I have found a huge benefit from such easy access to premium WordPress themes over the years. Most designs will allow for easy upgrades and installation of dynamic features from the click of a button.
Although these templates make up a much smaller percentage of the themes out there, they also offer some of the greatest rewards. There are countless production studios churning out new themes every month!
Some Common Brands
When the time comes for shopping around on WordPress themes it can be difficult figuring out exactly where to look. Many premium shops do not update as frequently and cannot support their themes going forward. A great starting point is Themejam which offers many professional business and industry-related themes.
You may well imagine that based on the flexibility WordPress can allow, website owners should be impartial to the many options for building a complete website. As an example ThemeJam offers a fantastic template structuring a WordPress-based bidding system.
The days are gone when WordPress was only used for blogging. We can now see an avalanche of themes popping up which offer unique customizations without any top-heavy PHP knowledge.
The Power of Personalities
We are all familiar with the typical archetype resolving over the WordPress CMS. Generally blogs and high-class magazines will run themes which could be classified as “premium” were they open to the public. Mashable and Engadget resemble two great examples of this.
However when we dig down deep enough WordPress opens up as a completely customizable CMS! This is where larger studios such as Gorilla Themes come into play. They provide an excellent resource for WordPress themes related to a wide variety of topics.
The most popular would include nightclubs, real estate, celebrity photos/video, and travel locations. Although not everybody is going to need these specific niches for their WordPress installation, it’s great to see theme providers offering their services. A wide, targeted audience will ensure these templates are kept in demand as WordPress itself grows and evolves.
Now I know there are plenty of webmasters out there who want to solely focus on analytics, marketing, and promotion of their brand. This is a great reason to stick with some of the many theme sellers such as Gorilla Themes.
But with the ability to implement child themes into an existing framework opens an entire doorway of possibilities. These options haven’t always been built into WordPress and have only recently been opened up for public review. One of the most well-known sets is the Thesis Framework.
This premium template is built over the custom WordPress template system and allows for developers to create consistent, SEO-targeted themes. The power comes from those who originally developed the theme to run over a larger audience – by focusing on each individual action of design. The creation process in Thesis allows even a WordPress newbie to enter the layout generator and customize a 1, 2, or 3 column layout.
Even better is the still widely open control over each bit of code. This means with many WordPress framework systems (especially Thesis) developers have full access to write their own CSS styles and HTML for pageviews.
Alternatively, a similar product is available to premium WordPress developers titled the Genesis Framework. This product is released under StudioPress and grants a fantastic release of power over Genesis. Their themes library is enormous and includes templates in such topics as photography and business.
Subscription-Based Membership Themes
There are many theme providers who offer flat membership fees with full access to their template library under a strict time limit. This could range from a month, half a year, or even 1+ years on a single payment!
Often this is a great option for those looking to build from a wide variety of themes on a very small budget. Instead of paying per purchase you have access to an entire portfolio of past and newest WordPress themes. A membership through Elegant Themes offers unlimited access for only $39/year, as one example.
Their library is packed with dynamic WordPress themes to power all types of websites. These could include an FAQ database, basic website portfolio, or even a company CMS. The backend system is managed by a class of functions titled ePanel. This includes custom-coded functionality specifically for Elegant Themes template files.
Through these settings it’s a breeze to customize your website’s individual settings. These could include title/meta tag attributes for each post, randomly generated thumbnails, ad management and so much more! ePanel also includes access to the Elegant Themes Support Documentation for solutions to the most common problems.
Administrator’s Magic Panel
Within many custom themes the core developers will create a set of admin functions for use by the webmaster. These can include a display link in the settings menu or even an entire tab in the core admin section.
For the masses of premium themes you’ll find the same functionality shared. The ability to upload and customize your website’s logo, footer graphics, page links, and much more! Some of the higher-end templates found through communities such as Themeforest will grant personal customizations to each post.
Often times even the cheapest themes ($15-$30) will still include a collection of personal settings related to advanced functions or plugins. For example, custom featured images for articles have become mainstream with the functionality included, pre-packaged within premium themes.
The Dawning of Affordable Designs
Back before WordPress was a viable system to develop open brands on, only developers who fully understood the cryptic API were able to create designs. Now with such powerful documentation we have seen a rise in the release of premium-style WordPress themes for much cheaper than ever before!
If you are looking into purchasing a premium WP theme while keeping your budget under $50-$100 I would highly recommend ThemeForest’s portfolio. They have a large collection of freelance designers who create premium themes and offer them for download at extremely affordable pricing.
Interestingly, many of the graphics designers have started to ween away from typical blog themes. I have found countless ideas ranging from web design portfolios, multimedia sharing networks, photography galleries, and plenty of business designs! There is practically a solution for everybody.
Another backbone for this product is the Envato marketplace. ThemeForst is only one branch sprouting from the enormous tree of Entavo’s digital marketplace. The company also offers vectors and graphics, video and audio files, Flash scripts, and 3D renders. It’s practically a digital goldmine for those who can use all these resources!
Hopefully this has been an eye-opening step into the wonderful world of premium WordPress themes. There are a lot of fantastic, mind-blowing designs available for those interest to spend time browsing.
There are countless theme vendors available to the average user. If you have a specific niche or targeted idea such as portfolio site I’d recommend browsing ThemeForest’s options. They provide very high-quality themes which are extremely affordable for the beginning or professional webmaster.
Regardless of your vendor choice WordPress is an extremely stable content management system which offers incredible benefits on the user’s end. Whether you’re blogging, building content and marketing, sharing your photography, or constructing a social network, you can safely assume there are a few premium themes to choose from.
If you are looking for really awesome premium WordPress themes, we suggest you, do visit the following web sites.