When you first install WordPress on a server it comes complete with a default theme. The theme is the website’s visual skin and, when it comes to themes, WordPress users have plenty of choice.
There are themes to help you construct every conceivable type of website. It could be a basic blog, a site for a restaurant or an e-commerce site to enable you to sell online. Some people will find a theme they like and will be able to use it without modification. Others will need a lot of customisation. Whichever direction you take you still have to choose a theme.
Free Or Premium
There are plenty of free themes on the market. A good starting place for free themes is WordPress.org. When I last looked they had over 3,000 available to download. These themes will have the WordPress seal of approval. Choosing a free theme from other sources may not be such a good idea. A lot of those that turn up in Google searches are known to contain malicious or unwanted code. If you already use a free theme and want to check that it is OK you can install the Theme Authenticity Plugin.
The alternative to free themes are the premium types that will require payment. On the face of it some of these may look no better than free themes. However you will find that they come with support and will be regularly maintained and updated. The updates are important to retain compatibility with the WordPress core which itself is updated about twice a year.
Individual Themes And Theme Clubs
To get an idea of the range of premium themes on the market and their cost take a look at Theme Forest. You will find a variety of themes to purchase on an individual basis. It’s a good idea to look at the reviews and browse the comments section. You should find a theme preview which will give you an idea of what the theme can do.
You can also buy themes from theme clubs. Most clubs allow you to purchase themes on an individual basis although some require you to pay a membership that gives access to their own range of themes.
The Themes I Use
If you engage me to build your website I will offer you a great choice of premium themes, all included in the cost. I can also work with a theme that you have purchased from a site like Theme Forest or work on a bespoke theme tailored to your needs.
The themes I use are from a few theme clubs where I have an annual subscription. Just like the themes themselves there are plenty of clubs to choose from. It’s not financially practical to be a member of them all and I have chosen just three which I think provide a good selection of themes for a wide range of websites. I’ll explain a little about them and if you follow the links you will be able to browse the themes on offer.
Themify is a Canadian based theme club. Their themes are of a high quality and support is second to none. All of their themes include the Themify builder which provides a drag and drop interface to help arrange content on pages. For clients that are prepared to have a go this can be practical way to update your own site and cut down on maintenance costs.
Elegant Themes is a long established WordPress club. Their themes have always been visually appealing and support is good. Their latest theme – Divi – has proved enormously popular and I think it is worth retaining membership for access to this theme alone. It is extremely flexible and changes can be accomplished very quickly. Their other themes don’t have the same level of flexibility but they are very well designed.
Elma Studio is something out of the ordinary. This is small German studio that produces a range of minimalist themes. They are all designed mobile first but they look good on any device. These themes are particularly suited to personal sites and blogs but they might also appeal to a creative business that wants to stand out from the crowd.
In addition to these theme clubs I also have a license for the Canvas theme from Woo Themes and a pro license for Ultimatum. Canvas is Woo’s flagship theme and can be used for a variety of purposes. Ultimatum is not a theme as such. It is a framework that allows you to develop your own theme. I use it when a client asks for a bespoke design.
So there you have it. If you are interested in getting a WordPress site it is important to be aware of the amazing range of themes available. If you are interested in asking me to build a site for you I hope this has given you an idea of what I have available.