If you are one of those people that would rather build your own web site, you are in luck. There has never been more free and low cost tools and resources available to help you realize your goal. I learned a long time ago that there were many graphic designers with far more talent than what I have. I hire only the best custom designers for my client’s projects and this has worked out very well. But good, custom design is not cheap. Sometimes I have customers with smaller budgets and I am happy to have a second option: premium WordPress themes.
I love WordPress. It is a great platform to build web sites on. It is free, it is hugely supported, it is easy to setup, it is SEO friendly and highly expandable and flexible. Best of all, it is easy to use. WordPress separates your design and layout from your content. This is good since it makes it harder for novice users to ‘brake’ the site’s layout. The designs in WordPress are called themes and there are literally thousands of free and low cost themes available online. If you are really on a tight budget, you can look at the free WordPress themes. But I highly encourage you to consider the premium themes and here is why. Premium themes come with support, are better quality designs and often have more features and just end up making a better, more professional web site design.
The cost for a premium WordPress theme is low and ranges from $30 – $100, in most cases. It takes a little ‘know how’ to install and set up the theme and for those that want to do this themselves, there is plenty of documentation online to help you through. Below is a list of five web sites that sell premium WordPress themes that I recommend you start your search at.
Template Monster – this is one of the largest assortments of not only WordPress themes but other design templates like logos, HTML design, Flash-based web sites and more. Be sure to filter the search parameters to show only WordPress themes. I have used some of these themes before. They tend to be very visually appealing but can sometimes be a little trick to work with.
Theme Forest – This site has to be one of my favorites. The costs are lower than average and the design quality is high as any other site. Again, like Template Monster above, this web site can also help you find print layouts for business cards, stationary and flyers and all sorts of other pre-built/designed web stuff. You can buy designs for your web site and all your marketing right here. This is is a designers dirty little secret!
Templatic - this company has consistently cranked out excellent, full-featured premium WordPress themes since day one. I have used several of their themes for client projects like the Restaurant theme. They also have some excellent themes for setting up an online store. If you find a theme you like here, you won’t be disappointed with the quality.
Themefuse – I will admit I have yet to use one of their themes but I think they look remarkable so I wanted to included them in this list. If you use one before I do, let me know how it goes!
Studiopress – Like Templatic, I have personally used their themes like Agency, Education and Executive.