It’s been over a year since I redesigned ThemeMeme and released the design as my ThemeMeme Vero theme. Now, instead of designing a new theme, I’ve chosen to use a ThemeForest theme. Why?

I spent hours—days—looking at free themes and making several false starts at creating my own new theme. There are some admirable themes out there (I’ve designed a few myself and I’ve posted about good themes I’ve come across). But let’s face it: most free themes are boring, badly designed, or poorly constructed. It takes inspiration to design a unique theme and perspiration to grind out the code. Both are time consuming and fraught with hair pulling. Even if you have the talent, skill and patience that I lack, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t love the task, the payoff is rather poor.

Plenty of Reasons to Go Premium

I saved days of wasted effort trying to start from scratch, learn a new WordPress framework, or hack a shoddy free theme to my needs. Instead, by going with a premium theme, I got a theme that:

  1. Has a clean design that looks just fine out-of-the-box.
  2. Has plenty of options that make it easy to customize.
  3. Offers a comprehensive demo site, good documentation, and instructional videos (yipee!).
  4. Has clean code that’s easy to hack if I want to get creative.
  5. Is compatible with all major browsers, saving me the time and aggravation of having to test my own design.
  6. Has a wealth of functionality built in.
  7. Exposed me to some useful plugins that I didn’t know about.
  8. Is probably better than I could have come up with on my own.
  9. Saved me more than my money’s worth in time and frustration.

Picking a Premium Theme for ThemeMeme

I’ve always been skeptical of premium themes. Some are overpriced. Some aren’t much better than many of the free themes that are available. But a few months back, I added some affiliate links to ThemeForest and ElegantThemes. I mostly forgot about them, but when I last checked, I noticed I’d made a few sales. Obviously, people were finding something they liked. So I took another look.

ElegantThemes WordPress Themes

ElegantThemes WordPress Themes


If you check out ElegantThemes, you’ll see a wide selection of beautifully crafted themes. Better yet, you get unlimited access to all of these themes (almost 30 as I write this) for only $19.95! It’s an incredible deal.

BigFeature WordPress Theme

BigFeature WordPress Theme

ThemeForest is à la carte, with each theme going for about $20 to $35. There are over 300 themes as I write this, but as you might expect, most of them aren’t worth a second look. Surprisingly, there are a handful of truly excellent themes available here. I had a hard time settling on one, but finally chose the BigFeature theme, which set me back 25 bucks, which I still consider a bargain.

The Best of the Rest

Here are the top ten WordPress themes I found on ThemeForest while looking for a theme:

Atlantica

Altantica WordPress Theme

Altantica WordPress Theme

Benzo

Benzo WordPress Theme

Benzo WordPress Theme

Chaapar

Chaapar WordPress Theme

Chaapar WordPress Theme

Modern Portfolio/Blog Theme

Modern Portfolio/Blog Theme

Modern Portfolio/Blog Theme

Octofirst Business Portfolio

Octofirst WordPress Theme

Octofirst WordPress Theme

Rocky Folio

Rocky Folio WordPress Theme

Rocky Folio WordPress Theme

Simplified

Simplified WordPress Theme

Simplified WordPress Theme

Sofa Rooster

Sofa Rooster WordPress Theme

Sofa Rooster WordPress Theme

Twicet Business

Twicet Business WordPress Theme

Twicet Business WordPress Theme

If you’re looking for a WordPress theme and you don’t find it here, why not have a look here or here?

Published by Charlie Livingston

I'm Charlie, I run aThemes as well as a couple of other web properties. I'm currently living in SE Asia but originally from the UK.

8 Comments

  1. The stream of quality free themes has slowed to a trickle, but having done this for years I could never imagine paying for something that was always free.

    Reply
  2. Hi!

    I agree with you 100% … and will be making the move to BigFeature today … Free Themes, well I have honestly yet to find one that works for me … I used EOS for a project journal … and learned my way around WordPress in doing so … (thanks) …

    Mark

    Reply
  3. My God. I can’t see that uniformed WordPress bulls**t anymore. There is no premium template that is better than some free ones and as a webdesigner i always ask myself: who designed such terrible layouts?

    Reply
  4. I have to say that it’s sad to see the individuality of your personal ThemeMeme designs go. The current design is fine (except maybe for the giant ad header!) but I always loved the unique layouts and quirks of your previous designs.

    That’s just my opinion of course but I can assume that some others may agree (-;

    Reply
  5. sorry to go off topic a bit , but I was wondering what font is used in the titles of this post.
    I know that you generate PNG’s on the fly with php , but I was wondering which font you use. It looks awesome !

    kind regards,
    Wolfie,
    Belgium

    Reply
  6. […] Since trying out numerous cheap, free and paid  themes, i have now pretty much narrowed down my preference to  three theme providers for my wordpressblog themes (Why I’m Using a Premium WordPress Theme and Why You Should, Too ). […]

    Reply

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