If you are creating WordPress websites for clients or for yourself, the first thing you need is
But where to start? If you search google for WordPress themes, there are numerous theme providers. The sheer number of choices available is overwhelming to any beginner stepping into the WP world. I too was in such a dilemma.
So I thought making a list of theme shops will be helpful for myself and others looking to purchase themes. I have used my own criteria to assess each of them like:
- the quality of designs
- number of themes available as a bundle/multipurpose
- price options – single theme, bundle license/demo sites (in case of a multipurpose theme) etc.
- support options – in case some problems occur
- popularity – based on the number of downloads on WP & estimated website rankings
Of course, there are already lots of reviews published by reputed WordPress experts which helps you a lot in selecting a theme. If you are still confused, then this article may help you.
Clearly, I couldn’t try each and every shop listed here. Most of the opinions are based on initial impressions only, except a few like GeneratePress. So take it like that.
|Title||No. of themes||Notes|
|Astra||1 theme +|
|Theme Fusion||1||Avada Multipurpose
|Engine Themes||11||Collection of
hotel themes &
like sell media
charity & restaurant
|Artisan Themes||5||Creative Themes|
|Crocoblock||1 theme +|
These are the top 9 WordPress theme providers I have picked from the above list…
Themeforest, a part of Envato, is a little different from other shops. It is like a marketplace where you or I can sell themes and get a commission for each sale. However, that doesn’t mean the quality of their themes suffer. Envato has a strict review process in place which demands high standards for coding and aesthetics.
Currently, Avada is the top selling theme on Themeforest with close to half a million sales. At present, TF has more than 11k themes on offer, way more than any of the other theme shops.
- Thousands of themes in their collection
- Great for finding low cost themes
- Since it is a market, support quality depends on the theme seller.
- Some themes are outdated/not maintained
#2. Elegant Themes
It won’t be fair if I don’t mention the name of Elegant Themes. They have been selling themes since 2008. Moreover, their Divi theme and page builder is well-acclaimed among WordPress users.
Elegant Themes has an attractive pricing package starting at $89 which gives you access to all the 88 themes they currently have in their collection. Plus it gives access to their powerful page builder, making the package a great value for money.
Divi is a multi-purpose theme you can use to build any type of WP website. It is their flagship product and #1 reason to try elegant themes.
GeneratePress is a well-coded and lightweight multipurpose theme popular in the WordPress repo. The premium license which gives access to additional modules costs $49.95.
Its creator Tom Usborne is very cautious about performance. The theme files are minimal and lightweight which helps to reduce load times significantly compared to other themes. Also, features are available as modules in the pro license.
As a multi-purpose theme, GeneratePress also gives ready-made demo sites which are compatible with popular page builders like Beaver Builder and Elementor.
GeneratePress is the only theme you may ever need. This website is currently running on its free version, and I am thinking of getting a premium license. Before that, I have to take a look at Astra also (the one below).
Overall, these are the highlights of GeneratePress:
- Multipurpose yet lightweight and performant
- SEO optimized, includes Schema markup
- Clean designs
- Good Support: After reading through the support forum on their website, it is clear that the developer is highly willing to help the customers.
#4. WP Astra
WP Astra is a new multi-purpose theme released in 2017. However, within a short span of time, it has become highly successful. Like GeneratePress, Astra also takes performance seriously. They have even avoided jQuery for better performance. Their claim that Astra is the most lightweight theme (<50kb) is not at all a joke.
Both Astra and GeneratePress have many things in common. Both have a modular architecture when it comes to features. Also, both have a lightweight base and offers demo sites with premium license. So both are often compared against each other. Since I am yet to try the pro versions, I can’t really say which one is better. However, as far as I have understood, both are well-made and you cannot go wrong with either.
Price: Starting at $59, Astra is a bit pricier that GP. Both offers license for unlimited use.
The free version of Astra theme has over 2 lakhs of active installations according to WordPress. Brainstorm force – the team behind Astra – has really done a great job.
In contrast to Elegant Themes, ThemeIsle’s entry as a WordPress Theme provider is fairly recent. Starting in 2013, they have successfully managed to establish their name by providing quality products to customers.
They also provide a set of good quality yet free themes which regularly get listed among the popular themes in the
Hestia by ThemeIsle currently has over one lakh active installations and 4.5 rating in the repository. Such free themes are one of the main reasons behind the success of ThemeIsle.
Coming to premium offerings, the company has more than 30 premium themes to offer. However, the pricing starts from $105, which is a bit more expensive than Elegant Themes or other providers.
They also impose a domain limitation for purchased licenses. That means although you can download and use any theme for any website, updates will work only for the registered sites. On the other hand, the plans also include essential plugins apart from themes. So, ThemeIsle is worth considering.
StudioPress is the company behind the Genesis Framework. So there is no need for doubts in terms of quality.
Their collection includes themes developed by third parties also. According to their pricing plan, you get access to all the StudioPress themes plus the Genesis framework if you sign-up for a hosting plan with WPEngine – a managed WordPress hosting solution.
The price of individual themes is in the range of $99 to $130. However, if you want only the framework, you can get that at a fraction of the cost.
So, if you are interested in creating Genesis themes or child themes, you should definitely try StudioPress products. The framework is capable of providing a strong foundation for any themes you build.
MyThemeShop proudly boasts about having 5 lakh+ customers right at the top of their website. Since they offer a free plan, you can sign-up and try their free themes right away. The free plan comes with 18 free themes. So you can easily join and try them before paying for a premium membership.
With a premium membership, you get all the 125 themes in the shop for $108 a year. You can also choose to buy a single theme for $35.
Most of MyThemeShop themes belong to blogging, business and magazine categories. Apart from that, WP Review Pro plugin will be useful if you are blogger writing product reviews.
If you are looking for SEO optimized and fast WordPress theme for blogging, take a look at their theme collection. However, I feel that most of their themes lack the feel needed for artistic websites.
If you are looking for hotel or travel websites, you should check out CSSIgniter. SixtyOne and Santorini are some of my favorite resort themes. Cousteau Pro is another theme well-suited for travel blogger and tour operators.
Like MyThemeShop, CSSIgniter website also lacks a slick feel which is evident from their website. The overall design looks a bit… old, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that their themes are not good. In fact, they have a collection of good themes suitable for several niches.
Apart from that, their pricing is also on the cheaper side. You can get all the 76 themes for just $69.
The multipurpose theme Ultra is the highlight product of Themify. The ready-made website skins they provide with Ultra can make your job a lot easier while setting up the theme. These skins include parallax and full page scroll effect also.
Themify has 48 themes on offer including Ultra. At $89 for all themes, the pricing is quite similar to that of Elegant Themes. In addition to that, Themify also gives the option to buy single themes at $59.
In addition to blogging, business, and other common niches, Themify catalog includes themes for photography, multimedia,
Wrapping It Up
So far I have listed some of the top theme providers available today. After that, I have selected a few from the list based on quality, reviews,
If I missed any good quality theme provider which you have experience with, you can mention it in the comments. I will check it and include it in the list.