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What is a Premium WordPress Theme & How to Choose One

In an earlier post, I recommended that when building your business website with WordPress that you opt for a premium theme over a free theme.  Does that mean that any WordPress theme that you pay for is going to be a great choice for your website?  Absolutely not.  So what is a premium WordPress Theme and what you should look for when choosing one?

A premium theme comes with a cost

The simple definition of a premium theme is that you have to pay to use it.  For some themes, that is a one-time purchase price, for others, you pay yearly.  What you get for the money varies.  A good premium theme includes good support from the theme developer as well as future updates and the theme itself. 

All premium themes are not created equally

Just because someone is charging you money for a theme does not make it a ‘good’ theme.  Lots of them are just as restrictive when it comes to options and features as the free ones are.  Others are badly coded or have so many additional features that they are bloated and slow down your website. That’s why it pays to do some research before buying a premium theme.  Here are things to keep in mind when choosing a premium WordPress theme.

1.  Is it well-coded? 

A poorly coded theme can slow down your site or even open it up to the possibility of being hacked.  This is why it’s wise to stick with theme shops that have a proven track record.  While premium themes on depository sites like ThemeForest may be popular, they aren’t always well coded and are often prone to feature bloat. (see below)

2. Is it loaded with features, and if so, can you de-activate those you aren’t using? 

Many of today’s premium themes come with features that used to require a plugin.  The problem is that some themes come with features you won’t ever use, yet they still have to load and thus slow down your website.  The best premium themes will give you the option to de-activate the features you aren’t going to use, thus keeping you from a feature bloated, slow website.

3. Do you receive support and updates? 

Updates and support are a big reason you choose a premium theme.  Like the coding, just because you pay for the theme doesn’t mean you are going to get good support and timely updates.  A premium theme should always come with premium quality support. It should also always be updated to remain compatible with the frequent WordPress core updates.  This is another reason to find a theme shop that has been around a while and has good reviews for supporting their theme(s).

You can check the update frequency of a theme by viewing it’s changelog.

4. Does it have the ability to tweak or adjust the code? 

It doesn’t matter if you never have any intention of touching the code of your premium theme, the ability to do so should be there. 

5. Is it responsive? 

A responsive website design resizes automatically depending upon which type of device it’s viewed on.  It’s 2019, all themes should be responsive, especially one you pay for.

Look for well-established themes and theme shops

Your best bet for choosing a great quality premium theme is to look for highly regarded theme shops.  Some of my favorites are below:

Beaver Builder * – this is my preferred builder/theme. All of my websites and those that I build are now created with Beaver Builder.

Elegant Themes-  maker of the popular Divi theme

Themify

WooThemes

iThemes

Themefusion

StudioPress

(please note that some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via one of them, I’ll receive a small payment. Which means I might be able to purchase a Starbucks Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte instead of a Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew at no additional cost to you!)

While it’s wise to use a premium theme to build your business website on WordPress, not all premium themes are created equal.  Using the tips above, you can be sure you’re getting a true premium product with support to match.  

TMarieHilton

Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.

Tips from T.Marie

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