Now that you have your WordPress blog installed and set up, you want to make your website look beautiful and stand out. You can do this very easily in WordPress by downloading and installing new themes. Themes have the ability to change the entire look and feel of your website by offering new layout options, widgets, colors, and fonts.
When it comes to finding the best theme for your site there are so many options to choose from, so where do you even start the search? The first thing to consider is whether you want to utilize a free theme or a premium theme. But what are the real difference between free and premium themes?
Free vs. Premium Themes
There are thousands of free themes available for download and some of them are quite good. However, most of the time I recommend going with a Premium WordPress Theme. A premium theme usually costs anywhere from $25 to $100 and comes with a few advantages:
- They are often professionally designed with cleaner more efficient code and usually come with better support in case you need help with installing it.
- Many premium themes come with plug and play options that let you customize them a lot easier without having to know how to program any code.
Which Premium Themes do I use?
There are thousands of high qualities themes to choose from, so which ones am I using for my sites?
For Blogging on a Budget, I use the Soledad Theme from PenciDesign, which has a very clean and minimalist design and is coded to be very fast and responsive.
These are just two of the many premium themes that I have tried, tested and utilized for my various sites over the last decade. So where do you even start to search for the best premium themes?
Where to Find the Best Premium Themes
There are dozens of marketplaces to check out and buy new themes, but my go-to marketplace for premium themes is ThemeForest.
Once on the ThemeForest site, I head straight to the WordPress section, so that I can search for themes that are compatible with WordPress. From there I start to filter the 11K+ premium themes by only looking at themes that have received 4 stars or more and that are considered Top Sellers. If I am working on an ecommerce or retail site then I will filter by that type of theme as well.
I’ll sort the filtered list by Best Sellers and start to click through themes and check out the features, reviews and especially the demos. Doing a thorough review of the demos to understand the layout, color and font options is the best way to see how a specific theme will look and feel. Although customizing these options is typically easy to do with premium themes, take note of the icons, content width, and image width, because in general, those are not customizable.
Once you have found a theme that you love, go ahead and finalize the purchase!
How to Install a New Theme
After you finalize your purchase on ThemeForest, the installable file for the theme will be available in the Downloads section of your account. Download the Installable WordPress File Only for your new theme along with the License Certificate & Purchase Code.
Then login to your WordPress interface and in the left-hand side menu go to Appearance > Themes. Then click on the Add New followed by the Upload Theme button. Select and install the Installable WordPress File Only zip file that you downloaded from your ThemeForest account.
Once your new theme has installed, you will need to Activate it.
At this point, you will have to customize your new theme by following the documentation provided by the theme’s creator. Typically premium themes will have nice, easy to use interfaces to customize every aspect of the look and feel, but if you run into an obstacle or don’t know how to customize a certain part of your new theme then head on over to the theme’s support page and utilize the forums or contact the creator directly.