Looking to find the right WordPress theme for your next project? We’ve learnt that getting this decision right, can have a massive impact on the overall success (and enjoyment) of your project. Making the wrong decision, often translates to wasted time, and money.
In addition to a well constructed brief, and wire-framing, we believe the aspects that you should consider when picking a WordPress theme is speed, ease of use, design, functionality, and mobile responsiveness. To learn about how to test a WordPress theme, check out our how to choose a WordPress theme article.
In this article, we show you where to find the top premium WordPress themes to use for your website or blog. We’ll share with you our pick of the best WordPress theme providers, and best WordPress theme marketplaces. We’ve broken this article down into two seperate lists:
Why go premium?
You may have already perused the WordPress repository and found the 900+ free themes, all of which maintain a relatively high standard. So why go premium? Well, like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and nowhere does that ring more true than with WordPress themes.
- Advantages of premium themes:
- Support: Free themes don’t come with any support and rarely with thorough documentation. You will be at the mercy of the (helpful) WordPress community and your own abilities.
- Features: Premium themes usually ship with a lot more features, and many providers and marketplaces include plugins in their packages. Common enhancements include SEO optimization, security, page load speed, etc.
- Updates: Premium theme providers keep their themes up to date and distribute these updates on a regular basis. This helps prevent security flaws, and your site becoming incompatible with WordPress improvements.
Best WordPress theme providers
With premium WordPress theme providers you typically get quality over quantity. Each theme is designed, developed, and distributed by a dedicated team which means you get well constructed, and often niche WordPress themes that are sure to impress. In addition to that, you are able to access theme updates, comprehensive documentation, demo content, and ongoing technical support. Here is our list of the best WordPress theme providers you need to know about.
There is no doubt about it, CSSIgniter comes up with some of the most beautifully crafted, practical, and complete themes you can find. Olsen, is one of their flagship themes, and a top 3 finisher in a one of our WordPress theme review articles. Most themes make excellent use of whitespace and padding to feel spacious and lighthearted. You really can’t go wrong with CSSIgniter.
You can buy individual themes, subscribe yearly for unlimited access, or pay a once-off lump sum for lifelong unlimited access to all themes, support, and plugins.
Themeisle is one of the biggest theme providers out there. They focus heavily on providing themes for you to build sites which can be monetized through ads, an online store, or affiliate partnerships, hence the pirate treasure theme. They have some great looking themes, and the support is excellent.
You can’t buy individual themes, but $89 gets you access to all themes, a year of updates, and up to 3 Domains. $149 gets you 2 years of free updates, and a once off payment of $249 is the price of a lifetime membership with perpetual updates, and up to 5 domains. All packages come with one-year shared hosting.
Themefuse is built on the premise of quality over quantity. They don’t have the biggest catalog of themes to choose from. However, the themes they have feature fantastic and unique designs, and a good amount of functionality. They also cover some interesting niches like non-profit sites, events, religion, and automotive. Check out ‘The core’, which is their flagship offering.
The personal plan gets you one theme, the developer plan gives you unlimited themes and sites on a yearly subscription, or the lifetime access plan can be purchased for a once-off lump.
Over 470,000 people can’t be wrong! Elegant themes are one of the most popular and highly-rated theme providers out there. Although you can probably find better-looking themes elsewhere, there is one thing unique to them: Divi. Divi is a comprehensive multi-purpose theme, that features the Divi Page Builder, which is one of the best page builders around. If making a site with WordPress wasn’t easy enough, Divi empowers you to create beautiful, responsive, and unique layouts with its simple drag and drop interface.
Their payment options are simple. $89 per year gives you unlimited access to themes, plugins, and support while a one time fee of $249 provides lifetime access.
A word that keeps popping up when we talk about Tesla Themes in our theme reviews, is ‘striking’. They certainly do create some of the most visually striking themes of any other provider. Examples like Montblanc, a blog or business theme, and Wrap, a theme for movie enthusiasts or vloggers, come to mind immediately. If you want to stand out in your niche they are the place to go.
You can purchase a single theme for $58 that comes with support and unlimited domains. Other options are access to all themes for $99 per year or a once off fee of $189.
Lipode is a new, up and coming theme provider. For now, they only have 4 themes available but are growing. Most of their themes focus on the viral news niche, something often skipped over by other providers and marketplaces. This means they are AdSense and SEO optimized. All the themes are simple, intuitive, and extremely easy to use, and perfect for someone who wants to get a site up and running quickly with zero fuss.
All themes cost $59 and come with support.
Minimalism, this is the mantra of StudioPress. All their themes are beautifully designed and easy to use. Depending on the theme you choose, it can come packed with an extensive list of features, or striped right down. Each theme also comes with their Genesis framework that’s built to be search-engine optimized, secure, and easy to update and customize.
Themes are priced individually from $50 – $150, with most themes costing around $100. For a once-off payment of $500, you can get a lifetime of unlimited access.
MyThemeShop’s themes all vary dramatically from a design perspective, and come with a promise of being easy to use, intuitive, adaptable, and responsive. Themes usually come in packages with four or fives different layouts that are aimed at different niches with a common underlying structure. On top of that, all themes are extremely easy to customize with different color schemes, and typography.
They have completely free themes but you won’t have any access to support. Alternatively, you can either purchase individual themes or get unlimited access for a lump sum plus a monthly fee for as long as you want access to support and themes.
Template Monster is a bit of both. They not only create and sell their own themes, but other developers can also become vendors and sell their themes on the Template Monster marketplace. As a result, they sell themes and plugins for other platforms like Joomla, MotoCMS, and straight up HTML sites.
Because they are both a WordPress theme provider, and marketplace, prices tend to range from $50 to $200. You can add-on extras like plugins, installation, hosting, and stock images. You can also buy exclusive rights to the themes for a significant amount.
Themify is a friendly and approachable theme provider. What’s great about Themify is that they have a wide variety of themes that cover very specific niches and industries. Their flagship theme Ultra, is a good showcase of all the features and capabilities built into their themes. They also want to create a productive community of users, and you can look at sites others have built using the Themify theme builder.
You can purchase Themes individually, with or without Photoshop files. There are also three different yearly subscription plans. You get access to all themes and can add-on photoshop files, or plugins for a higher price. There is also a lifetime, unlimited access plan.
If you are looking for modern, intuitive, and easy to use themes WPZoom should be one of the first providers you go to. Although they don’t cover very specific niches, those they do cover, have some fantastic themes. Their portfolio and photography themes will allow you to showcase your skills and work in a professional and accessible manner.
WPZoom has two payment plans. You can either pay $99 for all themes, or $149 including their accompanying Photoshop files. Each comes with a one year of support and updates. You can renew yearly for half the price. Individual themes are usually $69, so their all themes packages are a bargain.
RichWP is committed to simplistic designs and lean code. They prove that oftentimes, less is more. Most of their themes are minimalistic, elegant, and interesting. You can also enquire about extra services such as a developer to individually customize your theme or dedicated installation and troubleshooting support services.
Their pricing is just as straightforward. You can either purchase individual themes, or an all access package that comes with support.
Best WordPress theme marketplaces
WordPress theme marketplaces are becoming more prevalent as the popularity or WordPress increases. Marketplaces are great, as you get access to a large number of unique WordPress themes, and can leverage community feedback by reading the reviews and ratings of other users. Because you aren’t typically dealing with a provider directly, you will need to check the support and feedback inclusions of each theme author, just to be safe.
Mojo marketplace, while not the biggest, has over a 1,000 WordPress themes, and offers a wide range. The site caters for a variety of CMS’s, including Joomla, Magento, Prestashop, and even Tumblr. As a useful free service, they offer free one-click installation scripts for all these platforms. The store itself is very simplistic, and easy to use.
Most themes are of a really high standard and priced between $50 and $100. Mojo Marketplace also offer live support services for a monthly subscription.
This is the biggest and most popular premium WordPress theme marketplace out there right now. It forms part of the Envato Market, that has different marketplaces for all kinds of digital content. There are over 10,000 WordPress themes alone. As a result, you can get themes for as low as $13, all the way up to $1,000. If filtering through all those themes seems daunting remember to check out our theme reviews where Themeforest is regularly featured.
Envatostudio also provides a range of WordPress support services starting at $50. You should check the individual theme for author support.
In addition to being a WordPress theme marketplace, Themejunkie also create their own themes, and know a thing or two about how to spot a good theme. They are one of the smaller marketplaces, but that also means you can rest assured every theme has been vetted.
Of all the providers and marketplaces on this list, they probably also have the most generous pricing. $49 gets you access to all themes, updates, and support for a year. Only $99 gets you all that, for a lifetime!