Quick steps to saving money on junk WordPress themes, and avoid them altogether.
So you have decided to use WordPress for your next project. Good choice. You have an idea for your blog/website have a firm grounding on what you want to achieve and have a writing style all of your own. Kudos to you.
However what is it going to look like? What will your site reflect, does your style of writing and indeed topic lend itself to a particular aesthetic?
Having an idea is one thing
Deciding upon a look for your website is something completely difficult and in fairness can be a nightmare. However with our theme buying guide I might be able to help you save some money and not repeat the same mistakes I made.
Pretty oh so pretty
Firstly do not succumb to the sweet siren of a good looking WordPress theme. These are more often than not fraught with problems you will discover down the line. Do your research and you will be fine.
Researching a WordPress theme
A few questions asked and a good read of a support forum will tell you whether or not the theme is going to be a pain in the ass or indeed if it is right for you. DO NOT be afraid of asking questions on a theme sites support forum or contact them directly with specific questions.
A good way to tell if you are going to be supported with your queries is via the support forum. If it’s deader than disco and no real entries in the support forum you are basically screwed. If there are shit loads of support forum questions all covering basic stuff see if the answers are given and judge the feedback of others once they’re questions have been answered.
You can always tell a good WordPress theme vendor by their support.
Remember just because you read a review on it doesn’t mean it’s any good
Now this is something worth remembering for sure. There are a number of spammy sites out there that will offer bogus reviews of WordPress themes. By bogus I mean they have not installed the theme or tested it. They are simply collecting a quick buck for your clicks and purchases through affiliate links.
As a consumer of WordPress themes I test all the themes I am asked to review. Yes I charge for reviews sure does that make me greedy no, testing a WordPress theme and giving a review is a painstaking process and can take a considerable time. In fact it can take hours of work, that’s why I charge.
Do not search for nulled WordPress themes
Nulled WordPress themes basically means premium WordPress themes that have been hacked to avoid entering in a licence code to get them to work etc. Do people do this out of the kindness of their heart? Fuck no. They do it to score more hits on their websites.
Also some do it to add errant code into your shiny theme and this could lead to malware being installed on your WordPress powered website, this is a ball ache and in fairness just don’t do it. Always pay for your themes. It makes sense, you wouldn’t take the same risk buying a fake toy for a child would you? No exactly. No end of problems will ensue.
In fact googling free WordPress themes will throw up a shed load of spammy link bait and dodgy links that will more than likely add a virus to your machine let alone the theme itself. You have been warned.
Think about site functionality
If your idea lends itself to a specific set of functions i.e. front end posting, user submissions and more. Don’t forget there is more than likely a plugin for that. If you have fallen in love with a particular plugin and it is a must have for your site ask the theme vendor if it is compatible.
9 times out of 10 they will give you an answer which will help in your quest for a well rounded website that will offer your readers your vision.
Using the above will help
I could right a 10,000 word blog post on theme buying. What’s the point the most important things are covered above. As long as you remember the above and are not afraid to ask questions you should be fine.
Where can I find premium WordPress themes?
There are plenty of reputable websites offering premium WordPress themes. In fact one of the best places to find them is actually on WordPress.org itself. Why use their theme directory? Well only those who offer quality themes that adhere to best practice are listed. There is no money incentive for WordPress to offer these listings and if it gets the WordPress.org seal of approval you know you are on to a good thing. You can check out the premium WordPress providers here.
Have you had a bad experience with a WordPress theme provider?
I am keen to hear from you. Real world examples of themes that have basically been anything but advertised. So if you have had a bad experience with a theme provider please do leave a comment with your experience and problems and how it was resolved (if at all).
You never know you may well help others.