Last Updated on 2 March 2013
Gone are the days where you have to pay a designer each time you wish to update your website. And, WordPress (the free content management system) is so easy to use with easy to install themes… you may not need a designer at all.
WordPress is the content management system – the code that controls publishing your content. Themes change the look and feel of the site and add different functionality. A theme may include a simple color scheme or may have 100s of customization options – from color scheme, product slide show, shopping cart, etc.
WordPress is Open Source which means two things. (1) It is free. (2) It is built and improved by a community.
Free makes some people nervous. “You get what you pay for,” is the worry. The beauty of BIG open source projects is, instead of a small team or committee, you have thousands or millions of eyes looking for fixes and improvements.
Themes range from free to “premium” (which means they cost). Pricing for premium themes can range from $10 to hundreds of dollars. (Although I haven’t seen a theme for more than $145 or so).
5 Great Premium WordPress Theme Sites
With all that background, here are the sites to check out in exploring WordPress themes for your site. Most of these offer themes by a range of designers and developers.
- Mojo Themes
Mojo Themes has over 400 themes classified by types of sites ranging from blog, business, commerce, magazine, restaurant, and more.
Over 40 themes to choose from, each priced from $80 to $100, organized by: category, features, and layout.
Mysitemyway offers 9 in-house designed themes. In fact, Idea Sandbox is built on their Construct theme.
WooThemes has a great collection of more than 80 themes. Themes start at $70. (Buying 1 theme allows you 2 bonus downloads).
Not to be confused with Woothemes, YOOthemes has some pretty neat offerings with options.
3 Things To Do To Prepare For Your New Site
When we help companies prepare to launch a site there are three things we ask them to do:
- Work on the words
Think about the things potential customers want and need to know. Key sections are:
- What we do – tell me what you do, why do we need your services/products.
- About us – tell us who you are, what you believe in.
- Our offerings – what do you do, what don’t you do?
- Contact us – how do we reach you if we want to learn more or buy from you?
- What do you NOT want the site to look like?
Get a good idea of what you do NOT want in a website. Save bookmarks or screenshots of sites you don’t like. Sometimes it is easier to get what you want with focus on what isn’t desired.
- What DO you want the site to look like?
Save bookmarks and screenshots of sites you like and love.
Theme Selection Tips
We have a few more tips that may help with your choice…
Try Before You Buy
Most themes allow a live demonstration where you can see what it looks like live. Click on the menus in the demo to see sample blog article pages, product landing pages, sample gallery pages, etc. Many allow you to adjust colors and styles right then-and-there to get a sense of how customizable they are.
Choose Responsive Themes
The newest themes “responds” by resizing itself for easy viewing. People aren’t just looking at websites on their desktop computers. They are using laptops, tablets, and smartphones. A responsive theme adjusts itself to look great on all these devices.
We’re tired of hearing about search engine optimization (SEO).
Snake Oil Salesmen salespeople and marketers are scaring people into spending money on elaborate SEO optimization and tricky ways to drive traffic to your site to “show up first” in the search engines.Most premium themes do most of the things that are needed to make your content easily visible and findable by search engines.
The REAL secret to get picked up by search engines is to provide fresh articles and content on a regular basis. Information your target audience wants and needs. Gaining a reputation as the provider of that type of content will get others to link to you. These are the things that get you found.
Finally, if anybody offers to sell you “loads of link-backs” from fake sites they have created to simulate popularity… RUN AWAY! You want quality, not quantity.
Well, we offered more than simple a list of sites, but we hope this short guide is useful for you!