Since the boom of Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, many websites started offering free and premium pre-built and made-to-order themes. The market was doing great on its own until it became oversaturated. Oversaturated how? There now exists tens of thousands templates and themes for these CMS, the problem lies in the quality. Many will agree that majority of the themes and templates available are lacking in quality. This affects the whole community, even Theme Forest.
A “too long; didn’t read” (TL;DR) version is: there is a never ending supply of free themes. Anything that tends to be too popular destroys itself through fame by the people.
Let us delve deeper into the problems people are currently experiencing.
Imagine a lengthy street lined up with peanut vendors only a foot apart from each other. Now imagine half of them give free taste, the other half boasts their “SPECIAL” peanuts through signs. Heaven for an elephant but a very horrible scene for someone who’s after quality peanuts. Same goes with templates and themes.
With themes here and there it is only natural to arm your self with fear of dissatisfaction.
War for Quality
Of all the wars in man’s history, war for quality is the only moral war. It is already demonstrated that many templates and themes are way below average quality. Such a thing does not exist in Theme Forest because every submission needs to pass through the lens and extreme examination before being approved for the marketplace. Talk about TSA-like examination, this is it, only loved by everyone.
Halt! It does not stop there. Envato, the company from which Theme Forest came to existence not only offer themes but also almost everything you need to create a business website. From 3D models to codes and sound effects, they have it. Properly regulated and properly priced. One of the best things that ever happened in the internet.
An advantage of joining this fantastic community is you get to interact and use the services that experts offer. I know this will be stingy but who will let this chance pass and choose amateurs?
You Need Not Go Far for Reviews
Unlike most websites that offer free and premium themes and templates, Theme Forest has already set its roots. Hundreds, if not thousands, of satisfied customers leave their comments and suggestions that will absolutely be of help when choosing a perfect theme. Buyers or lurkers can check how the product works through a preview, satisfied customers even rate the themes for you. Automatic customer service, I tell you, and it’s more credible when you see a 4.5 stars with applauding people in the comments. There are also a lot of authors who are ready to help you in case a problem arises from the product.
Oh. My. Gosh. 225 comments and I assure you that most of them are either comments from satisfied buyers or the author’s reply. Need I say more?
Hint: You Can Sell Yours Too
Since Theme Forest is only after themes and templates that are of high quality, if you are like their authors whose excellence is driven by passion then feel free to be a member and start earning your dollars with their massive audience. A product being approved is already an honor.
Almost anything from personal website to eCommerce are catered at Theme Forest. With a wide selection, people of different goals can really find high quality materials there that suits perfectly with their goals be it for business or for personal blogging.
I’ve read several comments and one prevailing element is on how affordable products are at Theme Forest while maintaining quality. As the homepage proudly states, there are items that you can buy from $1. Below is a screenshot of a newsletter and an under construction template.
Here’s another screenshot, all highly rated with great number of sales for a very affordable price.
Not satisfied with what I’ve told and shown? Visit Visit Theme Forest now and see for your self. We will really appreciate if buyers and authors will share their experiences in the comments section.
1. Noblesse – $35
Noblesse is a powerful, rich graphics theme with features oriented for content presentation. It comes with 7 color variations, 7 different fonts, 8 custom widgets and 8 different template pages. Although the theme is very rich in graphics (90% done with css3) it is very flexible, giving you the possibility take it to the next level.
The homepage has a multitude of variations and can be completely changed. Each page has the possibility to display a headline, description, image and switch sidebars. Packed with over 50 shortcodes (embedded in editor) the styling possibilities are endless. Please find bellow other features of the theme.
- WP3 Custom Types + WP3 Menu
- Unlimited custom sidebars
- 7 color variations
- 2 different slideshows
- Unlimited template pages (-Blog)
- ~50 shortcodes embeded in Editor
- Multiple homepage variations
- Psd files included
2. Colorwave – $35
Colorwave is a clean, modern and professional template which is perfect for portfolios, companies, agencies, Photographers and even more…
- 3 Highlight Sliders
- Full Custom Sidebars
- 14 Template Colors
- 7 Custom Widgets
- 2 Blog Type (Classic/Magazine)
- 30+ Custom Style Shortcodes
3. Phenomenon – $35
Phenomenon is the ultimate and one of a kind premium hosting wordpress theme that was created with hosting companies and businesses in mind. Phenomenon is very easy to customize and it comes with a great documentation that includes 6 screencasts that help you get the theme up and running in no time!
- BluzPanel Included!
- Cufon font replacement
- Threaded Comments 3 Page templates: Full-Width, Gallery, Blog
- 34 Awesome & Useful Shortcodes
- PSD for logo customization – included!
- Login Module (integrated with: WordPress, WHMCS or Custom)
- Compatibility (IE 7 , IE 8 , Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome)
4. Periodic – $35
The simple, clean elegant interface is meant to be a perfect backdrop to your content. The theme is ready to start working, out of the box, with a multitude of theme options, custom widgets and shortcodes to help you personalize your environment.
- Fully developed comments
- Built in pagination support using WP-PageNavi
- Enhanced blog post template
- Seven custom widgets
- YouTube integration for video posts
- 9 shortcodes
5. EZINE – $35
EZINE is clean, elegant, modern and minimalist premium wordpress theme that can be switched as blogging, magazine, community and portfolio wordpress theme, there’s 4 skins color and background pattern variation available with EZINE theme, Please explore the demo to see more theme features.
- Jquery slideshow (Nivo slider)
- Custom Shortcodes
- Support WordPress 3.0 Menu System
- 4 Skins option
- 10 custom widgets
6. Gadgetine – $30
Gadgetine is premium blog magazine theme that will also work well for a serious news portal. It has 3 columns, 8 news sections and a LOT banner spaces on the first page.
The theme is very friendly for affiliate marketers or just regular bloggers who wish to monetize their hobby. They will appreciate the ability to easily promote specific posts and create their own pages with no limitations (read landing pages). Carefully placed banner spaces will help to make that sale. T
heme has its own configuration page, so you wont have to edit any code files! Setup is very easy.
With built in thumbnail generator, you will have no problem creating great looking articles.
The theme also includes automatic picture resize script, that will save you hours of resizing those pictures from older version of your website.
You will also have a special page for your RSS feeds and many more great features.
- Theme has 10+ banner spaces
- Automatic picture resize
- Feedburner compatible
- SEO Optimized
- Fully Compatible with WordPress 3.0
EXPO is a highly customizable WordPress Showcase and Resource Theme, integrated with rich feature and enhanced administrative options. You can use this theme to promote good products (themes, web, design) at your website and earn referrals money.
Other possible use is a simple showcase website with products reviews, photos, etc. Since this theme is widget base theme, you can easy manage the layout of your site using WordPess widget manager.
- Easy Thumbnailer
- Many Back End Options
- Highly customizable theme and well commented
- These widget can be used in 9+ different widget areas.
- You can switch between 2 or 3 columns using custom theme options.
- PSD included
- Flickr Integration
- Two color scheme
- Archives templates
- Admin theme options
- SEO Optiomized
- Built in Twitter Integration
A 2 column, magazine flavoured WordPress theme, designed to put your content at the forefront and give your blog a modern, stylish and professional feel. Featuring automatic thumbnail generation and custom social media links.
The perfect theme for bloggers wanting a magazine look!
Affair is coded in Valid Xhtml and CSS , is ready to run straight out of the box and for those who like to tinker, customizing the theme is also super easy!
- 2 column magazine layout
- Automatic thumbnail generation
- Custom social media links
- Pretty looking comments with Gravatars
- SEO ready!
10. Maglicious – $30
MagLicious is a throughout professional premium WordPress Theme which is perfectly suited for News and Magazine style Websites.
- 2 templates for the price of one
- Widgetized mainpage
- Full page slider
- Portfolio page with video support
- 9 skins for different color variations
11. FlibBlog – $35
FlipBlog is the hottest new thing since sliced bread. This theme is like a Rock Star buisness/portfolio theme got together with a hip blog theme and had a baby. Yeah… FlipBlog is the whole package.
- Full lightbox integration
- 6 dynamic widget areas
- 5 homepages to choose from
- Built-in ThemeBlvd SEO Plugin
- Tons of Shortcodes
- 10 Custom widgets
- Total visual customization
12. Beatific – $30
It is a full W3C Valid PHP coded WordPress website theme, easily customizable. All PSD files are attached in the file ZIP so you can modify everything on the site, and you can easily create your own themes too, since the documentation is very clear on how to modify. The site uses jQuery for the image scroller on the Home page and for some minor tweaks.
- 17 pages long documentation
- Custom post type for Portfolio items
- Full WordPress integration
- 4 carefully hand crafted themes
Nesnel is a premium portfolio and business theme for WordPress. It has user-friendly admin panel with configuration wizard, slider management system, shortcode generator; modular page layouts, 90+ advanced shortcodes and more. And it’s incredibly easy and quick way to have a website. You can setup in minutes to your WordPress.
- Ready for WordPress 3 and greater
- 90+ Shortcodes
- Unlimited level unique navigation menu
- Ajax contact form
- Nested Comments
- Translate Ready
Lifeline is a clean and sleek WordPress theme that is built for easy customization and enormous flexibility. It’s powered with our custom Theme Options Panel, JWPANEL.
- 7 custom page templates
- 4 color schemes included
- 10 custom widgets
- Unlimited widget sections
- Widgetize homepage
- Localized. Translation ready
15. Survive – $30
Survive is clean and modern WordPress theme made for Business, Portfolio, Personal Blog or any kind of website.
- Threaded comments
- Nivo Slider
- Cufon font replacement
- Shortcodes for more text-control
- Step by step detailed installation guide
- Full control from admin panel
16. brandNew – $35
brandNew theme for WordPress is a modern web 2.0 theme with spacious layout, clean typography and better readability. The theme is best suited for corporate ventures, blogging requirements and personal portfolio. Backed with useful short-codes, custom widgets, multiple skins and language localization support – the theme is versatile enough to fit into your web requirements.
- 10 Skins
- 2 WP Menus
- Home page scroll Slider
- Full width Nivo Slider
- 5 Portfolio Templates
- 8 Custom widgets
- 7 widget areas with exclusive usage for each page
Uniquate is a Powerful Professional WordPress theme. It’s perfect for Corporate, Business and Personal Portfolios.
It includes powerful and minimal admin panel which give you full control over every major and minor design element throughout your website.
It comes with 11 skins and I am sure you can create your own skin easily.
- Video support in gallery
- WordPress 3.0 menu support
- 2 column fixed layout
- Jquery cycle plugin
- 11 color skins
- Powerful and minimal theme options page simple to use
- No need to add custom fields for thumbnail images
18. CleanSlide – $30
CleanSlide is a professional & clean premium WordPress theme. It can be used for almost every type of website project. It comes with a detailed documentation, which includes all the main instructions you will need to customize this theme. All the html and psd files are included.
- 8 different color schemes
- Unique jQuery Portfolio incl. filtering
- jQuery Accordion freebie included
- PSD file included
19. Stealth – $30
Stealth is a sleek, stylish and simple theme that you’ll be able to setup for you or your client in no time.
- 6 dynamic widget areas
- Contact form builder
- Built-in ThemeBlvd SEO plugin
- Tons of shortcodes
- 10 custom widgets
- 8 page templates
- 6 styles
SNIPER is a clean and robust WordPress theme, best suited for decent corporate websites, photography portfolio, and personal blog. The simplicity and straight-forward design style opens a wide scope for modification and flexible configuration. Backed with powerful widgets, useful short-codes and language ready functionality, SNIPER can be useful for your next corporate project. Here are some of the features:
- 8 custom widgets
- 4 widget areas
- Language Ready theme
- 2 WP3 Menus
- 9 portfolio/gallery templates for image showcase
- Custom blog template for creating more than one blog-alike pages.
1. WP– $35
This theme utilises the powerful WP E -Commerce plugin to create a versatile and feature packed WordPress powered shop, with 3 different layout options and unlimited color possibilities. Make this theme your own.
Mix up content on the homepage with swappable content areas, and change between 2 different footer areas, or use both! A theme so versatile that you can re-brand it to suit your business by simply changing a few settings.
- Multiple payment options
- User accounts and order tracking
- Supports tax
- AJAX cart loading
- 12 widget areas
- 3 different types of layouts
- Elegant 2–step checkout
Sofa Shoppr is WordPress based webshop (e-commerce) theme. It works in conjunction with PayPal payment gateway which means that users can safely checkout either by using their own PayPal account or a credit card. Beside the fact that this theme is extremely easy to setup and maintain, it does include all of WP 3 .0+ features, built-in widgets, advanced layout control, user reviews and an ample Options page through which all the crucial sections of your future webshop are settable.
Another cool thing is a featured products banner rotator – Piecemaker (Adobe Flash app), fully integrated into system. Webshop owner can simply upload all the slides through WP Admin panel and set all of Piecemaker variables via theme Options page so no need to edit XML file or upload slides by using FTP client. On top of that, each banner can be linked to a certain/featured product page – if needed.
You can select between 3 different layouts for your webshop Home Page; it can consist of Widgets only, it can be a grid of listed products (no sidebar) or a combo of grid and sidebar. Both grids may optionally be mixed with Widgets too which is another great feature – you can literally create your own layouts. There’s plenty more but I guess you’ll discover on your own as soon as you install Sofa Shoppr.
- Orders tracking
- Fully implemented piecemaker banner rotator
- Complete webshop + PayPal solution
- Entirely settable via Options page
- 8 built-in widgets
- Multiple payment options
- Manage registered customers
- Coupon/voucher codes
- Shop modes: regular, inquiry, affiliate, PayLoadz
- 30 independent widget ready sections
- 22 Custom widgets featuring: “shop by outfit”,”shop by size”,”shob by color” etc.
enVirashop is a WordPress eCommerce theme that has an in-built shopping cart feature that requires no plugins.
The theme comes with plenty of options so you can personalize your store to suit your needs. Please check the screenshots to see the design variations and the options available.
- Set tax rate
- Multiple currencies
- Product options
- Payment methods (PayPal & Google Checkout)
- 5 banner colors
- 5 shopping cart colors
- jQuery shopping cart
Cars Dealer is a full featured WordPress 3 theme developed for car dealers looking for something a little bit different. Cars dealer is not a “corporate” website, it’s just a clean and elegant design focused to inspire everyone that come to it.
Of course you can easily use this template for any other markets.
- Latest jQuery Framework
- 20+ custom options
- Multiple Page Layouts (6)
- Custom Post Types (2)
- WordPress Version 3.x
Time for Food is a beautifully designed WordPress Theme for all you foodies. It can be used to share recipes or just write articles based about food.
The site works in IE6 , IE7 , IE8 , FF, Opera and Safari.
The Theme uses the TimThumb Script, so you need the GD libary installed for this to work (99% of hosts have this installed, if not just ask them to enable it).
- Translation ready
- 34 Custom Widgets
- 34 Independent and collapsible widget ready section
- Products with video, audio and/or images
- Protected account area
- Customer wishlist
- 2 Localized Child Themes
- Optional Blog Alongside The Shop
- 27 Independent and Collapsible widget ready sections
- Customer Wishlist
- Frontend customer login/registration and protected account area
EStore is a clean, modern, web 2.0 style wordpress theme suitable for online store, shopping cart and business sites.
This theme is fully compatible with WP Ecommerce plugin.
- WordPress 3.0
- 7 page templates
- 4 sidbar position
- New Custom Post Type for slider
- New Custom Post Type for portfolio
- New Custom Post Type for products
- New Custom Post Type for testimonials
Hansum WordPress theme is a clean, beautiful and easy customizable theme. It’s perfect for corporate, photography show case, personal/company portfolios, blogs and clean looking websites. This theme comes with massive and functional theme option page which gives you entire website under your control. It comes with 4 page templates, Portfolio, gallery , blog and contact.
It comes with 2 skins with light and dark
- Theme options page
- Inbuilt contact page
- 3 page templates
- 2 column fixed layout
- jQuery hslides slider
Rean concurrently served as the Head of Operations and Editor-in-Chief of 1stwebdesigner from 2011 up until Aug 2014. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development with a little touch of internet marketing here and there.