If you’ve been creating WordPress websites in 2014, then you must know by now that some premium themes are better than others. Of course, utility is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, so I’m not going to preach about the themes I’ve found, and how heavenly they are in every situation. But I did my share of comparing and analyzing.
What I came up with is over a dozen themes that I intend to use for my client projects in the near future. If you’re curious what they are, scroll downwards.
Without any further ado, let me describe to you in short how I came to know and love X Theme. At the onset of last year, Themeco released a theme that would introduce a handful of individual designs, and allow creatives to use them as foundation for unique-looking websites. As soon as word got out, everybody and their mother wanted to get a piece of X Theme. And so, it became the fastest-selling product on ThemeForest.
Now, every verified purchase of X Theme comes with 15 free extensions – one mightier than the next: Video Lock, Content Dock, Smooth Scroll, and White Label, just to name a few. Use X Theme’s live editor to customize 4 different Stacks, Integrity, Renew, Icon, and Ethos. There are loads of videos, demos, plus a circulated user forum that you can consult. It’s enough to initiate a search on the forum, to find answers for any issue. Themeco are also working to supply more demos and update the 30+ ones.
The over 70 demos from BeTheme are enough to make anyone swoon over it. It’s true that this theme opens many possibilities. I leave it to you guys to discover all of them. As for me, I think I could really benefit from using BeTheme to launch company websites, portfolios, single product or event pages, and full-fledged stores.
I love the fact that BeTheme goes through free weekly updates. That means I’ll never have to install them manually. Also, this is one of the most open-option themes that I’ve ever chanced upon. Users can choose to build pages with the Muffin Builder, with shortcodes, or with Visual Composer. Lastly, makes it okay to bring WordPress plugins on board, like bbPress, Yoast, Contact Form 7, WP Mobile Detect, and MailChimp.
A fresh approach to WordPress website creation is rising. That approach is card design. Web designers work with lots of themes over time. Gradually, we might even come to use some of them repeatedly. The next tool I’ll write about is going to help you change the websites made with your already installed themes. Qards is a plugin that works with every theme, period.
It’s all about the cards. You don’t have to stress with coding, as long as you have a clear idea of how you want your new website to look and behave. There’s an in-line editor for each card, and you need only upload the actual content, then simply construct your layout from cards.
As we’re progressing through the compendium of useful WordPress themes for this year, I can’t help but pay my respects to Elegant Themes and their lovely creation, Divi. It’s fully responsive and WooCommerce-ready. You get a diverse set of modules with built-in CSS boxes, to customize and create your layout. You also have the option of using Divi’s pre-made layouts. Elegant Themes also allow you to import and export layouts freely.
Rosa may have been initially planned as a theme for restaurants, but right now it’s safe to use it for other visual-oriented websites, such as photography or portfolio projects. Prescribe your users a magnificent parallax experience. With this theme in your corner, the sky’s the limit. Prepare clever typography animations and full-screen image galleries to make their jaw drop. There’s a lot you can do with Rosa his year.
Let’s talk about portfolios. How well do you rise to the challenge of transporting your clients’ professional identities on the web? I believe there’s always room for improvement. And so does Brand.ed, it seems. With this theme, designers handle a customizer that previews their every move and its consequences in real time. The fact that you have free reign with color schemes can only mean that your client’s brand is safe in your hands. Utilize parallax scrolling and showcase previous experience in slideshows for spell-binding effects.
In the present context, variety is key. Sure, you might do with a single purpose-driven theme now and again, but most of the time we all like to keep our options open. So we choose themes that give us a multitude of choices to begin with. Take Royal, for instance. 8theme packed it with more than 60 designs. Shape a website in less than 10 minutes with the Installer feature, and get more than your share of Royal widgets and shortcodes.
2015 is the year when the vast majority of online shoppers go mobile. For you, this means that the checkout process has to as smoothly as possible (so leave out any unnerving demands to log-in). Also, make the product come alive with pins and such. SnapShop has WooMapper, which allows you to do just that. Plus, the product preview function matches the one from Pinterest. In addition, you can work in animated ‘add to cart’ notifications to compel customers.
I say, enough with coding. This year, we should give code-exempting themes a fighting chance. It’s never been a better time to do so, actually. The Essence is so complex and powerful, that I didn’t find any faults in it. Simplify your working routine with Essence’s theme option panel, and embrace it for your magazine blog projects. You won’t regret it.
Since it has a vibrant design and multiple home page layouts, I believe The Essence would make a proper choice for a magazine or blogging website.
The supreme quality that sets great themes apart from mediocre ones is their support service. And documentation. But the way theme developers react to our pleas for aid makes all the difference. With regard to that, Kallyas passes the test of dependability with flying colors. Install Kallyas for any portfolio and e-commerce project. It won’t let you down. I don’t see how it could, because a superb page builder and huge slider variety await you here.
I love how elegant Opus is. I am definitely going to use it this year for one of my company websites. It comes with a straightforward drag-and-drop page builder, and offers a total of 100 shortcodes. Needless to say, Opus is a responsive theme. But it scores the most points when it comes to design quality.
To my mind, Circle Flip would do any E-commerce project justice. It makes great use of flat design and delivers a disarming user experience for online shoppers. You can witness the full force of this theme with your own eyes. Circle Flip allows for complete demo access, so you can have a good look at what awaits you.
Again for your business, WooCommerce, and portfolio projects, I recommend a great multi-purpose theme. Aku not only includes Slider Revolution and the most famous page builder of all times – Visual Composer – but also includes the plugin for WooCommerce PDF invoices. Besides, it’s packed with Contact Form 7, Wolf Slider, and more than 540 vector icons.
Sahifa is a fine candidate for web stores, plus blogs and magazines. It has a review system with 3 different choices in style. So, you can allow your readers to rate and review posts – using a stars, percentage, or points model. 9 page templates are available with Sahifa. Example: Best Reviews, Sitemap Page, Require a Login, etc.
As an afterthought, I would also include WooPress on the list of interesting WordPress themes to use throughout this year. It was created by 8themes to aid web designers in making web shops. So, by all means, use WooPress for some of your E-commerce projects, and take advantage of its stylishly flat design.
Here ends my selection of progressive WordPress themes in 2015. I hope it proves useful for all of you web designers out there who are reading this article. Please leave your thoughts concerning the best premium themes in a comment. I’m really looking forward to picking your brains.