To build a successful website, it is vital to pay attention to the theme you choose. This is why in this ThemeForest buying guide I will tell you what to look for and how to find perfect WordPress theme for your business needs.
When building site, your theme is one of the most important part. The theme will determine the website’s style and design, but also functionality. This means that purchasing a theme for your site is not exactly a light decision.
You need to do thorough research and examine your available options before you buy. One of the best sites to buy themes is ThemeForest. ThemeForest is the world’s most renowned marketplace for WordPress themes. ThemeForest is an integral part of the Envato Markets family.
This family also includes the extremely popular CodeCanyon, a marketplace for WordPress plugins. Due to the extreme popularity, ThemeForest has become one of the great ways to earn a living for WordPress developers.
A theme developer can earn between 50% and 70% of every sale, depending on the volume of sales. Currently, ThemeForest has more than 11,600 available themes for WordPress. The themes cost between $13 and $199.
ThemeForest Buying Guide – Finding a Theme
With the wide range of themes to choose from, it may be tough to narrow down your selection. It is very easy to spend many hours checking at hundreds of different themes and still be at the beginning thinking which theme to choose.
But not all is lost. ThemeForest has an array of features that will help you choose the perfect theme for your website. Based on your chosen keywords, ThemeForest will allow you to find the theme that suits you using a handy search function.
Also, the themes are divided into up to 14 top-level categories including corporate, blogging, e-commerce themes, etc., to aid in your search.
ThemeForest also provides a filtering system to help sort and filter the list even more based on the category, sales, prices, tags, rating, date added and based on compatibility with other plugins.
For example, you can choose that theme is compatible with WPML (see WPML review), WooCommerce (check best WooCommerce plugins), WPBakery (see WPBakery Page Builder review), Gravity Forms (check WPForms vs Gravity Forms comparison), Elementor (Elementor free vs pro), etc.
This will leave you with a short, manageable list of themes. Apart from these, you can also visit the portfolios of top authors whose names appear on the right sidebar to find the best themes for your site.
After you’ve completed your search/category selection, ThemeForest will provide you with a list of relevant themes. Directly on top of this list, you will find a drop-down menu with six criteria to help you sort the list further.
The six criteria are Trending items, Newest items, Best rated, Bestsellers and Price (low to high or high to low).
Choosing a Theme
After you’ve selected the criteria to narrow the list, you can now examine your options. Each theme will come with a live preview which is an invaluable tool that will display its functionality and main features.
It also gives you a chance to test the customization settings such as color schemes, different layouts, and backgrounds for better insight. However, it is important to review each theme more than what is displayed as the live preview can sometimes be deceptive.
Try to evaluate the theme without being influenced by the images. Most theme previews feature extremely specific, high-quality stock images, which can be deceptive.
Read through the sales description on the product pages. This way you will find more info as well as info if other bonuses such as premium plugins are included and come with the theme.
Other information on the product page of the theme will include:
- Sales volume – the higher the volume, the better the theme as the developers usually upgrade and improve on it regularly.
- Buyer rating – the better the theme, the higher the rating and vice versa.
- Recent updates – regular updates usually eliminate the risk of security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.
- Comments – this section will provide detailed information about buyers’ thoughts, as well as the responsiveness of the developer in addressing any questions.
ThemeForest Theme Support
The most qualified source of support for all your theme-related problems is the theme developer.
Previously on ThemeForest, this was usually done in the comment section where buyers posted their concerns and the developer or an agent of the developer, would respond with the solution. Some even had support sections on separate developer site.
However, in August 2018, Envato introduced a new support policy which means authors can now include six months’ worth of support for their theme.
This is normally listed on the top-right side of the product page. This is extendable to a year at an extra fee. When free six months of support expire (which come with purchase), you can purchase new if you wish or need help.
Best-Selling ThemeForest WordPress Themes
It is highly recommended to go through the best-sellers list as it helps in your purchasing decision. Themes with a high number of users will motivate developers to continue developing and improving the theme for years to come.
Although it’s not a complete guarantee, that the best selling themes are the best choice for your site or are free of bugs and issues. But they do have an array of features, better functionality, and strong user ratings.
Have in mind that too much functionality could sometimes make a theme susceptible to complications and slow loading speeds (see how to speed up WordPress site).
However, it is safe to presume that large sales volume means more feedback from buyers and therefore a field to improve on any problems as well as regular updates on the themes by developers.
An important thing to note about best-selling themes is that they are normally multipurpose. This means more customization options, inbuilt functionalities as well as the ability to create multiple layouts compared to their simpler counterparts, making them highly versatile.
This also means they can be used in almost all areas, making them suitable for web designers and freelance building sites.
The best selling themes on ThemeForest are Avada (more than 470k sales), X Theme (more than 190k sales), Enfold (more than 170k sales), BeTheme (more than 130k sales), The 7 (more than 133k sales), etc.
- WOOCOMMERCE COMPATIBILITY
- BBPRESS COMPATIBILITY
- BUDDYPRESS COMPATIBILITY
- WPML COMPATIBILITY
- RTL SUPPORT
- SMART LISTS
- SOCIAL SHARE
- CUSTOM IMAGE LIGHTBOX
- CUSTOM IMAGE GALLERY
- POST TEMPLATES
- PAGE TEMPLATES
- MEGA MENU
- SOCIAL COUNTER
- INSTAGRAM WIDGET
- CUSTOM PAGE BUILDER
- RESPONSIVE LAYOUT
- DUAL SIDEBARS
- VIDEO SLIDER
- DEMOS INCLUDED
- SEO OPTIMIZED
- ADSENSE SUPPORT
- CUSTOM ADS SUPPORT
- RETINA READY
- BUNDLED PLUGINS
- Multipurpose theme
- Google fonts and custom fonts
- Fusion Builder
- Layer Slider, Revolution Slider, Fusion Core, Convert Plus, AFC Pro, Fusion White Label Branding
- $60 for single site license
- X THEME
- Multipurpose theme
- Google fonts, Typekit fonts
- AFC Pro, UberMenu, Layer Slider, Convert Plug, Revolution Slider, Visual Composer, Soliloquy Slider, Envira Gallery + 15 custom extensions
- $49 for single site license
- Multipurpose theme
- Google fonts
- Avia Layout Builder
- Layer Slider
- $59 for single site license
The Downsides of ThemeForest
In spite of the numerous sales volume, and aside from being universally popular, there are some downsides to ThemeForest.
The primary issue falls under the level of quality. Since it offers all developers a chance to market their products, there is a quality problem as not all content that is uploaded is of the right quality.
Although there is a team in place to verify the quality of themes from developers, quality control remains an issue, especially for the older themes.
Most of these older themes are not coded according to the best practice of WordPress. Another issue is the theme lock-in, something that happens with some of the versatile multipurpose themes.
When you select a multipurpose theme for your theme, you are already subjected to an unlimited level of flexibility. To use the layouts, customization options and other features will require and depend on tailor-made shortcodes.
The problem arises when you try to choose a new theme that will not recognize the shortcodes. These will be displayed as useless codes on your page. This will result in a high penalty for changing themes.
Another problem revolves around developers who will launch a theme and then leave it without upgrading, regular updates or improvements to increase the customer experience.
This normally happens when themes don’t reach the target sales or popularity and developers abandon the themes without considering to upgrade or improve on any of the problems relating to their theme. This will result in the theme becoming obsolete and outdated with time.
Another problem is Envato item support policy which means all products sold include 6 months of support. After that usually you need to purchase additional support if you ever need it. Luckily, this is left on developers and I am glad to see than many, despite support policy, offer lifetime support.
There are many free and paid WordPress themes available. There are more places where customers can purchase WordPress themes apart from ThemeForest. Some of the other big marketplaces for themes include MOJO Themes and Creative Market.
There are also many more well-respected shops for WordPress themes which include Elegant Themes, SiteMile Themes portfolio of themes for various niches (see SiteMile themes review), WooThemes, StudioPress, Themify, Themelsie, TeslaThemes, Webnus (their Deep theme is great), etc.
For those working under a strict budget looking for free themes that are dependable and of high quality, it is advisable to consider the themes from the official repository for WordPress themes. One of most popular free themes are Astra (see Astra free vs pro differences), GeneratePress (see Astra vs GeneratePress comparison) and OceanWP (check OceanWP review).
ThemeForest Buying Guide Conclusion
For anyone looking for a theme best suited for their site, it would be advisable to consider ThemeForest. If you stick to the best-selling, highly rated and well-established themes, you will not be disappointed.
These themes are normally of high quality with a wide range of multipurpose features. The main selling point for ThemeForest is the wide selection range that exceeds a choice of 11,000+ WordPress themes.
Envato also offers handy Envato Market plugin which you can use to update products purchased on Themeforest and Codecanyon right from your site dashboard.
DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.