These days I spend more time optimizing and writing than designing. I just enjoy it more. I also lack the practice & keen eye for design aesthetics and color that is a visual Web designer’s greatest skill (and asset), not to mention the coding skill needed for superb Web design.
But thankfully, for the design dummy like me, there are many great designers producing amazing Premium themes that can kick start any project. And even if you’re a kick-ass designer busting out gallery-worthy Web masterpieces, consider the benefits of Premium themes for your own clients.
Good Reasons for Designers to Use Premium WordPress Themes
1) Many premium themes have their own built-in management system making it easy to add/remove elements and manipulate parts of the theme. If you’re like me you don’t like getting phone calls from clients on a Sunday about “emergency” text changes and the like, you probably prefer to teach your customers a thing or two about updating content so they can do these things confidently. These extra Premium Theme features in the Admin panel often make these simple tasks even easier for you to teach & for your client to learn.
2) Premium Themes cover the design foundation so you can spend your time with custom tweaking and changes. This saves you hours of time when your other option is to start from scratch.
3) Time savings in design, coding, styling, and revisions you would otherwise be doing translates into big savings. You can pass these savings down to your customers, and thus, broadens your business base since these lower cost options fit into more small/medium business budgets.
4) In my experience, most business owners who say they want some Web work done will either jump on top of it immediately or they sit on it for months. With designs instantly ready for demonstration and the promise of quick turnarounds, you can easily increase sales by showing them what the finished product can look like before you’ve even gotten started. The custom design process can be overwhelming for a business owner who lacks technical expertise; pre-built and customizable designs skip boring discussions by visualizing for them exactly what they want to see before handing over any money.
5) You’re ensured a site with clean graphics and thoughtful code; especially useful for me, since I couldn’t build a W3C-compliant and cross-browser compatible design to save my life!
6) Premium themes are usually Upgraded regularly to fix bugs and make improvements on behalf of the creator, saving time and producing a better product in the long-term.
7) Many of these themes are designed to be useful in the most popular and useful niches; Video sites, News sites, Resumes, Real Estate, Car Dealerships, Directories, Classrooms, Classifieds, and Restaurants are just a few of the niches available. Having these available, right out of the box, makes life easier for everyone.
Top picks for Premium WordPress Themes
If you’re interested, use my referral links below, it helps me out, too!
Elegant Themes – Some amazing themes with a built-in Epanel to manage many of the theme’s functions without needing to tweak the code by hand. You can get access to over 70 crisp WordPress themes at a ridiciulously low price of just $39 for an annual membership. (Less than a dollar per theme and you’ll get access to the new themes, too.) And, if you’re a developer, you can get the Developer’s License (I think…) for $89.
StudioPress.com – Built the Genesis Framework, a great extension to enhance WordPress and make it for more powerful. It allows for automatic theme updates, SEO settings, better security, more default options and many child theme designs built specifically for Genesis. For $250, you get all of the StuidoPress Themes and the Genesis Framework.
WooThemes.com – Some really attractive WordPress themes with new ones each month. Quality coding and lots of built-in options. Themes are sold individually between $70 and $200; but the best deal are the memberships: $125 up front and $15 month for the Standard Membership (no photoshop files included) and $200 up front and $20/month (Photoshop files included).
Themeforest.net – A directory of affordable attractice WordPress themes and some premium plugins. Each one is priced individually; prices are reasonable with most themes ranging from $10 – $42 dollars.
AppThemes.com – Some really useful and attractive WordPress-based site themes for job listings, classified, coupons, how-to, and business directory sites. Each theme is $69 – $200 depending on how you want to use it. (Yes, there are WAY too many pricing options on these, but they’re darn WP Template designs.)
Organicthemes.com – Some more beautifully designed Premium themes sold at $69/each.
In my opinion, Elegant Themes, StudioPress and Woothemes are the best values. You can have a developer-level access to all of their themes (about 150 of them) for $540 up front and $20/month if you choose to continue with WooThemes subscription. This is well over 150 fantastic themes to use for your sites and your client’s sites, which breaks down to under $4 per theme. It’s easy to make back $540 with a single paying client, so it is well worth the investment for anyone providing professional Web services!
Do you use any other Premium theme services, comments, or thoughts? Please leave your comments below!
P.S. Sign up for my newsletter in the Sidebar to get an exclusive FREE copy of my guide to blogging and online promotions, tentatively scheduled for a December 2010 release. This guide is full from beginning to end with exercises and training for WordPress, writing, SEO, and making money online. If you subscribe now, you’ll get a copy a week before its released, at no expense! How to Get the Guide FREE