Since discovering ThemeForest in 2012, I have been thrilled when I get to choose and test out new WordPress themes. It is fun to discover the unique benefits of each theme. Someday I may compile the best parts of each theme into one monster mega awesome theme. (Hey, I think that’s what Champion is going to be.) Due to the popularity of my blog post outlining why I love using prebuilt themes (even though they get a bad rep. sometimes) I decided to make a list of my current top 7 prebuilt WordPress themes and why I love them. Without further ado…
My List of Top 7 Prebuilt WordPress Themes
- Striking / Champion
I have used this theme for multiple projects since it came out. Much like a lot of the themes on this list, its flexibility is astounding. It was the first theme that really allowed me to dive into responsive design. One thing that stands out is the customer support. James over at ThemeBuilders is an incredible resource and also a friendly person. Customer support is an integral part of theme’s success. Striking (Soon to be replaced by the all-powerful Champion) was one of the first multi-use responsive themes on the map and they’re still going strong. I learned so much from exploring this theme’s customization options. If you’re into clean layouts with endless customization and finite design control, check out Striking.
I picked up this WordPress theme for a client and fell in love with how clean the theme looked and worked. It might be my favorite multi-use theme of the moment. While not as customizable as Striking, Roneous makes up for it in elegance and intuitive use. The UX of the theme itself is great and the customer support has been outstanding. I feel like I have made a friend with Danny over at the Themologi help forum. Stand out feature of this theme is the customization options available on each individual page. Roneous makes it easy to keep the website uniform while adding individual flair to each page. (This site you’re on right now was also built using Roneous!)
Enfold was the first multi-use theme I ever worked with. It’s native drag-and-drop builder (Avia Framework) was a delight to design with. It was better than Visual Composer at the time and made designing highly advanced pages easy and quick. Despite a few technical validation problems (maybe they’ve been fixed) this theme is a great choice for a business that wants form and functionality with lots of customization options. I used Enfold as the theme for CDL500.com from 2013 – 2017.
I picked this theme for a client that wanted a personal portfolio website. The theme’s layout/UI is unlike any other I have come across. It’s super-futuristic, high tech and sleek but still functions without any jitters or bugs like some theme with lots of moving visual parts. On the back end, this theme was a pain to figure out how to customize. Once I loaded it up I was kind of lost. I had to load the demo content and then peel back what I didn’t want. It comes with Visual Composer which really helps designing the content for each page, but I would not recommend this for a novice WordPress designer. All that said, my client and I are very happy with this theme and may even use it for some small portfolio projects of my own.
This is my favorite theme to use for micro-sites / one page websites. It leads the pack for parallax-based one-page prebuilt WordPress themes and I have deployed it on several client websites. There is a slight learning curve to figure out how to create pages from individual sections, but once you get the hang of it it’s kind of neat to see a page come together. While there’s limited flexibility on layout, a savvy graphic/web designer can implement their own designs into the layout and create a totally unique website.
- The 7
This theme is one of the best selling, top rated themes on ThemeForest, and for good reason. It may be the most customization theme I’ve discovered. It’s a little bit clunky if you aren’t careful, so page speed and content optimization is crucial if using this theme. This theme is used on a client’s website and has withstood the test of time. It’s been active for almost two years and still looks and works as well as any new theme that has come out. This is a good theme for the intermediate to pro WordPress designer. I wouldn’t use this if you are a business owner trying to do it yourself, despite how easy they may make it sound. Hiring a pro is always the right idea.
The newest theme I have worked with. My client settled on this theme for his new food blog and I am so psyched about it! It’s not especially customizable, but it doesn’t need to be. It works like a proper, modern blog should. The layout is clean and makes for a beautiful canvas to display content. I would definitely use this theme again for a blog or magazine website.
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