As someone who has hundreds niche sites in my portfolio, I’m always on the lookout for the best wordpress themes to make my sites standout.
While I do sometimes use free WordPress themes, I often prefer the quality of a nice looking premium theme or the ability to customize one myself using a theme framework. This blog for example, is built using the Thesis theme framework.
I’m not a designer by any means, so I don’t mind investing a little bit money in a great looking wordpress theme. Plus many premium themes offer a great deal more flexibility than their free counterparts.
Below are some of my favorite premium WordPress Themes, Theme Frameworks, and free WordPress Themes. These are the best wordpress themes I’ve found so far, but I am always updating this post when I find new themes that catch my eye.
Best Premium WordPress Themes
#1 InReview Theme – I build a lot of review sites, and my favorite wordpress theme for this is InReview by ElegantThemes. It is perfect for creating review sites fast, and it has useful features like a user rating system, custom rating widgets and great looking call to action buttons so you can get the sale. Plus, it looks great and there are five different color schemes to pick from.
#2 Conexus – Conexus is a beautiful WordPress theme for creating your next business website or showcasing your latest product. It’s responsive, so it looks great for all your users whether they are on their desktop or smartphone. And it’s built on top of the TFuse WordPress framework so it’s SEO ready already.
#3 Convergence – Convergence is one of my favorite blogging themes which I like to use from time to time. The theme is clean, simple and looks great. It is one of the many great looking themes you can find over at ThemeForest.
#4 LifeStyle – LifeStyle is a child theme for the very popular Genesis Theme framework. This is one of the best wordpress themes for building niche sites and you can see many of these types of sites fetch a good price on Flippa. Since it’s built on top of the Genesis Theme framework, it is highly customizable so you can make sure your designs look exactly how you want them to.
Best WordPress Theme Frameworks
Unlike the premium wordpress themes mention above, these theme frameworks are more for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and want to customize their sites exactly how you want them.
#1 Catalyst Theme – Catalyst Theme is my go to theme framework for all of my newer sites, and I really loving it. It hits the sweet spot by being a really simple to use wordpress theme framework, yet having tons of customization options to design my sites looking exactly how I want them to. All this without having to muck around with any code. It’s SEO ready, comes with some nice skins, and it’s almost half the price of Thesis Theme. Plus, you can use it on unlimited sites. See my Catalyst Theme review site for a demo and full review.
#2 Genesis Theme – I’m seeing more and more sites switch over to the Genesis Theme framework now, including Sugarrae, Growmap, and even MattCutts.com. At it’s core, is the Genesis Theme framework which gives you the basic ability of changing your layouts, color styles and SEO options.
However, what makes Genesis Theme so popular are the child themes. These are custom designs that sit on top of the framework to change the look of your site. At the time of this review, there are 43 child designs available to choose from.
This makes Genesis Theme the perfect solution for someone who wants a nice looking theme that works great out of the box. Or if you do custom design work for clients, it provides a good starting point to work from as well.
#3 Thesis Theme – This is still the most popular premium WordPress theme framework, although Genesis Theme is likely caught up at this point. As I mentioned up top, and I’m still using Thesis 1.8 to power this site. I really love the ability to change the number of columns (1, 2, 3) and set the columns widths on the fly. I also like the fact that it is SEO ready out of the box, so there is no need to install additional plugins. While other themes may have borrowed some of Thesis Theme’s best features, it still features the largest developer community, so it’s very easy to get help and inspiration if you need it.
Thesis 2 came out last year, and it’s quite a bit different from the old version of Thesis I’m currently using. I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around it yet, so I still have not used it on any new sites yet.
#4 OptimizePress – OptimizePress is a bit more specialized than the other 3 theme frameworks. If you are looking to create sales pages, squeeze pages, or even a full fledged membership site, OptimizePress is the best wordpress theme for designing these. Using an innovative shortcode system, the theme makes it very simple to add various landing page elements on your page. Plus, it comes with some great looking graphics – the same ones that you will see some of the top internet marketing gurus using for their own launches.
Free WordPress Themes
#1 Flexibility Theme – This is a really great WP theme that’s quite powerful. Tons of options, SEO ready, and quite flexibile as the name implies for a free WordPress Theme.
#2 TypeBased – One of the many free Woo Themes available. This simple, nice looking theme is patterned after Tumblr and can be used for a wide variety different sites.
#3 IWMB Theme – Nice free WordPress theme for creating sales pages. Comes with three sales page templates and easily customize the header to fit your site.
What do you guys think? What are some of the best wordpress themes that you have tried? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.