How to Find, Evaluate, and Install Premium Themes - dummies

How to Find, Evaluate, and Install Premium Themes

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Although premium themes are cropping up all over the web, a handful really stand out with quality products and services. The following three premium themes are tried and true, with a very stable and successful following of clients who use them:

  • iThemes: Cory Miller and his team of designers and code wranglers provide more than 85 premium themes available for purchase, with prices ranging from $80.00 each. You can also purchase the All Access Pass that includes all themes for $197. All theme purchases at iThemes include full support for the theme for the lifetime of your membership.

  • StartBox: The StartBox theme by WebDevStudios is a basic WordPress theme framework, or parent theme, that you can easily build child themes off of. The StartBox membership starts at $100 per year and includes the StartBox framework and all child themes within its theme gallery.

  • Organic Themes: Jeff Milone and David Morgan are the founders and designers behind the magic at Organic Themes. They have a diverse offering of professionally designed WordPress themes available for purchase and download for $69 each, along with a developer package for $249 that gets you a copy of all the themes available, plus a nice support package and access to future themes released by their team.

Make sure that you fully investigate any theme before you put money on it. Before you pay

  • E-mail the designer who sells the premium theme and ask about a support policy.

  • Find people who have purchased the theme and contact them to find out their experiences with the theme and the designer.

  • Carefully read any terms that the designer has published on his site to find out any restrictions that exist with licensing. For example, ensure the themes are licensed under the GPL license so that you know you are free to modify them however you want to.

  • If the premium theme designer has a support forum, ask whether you can browse the forum to find out how actively the designer answers questions and provides support. Are users waiting weeks to get their questions answered, or does the designer seem to be on top of support requests?

  • Search Google for the theme and the designer. Often, users of premium themes post about their experiences with the theme and the designer. You can find out a lot of positive, and potentially negative, information about the theme and the designer before you buy it.

You can’t find, preview, or install premium themes with the theme search feature on your WordPress Dashboard. You can find, purchase, and download premium themes at an official third-party website. After you find a premium theme you like, you need to install it via FTP or by uploading it in the Dashboard into the /wp-content/themes/ directory of your WordPress installation. You can also find a selection of premium themes on the WordPress website at