WordPress Theme Shop: WooThemes
Rather than highlight an individual theme, let’s take a look at a one-stop WordPress theme shop. If you’re looking for a clean & solid, well-supported theme to skin your WordPress installation, then take a look at what WooThemes has to offer. All of their themes are built on the WooFramework which streamlines things when you get that urge to switch out your site’s WooTheme for another one. Along with several highly recommended free themes, they also offer individual theme pricing and a pair of options when joining the ThemeClub: Standard and Developer. Paid themes are called premium themes and come with a one-time fee that varies for the different themes. There’s also a monthly subscription needed to continue receiving updates and support for the themes that you purchase. The subscription terms are pretty straightforward and there is no contract. But this is where it gets a little touchy for some who feel that updates & support should be included in a theme’s price. But that is why we have this beautiful thing called a choice.
But Wait, There’s More!
Whether you purchase a subscription or not does not affect the free support that’s available through their very useful video tutorial library. The bonus prize here is that you can learn beyond their own products and get insight on the WordPress CMS as well as developer tools like Mozilla’s Firebug. Most of the videos cover working with the Canvas theme which is what I’ll cover next.
A Good Starter Theme: Canvas
If you’re overwhelmed by the beautiful choices available to you, then a good place to start might be the Canvas theme. This theme is fully responsive and highly customizable, making for a great starter theme. As your website develops, you can continue to customize without being limited by the functionality of a niche theme.
Power Plugin: WooCommerce
Buying a car to match those sweet rims you really like? It’s not often that one chooses a theme to match a plugin, but a primary reason that many choose WooThemes is the free WooCommerce plugin. The WooCommerce plugin is the most popular eCommerce solution in the WordPress plugin repository. It consistently ranks in the top ten list of all plugins with over a million downloads. So it’s a very safe bet. True that WooCommerce works (or is supposed to work) with any WordPress installation/theme, but when you’re building an online storefront, you want to eliminate as much of the guesswork as possible when it comes to themes and plugins all playing nicely together. It’s already enough to focus on inventory, pricing, taxes, shipping and such to have to worry about bugs or crashes because of incompatibility issues. So it makes perfect sense then, to go with a theme that’s coded by the same developers as the plugin.
The WooThemes brand has grown into a niche industry unto itself, even spawning other sectors who have adopted the ‘woo’ magic into their own names. SEO specialists WooRank comes to mind. A freelancer could easily position himself as a WooThemes expert and work exclusively with the platform, becoming in essence, an elite WooNinja.