Every author needs a blog — that’s a given. But once you have your domain name and a basic site, how do you make it look amazing? With professionally-designed templates, that’s how!
We’ve scouted for good WordPress templates for years, and these two “all-you-can-eat” sites are among the best we’ve found.
Both Elegant Themes and CSS Igniter offer a great variety high-quality designs that are also affordable. The companies allow you to use their templates for as long as you want, as long as you download the files during your membership term — and you can even use them for client sites. (As you’d expect, however, the templates cannot be resold.)
A once-yearly fee of $39 gets you full access to more than 80 diverse and high-quality WordPress themes. New themes are added several times per year, and updates are rolled out to earlier releases as needed… and all are included in your membership.
Suitable for business blogs, ecommerce, portfolio sites, “Coming soon” pages and personal sites, you are even seeing an example of one of their templates in play right now. (Others templates can be seen at ClickAmericana.com, FindersFree.com and DreamOfTime.com.)
Elegant Themes has been around for awhile, and you can really see their creative growth reflected in their more recent download options.
Their once-yearly fee of $39 allows you download access to more than 40 themes, several of which are “responsive,” meaning that they automatically optimize for mobile visitors. The skins are easy to customize to your chosen color scheme, and variously come with bells and whistles like extra widgets, shortcodes — and some are even ecommerce-ready. (Note that the themes cannot be purchased individually.)
Again, there’s a wide range of designs — for business, personal and other fun — but of the many templates available, I like the two Pinterest-style themes best. (See one in action here at DreamOfTime.com.)
One last note
While I have used both of these companies, if you decide to venture out into the open internet, be very mindful of the sites from which you download. There are lots of free WordPress templates out there… but more than a few come pre-loaded with deeply hidden sneaky malware, embedded code to run spam links, and various other Things You Do Not Want.