When I was looking to start my blog on WordPress in Jan 2016, I knew the theme was going to make or break the entire situation.

I scoured the interwebs for hours trying to find the perfect theme that would jump out at me. There were HUNDREDS of gorgeous designs. Some that I almost clicked the ‘buy now’ button on! But I made sure to keep in mind exactly what I was looking for in a theme and not rest until I found ‘the one’.

That’s something I recommend you do before you even begin to search for a theme, know exactly what you want out of it and not compromise until you find it. So how about we start there..

Note: This post came about after I published How to Start A Profitable WordPress Blog. If you’re just starting to think about creating your very own blog, head over there first and learn how to set it all up with my step-by-step tutorial.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR WORDPRESS THEME

  • What kind of look and feel do you want for you website?
  • Do you need a website or a blog based theme?
  • Do you want a brand new theme or one that’s used by many?
  • Does the theme offer cal-to-actions for your wensite?
  • Is the theme SEO friendly?
  • What kind of support do you require?
  • Are there any reviews of the theme you want to use?
  • Is it a responsive theme?
  • Does your theme support monetization or ads?
  • Do you need your theme to offer multiple layouts and columns?
  • Does the theme’s navigation support your blog layout?

WHERE TO FIND BEAUTIFUL & CHEAP THEMES FOR WORDPRESS

A Prettier Web

Theme Pricing: $49.00

boss lady theme a prettier web

Of course I have to start with the theme I’m currently using, because I love it so much! When I was first looking for a theme, I was really particular about what I wanted. I didn’t necessarily want a blog based theme, but wanted the option to choose between the two. I wanted an opt-in box embedded on the homepage, I wanted different page layouts for landing pages, lead pages, full width etc.. I also wanted it to be really easy for new readers to navigate through my website. So the second I laid eyes on the Boss Lady theme, I was sold.

Mel from A Prettier Web designed this baby (she’s also designed another called Blog Lady too!) and she’s wonderfully generous with her time, when I had a few tech issues going on she was more than happy to take the time out to help me with it.

Both themes include customizeable fonts and colours and are fully responsive for mobile. They’re SEO friendly, include 1, 2 or 3 column blog layouts, an announcement bar and full width call-to-action widget areas. You can choose different layouts for category pages, and choose whether you want a sidebar or not, you can hide or show date, categories and tags, have a different banner for each individual page and choose if you want a fixed or floating nav. You also get a custom bio box, 1 – 4 footer columns and of course a “follow sidebar”. And my favourite, built-in lead page templates (this is what mine looks like!)

See why I picked it now?? 😉  She created video tutorials of how to set up your theme, which saved SO MUCH TIME for me. When I was trying to set this up I had only just joined WordPress, so it was already doing my head in. These videos took the stress right out of the equation. Gotta love this girl!

Angie Makes

Theme Pricing: $70

Angie Makes - The Carraway WordPress Theme

The thing I love most about Angie Makes is that Angie and Chris (the killer creators of their amazing themes) is that they stay 100% true to their brand.  They’ve made it their mission to design custom and very easy-to-use WordPress themes that are both beautiful and feminine with flexible customization options.

Their themes are fully responsive, you can customize the widths of your site, content, edges and sidebars. On the newer designs you can choose different blog layout options, plus have control over the colors, fonts and images you want to use. Their themes are also SEO optimized, you can set up a shop with WooCommerce and there are already several spots to place ads and banners if you prefer. And on some themes you even have the option to include an email subscribe opt-in box on the homepage that integrates with Mailchimp.

My favourite theme has to be The Carraway (pictured above) because it has EVERYTHING you need, including all of the listed above, as well as a simplistic design that you can customize any way you want. And if you’re wanting to keep things really inexpensive while building your business, Angie gives away a free basic blog theme called Mary Kate! 😉

Nose Graze

Theme Pricing: From $20 upwards

nose graze tweak-me-2-theme

Ashley is the creator of Nose Graze, and she’s a little obsessed with coding – like started ‘learning how to code back when Neopets were a thing’ kind of obsessed. NEOPETS guys!!! – Ashley’s mission is to create an army of tech-savvy, WordPress-dominating women who code themes and build plugins.

Her themes include fully responsive customizable integration. Featured post or product boxes on the homepage. Widget areas, support for plugins like MailChimp for WordPress, Naked Social Share, and Expanding Archives. Themes also support multiple navigation menu levels, WooCommerce and are translation ready.

I’m lovin’ the Tweak Me V2 theme because you can literally tweak it to your liking. This particular theme has loads of raving reviews and Ashley also showcases all who have used her Tweak Me theme and how they’ve made the look and feel suit their business. I think that’s an awesome thing to be able to observe before you buy. Again, if you’re still testing the waters, Ashley also offers a free wordress theme called Ingrid!

DESIGNER BLOGS

Theme Pricing: From $50 upwards

designer blogs vivienne wordpress theme
I have used Designer Blogs for over 5 years while I was running my various businesses on the Blogger platform. The awesome thing is that they create blog themes for both Blogger and WordPress, so . They have always been so reliable and completely hassle free whenever it’s come to purchasing, downloading and uploading their templates.

Their premade blog themes for wordpress come with your own customized title & tagline, popular add-on items, four social media buttons, a favicon and a navigation bar. Each design also tells you the specific design features it has.

Although their premade designs are predominantly for bloggers who want blog based themes, you also have the option to create a custom design for your website, obviously for a higher price. If you want zero hassle, then Designer Blogs is your jam.

Creative Market

Theme Pricing: From $2 upwards

creative market wordpress themes
And last but not least, Creative Market. This is the hub to find exactly the type of theme you’re looking for, whether it’s beautiful, customizable or cheap WordPress themes, you’ll find one that suits you. There’s several hundred options (it’s a lot to trawl through, yes), but you can’t not find your theme in here. My favourite is Inspired Feminine theme (above!).

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

  1. What are you looking for in a theme?
  2. And if you already have your theme, where did you find yours?

 

Elise xo

  • Paige

    I’m considering the Lady Boss theme that you have. I’m wondering though out of the 5 sources you listed are the ones from A Prettier Web the only ones that offer the landing pages? Thanks for a great post!

    • Hey Paige! Yes, so far A Prettier Web is the only one I’ve found that has the landing and lead page templates built into the theme. There’s others that have opt-in boxes etc, but not landing pages which is sooo valuable (and saves a lot of money!) Hopefully that helps!xo

      • Paige

        I agree that the landing page feature is so valuable. The only thing that is giving me pause is that most “experts” say that the landing page should be it’s own domain and wonder what your thoughts are on that? Thanks so much for your quick response!

        • What? That is the craziest thing I’ve heard all day! And it’s not at all true. I’ve used this landing page: http://www.houseofbrazen.com/free-passive-income-course since I created my blog and there’s been no issues with not having it as a separate domain. Hmmmm, perhaps having a separate domain for a landing page would be for larger campaigns, possibly to prevent traffic from slowing down your site. But that would be if you’re getting hundreds of thousands of visitors per day so I think you and I are safe for now! 🙂

  • Naveen Kapoor

    Thanks for the Info.