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In this article, I will be looking at premium WordPress themes – what they are, who they are suitable for, and why you should buy them. I will then be looking at some of the ones currently available, so you can get an idea of what’s around. So, let’s jump straight into the nitty-gritty.

What are Premium WordPress Themes?

WordPress is loved by millions of people worldwide as it offers virtually unlimited scope for creating highly customized websites. Consequently, pre-made themes and plugins have evolved to make that job much easier, meaning that WordPress is now the darling of both professional developers and amateur bloggers alike.

Themes are the framework that gives your website the look and feel you want. Premium themes basically do the same as free ones, but they do it much better and offer many advantages, as I will explain in this article.

Literally, thousands of premium WordPress themes are available, covering virtually every niche and target audience imaginable. That can make choosing the most suitable one for you difficult, but hopefully, I will throw some light on what they are all about, thereby making the selection process a little easier for you.

Premium vs. Free Themes – Who Are Premium WordPress Themes For?

Like plugins, some themes are premium only, others (albeit few) are completely free, while the rest are available in ‘freemium’ (free and premium) versions. So, what’s the difference?

In a nutshell, premium WordPress themes offer much greater functionality than free ones, particularly if you are looking for a wide range of customization options. In fact, free themes are often just massively thinned down, unsupported versions of the premium equivalents, and some are so stripped that they are virtually useless.

While it is possible to create perfectly acceptable simple sites with free themes, making them stand out from the crowd will require investment in premium ones.

Why Should You Buy Premium WordPress Themes?

You may be wondering if premium WordPress themes are worth the extra expense over free ones. I wish I could give a straight yes or no answer to that, but it boils down to what you are using it for.

For example, if you are just creating a simple blog or a one-page website for a club or small business, then a free theme could be perfectly adequate. However, if you want an all-singing, all-dancing website with lots of features and heavily customized to suit your branding, then one of the premium WordPress themes is undoubtedly the way to go.

Premium themes offer many significant advantages over free ones, including:


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Quality

Premium WordPress themes will invariably have had much more budget allocated to their development and support. Therefore, it is highly likely that they will be of much better quality than free ones.

Security

As is the case with everything WordPress, reputations are at stake. Therefore, developers will make every effort to ensure the code of their premium theme is super clean and tidy, with no windows of opportunity left open for hackers to exploit. Furthermore, regular updates will ensure that the theme remains as watertight as possible security-wise.

Support

As with plugins, free themes usually only come with minimal (if any) developer support. Often, you are only able to ask questions on a public forum. On the other hand, Premium themes typically have far better support when you have issues or concerns, either via online chat, email, or over the phone, sometimes even 24/7.

Updates

As mentioned earlier, developers want their themes to remain as bug-free and secure as possible. That means they will publish regular updates, including bug fixes, security updates, etc. The developers will also ensure their themes remain compatible with the latest WordPress core updates. If they fail to do any of this, rumors will soon spread that the theme is flawed.

On the other hand, free plugins may not be updated regularly (if at all) as developers prefer you to purchase the premium one.

Extensive Documentation

The documentation provided with free themes is often scant or even non-existent. It stands to reason that no developer is going to give too much away for free, right? On the flip side, when you are paying hard-earned cash for a premium theme, it is not unreasonable to expect sufficient documentation on how to use it properly. Such documentation often includes video tutorials which are easier to follow than written or diagrammatic instructions.

Before I jump to the next section, I do have one word of caution which I wish to share: don’t be fooled into thinking that the more expensive a theme, the better it is. That is not always the case, and you need to do some homework to see what features it includes, plus it is wise to find out how well the developer supports their products, so check to see what people are saying in reviews and forums.

Some Suggested Premium WordPress Themes

Here are my suggested premium WordPress themes. Please note that this list is certainly not exhaustive, as there are thousands out there. Also, where a free version of a theme is also available (i.e., ‘freemium’), my focus is on the premium version, not the free one.

Astra Pro

Astra premium wordpress themeAstra premium wordpress theme

Astra Pro is a hugely popular theme that offers considerable advantages over its free counterpart, such as sticky headers, mega menus, more layout and customization options, etc. Additionally, it has super-clean code that needs less than 50kB of resources, contributing to a blisteringly fast loading speed.

Upgrading to the Essential Bundle adds a library of over 180 pre-built website templates. These cover a variety of genres and are compatible with Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg. Therefore, getting a site off the ground should be quick and easy.


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SiteGround HostingSiteGround Hosting

Click here to read WPLift’s full review of the Astra theme.

Pros

  • Wide range of customization possibilities
  • It can be used on unlimited websites
  • Well supported and documented
  • Easy to set up and use
  • 14-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • The library of starter templates requires you to purchase the Essential Bundle

Price

  • Astra Pro costs $49 per year or $239 for a lifetime. If you want the pre-built website templates, you will need to buy the Essential Bundle, which costs $169 per year / $499 lifetime, but that includes all the features of Astra Pro, the templates, and some other extras. A slimmed-down free version is also available.

Get Astra Pro

Divi

Divi WordPress themeDivi WordPress theme

Like Astra Pro, Divi is another hugely popular premium WordPress theme suitable for both beginners and experienced folk. It emphasizes WYSIWYG, so you can build your site using drag and drop and visual editing. Divi also comes with hundreds of pre-built websites, but unlike Astra Pro, they are included at no extra cost.

Click here to read WPLift’s review of Divi (you can also get a discounted subscription using the link in that article.)

Pros

  • The undo, redo, and revisions history features are a savior when you delete or change something by mistake
  • Highly customizable
  • Includes over 800 pre-made website layouts and 100 complete website packs, with more being continually added
  • Over 40 elements for things like CTAs, sliders, galleries, forms, and more
  • SEO optimized
  • Device responsive design
  • Unlimited website usage
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • The extensive range of pre-made websites and website packs can be overwhelming
  • The pre-made websites aren’t as polished as those included in Astra Pro’s Essential Bundle

Price

  • Divi costs $89 per year or $249 for a lifetime. Given those prices include the pre-made website templates, Divi is effectively cheaper than Astra Pro’s Essential Bundle. Furthermore, those prices give you access to all Elegant Themes’ extensive range of other products.

Get Divi

Avada

Avada premium wordpress themeAvada premium wordpress theme

Avada is probably less well known than Astra Pro and Divi, but more than 750k people are using it, so it is still well-loved. It is aimed at both beginners and professionals, as well as marketers looking to create branded websites with targeted content layouts aligned with their marketing strategies. Like Divi, it has a visual builder, a real boon for speeding up the website creation process.

Click here to read about twenty websites built using Avada.

Pros

  • Highly customizable
  • 91 elements for things like CTAs, sliders, galleries, lightbox, forms, Google maps, and more
  • Device responsive design
  • Online store builder (WooCommerce)
  • Extensive documentation and tutorials

Cons

  • Limited range of pre-made websites
  • No lifetime subscription is available

Price

  • Avada is sold through the Envato Market and costs $60 for a single site. That includes all future updates and six months of support, which is extendable to a full year for an extra $18.

Get Avada

OceanWP

OceanWP premium wordpress themeOceanWP premium wordpress theme

OceanWP is a feature-rich theme that allows you to create professional-looking websites quickly and easily. Not only is it WooCommerce ready, making it ideal for building sleek eCommerce stores, but it is also compatible with most WordPress plugins, so you shouldn’t run into compatibility issues with your favorite addons.

Pros

  • Optimized for search engines
  • Translation ready
  • Works with most popular page builders
  • Includes over 200 pre-made website templates
  • Twenty-one extensions for cookie notices, posts slider, sticky header, Instagram feeds, etc.
  • Device responsive design
  • Highly customizable
  • Extensive documentation
  • 14-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • If you need to create lots of sites, you will need the most expensive plan, which works out more costly than most other plugins that cover unlimited domains

Price

  • OceanWP is available as Personal, Business, and Agency plans. Those cover three, six, and fifty domains, respectively. Pricewise, annual plans cost $43, $71, and $127, while lifetime plans weigh in at $177, $284, and $508 respectively. Incidentally, a thinned-down free version of OceanWP is also available, and you can read more about that here.

Get OceanWP


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Woocommerce hostingWoocommerce hosting

GeneratePress

GeneratePressGeneratePress

GeneratePress is a versatile premium WordPress theme suitable for virtually any application. It has plenty of customization possibilities, plus the extensive library of pre-made websites means creating a website entirely to your liking should be easy enough. Websites are built using dynamic block elements, enabled using the included GenerateBlocks plugin, while customizations are made via the WordPress customizer.

Click here to read WPLift’s full review of GeneratePress.

Pros

  • Extensive customization options including colors, fonts, layouts, etc. via the WordPress customizer
  • Tons of pre-made website layouts included
  • WooCommerce ready
  • Advanced hook system for adding content to otherwise inaccessible areas
  • Ample documentation
  • SEO optimized
  • The license covers up to 500 websites
  • Developer friendly
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • Templates not as polished with some other themes such as Astra Pro
  • Some people will prefer to use drag-and-drop editors such as Elementor

Price

  • GeneratePress costs $59 per year or $249 for a lifetime. A free version with a trimmed-down feature list is also available.

Get GeneratePress

Kadence

Kadence premium wordpress themeKadence premium wordpress theme

Kadence is a versatile freemium theme that offers many interesting features such as an Amazon-style search bar, the ability to add contact information, and even a member account button into headers, plus lots more. Those make it ideal for virtually any kind of site, from basic blogs to busy eCommerce stores.

Click here to see a full review of Kadence on WPLift.

Pros

  • Wide range of customization options, including colors, fonts, layouts, etc.
  • Over 1,500 SVG icons included
  • WooCommerce plugin included, as well as a pop-out cart offering different shopping options to visitors
  • Advanced hook system for adding content to otherwise inaccessible areas
  • It can be used on unlimited websites
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • A relatively limited selection of templates compared to some other premium WordPress themes
  • The cheapest plan does not include the templates and blocks

Price

  • Kadence Pro costs $59 per year, although to get the Pro templates and the blocks, you will need to pay $129 per year for the Essential Bundle. A Full Bundle plan is also available for $199 per year or $649 lifetime. That includes all the Pro and Essential Bundle features, plus access to all the developer’s other products.

Get Kadence

Neve

Neve WordPress themeNeve WordPress theme

Like Kadence (and some others in this list), Neve is a freemium WordPress theme, for which three premium plans are available. The cheapest premium offering, Personal, is ideal for newcomers to the world of WordPress or those who don’t need all the extras included with the Business and Agency plans.

Neve is lightweight and optimized for speed, plus it is compatible with all popular page builders. Furthermore, the theme boasts plenty of real-time customization possibilities via the native WordPress Customizer, making it possible to build a site to fit your precise needs.

Click here to read a full review of Neve on WPLift.

Pros

  • Device responsive
  • Integral Google AMP support
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • Translation ready
  • Versatile customization options, including custom layouts and hooks
  • It can be used on unlimited websites
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • Pro templates only included with the Business and Agency plans

Price

  • Price-wise, the Neve Personal plan costs $59 per year, while Business weighs in at $149 per year and adds things like Pro templates, more WooCommerce functions, priority support, and more. Finally, the Agency plan costs $259 per year and includes white labeling, cloud storage, and VIP support.

Get Neve

Ultra

Ultra WordPress themeUltra WordPress theme

Ultra is a WordPress theme that makes website creation straightforward while offering a good range of customization options. It bundles the Themify builder with drag-and-droppable elements. Also included are a good selection of pre-made website and post layouts, along with header and page styles. One helpful feature of Ultra is you can replicate any of their demo sites and make them your own, allowing you to muster up a fully functioning website literally in minutes.

Pros

  • WooCommerce ready
  • Quick and easy to set up and use
  • Highly customizable
  • It can be used on unlimited sites
  • Demo sites can be easily cloned
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • Page load speed is a little slower than other themes

Price

  • Ultra is available with three plans. At $59 per year, the cheapest is Single Theme, which, as the name suggests, will get you any one of Themify’s themes, Ultra being one of them. Better value is offered by the $89 per year Master Club plan. That includes all Themify’s themes, plugins, addons, and Photoshop files. Finally, if you want a lifetime plan, Lifetime Club is yours for a one-off payment of $249.

Get Ultra

Airi

AiriAiri

Airi is a lightweight and flexible multipurpose WordPress theme from aThemes. With 10+ ready-made starter sites to choose from, you can start building a beautiful business website with just one click. The theme is also compatible with most WordPress plugins.

Pros

  • 10+ pre-designed demos
  • Translation ready
  • Live Customizer
  • Fast Support
  • WooCommerce Customizer
  • BuddyPress Support
  • Multi-Language Support

Cons

  • Limited demo sites

Price

  • Airi costs $59 per year for a single site. This includes a year of support and updates and unlimited site usage. aThemes also offers 30-day money back guarantee.

Get Panoramic

Oscillator

Oscillator WordPress themeOscillator WordPress theme

All music buffs out there rejoice as Oscillator is a premium WordPress theme specifically for people like you! It includes a selection of pre-built website templates that enable musicians and entertainers to really show off their works (including concerts.) It even has an integrated audio player allowing fans and visitors to listen. Furthermore, you can monetize your site by adding “Buy Now” CTA buttons and download links to each soundtrack.

Pros

  • Translation ready
  • Integral streaming audio player
  • CTA buttons and download links
  • Works with page builders like Beaver Builder, Divi, Elementor, etc.
  • One-click demo site import
  • It can be used on unlimited sites
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • No pre-made website templates other than the demo site

Price

  • Oscillator is excellent value at only $34.30 per year. For $48.30, you can upgrade to the Standard Club plan, giving you access to all the developer’s 75 themes and five plugins, which I personally think is an excellent deal.

Get Oscillator

Hestia Pro

Hestia Pro Hestia Pro

Hestia Pro is a one-page premium WordPress theme suited to many applications, including landing pages and single-page sites. Customization options are plentiful (color schemes, layouts, fonts, etc.), and it is possible to use page builders like Elementor or Beaver Builder.

Pros

  • Translation ready
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • Ideal for landing pages and single page sites
  • Pricing and portfolio frontpage sections
  • Plenty of customization options
  • Works with most popular page builders
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • The lowest-priced plan (Personal) only has a limited selection of pre-made website templates
  • Unlimited site license only included with the Agency plan

Price

  • Hestia Pro is by Themeisle, the same people who sell Neve and many other themes. Therefore, its pricing structure is very similar, starting with the Personal plan at $69 per year, then Business at $99 per year, and finally Agency at $299.

Get Hestia Pro

Sydney Pro

Sydney Pro WordPress themeSydney Pro WordPress theme

If you’re looking to create a WordPress site that looks great, loads fast, and is easily customizable, then aThemes’ Sydney Pro is definitely worth checking out. This multipurpose theme offers a range of well-designed starter sites suitable for different industries. Sydney also comes with easy-to-use customization controls that allow you to get the most from your website.

Pros

  • Responsive layout
  • Attractive Starter Site designs
  • Fully responsive
  • Extensive documentation
  • Good support
  • Extended WooCommerce Features
  • Extra Elementor widgets

Cons

  • None found

Price

  • Sydney Pro costs $69 a year which includes unlimited site usage, 15 starter sites, priority support, extended WooCommerce features, pro Elementor widgets, LMS and Toolset integration, and more. The theme also offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Get Sydney Pro

Extra premium wordpress themeExtra premium wordpress theme

Extra is a standalone theme from Elegant Themes, the makers of Divi. If you’re looking for a fully responsive and highly customizable magazine theme for your website, Extra is definitely worth checking out. This theme is powered by the Divi builder which allows you to easily and quickly customize the style and appearance of your site with just a few clicks.

Pros

  • Fully responsive
  • Search engine optimized
  • Comes with Divi Builder
  • Easily customizable

Cons

  • None found

Price

  • The Extra theme costs $89 a year. You can also get a lifetime license for $249.

Get Extra

Blossom Wedding Pro

Blossom Wedding Pro themeBlossom Wedding Pro theme

If you are planning your (or someone else’s) wedding, Blossom Wedding Pro will help you create a stunning, elegant website for your special day. It has a built-in RSVP form, plus it is possible to create a beautiful ‘Our Love Story’ section with a timeline of how the happy couple met. Also included are a countdown timer and social media icons.

Pros

  • SEO friendly
  • Translation ready
  • Includes wedding-oriented features such as countdown timer, RSVP, etc.
  • Highly customizable
  • Device responsive and mobile-friendly
  • One-click demo import to clone the demo site
  • Tons of documentation and video tutorials

Cons

  • None found

Price

  • Blossom Wedding Pro costs $59 per year, or $99 lifetime. The lifetime subscription is a great option for following up with anniversaries and other events. Furthermore, both plans can be used on unlimited domains, which is excellent if you divorce and remarry. Just sayin’!

Get Blossom Wedding Pro

Total

TotalTotal

Total is a versatile theme targeted at businesses and individuals of all kinds, from large corporations to small businesses and bloggers. Fifty pre-made website templates are currently available, covering a range of genres. The theme’s code is clean and SEO-friendly. Moreover, Total is highly customizable and includes handy features like the slider revolution premium WordPress slider plugin, hover effects, mega menus, and much more.

Pros

  • Very developer-friendly
  • WooCommerce ready
  • SEO friendly
  • Responsive
  • Extensive library of pre-made ‘cards’ for displaying post entries
  • Fifty pre-made website templates
  • 650+ icons

Cons

  • No lifetime subscription is available

Price

  • Total is sold through the Envato Market and costs $59 for a single site. That includes all future updates and six months of support, extendable to a full year for an extra $17.63.

Get Total

Salient

Salient premium wordpress themeSalient premium wordpress theme

Salient is a multi-purpose premium WordPress theme suited to virtually any application. Creating a unique website is helped by tons of shortcodes and configuration options, while building your site is easy thanks to a library of 325 pre-built templates, plus front- and backend editors allow you to do everything visually or in the interface. Plenty of customization options are available, and the theme features goodies such as cascading images and page transitions, icon packs, AJAX search, mega menus, and lots more.

Pros

  • Front- and backend editors
  • Large template library
  • Translation ready
  • SEO optimized
  • Plenty of shortcodes

Cons

  • No lifetime subscription is available

Price

  • Salient is available at Envato Market for $60 for a single site. That price includes all future updates and six months of support, extendable to a full year for an extra $18.

Get Salient

OnePage

OnePageOnePage

If you are trying to find a theme to create a simple but elegant single-page website, MyThemeShop’s OnePage could be just the ticket. It is ideally suited to blogs, portfolios, and small business websites, particularly if the owners of those sites are total WordPress novices. Set-up is a breeze, only needing (theoretically) one click, while SEO optimization helps ensure the finished sites rank well. What’s more, it has plenty of customization possibilities, too.

Pros

  • Default and blog layouts
  • Responsive
  • SEO optimized
  • One-click set-up and auto-update
  • Filterable portfolio
  • Video tutorials
  • It can be used on unlimited sites
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • No pre-made templates
  • No lifetime subscription is available

Price

  • OnePage costs $39 per year, including updates and support for one year.

Get OnePage

Genesis

Genesis premium wordpress themeGenesis premium wordpress theme

Genesis comes with just the right amount of built-in features you need to design a responsive, fast-loading WordPress site. It features optimized, lightweight code that helps you build fast loading and bug-free sites. Genesis also features a number of SEO capabilities that can help take your website to the next level.

Pros

  • Mobile responsive
  • One-click theme setup
  • Optimized for SEO
  • Accessibility Ready
  • Powerful Theme Customizer

Cons

  • Not feature-packed

Price

Get Genesis

Laura

Laura premium wordpress themeLaura premium wordpress theme

Laura is a feminine-styled site squarely aimed at fashion bloggers, although it also suits other website types. It has a fresh, minimalist design that will not distract users from the site’s content. The theme includes the Slider Revolution plugin, which helps create stunning effects such as sliders, carousels, and hero images (oversized banners).

Pros

  • Six blog layouts, five blog post types, and six gallery types
  • Optimized for speed
  • Fully responsive
  • Detailed documentation
  • Includes the Slider Revolution and Essential Grid plugins

Cons

  • Only six pre-built templates included

Price

  • Laura costs $36 for a single site, and that price includes a year of support and five years of updates. Alternatively, an investment of $86 per year or $190 lifetime will buy you the Agency or Lifetime plan, respectively. Those include all the developer’s 38 WordPress themes, making them rather good value.

Get Laura

Zakra

Zakra Zakra

Zakra is an excellent multipurpose WordPress theme in the market. It comes with over 65 well-designed pre-made templates so you can get your site ready within a few minutes with one simple click. This lightweight theme also offers fast loading times and is fully optimized for performance.

Pros

  • Fast, secure and SEO-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Easy customization​
  • WooCommerce Integration
  • One-click Demo Import
  • Advanced Typography
  • 30+ Page Settings Options

Cons

  • None found

Price

  • Zakra costs $69 for a single site license. The most popular plan is the ‘Personal Plus’ at $89 that includes license for three websites and premium support for one year.

Get Zakra

What’s Your Favorite of the Premium WordPress Themes? 

Are you using one of the premium WordPress themes on your site, and if so, which one is it? And what do you like and dislike about it? Furthermore, has it given you any trouble, or has it performed well? And why did you choose that particular one? As always, I’d love to read your feedback.


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