I’m a big fan of premium WordPress themes and think they go a long way towards displaying the flexibility of WordPress. They also give many theme designers an outlet to display their creativity and show the quality of their work.

With that said, when the first few premium themes were released, they were designed to fill a void and make an affordable way for a small business to create a content management system (CMS) using WordPress. These first few designers found a lot of success very early, which prompted many other talented theme designers to release their own premium CMS themes.

Now, when I look over my premium WordPress theme gallery, it is disappointing to notice that these designers seem to have forgotten about blog themes. Most people that use WordPress are bloggers and are wanting to separate themselves from the competition, but don’t have any use for a CMS. Who is going to step up now and fill this void? There are a couple great premium blog themes available, but I’d like to see a larger variety to help blog authors separate themselves from the slew of blogs using free themes.

My hope is that the future holds more premium themes in 2008 that are specifically targeting bloggers. Build into it advertising blocks, 125×125 banners, and I have a feeling people will flock to it. Most of my sites don’t have a use for a CMS, but I could certainly use a well designed and optimized premium blog theme if it is significantly better than a free template.

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. Please check my site. May be you like my themes 🙂

  2. Thilak says:

    I agree with you. The best option would be to get your theme custom designed by someone. I ran a sitepoint contest and picked the best one.

  3. cal says:

    Nice article Kyle. Sometimes it’s hard for us theme developers to get inside the theme users head, so any advice you have is more than appreciated.

    For Example. If I were to code into a theme an area in the sidebar for the 125 x 125 banners, how would you want it to work? A single ads.php file where you could insert the code yourself?

    If you could give details or more ideas for us theme developers, I’m sure you’ll start to see them pop up….


  4. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Thilak – Custom designs are definitely the best (or self-made designs), but most people can’t afford them. I’ve always felt that premium themes are a nice bridge between free and custom themes.

    @ Cal – Sounds like a great idea for a post and maybe get some ready input.

    I personally like to have my themes randomized, but I think for the purpose of a premium theme that doesn’t require the use of a plugin, having a separate file to paste the code in would ideal.

    I think if someone is investing in a premium theme, they probably intend to monetize their blogs, so having 125×125 banner slots and pre-determined ad blocks, that would go a long way towards impressing potential buyers. I’ve found the best way is to make a AdSense300x250 php file and call it in the appropriate spots. This makes it almost effortless for the buyer to paste their code into the single php file.

  5. Will says:

    I completely agree, and it’s what we focus on at blogalized.com I think some of the magazine themes look great and add some great functionality. But the features generally arn’t needed by your average blogger. Witch make up the majority of WordPress users.

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