If you're getting frustrated with the Google Sites platform, have a look at ElegantThemes: they offer an ever-growing collection of premium Wordpress themes for one price. I've been a happy customer of their service and have no problem recommending it to you (using my affiliate links).
|Once I ran into the limits of Google Sites (no image gallery, contact forms or CSS support, slow development and bug fixing|
and no white-labelling option), I started looking for a better Content Management System (CMS).
Since I also wanted to do some freelance webdesign, I was looking for a CMS that was simple enough for my clients to understand. It also needed to be flexible and well-supported.
After some extended online research (something I tend to do quite often:)), I narrowed down my options to Typo3, Concrete5 and WordPress. All of these are easy to use, offer multilingual features, are well supported and so on. I ended up using WordPress for most projects, mostly because it’s so widespread, meaning it’s dead easy to get nice themes and plugins for just about any purpose.
The next thing I needed were some good themes, since I found out very few small business owners were willing to pay enough to justify the time needed to develop a fully custom design for each client.
Instead of buying individual themes, I figured I could purchase a versatile theme pack to offer my webdesign clients a choice of templates.
Elegantthemes.com ended up being my weapon of choice. Without further ado, here’s my review.
From a graphic design point of view, I really like the themes they offer. The designs are crisp and well done.
There’s also a lot of variety. This site also uses one of their themes (InReview), but there are also themes that are aimed at regular blogs, at portfolio sites, at businesses and so on. With 76 templates to choose from, you’re very likely to find what you need.
Most of the themes are also quite flexible. For example, you can disable the image slider on the frontpage, upload your own logo and use some of the custom widgets that come pre-installed. Some of the newer themes also offer easy customisation of the color scheme and fonts.
Whether you need multiple themes for different clients, like I do, just want to develop several sites or you like experimenting with different themes for one site, this offer is very is hard to beat. Heck, you’re likely to pay this much for just one premium theme elsewhere!
Do keep in mind this is a yearly fee. You can pay once and keep using the theme indefinitely, but if you want to keep access to updates and customer support, you’ll need to keep paying. Still, it’s a great offer if you ask me.
The team seems to be regularly adding new themes, as well as providing updates to the existing lineup.
Installing these themes on your WordPress site is dead easy, just like any other WordPress template.
Each theme comes with a nice options panel, allowing you to properly configure it. The panel is well designed and most options come with a small help popup, explaining what each option does.
Another nice thing is that the options panel keeps the same look and layout across all themes. Once you’ve set up one or two sites, you’ll feel right at home with all of the themes. It does help if you know some CSS though, especially if you want to take customisation one step further.
At first I was hesitant to pick ElegantThemes over the competition, because on some review sites I read their support was somewhat lacking. However, I found this not to be the case. Their support staff is very active on the support forums and all questions get answered promptly.
The search function is also your friend: with thousands of users, a lot of questions have already been asked and answered.
From my own experience, I think you won’t be disappointed choosing Elegantthemes. Especially if you’re planning several projects, the value is outstanding. Further reducing the risk of disappointment, there’s that money back guarantee, too. :)
Overall score: ★★★★