Continuing on with our WordPress 101 series...
Today I’m sharing six of my favorite Wordpress themes for small business owners and bloggers. Not only are these themes BEAUTIFUL, but they are easy to work with, flexible, and will help you build a site that will convert your website visitors into customers. As a business owner, that’s the most important reason to have a website or blog -- right?!
Last year, I started working exclusively with the Divi theme for my Wordpress clients. Divi is a premium Wordpress theme that I love to work with for a few reasons:
Divi makes it easy for non-coders to build or maintain/update a gorgeous website. Divi Has a drag-and-drop interface, which appeals to lots of people who want to DIY their website, but don’t feel confident enough to get into custom coding and may be intimidated by Wordpress. If you're more used to a drag-and-drop platform like Squarespace or Wix, then Divi's interface will be super familiar to you!
Hundreds of options for customization. Unlike some more basic Wordpress themes, with a premium theme such as Divi, you have a huge amount of flexibility in your design. The vast majority of these settings can be adjusted easily without needing to know how to code...which is highly unusual for most Wordpress themes I’ve worked with! This is one of the reasons it is a “premium” theme, and in my view 100% worth the investment!
Includes code modules. If you are more of an advanced user or even a developer, you will appreciate the code module! If you want to quickly drop in a code snippet to a template page or one-off page, you can use the code module to do this super easily, without needing to modify your theme or child theme files directly. I use these a lot to drop in opt-in forms, or to add chat boxes on live webinar watch pages. Any time I need to drop in a code snippet, these come in super handy!
Support is awesome (really, really awesome). Because this is a popular premium theme, the support from the company that built Divi (Elegant Themes) is really good. There is also huge community of developers and designers working on Divi, so if you ever have questions or need help -- it is easy to find the answers quickly.
I could go on and on about why I love Divi, and why it is now my go-to Wordpress theme...but let's get to it!
Why should I use a paid premium theme, when there are FREE WordPress themes available?
If you are new to Wordpress or just need a refresher, you may be wondering why you need to use a theme at all, let alone a paid premium theme. For all the articles you see out there showing off the "best" free Wordpress themes, is it really worth it to buy a theme??
Truly -- it is worth considering investing a bit of money and upgrading from a free Wordpress theme if you are serious about creating a professional, attractive, and easy-to-use website. If you are just a hobbyist or writing a blog for fun, this may be less important for you. BUT, if you are serious about making money with your blog or finding clients using your website or presenting a professional image, then use a premium paid theme! You will appreciate the flexibility as your business grows and you think of new things you want to do with your site.
Side note: I recently wrote a post on how to decide if Wordpress is the right platform for you. I definitely recommend checking that out if you are still on the fence about whether you should use Wordpress at all! There is a lot to think about when making this important decision for your business or blog.
As you may already know, a theme builds on top of Wordpress’s functionality to make it MUCH easier to design an attractive and user-friendly website. Wordpress’s free, out-of-the-box themes that get installed automatically when you set up a new Wordpress installation are fine, but they are super generic, and you don’t get a lot of flexibility to customize them easily.
If I’m truly being honest, I would not recommend using one of the free themes that come built-in with Wordpress.
Installing a theme gives you a head start on creating a beautiful, functional website. It means you won’t have to custom code every little thing you want to do with your website, and you’ll get a lot of design elements included out of the box that make navigating and viewing your site a more pleasant experience for your website visitors.
There are literally thousands of themes out there (both paid and free) for you to choose from. It can be overwhelming to decide which Wordpress theme to choose!
Personally, I highly recommend investing in a premium theme such as Divi, so that you will have a support community available, and so that you will get the benefit of a theme that is constantly being updated and supported by a community of developers.
There is nothing worse than spending a bunch of time installing and customizing a theme, only to have it not work in 3 months because the developer is not updating their theme and testing it with each new release of WordPress! Don’t let that happen to you … it is frustrating and a waste of your valuable time.
Now -- if you’re already investing in a premium theme, then WHY am I also suggesting using a child theme on top of that??
Why do I need a child theme AND a parent theme?
It will make your life infinitely easier!
Designing and building a website or blog that is both attractive AND easy-to-use goes a lot faster if you also select and install a child theme. Especially if you are NOT a coder, you will quickly realize with Wordpress how important this is to get a head start on design.
(Truthfully, even if you do know your way around HTML and CSS, it saves a ton of time to have a head start by using a theme you love! I often use child themes on top of Divi, even though I know I’ll further customize them with my own code. This approach saves me a ton of time and I get a huge head start on a gorgeous design!)
If you don’t want to spend big bucks on hiring a developer or designer, consider using a child theme on top of Divi that you love the look, feel, and style of … in order to save yourself time and money. A child theme will give you the basic building blocks, then you have freedom to adjust little things like color, font, and photos quickly and easily.
Even if you end up spending $300 - $400 as an initial investment on your themes, you will be left with a website that is GORGEOUS, that you LOVE, and that is build on a rock-solid platform. $300 - $400 for a beautiful, easy-to-use website is far less than you will pay to hire a web designer and developer to build something for you from scratch. You could easily pay someone upwards of $3,000 - $5,000 (or more) to build something like this for you.
Purchasing a premium theme is a worthy investment that will grow with your business.
If you plan to use Divi for your Wordpress premium theme, below are six of my favorite Divi child themes for you to check out. Most of these themes are in the $50 - $90 range, so definitely FAR more affordable than hiring a developer or wasting tons of time trying to fool around with the code yourself!
Remember -- if you want to use one of these child themes I recommend below, you must first purchase and install Divi from Elegant Themes. Once you have Divi installed, you can use any one of these child themes, or the hundreds of other Divi child themes out there.
Theme #1 - Flourish (built by Superfly)
I love the Flourish Divi child theme for small business owners, bloggers, and creative entrepreneurs. It has large photo elements throughout the theme that span the entire width of the browser window. This is a really popular design element right now, and I love that this theme makes use of it for its page templates.
Flourish also includes an opt-in form right under the banner image … great if you are trying to build your email list! I
Flourish is one of the more “basic” child themes on my list of favorites, but it is also one of the most affordable -- with licenses starting at only $50.
Theme #2 - Freshness (by Creative Child Themes)
If you’re looking for a one-page design for your website with multiple sections to scroll through, then Freshness is a great Divi child theme to consider. It is a super-simple theme with one-page styling. It's perfect for freelancers or small businesses who want a streamlined, sleek website and have limited, static information on their site (or for those just looking for a landing page).
The company that built the Freshness theme (Creative Child Themes) also offers theme setup services, which is awesome if you don't want to spend the time setting up your new website yourself, or if you just need a little bit of help. Something to consider for all you non-techies out there!
Freshness is also a great value, at just $47 for a license.
Theme #3 - Divi Ultimate
What I love about Divi Ultimate is that it includes 20 unique concepts within the child theme for you to choose from, depending on what type of blog or business you are building your site for. So whether you have a brick and mortar shop, a restaurant, are a freelancer, run a design agency or consulting business, sell an app, or just need a basic landing page … they have really well-designed options that are specific to tons of different niches.
You get all 20 concepts when you purchase their one child theme!
Divi Ultimate also includes some really beautiful blog page designs, so if blogging is part of your business model then definitely check them out.
This is one of the more pricey Divi child themes on my favorites list, clocking in at $89 for a one-year license, or $245 for a lifetime license … so definitely a bit more of an investment. I would consider choosing this theme if you own multiple businesses, are a designer looking for a good starter platform to use, or if you just want a lot of options to choose from and have a bit more money to invest in your site.
Theme #4 - Favo (by Mark Hendriksen)
Favo is designed for small businesses, and is a great theme to consider if you want your website to include some fun animations, scrolling effects, and punchy hover effects “out of the box”. It’s super eye-catching!
Favo also has a great looking navigation bar, that has support for a secondary navigation above your main, primary navigation bar. This is great if you want to include your social media links or contact info right at the top of your page.
If you have a bigger, multi-page site and need drop-down navigations, Favo is a great option because their drop-down styling is organized and attractive.
This is a very affordable Divi child theme as well, at just $75 for an unlimited license.
Theme #5 - Focus (by Mark Hendriksen)
If opt-ins and email list building is a big part of your business, then Focus is a great theme to consider because they have a beautiful opt-in page template. This is great for advertising ebooks, webinars/workshops, digital downloads, etc.
Another unique element of this theme is that it includes background video! If you do a lot of video and want to showcase it on your website, this theme makes it easy to do that in a really beautiful way.
This is another fairly affordable child theme, at just $75.
Theme #6 - Addison (by A Girl and Her Mac)
I love supporting my fellow female developers, which is just one of the reasons I love this theme! There is a ton available with this child theme, and is definitely one of the more advanced options on my list of favorites & recommendations.
This theme would be great for freelancers, consultants, and small business owners alike. It has a gallery template included, so if you’re a product business or photographer, this could be a great theme to show off your work.
A lot of my clients use the Bloom plugin to create opt-ins on their websites, and if you plan to do that...this theme includes some built-in styling for Bloom popups and opt-ins (Bloom is a separate paid plugin, that needs to be purchased separately).
The Addison Divi Child Theme is $80 for an unlimited license.
I hope this list gives you plenty of inspiration for your new Wordpress website! Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, or want to share first-hand experience with one of these themes.
Thanks for reading!