My Top 5 Favorite Themeforest Themes

So as someone that has been a WordPress user for the better part of a decade, I’ve learned a thing or two about what themes work well for different use-cases. Lately, ThemeForest has become the go-to source for finding premium themes (a must if you’re looking to have a serious site that converts the sale, but you don’t want to hire a coder) and so I’ll be focusing specifically on themes in that area.

If you’re completely new to WordPress and/or building a website, having a theme to tinker around with will allow you to get your feet wet while having a feeling that you’re creating something cool. If you’re somewhat computer savvy (but not a coder or designer) and you possess even a little bit of an eye for design, you can truly create some beautiful sites with the options I’m about to present to you.

In no particular order…

Bridge

Great For – Everyone But Bloggers
Features – Excellent
Ease of Use – Moderate
Support – Excellent
Price – $59

Bridge WordPress Theme

Bridge, by Qode Interactive, is an incredibly robust theme that might not be for beginners but is amazing once you get the hang of it. Every part of the webpage is customizable with this theme. There are numerous options for headers, sliders, content, footers, a large fonts library, the ability to set sizes and colors for each element type—the list is truly endless. The code is clean and SEO-friendly, and there is WOO-Commerce support if you’re looking to build an e-commerce site.

No matter how good you are at using themes, you will spend 3-5 days (or longer) just figuring out what you can do before you can take full advantage of everything.

The Qode slider is easy to use and embed as a header, and you can choose a different slide for each page of your site.

Qode Slider Options Panel

A bunch of options!

There are a crap load of options for each slider to help you get the look you want. You can then enter the provided short-code on your page to insert it.

One thing to keep in mind about this theme (all of the good ones, really) is that both WordPress and the themes themselves will go through A LOT of updates. I recently updated both my WordPress versions and my theme versions at Companion Maids (which is now using the Bridge theme) and it completely broke the site. I had to make a lot of adjustments over the course of a crazy Saturday, and I put the site into maintenance mode until this was done. So beware!

***Quick note on updates: Constant updates to themes are good to take advantage of because they will typically include added features that users request, or cleaner code (which makes your site run faster) or bug fixes. But with updates, especially large overhauls, there will be bugs that will range from mild inconvenience to banging-your-head-on-your-desk level. This is why having a good, responsive support channel is important when selecting which theme you want to work with. You WILL have something come up.***

Qode Interactive’s support is top-notch. They are one of few companies that answers high-level questions through the comments section, and more in-depth questions through their own ticket-based system. Additionally, there is an area to help a new purchaser get acclimated, complete with documentation, a few startup video tutorials, a place to submit tickets and a changelog (history of details on each update.)

Overall, for a standard business website, I would say the Bridge theme is my favorite theme at the moment.

X

Great For – Everyone. Really.
Features – Superb
Ease of Use – Moderate
Support – Excellent
Price – $64

X Theme on themeforest

The X theme by Theme.co is probably the most robust theme on ThemeForest. The amount of work that went into this product is truly massive, and the features this theme has are nothing short of ridiculous. X is the only theme that actually has 4 pre-built theme layouts built directly into the theme. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t used WordPress themes before, but basically, while most themes have demos (Bridge has over 100 demos) X just went ahead and built them in, no separate download required.

There is a page builder tool included called Cornerstone, which is a visual builder that makes X a pretty good option for ambitious beginners.

X blog theme section

Another cool thing about the X theme is that it has a great blog design for a theme which is technically focused on regular websites. A lot of different premium themes that are not specifically designed for blogging fall short on this. It’s seriously frustrating, and many sites that use themes (including Vicky Virtual) use different themes for the blog and main sites.

However, the X theme has one glaring problem from my personal anecdotal experience. This theme has so much packed into it, it’s very code-heavy and bulky, making site performance an issue. Even on the site demo itself, you may notice certain sections and animations stutter a bit, or have some lag. When I installed X for use on a project, I was incredibly excited to dig in, only to find that my site wasn’t performing as well as I wanted it to.

With that said, I didn’t really give X that much of a chance for this reason, and I uninstalled it rather quickly. X theme support is really good, and the theme has great ratings overall.

A solid theme to work with if you’re really looking to do it all.

Expert

Great For – Blogging Marketers (ex: the guy that owns this site 😉)
Features – Ok
Ease of Use – Excellent
Support – Ok
Price – $59

Expert Marketing blog theme

Expert, by WopeThemes is the theme that powers this site. I’ll say this about the theme upfront…

If you look at the range of features and options, and even from a support standpoint, this theme is not worth $59. However, there aren’t many options that look good for marketing people that want to start a blog. The majority of marketers (particularly serious ones) with a blog either spend the money to have a custom one, or use some combination of a regular site with links to a different theme specifically for blogging.

With that thought in mind, the expert theme is a great theme for marketing bloggers such as myself. Even though the features aren’t robust, the options panel is the easiest thing I’ve ever come across in a premium theme. This is the type of theme that a beginner can use to build a decent look inside one day.

Expert theme options panelAlso, MailChimp has a nifty integration that enables you to add a subscriber widget in the sidebar of this theme (and others) and the Expert theme was designed to incorporate it well (they even use it in their own demo.) There are a few other cool plugins that can help a user get more mileage out of this theme, and it’s all easy to install, integrate, and use.

Now I haven’t felt compelled to submit a ticket to support (my few questions were asked/answered in the comments section of the discussion board on ThemeForest) but the WopeThemes doesn’t provide official support for this theme, so I wouldn’t be able to send a ticket if I even wanted to. Thankfully, the ease of use of this product will allow you to get what you need accomplished without pulling your hair out, or spending too much time on any forums.

If you want something simple for this specific use case, and you like the style, use this theme. If not, your money is probably spent better elsewhere.

Enfold

Great For – Everyone
Features – Excellent
Ease of Use – Good
Support – Excellent
Price – $59

Enfold Theme

If you’re looking for an option that isn’t Bridge or X, but you want robust features with clean, understated design, Enfold is for you. Enfold, by Kriesi is a truly fantastic theme. As you search around for different themes, you’ll see a lot of design…themes…and among them Enfold is just plain clean. There are design elements that are universal to all good themes, and Enfold utilizes the simplest yet sophisticated design cues I’ve seen on ThemeForest.

Kriesi has done over 5mm in sales on Envato (the WordPress tools umbrella company that ThemeForest is a part of) and so their team has the resources to provide excellent support and consistent product updates.

Enfold Mobile Look

Enfold also renders pretty well on mobile. Many themes will present certain elements beautifully across devices, but show other elements in a weird way. Enfold delivers a consistently good look across all elements on all devices.

Enfold has been on my radar to use on a project for a long time, but I haven’t found an appropriate use for it yet.

A more than solid pick, with an amazing rating of 4.9 out of 5 on ThemeForest, which is basically unheard of.

Salient

Great For – Everyone
Features – Superb
Ease of Use – Excellent
Support – Excellent
Price – $59

Salient ThemeForest Theme

I absolutely love Salient by ThemeNectar. Salient was the second premium theme I ever purchased, and the first truly elite theme I had the chance to work with. Truth be told, my mouth dropped the first time I saw the demo of that bad boy viking video as the header.

I believe Salient was one of the first themes to introduce video headers to the marketplace, which truly changed the game in terms of design inspiration and possibility.

Over the last few years since it’s initial release, Salient has undergone a LOT of updates (as was the case with Bridge) and the most recent update was basically a complete overhaul, which broke one of my sites sadly (I fixed it within a few crazy hours, remember that Saturday I told you about?) My Vicky Virtual partner Micah used it to create a great site for one of his clients in two days, with a lot of ease. I used this theme until a recent switch to Bridge (which was mostly the fault of WordPress, not Salient) and while I don’t regret leaving it, I am left wondering what I could have done with the new update.

Salient demo screenshot

Salient uses a set of tools called Nectar, which includes the now famous NectarSlider and a visual composer that makes setting up your initial site a snap. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the team that created Bridge drew a lot of inspiration from Salient, and Salient in turn overhauled their theme to continue to compete with Bridge.

Between the two, I still like Bridge, but admittedly, Salient has an easier to use interface, and it’s new feature set seems to include what it lacked before (a great example is the ability to overlap elements over two different sections, which can be seen in the image above.)

For someone that has a little bit experience with building a WordPress site, Salient is a great choice. The new elements and styles are cleaner, site performance is improved, and support is excellent.

So there are many other themes out there that will do the trick for you if you are building out your first site, or looking to dive into your next project without writing a line of code.

However, all of the themes I have mentioned above allow for custom CSS styling so that you can customize your site beyond what is already available. All are responsive for mobile browsers and tablets, and all but X use pretty clean code.

Good luck, and let me know what your experiences are using one of these themes or others!