What’s The Value Of A WordPress Theme?

Ralph M. RiveraWordpress4 Comments

WordPress interface with X Theme.

WordPress is simultaneously one of my favorite and least favorite subjects to talk about. In many ways WordPress is a misunderstood marketing tool. How long a WordPress site should take to build and how much it should cost are epic questions. I talk about cost in my article “50 Shades Of WordPress: How Much Does A WordPress Site Cost?“, but I want to focus on theme costs a bit more.

The marketplace for themes consists of thousands of themes ranging from free to hundreds of dollars with most falling under $100. But how much should a good theme cost? It’s not that simple. When I was getting ready to launch this site, I was debating between two themes, Editor and X. Editor costs $43. X costs $63. Does that make X better? Yes. But not because of price. Here’s where the distinction between price and value becomes important.

Editor is a beautiful theme that I would neither buy nor recommend because it’s a fixed theme that has a pre-defined layout that can’t be deviated from. What you see is what you get. On the other hand, X offers a tremendous amount of flexibility for $20 more. But is flexibility good? Maybe.

It depends on the needs of your business, but I think that some flexibility is good. X offers more flexibility than I could ever use, but Editor offers none. At some point that’s going to lead to some frustration. Another theme, Salient, is only $58 and not as flexible as X, but it is Carol Lynn Rivera’s favorite because it is flexible, but not overly so.

Before committing to a theme, find sites that use it and thoroughly review the demos. That’s the only way that you’ll really understand the value and flexibility of what you’ll be getting.

These are my 300 words for the day. I am Ralph M. Rivera.


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WordPress interface with X Theme.

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Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer and founder of Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company based in Holmdel, New Jersey. I founded Rahvalor in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn, and in January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. My primary role is programming and development, and with 25 solid years of marketing experience behind me, I write, consult and develop strategy for our customers. I'm also the CTO of Triberr and I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I live near the coast in central New Jersey, less than an hour from the place of my birth – the island of Manhattan. We are at the constant beck and call of Ash, our 17-year-old American Shorthair cat. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.