Theme Forest - pros and cons

Nadejda Milanova

Nadejda Milanova · 18th October 2021·WordPress

Theme Forest - pros and cons

If you are reading this, you know that choosing the right WordPress theme is no small matter. You want to get something that fits your vision that will help your site drive traffic, and most importantly, you really want it to work. ThemeForest is considered an adequate response to all these concerns, but is that really the case?

To understand, we need to answer a few important questions: How easy is it to find a suitable theme? How much will it cost? What kind of support can you get? Will these themes slow down your site? What are the disadvantages of the service? And most importantly, will you find the right theme for you?

We've been researching the best WordPress themes markets in business for a while and in this article we'll take a closer look at ThemeForest.

But why ThemeForest?

1. A huge variety of themes that you will not find elsewhere

ThemeForest boasts over 11,000 paid WordPress themes - literally the largest library we know. It is very likely that you will find one or more themes that you will like.

If you are looking for a site with fewer but more focused and specialized themes, do not search here, but in ThemeShift. Otherwise… yes… 11,000 WordPress themes.

Also, ThemeForest has themes for many other content management systems (such as Joomla, Drupal, Concrete5 and ModX) and even has themes for web editors such as Webflow and Weebly.

2. Impressive community options

For each theme you can find ratings, user reviews and handy statistics. You can also view the profiles of theme creators, portfolios, overall reputation, and more. Social proof plays an important role in ThemeForest.

3. Many accessible themes

Most themes anyway. Further in the article there is more specific information about prices. For now, let's say that most ThemeForest templates are evaluated for individuals and small business owners who want to get a working website quickly.

How easy (or difficult) is it to find the perfect theme?

the perfect theme

Well, those are a lot of filters. Most of these filtering options are common to other theme markets, but one exclusive feature of ThemeForest is the ability to sort themes according to their compatibility with some popular plugins and software frameworks.

If the filters aren't enough for you, there's a good old search bar. Keep in mind that it is a bit vague: there is no auto-correction and you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Even then, keywords can show results that have nothing to do with search. Total searches such as "agency" or "portfolio" will return thousands of results.

If you are looking for something very specific, such as a theme for collectors of brands, it will be more difficult - your options will be limited. And there's really nothing for stamp collectors (yes, we checked).

After all, finding exactly what you want can take a little more time and effort. This is not a disadvantage of the service, but a side effect given the huge library of themes that ThemeForest has. Finding something that will probably work for you is pretty easy, but finding the "perfect" theme for you is a different story, depending on how specific you are.

And how easy (or difficult) is it to use the purchased theme?

It depends entirely on the theme. The base installation is usually the same for every theme: you download it to your computer, upload it to your WordPress site, and then activate it.

Some of the more complex themes may require you to follow additional setup steps. ThemeForest does not require theme creators to provide installation or customization services with their support, but as long as you know how to install a WordPress theme, you are unlikely to have much difficulty.

wordpress theme

Of course, for other CMS options the process is different. For some, you may need to upload theme files using an FTP client or through the control panel of your hosting provider's site. Ease of use will depend on what CMS you use.

The extent to which you can customize a theme also depends a lot on the theme. Most themes will allow you to change some basic elements (such as colors and fonts), and most will probably offer at least a few page layout options. Several themes in themselves are full-fledged web editors or content management systems.

We can only say that you need to carefully review the lists of options.

Nothing is perfect - what's the catch?

Not every theme works.

In particular, not every theme has been updated to be compatible with the changes in WordPress, and not all themes still have working demo versions. Sometimes web developers go out of business, and sometimes they just move on. Check the ratings and dates of each theme you plan to purchase.

Also, not every theme has support

Support can make a theme more expensive, but it's always nice to have someone around to answer questions and help you solve the problems you're facing.

Your site will probably look a lot like other sites

This is a disadvantage in most markets, especially when you buy one of the most popular themes. TemplateMonster, for example, circumvents this by allowing you to see the least purchased themes and pay a high fee to be the last person to purchase that theme.

ThemeForest can't guarantee that others won't buy the same theme, and will make a site look exactly like yours… not if you don't customize it much.

Some themes work very slowly

This is mainly due to the fact that they are loaded with more additional options and features than anyone knows what to do with them. This redundant code can take longer to make changes to your site, and even worse, it can slow down the end user's loading. Of course, this is not true for every theme, but "code jam" is definitely a problem with some themes.

You can overcome some of these issues with plugins that provide speed optimization, such as file caching (storing some of your site's files on each user's computer), Gzip compression (reducing the size of files on the site), and automatically minimizing of the code (pouring out unnecessary spaces from the code). However, these options have limitations and are much more effective when used with well-written code. This is another problem that is not unique to ThemeForest, but is present.

More complex themes require some study

Once again, it's not unique to ThemeForest, but still: The more complex and "multi-purpose" a theme is, the more you'll have to customize it yourself. The most complex ones use a lot of "short codes" and, if you're lucky, have documentation that competes with that of WordPress itself.

Since ThemeForest does not offer customization services, there is a lot to explore.

How much will you have to pay?

This is an interesting question. Most of WordPress's themes (over 8000) range from $ 40 to $ 60. The highest price we found at the time of writing this article was $ 10,000 (the most expensive WordPress theme is $ 1022), and the cheapest themes are $ 5 (the cheapest WordPress themes are $ 13 each).

How much will you have to pay?

It is safe to say that there is something for almost every budget.

And then… if you count clean PSD files? There is one for $ 10,000,001, which has apparently been sold eight times. Did this really happen? We would assume that buyers either receive a code for a huge discount, or the numbers are not always completely reliable.

theme forest

If you want to get your themes at an even lower price, Google is your friend. Searching for ThemeForest coupon will give you several different options for getting discounts.

How to find free themes in ThemeForest?

Searching for “ThemeForest free theme” will take you to, well… free ThemeForest themes. You can also check out the ThemeForest website. You can easily skip the free themes if you don't know where to look, but they are there!

First, go to one of the pages highlighted in red on the screen below:

How to find free themes in ThemeForest

You're probably thinking of going to the Web Themes & Templates page, but you won't actually find free themes there.

Then scroll down to the footer on any of these pages. You will see a link to "Free WordPress Themes":

Free WordPress Themes

Which themes are free is something that seems to change so often that it might be a good idea to check once a month or something. You can also follow @EnvatoMarket on Twitter to follow their current sales, discounts, etc.

Finally, when talking about the price, we must take into account ThemeForest's refund policy. The good news is that there is one! And it's pretty decent, covering things like fake advertising, product security flaws, not getting the promised support, and more. Please note that changing your decision after downloading a topic is not covered.

And what about other theme markets?

How do ThemeForest WordPress themes compare to offerings from other markets, such as TemplateMonster?

Well, TemplateMonster sells large (and quite complex) business themes and usually at a price that reflects the target customer base. TemplateMonster stands out with its constant support and additional services. Pay a little more and you won't have to move a finger to install or customize anything. Their themes are expensive, but it may be worth saving time.

Should you shop at ThemeForest?

Or rather, is this platform right for you? It could be.

We would recommend ThemeForest if you need a relatively inexpensive but decent theme and if you like to install WordPress themes yourself. We would recommend them if you have time to research your purchase, configure it, and more or less create and customize a large part of your own website. In general, when shopping here, it is assumed that you already have some skills in web design.

If you can handle it, know what you're doing, or have the time and energy to learn, act!

Just be sure to read the reviews, check the seller's past, and definitely review the demo before reaching for your wallet. ThemeForest community is one of the biggest benefits, so take advantage!

Have fun hunting for themes!

Nadejda Milanova
Nadejda Milanova

An experienced Content creator in the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and WordPress. A true proffesional with a Master's degree focused on journalism.

Read more by Nadejda Milanova
Jivo Live Chat