Best WordPress Themes for My Use

Choosing a WordPress theme that fit’s a particular purpose can be a daunting task. While there are a lot of great themes out there often there are shortcomings and complexities that either impede your desired end result or the themes are coded poorly for performance and reliability. My quest for new themes never ends yet it’s rare a new one makes the cut for me. This page is a reference guide for the Best WordPress Themes for My Use and maybe they will be the best for you too. I’ll discuss selecting WordPress themes in another post.

This page is not meant as an all inclusive theme review but rather a very targeted review and guide of why I use these particular WordPress Themes, what I like as well as what I don’t like about them.


Best General Purpose WordPress Themes

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes has two themes that dominate my two dozen websites. They are called “DIVI” and “Extra”. While a majority of my websites DIVI sites if I was to start over I would probably use Elegant Themes “Extra” exclusively.

Visit Elegant Themes to see their amazing demo’s, tutorials and documentation.

Elegant Themes DIVI Theme

I think to classify DIVI as a theme is in accurate. I consider DIVI to be an extremely flexible framework to build a custom theme. DIVI is about as close to “having it your way” as possible. This is a good thing but also a drawback for newbies. DIVI is not as simple as activate and having the perfect theme. DIVI requires careful planning on how you want your pages and posts to look. DIVI is approached as a blank slate. Pages and posts can be thought of as 1-4 column sections horizontally and an unlimited number of horizontal row sections. You simply decide on a layout of a section than add DIVI blocks from the DIVI library. As a layout is built DIVI automatically opens the module library so your modules can be added as you build sections and rows. It’s easier than it sounds. Watch this video. When I’m building a brand new site I think about the layout then proceed to build page templates that can be saved to the DIVI library and reused. Without this method it’s really easy to create an inconstant and sloppy website.

DIVI also offers a front end Visual Builder like Weebly, Squarespace, Wix etc. I find the visual builder clunky and slow for everything other than simple text edits.

DIVI is the best them for me because of it’s nearly unlimited flexibility and the folks at Elegant Themes improve it almost weekly. When nothing else works I choose DIVI.

Pros – DIVI is incredibly flexible and stable. The included modules cover 90% of functions and features that will satisfy most needs. DIVI has great support from the authors and a massive community. If there’s something DIVI doesn’t do your answer is a mouse click or two away. DIVI allows me to easily look at another website I like and intuitively create similar design elements and pages. DIVI is as simple as drag and drop and as sophisticated as custom CSS and HTML without leaving the DIVI builder.

The DIVI library is key development efficiency and to a great looking consistent website. Basically everything created in DIVI can be saved individually or as a group to the library.  Entire pages, DIVI Builder rows, sections and modules can all be saved to the library. I’m a huge proponent of saving as many library items as possible as “global” items. What are “global” items? When saving anything to the library there’s a “Make this item Global” check box. Global items are as the name implies. Make a change in a global item and anywhere this item is used on the site it gets changed globally. An easy example would an advertisement. On most of my websites at the bottom of pages and posts I make what I call “Global Bottom Advertisement” I simply modify the global bottom advertisement on any post or page and EVERY post and page that uses this module gets updated.

Buying Elegant Themes unlimited lifetime license is one of the best values on the market. No recurring costs like most other themes.

Cons – Divi requires a lot of pre-planning or a website can become a mess in short order. Divi is not a template that looks great at the flip of a switch. Users need to build a site hence the name “divi builder”. Divi’s default menu options are lame. The biggest complaint I get from customers is the plain menu’s. If users do not want to go through the building process a child theme can be purchased. This is an additional cost and in some cases a recurring cost. While Divi is probably the most versatile theme available there are issues to be aware of. Without customizing CSS archive pages may not match the rest of the site. Similarly objects that fall outside of Divi might be difficult for a novice to customize. One example is when using the jetpack plugins related post option on a site with a non white background.  The area for the related posts does not format properly and the white color doesn’t match. Divi often requires 3rd party add ons to accomplish tasks. I use a breadcrumbs module add-on and CSS Hero Plugin. Again additional costs. Divi is pretty easy to use but as a rapid evolving product Elegant Themes keeps adding great features. Unfortunately if you like something like a new image border with rounded images you will need to revisit every post or page to make the updates. Finally to switch away from Divi is a massive undertaking. The way divi works is it adds all kinds of code to your pages. If you switch to a traditional theme all that extraneous code will be on your posts and pages requiring manually cleaning every page. Elegant Themes has suggested they might make a tool to completely remove Divi.

Intangibles – As I said previously Divi is my go to theme for most sites. It’s versatility, support and cost can’t be beat. Divi is improved greatly on a near weekly basis. It’s important to understand the cons above but unless there’s a show stopper purchase Divi for your next project you wont be sorry.

Elegant Themes Extra Theme

Description – According to Elegant Themes the “Extra” Theme is The perfect theme for bloggers and online-publications. Powered by Divi Builder, Extra gives you the ultimate flexibility to create diverse categories, homepages and story-driven posts. Extra is essentially Divi with more modules. Extra works great for reviews and article based content. Extra offers unique blog modules, post sliders and other niceties.

Pros – Same as Divi with additional post category and project based modules. Built in rating system that ties into trending content. Check out the demo in the link above

Cons – Same as Divi and a little more complicated with it’s “Category Driven” driven pages. Not to be confused with post categories. It’s easier to visit the Elegant Themes site from the link above and view the demo than for me to explain.

Intangibles – Today if I was to start over I would choose the Extra Theme over Divi as it is tailored for exactly what I do product blogging and reviews. Visit my Practical Bike Website to see it in use in it’s nearly default form.

Elegant Themes “Extra” Theme is my go to WordPress Theme for product and product review blogging

Studio Press

Studio Press Amped, Sleek Child Theme

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Themeco

X Theme –

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Oietentaecinco Themes

Invicta Theme

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Theme Fusion

Avada Theme

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Best SEO Themes

My Theme Shop

Schema Theme

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Foundly Themes

Foundly

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Best Photography Themes

Catch Themes

CatchBox Pro

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Photocrati Themes

Photocrati

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Best Recipe Themes

Lyra Themes

Kale Pro

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