An ElegantThemes Review
Many premium theme developers focus on function over form, but there is no reason that a great WordPress theme can’t be simple and beautiful while still hitting all of the bases necessary to give you a fully loaded website with no missing ingredients.
Elegant Themes wants you to fall in love with their designs, but the relationship won’t be a shallow one, with all of the features you need to showcase your content, sell your product, and build your online brand.
In this review we will take an in-depth look at everything this premium design studio has to offer, what it will cost you, and what sets Elegant Themes apart.
Walking Through the Elegant Themes Site
The site itself is clean and very simple to navigate, and it also immediately accomplishes the goal of showing you exactly what the word “elegant” means when it comes to design and why it can be so important. The site just feels good, soft and pleasing, and the promise is that they can give your users the same first impression with one of their themes.
The main page gives you a glimpse of some of their designs, and asks you to choose one of two paths to go forward. You can jump right in and browse through their large selection of themes, or you can take their very well made tour of features.
If you choose to have a look at the Elegantthemes, you will find (at the time of this writing) 78 designs which can be filtered with one of 10 different categories focusing on the type of site you have or plan to build. Visiting any of the theme’s pages will provide a wealth of information laid out in an easy to read, elegant manner, and the ability to try a live demo of the theme in action.
The tour is there to help you understand the things that set Elegant Themes apart from the rest, exploring their unique set of features as well as letting you see how the interfaces look for many different things. I was surprised by the simplistic beauty of their custom theme management system, which should make working with your WordPress theme much easier than you might be used to.
It’s a wonderful site, but it’s much more important that the themes and sites you can create will be able to stand up to this gold standard. I will go into some of the specifics of the themes and plugins below, as well as the level of support offered and exactly what you get for your dollar.
The Elegant Themes ePanel is not a plugin unto itself, but a system that comes with every theme they offer by default. With it, the process of managing your pages becomes much more simple and intuitive than the way WordPress handles the same functions by default, and that should be a huge selling point.
They do offer a set of four exclusive plugins as well, which can be used with any of their themes if you so choose and offer extended features.
- HandHeld Mobile Plugin: Every theme developer should have a mobile plugin at this point, and the Elegant Themes plugin is one of the best I have seen. It is absolutely crucial for almost any type of blog that your users be able to access your content from any device.
- Elegant Page Builder: With this plugin you can quickly and easily create and modify pages, and even create custom layouts for individual posts. It’s a visual editor that works intuitively and removes the technical barrier between you and great web design.
- Maintenance Mode Plugin: You can use this one to create a countdown to your site’s launch date, building anticipation for your potential visitors and customers. It can also be used if something goes wrong or you want to take your site down temporarily. It’s a good feature to have.
- Elegant Shortcodes: Shortcodes are basically a way of referencing commonly used features and blocks of code, but here you will not have to deal with the code at all, and these shortcodes are nearly plugins themselves. Things like social media integration and slideshows become as simple to implement as clicking on a button.
Many of these plugins and features go beyond what is offered by default with your themes, and enable you to do more with your website if you so choose. Even the bare minimum package you get with any theme goes a step beyond what is expected from a premium designer, and all of these things send a clear signal that this company takes a lot of pride in its service.
Documentation and Support
Every theme offered by Elegant Themes comes with full support and documentation, including video tutorials which will hopefully help you to fully understand the features and concepts they cover.
Not every theme developer takes this extra step, so it’s a great bonus to have if you need it. Depending on your own learning style you may find the videos or text documentation more useful, but both are available to all users.
Technical support for ElegantThemes is primarily handled through a contact form, which is a fine option if response times are good, and they do have a solid reputation with regard to that.
Premium technical support is offered even with the lower of their two membership tiers and, as you will see in the Membership Options and Pricing section, this is a surprisingly affordable option.
The only real gripe I have with this product is that support does seem to be limited. They have enough information there to help you out with getting your theme up and running, but technical support could be slightly more extensive. If that were the case this would be a nearly perfect product.
Membership Options and Pricing
There are two options to choose from when you become a member of Elegant Themes, with two key differences to separate them. In general most users will be very happy with the cheaper option, but developers and people who want to get even more out of their sites will opt for the higher priced of the two—which is still a very good deal.
- Personal: This option grants you full access to every theme they make, with full technical support and free updates for the life of your membership. $39/year
- Developer: You get the same access to their full theme library, along with support and updates, plus all of their plugins and even layered Photoshop files to make modifying your site and graphics that much easier. $89
It is not possible to buy individual themes, but the Personal membership comes in at such a low price that it easily beats the going rate for a single premium theme from many other design houses. If you do just want to buy a theme, and you don’t care about the benefits of membership, you can consider your theme to come with a year of free support and updates before you simply opt out of renewing.
This is an easy recommendation, but of course what matters the most is that they offer a theme to suit your specific needs. With 78+ themes available it shouldn’t be much of a struggle to find what you are after, so have a look around for yourself and see if Elegant Themes is a match for you.
Products and Services Listed
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