How to Choose The Right WordPress Theme For You

Website Design

I get asked this question more than any other, in my Facebook group (come and join us!) and when people who want to buy templates are shopping for a new website.

Before we start exploring the different platforms, let me first say the very best website platform is one which you can use confidently to edit your website. The worst website platform is one which stresses you out!

The reason why I produce templates for these platforms is because I believe that they are the easiest to use as well as having the features you need to easily build your own website without having to go near any code.

I’m also proud to have been using all three platforms for years and know all of the teams behind them well.

TESTING DIVI, ELEMENTOR, PROPHOTO, SHOWIT & KADENCE

You might now know that you can easily test all of the above platforms via a basic free plugin version or via a demo version that loads inside your browser without needing to register.

Here are the links you need.

Try Divi
Hit the Try Divi For Free button.
https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/

Try Elementor
Download the free plugin
https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/elementor/

Try ProPhoto
Hit the Free Demo button.
https://pro.photo/

Try Showit
Hit Demo in the top menu.
https://showit.co/

Try Kadence Blocks
Download the free plugin
https://wordpress.org/plugins/kadence-blocks/

TAKE A TOUR OF DIVI, SHOWIT & PROPHOTO

Here’s a brief tour of all three platforms, showing you the main features and how to access the demo versions yourself.

USING DIVI

Divi is one of the most popular page building plugins in the world, used by over a quarter of a million websites. It’s intuitive to use, with a front-end drag and drop builder.

I love it for the speedy workflow. You can easily save pages and sections to the Library area to use again and again. It’s also easy to tweak any design feature separately for tablet and mobile.

Divi is a premium theme that only works with hosted WordPress, so you’ll need to arrange your own hosting.

FEATURES:

  • WordPress theme
  • Front end drag and drop building
  • Adjust your design for tablet and mobile
  • Divi Library where you can save sections and layouts
  • Divi Theme which allows you to build custom headers, footers and layouts for blog posts and WooCommerce products
  • You can build an unlimited number of sites with one license
  • Good for SEO

COST:

  • $89 annually
  • Or $249 for an a lifetime license (best value)

USING PROPHOTO

ProPhoto is another 100% WordPress theme and is aimed at photographers. It’s certainly photographer-friendly with a great selection of gallery styles and built-in photo-sharing options, which means you won’t need many extra plugins to get great looking galleries.

I love it because it gives you total flexibility over areas like your header, footer and single post area.

All of the building takes place in the Layout Builder area, rather than on the page. You them apply your layout to your chosen page.

ProPhoto is a premium theme that only works with hosted WordPress, so you’ll need to arrange your own hosting.

FEATURES:

  • WordPress theme
  • Front end drag and drop building
  • Adjust your design for tablet and mobile
  • Great selection of gallery formats
  • Allows you to build custom headers, footers and layouts for any page or post type
  • You can build two sites with one license
  • Good for SEO

COST:

  • $249 for a lifetime license (a new version is released every 2-3 years and an upgrade fee usually applies)

USING SHOWIT

I love Showit for the complete design freedom it gives. If you like working in Illustrator and Photoshop, you’ll love Showit. No grids – just drag and drop anything, wherever you want it.

You design and build in Showit’s browser app, but your account also includes an installation of WordPress, where you go to create posts, but which you style using the Showit builder.

I also love that you can edit the mobile layout and design completely separately from the desktop version.

You pay a monthly fee to Showit, which includes hosting, updates and security so it’s perfect for anyone who prefers a hassle free solution without worrying about security and backups.

If SEO is a priority for you, you’ll have to work a little harder to get results with Showit, though the integrated WordPress blog really helps.

If you are looking for lots of integration with other platforms like your email marketing provider, or want database-driven features like an online store, course area or directory, then WordPress is probably a better option for you.

FEATURES

  • Drag and drop building
  • Edit your design separately for tablet and mobile
  • Great selection of gallery formats
  • Allows you to build every page completely differently if you wish
  • You can build one site per account

COST:

Options include:

  • $19/month (no WordPress blog)
  • $24/month (includes WordPress blog and limited plugins)
  • $34/month (for high traffic sites that need to use custom plugins)

USING ELEMENTOR

Recently we launched our dedicated collection of Elementor Pro child themes. I still love Divi but there’s no denying that Elementor is right up there as a great option for building your website.

Things I love about Elementor…

Elementor has a few killer features that I’ve longed for in Divi. The global colours, global font styles and the Typography settings allow you to allocated styles to every H tag and easily change colours and fonts across your whole site at every level.

There are also a couple of nifty layout options that I really love.

Elementor handles the small browser/iPad breakpoints really well, because you can easily set any column width to 100%, forcing the content to fill the screen width.

This is perfect for when you any odd number of items (eg. a grid of three blog posts) that create two blogs side-by-side and the third post below on its own. There is no easy way of doing this in Divi.

The other handy setting I love, is the ability to reverse column order on mobile with just a toggle setting.

You can watch a full walkthrough here.

FEATURES

  • Drag and drop building
  • Edit your design separately for tablet and mobile
  • Great selection of widgets (in the Pro version)
  • Versatile theming, including templates and global font & colour settings

COST:

  • Free basic version
  • $49/year for one website

USING KADENCE BLOCKS

Kadence is the new kid on the block and is gaining in popularity for those people who are really concerned about site speed. As a page building system, it extends the functionality of the native WordPress Gutenberg block builder, so it does naturally load faster.

The interface feels similar to Elementor and is quite intuitive. That said, some functions, like swapping between break points, feel a bit clunky, but I’m sure future updates will eliminate some of the minor niggles.

Kadence offer a free basic Kadence theme and a free version of the Kadence Blocks builder plugin. You can try them together or add Kadence Blocks to your existing WordPress site if you want to take if for a spin.

COST:

Theme – free or Pro $69 per year
Blocks – free or Pro at $59 per year
Membership with access to all products – $169 per year

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