You have tried purchasing a premium WordPress theme, right? Googling a keyword or checking out the rather small collections of individual designer teams? It can be really frustrating, as you can never be sure that you have checked out all (or enough) of the available options in order to make an informed decision. In addition, you’re forced to agree to conditions, defined by the author of the theme, even when they are not optimal – because you don’t have a choice. Or do you?
Enter Marketplaces for WordPress Themes
Luckily, you’re not the first one to figure out that the situation is frustrating and a solution is needed. There are large digital marketplaces, where small developer teams can upload and promote their themes, plugins, images, templates, coding services, and everything else you’ll ever need for your website or digital project.
Selling via a marketplace is to the benefit of both sellers and buyers. Sellers are offered ready platform, secure selling solutions, marketing tools, reviews, and discussion section. This makes it easy for them to focus on their core competences instead of trying to make sales work on their own.
As a customer, you get quality guarantee, support as a part of the purchase package, the reassurance a refunds policy can give you, and the opportunity to choose among large number of diverse themes. Last but not least, you can get help resolving eventual issues with the theme author.
The fact that you have access to the work of many different author teams means that you’ll see diverse design solutions and functionality offerings. Even though you’ll never be able to access all themes published online at one marketplace alone, you’ll be able to check out thousands of themes as opposed to +/-100, usually available on small designer websites.
The biggest benefit of using an established marketplace is though their guarantee, including quality check of products, established support rules, customer support, and (limited) refund policy.
3 Best Marketplaces for Premium WordPress Themes
Themeforest by Envato
Themeforest is without a doubt the best marketplace for premium WordPress themes. At the moment of writing, they offer 10304 WordPress themes. These are neatly categorized, so you can find a theme by keyword or category. You can also combine search criteria, such as a keyword and item popularity, price, date of publishing, or rating.
A nice feature of the search option is that you always get an overview of a theme’s most important features (to the right in the screenshot above). This means that you don’t need to click on every item in order to figure out, whether it lives up to your requirements.
In addition, most themes have already been rated by multiple customers. These ratings appear in the item list and on product pages. Combining the ratings with a quick look at the comments section can give you a pretty good idea about the quality of the theme, its features or the way the authors handle help requests and issues.
Before making a decision, it might be smart to take a look at the changelog of the theme (available on all individual theme pages) to make sure that it is indeed further developed and regularly updated. Purchasing an item, updated last more than a year ago is risky.
When purchasing an item from Themeforest, you can download it immediately from your profile page. On that page, you’ll also be able to find future updates, purchasing code, etc. Usually, you get notified by mail about available updates.
If you need support, you can find a link to the theme author’s support forum on the product page.
Themeforest has reasonable refund policy, which entitles you to refunds in case that the theme is not as described, is broken or has security vulnerability and no help is offered by the author to fix it. In addition, lack of support is also considered to be grounds for refund. Last but not least, you can claim a refund for products that you purchased but never downloaded.
At the moment of writing, most themes on Themeforest cost between 39-69USD (excl. tax). With standard purchases, you get theme updates and 6 months of free support.
Link to marketplace: Themeforest
You can browse themes by category, features, popularity, compatibility with WordPress versions, styles, date, and colors. You can also perform a search by entering a keyword. You do need to click on each theme you like in order to access details, such as features and technical data.
Themes are well-described with features information and technical data presented in separate tabs on the page. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on reviews the way you can on Themeforest. Even bestselling themes have very few downloads (the 3 bestseller themes I checked had respectively around 300, 20, and 40 downloads) meaning also very low issue discovery and very few reviews.
With the purchase of all WordPress themes you get updates and free support. You get support via Template Monster and not the theme author. You cannot access the changelog of themes to check how often they get updated.
When purchasing, you should be careful because this marketplace has very aggressive upselling policy, making it difficult to figure out, what you really need – and what you really get with the theme itself. My advice is to only purchase the theme and see for yourself, whether something is missing. In many cases, you can find similar plugins to the once offered for free – or completely avoid using them.
Template Monster offers live chat. Use it, if in doubt but remember to not trust all they say, when it comes to purchasing additional items.
The prices of most WordPress themes are between 69-119USD at the moment of writing. There is a very limited refund policy.
Link to marketplace: Template Monster
You can search using a keyword or the filters to the left of the screen. These filters are, however, far from good enough, as there is neither feature nor topic filter.
In order to check out a theme’s features, you have to click on it and navigate to the appropriate tab. Be aware that item descriptions are available but vary a lot, depending on the theme author. There is no short overview-wise list of theme features, as the ones on Themeforest or Template Monster. Some authors list, however, theme features somewhere in the item details.
There is also changelog available but it is in many cases just left empty, making it useless to you.
Here you can get the cheapest WordPress themes compared to the two other marketplaces. The prices for most themes vary between 49 and 59USD, with very few above this range and a single theme priced at 99USD.
With each purchase, you get updates and support, however, due to the fact that there doesn’t seem to be official policy of MOJO Marketplace, it might be that service level varies.
The refund policy is quite limiting, giving you the right to refund only if an item is “broken”.
Link to marketplace: MOJO Marketplace
NB! Please note that while the first two marketplaces offer security to you as a user via SSL encryption, MOJO Marketplace uses the unsecure HTTP. While this shouldn’t have direct impact on theme quality or support, it does indicate that the company might not be taking security seriously enough.
Bonus: The “Marketplace” for Free WordPress Themes
You probably know that you can find thousands of free themes in WordPress’ theme directory. But did you know that there is another large collection of free WordPress themes out there? Probably not. Meet Colorlib.
Colorlib is a site that can be described as a mix of a blog, developers site, and affiliate program. The team of Colorlib develops themes, most of them are free. In addition, they offer what they call collections. These are basically like blog posts, listing x number of most popular, best, etc. themes within specific category.
Once you open a collection, you can see a large image of each theme’s homepage and a long description. The descriptions answer rarely the questions you might have about a theme but there is usually an option to read tech details in the theme’s documentation.
Most of the free themes can be downloaded directly from Colorlib’s website. To directly browse free themes beyond Colorlib’s own portfolio, follow this link: https://colorlib.com/wp/category/free-themes/
In addition, you can browse similar collections of premium themes. Colorlib doesn’t sell them on their site but sends you to Themeforest, when clicking on More Info/Download.
Even though Colorlib isn’t a typical marketplace for premium WordPress themes, it can be a helpful tool in the process of finding the right theme for your website, free or premium.