- Enough themes to satisfy everyone
- Monarch social sharing is a gem of a plugin
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Personal and Developer packages offer average value for money
- Some support requests not dealt with promptly
When you’re starting out as a WordPress blogger, the range of themes can be a bit overwhelming. There are literally thousands of themes in WordPress theme repository, not to mention the many thousands of excellent premium themes that are available. Where do you start? Why not start with the collection of beautiful themes and plugins from Elegant Themes?
With 87 premium themes to choose from, there is enough choice to satisfy everyone, but not so much that choosing a theme becomes overwhelming. Elegant Themes is a reputable choice that has been tried and tested by hundreds of thousands of bloggers. This Elegant Themes review will help you decide if Elegant Themes is the best option for your blog.
Beautiful Premium WordPress Themes: Elegant Themes Review
How Much Does Elegant Themes Cost?
Elegant Themes has three purchase options:
- Personal: $69 per year, includes unlimited use of all premium themes, updates, and support for one year.
- Developer: $89 per year, includes unlimited use of all premium plugins and themes, updates, and support for one year.
- Lifetime: $249 onetime payment, includes unlimited use of all premium plugins and themes, updates, and support for life!
For that extra $20 per year, you get access to six exceptional plugins. Monarch Social Media Sharing is worth the extra $20 alone!
Some simple math will tell you that if you plan to use the themes and plugins for three years or more, you could save a lot of money by opting for the Lifetime Access. You can upgrade your plan at any time after you sign in so there’s no need to decide now.
What Do You Get With Elegant Themes?
Elegant Themes comes with 87 beautiful, premium themes! Here are a few of the best to look out for:
- Divi: The most versatile theme ever built, and quite possible the only theme you will ever need.
- Extra: The ultimate flexibility to create diverse categories, homepages and story-driven posts that will keep your visitors engaged and coming back for more.
- Origin: A stunning grid-based theme that tells a story through imagery.
- DeepFocus: Turn your WordPress blog into a fully functional online photo gallery while still maintaining all of the features of a normal blog.
- Nexus: A versatile magazine theme packed full of custom widgets and content modules that give you control over your page.
Elegant Themes comes with the following 6 premium plugins:
- The Divi Builder: A stand-alone Drag & Drop page builder plugin that works with any WordPress theme.
- Bloom Email Opt-Ins: Easily add opt-in forms to your website and harness complete control over the design and location of each.
- Monarch Social Media Sharing: Hands down the best social sharing plugin for WordPress!
- HandHeld Mobile Plugin: Make any website Mobile Friendly, no matter what theme you are using.
- Maintenance Mode Plugin: Creates a “coming soon” page for your upcoming website before its official release.
- Elegant Shortcodes: Take the awesome collection of Elegant Themes shortcodes and use them in any theme, even if it’s not one of their own designs.
How Does Elegant Themes Work?
Simply choose your package and sign up for an account at the Elegant Themes registration page. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive access to the members’ area where you can download the themes and plugins. For instructions on how to install themes and plugins on your WordPress site, see the posts Choosing and Installing a WordPress Theme and Installing WordPress Plugins. Your account also includes updates and premium support which you access through the members area.
If you sign up for the Personal or Developer options, you can continue using the themes and plugins forever after your plan expires, but you will no longer have access to updates or support.
Elegant Themes Review Criteria
The themes are packed full of features including the following:
- ePanel Theme Options: The ePanel allows you to easily control your website without ever touching a line of code. Additional features allow you to toggle on and off features, adjust your layout, manage advertisements, control colors, optimize for search engines and more! ePanel integrates with the WordPress Dashboard and will appear automatically when you activate any of the themes. ePanel gives you full control over:
- General Settings: Adjust general settings such as post counts and color schemes; upload custom logo images, control featured posts and much more.
- Navigation: The navigation panel allows you to easily add and remove links, adjust dropdown menu settings and change the order of your links.
- Layout: The layouts tab allows you to adjust the structure of your site, such as removing or changing certain design elements.
- Ad Management: All themes come with various pre-defined ad locations. The Ad Management panel allows you to enable and manage these banners.
- Colorizations: The colorizations panel allows you to quickly adjust the colors of various parts of your theme, such as font and background colors.
- SEO Control: Manage your titles, keywords and description meta tags, as well as canonical URLs for your homepage, posts, pages and categories.
- Integration: The integration tab allows you to input code into various areas in the theme. This is useful for adding, for example, social media or analytics snippets.
- Shortcodes: Designing and organizing your posts is made easier with the large collection of shortcodes. Quickly and easily add author info, boxes, buttons, columns, custom lists, dropcaps, image slider, password protection, pricing tables, quotes, slideshow, social media, tabbed content, testimonials, toggled content, and tooltips.
- Page Templates: Page templates make your life easier by giving you access to pre-made styles and functions. Each template can be applied to an individual page, transforming the way it looks and functions to create additional and unique forms of content. Templates include advanced search, blog feed, contact form, full width, image gallery, member login, multimedia portfolio, and sitemap.
You can visit the website for a full list of Elegant Themes Features.
Features vary by plugin. You can visit the website for a full list of Elegant Themes plugin features.
Getting started is as simple as signing up for an account, downloading the themes and plugins, and installing and activating them on your WordPress dashboard. Click the following links for step-by-step guides for installing and activating plugins and installing and activating themes. As with any theme, you’ll want to do some customization on the basic install. The ePanel makes this very simple and intuitive. Setting up the plugins varies by plugin, but excellent documentation is provided with the downloads and support is included in the package.
Ease of Use
Once you’ve installed, activated, and customized your theme, there’s very little to do except sit back and admire your beautiful, elegant blog! Of course, you need to update your theme when updates are released, but that can be done in a couple of clicks. Ease of use of the plugins varies by plugin, but all have a shallow learning curve.
The support offered by Elegant Themes is a ticket system which is always my preference as support requests are logged properly and can be tracked. However, as you may be able to tell from the Elegant Themes Twitter account, support requests do seem to fall through the cracks occasionally, and response times are not as quick as some customers would like. With over 350,000 customers, it is not surprising that support requests are occasionally slow. The vast majority of customers appear to have no problems with the support system, but this is an area where improvements can be made.
Value for Money
At $69 for one year, the personal plan offers average value for money. While you have access to 87 themes, you can only use one at a time, and once you start getting traffic I don’t recommend you switch themes too often. Throw in the six premium plugins, however, and suddenly the value for money increases, even if the cost goes up by $20. Monarch is easily one of the best, if not the best, social media sharing plugins there is and is easily worth $20 per year on its own. The lifetime access offers the best value for money, but $249 is a big outlay for a beginner blogger. My advice is to purchase the Developer package and if you are happy with a particular theme and the plugins, take advantage of the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee for a full refund, and then purchase the lifetime package. You’ll have saved money over the Developer package in under three years!