Premium Themes for Premium Bloggers

Many online entrepreneurs, myself and John Chow included, firmly believe that WordPress is one of the best content management systems for bloggers. Even though it may be a free platform, it is also remarkably robust and reasonably easy to use. Unfortunately, the default WordPress theme leaves a lot to be desired.

If you’re savvy enough, you can probably go through the trouble of coding a new theme yourself, but that can be quite time-consuming. Alternatively, you can look at some of the free themes that are available on the Internet, but these may be filled with bugs and other problems. For reasons like these, you may want to take a good look at this review of Premium Themes for WordPress. A nice theme can be a small investment that goes a long way.

Is This Truly Perfection?

If you hit up the main page of the Premium Themes website, you’ll notice that they have several WordPress themes for sale. The one currently being featured has a rather boastful name: Perfection.

Taking on a very subdued color palette, the Perfection Theme is meant to be clean and simple. The overall appearance is heavy with gray and beige, so if you’re looking for something that is little bolder, you may need to look elsewhere. The clean lines certainly make this theme easy on the eyes though.

Is it really the “perfect” WordPress theme? Probably not, but this is largely because different bloggers have different needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. On a side note, I can already notice one imperfection: the header text reads “prefection” rather than “perfection.” If you’re going to call yourself perfect, you should at least get your own name right!

As you can see through the first screenshot above, this WordPress theme has a “featured article” at the top of the homepage. This can be quite valuable in highlighting one of your most important blog posts, but I’m thinking that you’ll want to provide an excerpt rather than the full post. The rest of your content is displayed under that. It will depend on the number of categories you run, but the category links near the header (Doming virtute, Nostrum, etc.) could be good for keeping traffic on your blog if you keep the number of categories to a minimum.

Overall, the Perfection WordPress theme is pretty nice for people who want something simple and clean, but if you need something that’s more robust and optimized for, say, private advertising, you may need to look elsewhere.

Other Premium WordPress Themes

In addition to the Perfection Theme, the Premium Themes family also includes a few other offerings. After browsing through the themes, one that caught my eye was the stylish Industry theme.

I dig the whole blue and black color scheme, but it is a little strange to see the sidebars fade into the background. Aside from that, you’ll still find key features like Flickr photostream integration, a prominent search bar, top posts, and a right sidebar that splits into two. I would have preferred a more eye-catching RSS icon, but that can be easily changed.

Pricing and the Purchase Process

Unlike some other websites, the WordPress themes offered by Premium Themes all ring in at the same price (for now). They are $99 each and include licensing for installation on up to five websites. There is a footer link leading back to the Premium Themes website in each of these themes, but that link can be removed.

Payment is handled via PayPal, but you do need to register an account with Premium Themes first before you can buy anything. There are two main advantages to this registration model. First, the user account gives you an easy way to re-download any purchased themes if you need to do so. Second, registration automatically enrolls you in the affiliate program.

The Affiliate Program

The affiliate program with Premium Themes is pretty straightforward. Send potential customers their way via your referral link and you get 40% from every sale generated. They use 24-hour cookies and payment, via PayPal with no minimum threshold, is sent 30 days after the end of the month. Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any referral links that would direct visitors to any page other than the homepage. At least you get some handy 125×125 buttons to use.

Charitable Donations and Free Themes

The guys behind Premium Themes have a couple of special promotions to coincide with their launch. Since this review on John Chow dot Com is their only real publicity for the time being, 10% of all sales generated through the site for the rest of the year will be given to charity. John has selected Union Gospel Mission as the recipient. In this way, if you buy a theme, part of the proceeds go to feed Vancouver’s homeless population.

Still not sure if you want to buy one? What if I told you that you could get a theme for free? Premium Themes will be giving away themes to three lucky John Chow dot Com readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below saying why you like any one (or all) of the Premium Themes. John will personally pick the winners.


76 thoughts on “Premium Themes for Premium Bloggers”

  1. Great post! Anyway you should mention why bloggers need premium themes. I think that prenium theme makes your blog to stand out from the crowd.

    1. Li Weng says:

      Personally I think theme is important, but it will only make you stand out from the crowd given that you already provide unique quality content. When you get to that stage you’d really want a theme that’s more personal for your own branding.

      1. Smitty says:

        I have to agree with Li. I want to design my own blog, but wonder if I have the necessary skills and creativity.

        1. blogmerchant says:

          My favorite theme is ocean, but I’m partial to blues.

      2. I totally agree here. These themes, although look nice, are just as generic as anything you could download for free. Considering you can get a very nice custom theme for $3-400, why not just make the investment? If your blog earnings can’t cover a $400 investment in something as important as not only your blog’s branding, but also its earnings (contrary to popular belief, good design directly leads to good income – content is king, but your design and ad layout is what converts traffic to cash) then you probably should be reassessing whether you need anything other than a blogger blog with a default theme anyway.

        But that’s just my 2c 🙂

        1. Trevor says:

          Good post.

          That’s what I was just thinking when I looked at these themes. They don’t look all that different from themes I can download for free and modify.

          1. The split one looks nice. You only stand out when those around you know all that is there. Most people won’t know it you have custom theme or not. Purchasing a theme is the same in principle to those who download one for free. Standing out is great and needs to be done. However, the theme doesn’t bring people back. Content and your interacting with people will bring people back. Look at darren’s site. Nothing special about that one. But guess what…there isn’t enough space to put all the 0’s of the number of subscribers so it opts for the “K” as in the 125K.

        2. Very well said. I agree with you.

    2. Ben Pei says:

      Yeah I agree.. That one way to make your blog look professional.

    3. Personally I don’t care for any of them. But that’s me. I’m sure there are many bloggers that would love to have something like one of these.

    4. Except the fact that ANYONE can buy premium themes. You could end up having the exact same theme as many others.

      The only real way to get a truly UNIQUE theme is to make one yourself, or pay someone else to create a theme for you from scratch.

      1. Li Weng says:

        Yeah.. There’s no way that you can stand out using something that everyone else would have access to.

          1. Okay now what … we are at the same place as everyone else. Just like everything else….themes, twitter, FB, Flickr, face to face contacts are used as tools to get you where you want to go. Rely solely on that and you’re just as good as the race car drive who thinks that just because he has a cool car means that he’ll win every race.

  2. John Creek says:

    i think design is an important thing to build a better blog! and i agree with Unique Blogger hat prenium theme makes your blog to stand out from the crowd

    1. The Question is: What is the crowd? Who are you competing with and who is your customer. Does the customer find that “creative” and “stand out” blogs important to what they are looking for. I’m not talking about usability but more about eye candy.

      I haven’t found anyone who defined the “crowd” and who the customer is that would want to engage the “crowd.” Any thoughts?

  3. Nice theme…well theme does gives your reader first impression…but for newbies bloggers, i would advice to go for free but nice theme – Flexibility theme which i am currently using in my new launched love blog…

    Check out Cupid Blogger Dot Com

  4. Jacob says:

    Hello, I run 2 things I thought I’d mention:
    1) We have extended the cookies for the referral program to 30 days instead of 24 hours
    2) We will have the referral system upgraded within 48 hours so you can link to specific URLs with your referral ID

    1. Mike says:

      Agreed with Unique Blogger ,
      Bloggers also need to have professional themes to attract visitors often or bookmark
      our site

      Thanks Jacob,
      I would interested to join your referral program, seem going to be profitable referral after all

  5. Bill says:

    Honestly I don’t really see anything that special about these themes. There are a lot of free themes available that would rival these, especially for $99.

    With that said I wish the owners the best of luck on their new venture.

  6. No doubt, wordpress is still better than others. Nice post.

  7. lab209 says:

    Is a theme more important than the content on the blog?

    In any case head over to for better themes which are available for FREE!!

    1. Li Weng says:

      Theme is important too since we as humans often base our first impression on the look and feel. We’re visual animals. Our judgments are not rational from the first glance.

    2. Good question. I kind of have to disagree with Li though.

      The blog theme is definitely important. No doubt about that. However, I wouldn’t say it’s THE most important thing. I’ve come across blogs that had GREAT themes, but seriously lacked in the content department. And they weren’t new blogs either.

  8. Jeff Kee says:

    I think John should switch his choice of charity. There’s plenty of people in Africa and South-East Asia who are starving not because they’ve done drugs, or got lazy, or are mentally ill. They deserve it more than the Vancouver homeless people.

    1. DollarDevil says:

      I think you should become wealthy and decide who you donate to. Until then support the needy REGARDLESS of their location/situation/plight.

    2. I kind of hate it when people say things like this. Someone in need is someone in need. I hate this “one-upper” thing that some people do when it comes to things like this.

      1. DollarDevil says:

        It’s ridiculous. I mean, John by all rights could just keep the money and everyone would be that much less fortunate. Instead he’s kindly donating $5000.00 and someone has the nerve to tell him to allocate his donation elsewhere?

        Get Real.

        1. Exactly. Technically, he doesn’t have to give any money away. It’s great that he’s even donating at all.

    3. Li Weng says:

      Hey man you can’t really generalize. You don’t know what circumstances caused those people to be in those situation. Even in Africa and Asia there are people who do drugs and got lazy etc. It’s up to personal choice really, there’s no truth in saying that it’s better to help this group rather than that group.

  9. Li Weng says:

    Personally I prefer themes that are more clean and as simple as possible, but still looks professional and attraction in its design.

  10. Azmi says:

    Having a good theme is important but keep in mind that your content is more important. And many free themes out there do rival some of these ‘premium’ themes. Some bloggers cannot afford $99 themes because that’s just way too much for them.

    1. Li Weng says:

      Yeah good point. The funny thing is the people who are just starting off won’t look to get them because of the price, and yet the bloggers who will be able to fork out that kind of money for their blog would really want to get their own customized theme, rather than something that everyone else could get. If you know where to outsource, you can pretty much get your own personal design for a little bit higher than that price.

    2. Yep. You could have the best theme in the world, but if the content is lacking, your blog will eventually fail if you don’t do something about it.

  11. donsanchez says:

    I can tell you, that coding your theme himself is the best you can do. Thats how you can get the most freedom of acting, improving and changing your theme.

  12. Ben Pei says:

    I think having a premium theme is a good way to stand out from other bloggers and also portray a good first impression of your blog.

    1. Anyone can buy the themes though.

      1. Ben Pei says:

        Yeah precisely.. probably save up for a custom theme from unique blog design?

    2. Here’s the questions though. Who are we standing out for and who is it that really cares about the theme? Yes, we may stand out of the crowd of bloggers but who is the customer that finds “themes” a selling point? I found some really nice themes on wordpress that I haven’t seen with anyone else? Are we bloggers trying to out sell bloggers with in the group? If that’s the case then we are just the same as a pyramid scheme b/c there are only so many that can buy into each other.

      In short, the question is ….. who is the customer and how much do they care about themes?

  13. Alex D says:

    The affiliate program seems to be very good, I will try it!

  14. In these days you need to have a professional looking theme.The content should matter more, but unfortunately the look of your team decides if you are takes seriously online.I just switched to a professional WordPress theme and the benefits are clear.

  15. Yes thats one way to make your blog look professional but I never purchase a premium themes

  16. Just to prove again that WordPress is just best! Awesome designs there John.

  17. Puspanjali says:

    I think for someone who is just starting out a free theme will do.May be subsequently when you want to give a more professional and established look you can go for a premium one.It all depend on the niche you have chosen.

  18. Pheak.T says:

    i agree with the few up there, these themes do look generic and doesnt offer any type of branding for bloggers, i love wordpress for the same reasons that many others do, but for a new, small-time blogger like myself, i downloaded a free theme and i fell in love with how it’s layed out. so in appreciation i kept the link at the footer for the actual person that created it.

  19. looks good
    will checkout them..

  20. Karl Hadwen says:

    Some nice themes, will check them out. I think if my blog reaches the 20k a month mark i’ll defo buy my own theme.

    1. Li Weng says:

      ??? 20k a month is more than enough to buy your own theme, why do it that late? You can buy your own theme even if you’re making like $1000 a month.

      1. Karl Hadwen says:

        Yer I guess, I’m talking about 20k visitors not cash :D, I think I just didnt expect to get as much hits as I did with my blog.

  21. Karl Hadwen says:

    They are cool themes and forgot to mention, any bloggers or people who own websites who are looking for a free link, have a look at my personal blog (pr3) – It’s close to free link friday! Yes a free text link ad, all you have to do is comment a post on my blog and subscribe to my RSS. For a free link!

  22. Like Michael, I like the Industry theme — I think it’s clean, and I like how the background merges into the content. Good job! I wish them luck with their venture.

  23. Eric says:

    Theres no doubt a professional WordPress theme will look better than what would probably take countless hours of editing say a default theme. I havent figured out an easy way to manipulate wordpress is displaying headlines and featured content, but have been able to get results with magpierss which isn’t the best thing in the world.

    Do premium themes offer that ability, if so, I would really consider them as an option.

    I like “Ocean” the best because I’m a sucker for anything blue and slick.

  24. DollarDevil says:

    I love newsmag based on its simplicity and sleek look. The only problem I found with it was finding enough relevant material to use all 3 sidebars.

    Simplicity is king. The more complex and tricky the template, the worse it is in my opinion.

    1. Li Weng says:

      Yeah you really want to simple because people can get confused very easily. You don’t want them to get lost or distract by all these sections and ads without even looking at your content. I think the layout of this blog is pretty good, just one single narrow column on the right, not too distracting, yet you have enough ad space.

  25. Akmal says:

    i actually am not impressed by any of these themes…you can get way better themes for these prices out there in the market.
    i can even tell that John is not really impressed, after reading his review.

  26. Simon says:

    Well I like perfection the best and then NewsMag after that because of their simplicity and light colour schemes.

    Just a heads up to though, in the demo of NewsMag, the tabbed sidebar is not working/aligning correctly

  27. Mega Champ says:

    Only problem with premium themes is that they look beautiful until you put adsense ads, after that its hard to maintain the same look. And not everyone is lucky enough to get sponsors with beautiful 125* 125 ads, which can placed with ruining the whole look and feel of the premium theme. This is where simple themes fair better.

  28. Premium? What is a premium theme? This word actually is a misnomer. There are some awesome free themes out there that can beat any “premium” theme anytime. The best word to use would be paid and free themes. 😉

  29. Zijian says:

    Great intro to the wordpress themes and premiumthemes website. There are also some great theme resources over at

    Worth a good look as some of them look good.

  30. BusinessX says:

    After having played with a lot of themes and not having the money for a custom theme, for one of my lesser blogs I am using the WordPress Classic and modifying it to fit my needs. It means me learning a lot of CSS and how php works with WordPress. However much work this is, the benefit is 1). I get a theme exactly as I want it and fits my needs, 2). I learn much needed knowledge. Both will be worth the time, and as I can modify faster next time, save money on custom themes later.

  31. Linda says:

    People who call themselves “entrepreneurs” annoy me. To be referred to as one by others is fine but to adopt the title yourself smacks of arrogance!

  32. Nikhil Gupta says:

    this surely is amazing.. although i wont be buyin some theme
    but their affiliate offer is indeed great, pays 40%…

  33. says:

    Great Themes , I like to buy new theme to my Blog

  34. BMW Cars says:

    John, thanks for sharing the article. Now, it’s very useful for me changing my blog’s theme.

  35. I have a free theme right now and I am getting tired of it. I may either pay for a premium site or have someone do a custom job. First things first…gotta work on traffic.

  36. chuan says:

    why usually for wordpress 1, no for blogspot 1. I always keep waiting any premium themes for blogspot 1. But very very few. What a sad! ;(

  37. game-girl says:

    As for me I’d like to choose themes dealing with nature.It is necessary for me to get experience, to dig in that sphere.

  38. Flyssy says:

    The UBD moneymaker theme (which is free) is just as good as those premium themes.

  39. game-girl says:

    Now concerning the point of content, it is hard to say wheather the subject matter of a blog or its design make impression on the readers. It depends. Just now I am interested in the contents. Blogs rich in useful informttion attract me for a while.

  40. game-girl says:

    Maybe next day I’ll pay attention on their designing merits,personal design finding.Content interested me tomorrow. So the principal of form and content balance must be observed.

  41. game-girl says:

    The choice is always difficult. I mean the choice of social group to which John intends to donate.” Die Wahlen sind Qualen” . Literally ”the choice is tormenting.” Not to feel like that ,one might choose with his light heart,not reason.

  42. Yeah, it all depends on what you’re going for with your theme. Plus, SEO shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing something that wasn’t written by you, as they may have used some pretty crappy code that could hurt your search engine rankings.

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