One Premium Theme to Rule Them All?

I think we’d all agree that WordPress has to be one of the absolute best blogging platforms out there. It’s relatively easy to use and you have all sorts of opportunities to customize the look of your blog to your liking. While there are literally tons of free WordPress themes out there, not all of them are pretty and a good number of them could be buggy. That’s where the field of premium WordPress themes comes into play and if the subject of this review is to be believed, this is the one theme to rule them all. Dull is not an option.

The Only Theme You’ll Ever Need

That’s the first statement you see when you launch the promotional video for One Theme. The cool thing about this particular premium WordPress theme is that it is “ever evolving” and the developers will offer you free upgrades for life. New versions come out at least every six months and your initial purchase entitles you to these new versions for as long as these guys exist.

One Theme has a lot of features. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to list them all, but some of the highlights include:

  • Five color schemes
  • Completely widget friendly
  • 100% valid xHTML and CSS
  • Pre-configured for easy monetization (AdSense, etc.)
  • Custom control panel with multiple-choice style options
  • Custom search results page
  • Templates for archive, links, and sitemap
  • Numbered comments
  • Unique “Hot Conversation” plug-in
  • Featured YouTube video
  • Featured homepage article and categories

Aesthetics and Design

To get a full sense of what this theme is all about, you can check out the live demo. I have the red version displayed below, but you can access the other four color schemes through the main One Theme homepage or by clicking on “Change Color” in the navigation.

I think I like how the header image is effectively split into two halves. You upload your blog’s logo and this populates the left half of the header image, and then you upload another image to populate the right half of the header image. This way, you can have a special picture on right for special occasions and the like.

The two navigation bars near the top of the page are actually animated. When you hover your mouse pointer over certain links, like sport, a menu emerges with secondary options (football, golf, and rugby). This is quite sleek, but a little distracting. The placement of the RSS subscription options is quite nice though.

Going a little further down the page, I found that the right-most sidebar was a little cramped. Aside from giving you room for a Google AdSense skyscraper, this third column isn’t really necessary. The blogroll can be placed elsewhere and there is no need for the RSS and Meta subsections. Because this premium WordPress theme has a featured article on top and only snippets underneath, I’d only recommend it to blogs that have multiple posts each day. If you only have one post a day, your homepage is going to look pretty stagnant.

Custom Control Panel

The custom control panel for One Theme makes it easy to use for even for the WordPress (and monetization) novice. While the rest of the WordPress dashboard is still in place, the One Theme section has a special section just for your ad settings.

The theme has been pre-configured to accommodate AdSense blocks of certain sizes. Just provide your publisher ID and the theme will take care of the rest. If you want to replace AdSense with different ads, you can do that too.

You can use the rest of the custom control panel to adjust the appearance, define the featured article and categories, upload your header background and logo, and set other options. It is all very intuitive and easy to use.

Pricing and Referral Program

One Theme has an affiliate program wherein you can make a 25% commission on every sale that you make. Payment is made by PayPal every month and you are notified by email of every sale. The affiliate program is managed by E-Junkie.

In terms of pricing, there are four options for buying One Theme. The $99 Webmaster, $199 Webmaster Pro, and $299 Web Developer Licenses allow you to load the theme on one blog, three blogs, and five blogs, respectively. Note that you need WordPress 2.5+ to run One Theme. There is also the Reseller license, but you need to contact them for more information.