When I started using WordPress in early 2007, I never imagined I will buy a WordPress theme or plugin. But when I started freelancing in 2009, I needed to distinguish myself from the competition and started offering premium theme designs as part of the packages I provided. This turned out to be very attractive for my prospective clients. Since then, I started collecting themes from various theme clubs.
I look for beautiful designs, well coded theme frameworks, reputation of theme makers and excellent support. Life time theme club membership and affordable yearly renewals are two important factors for my purchase.
Towards 2011, I applied the same promotion strategy using premium plugins. ScribeSEO and WP Touch Pro were two attractive features for clients. Later, Gravity forms turned out be a must have for the flexibility it offered in developing custom websites. There are also few plugins which were bought for the specific needs of a client.
Nowadays, I am very choosy about projects and don’t need that many themes and plugins. Still, I continue to collect them as a habit. It also helps me to learn what’s happening in the industry and become of part of those communities. Sometimes, I end up purchasing few items just because I admire the maker 🙂
So, here is my collection. I better document it lest I forget 🙂
Premium WordPress Themes
Genesis powered StudioPress themes are my go to themes 90% of the time. I like their extendable code, SEO friendliness and ecosystem of plugins, developers and tutorials. All my clients love StudioPress’s ease of use. Their Pro Plus pack with a life time membership is a no brainer purch
In the early days of WooThemes, they offered a lot of variety. The designs were great looking and the theme options were user friendly. Since the introduction of WooCommerce, they have redefined their focus towards Business themes and eCommerce themes. I have a standard club membership but I renew the monthly subscription only when I need them.
Thesis was one of the very first popular theme frameworks I bought. Around 2009, most of the top sites ran on it and gave rave reviews. I found it good for SEO but it had a very steep learning curve to customize. Now, Thesis has gone out of favor with the WordPress community. The latest 2.0 version is a total mess.
Elegant Themes has the most beautifully designed WordPress themes ever. Their pricing is phenomenal. But, somehow I lost interest in using them often. The code is bulk and all the themes are heavily dependent on images.
DevPress had an ambitious launch with a great team. The 5 dollar yearly membership was a no brainer. Because of their partnership split, I got access to AlienWP also automatically.
Premium WordPress plugins
I love the Gravity forms UI and ease of use. I load it even when I just need a simple contact form. Having this plugin makes you think innovatively to design your functionalities. It is great for conducting surveys too. It is the best example to illustrate that seemingly trivial functionality could also be a killer product if you do it right.
These are two valuable tools if you are working with the Genesis theme framework
I used it extensively an year back. But responsive design has made it obsolete.
I bought it just for the love of Copyblogger Media products. I am yet to find a good project to use it.