On Pingable we have been recommending Elegant themes for a few years now. We have been doing this for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s the best WordPress Premium Theme Club on the internet. For a measly fee of $39 you get access to over 60 premium themes. This works out at around 60c a theme. The second reason, is because the theme club is so good, that so many people sign up to it through our affiliate link and we have made $1000’s by recommending it. However, we have never done and through review of the service. So that’s what I will attempt to do here today.
You don’t have to be a member of the club to promote it’s affiliate program, and I throughly recommend it. It converts amazingly well if you have any WordPress theme related traffic. Sign up to be an affiliate here, it’s free.
The Members Section
For your $39 a year you get access to a huge library of quality themes. The library of themes is constantly growing. At the time of writing this, there are more than 60 premium themes. There’s is a huge selection of premium magazine themes, gallery and portfolio themes, and themes for very specific uses.
Themes within the collection get upgrades from time to time, and each theme in the members section has a change log to show how it has developed. All theme downloads also come with the original Photoshop source files.
The members section of the site has a very busy support forum. There is a huge community of users on this site. In the forum you will find theme support for each individual theme, plus general support. Nick Roach, the creator of Elegant themes has over 11,000 posts on the forum at the time of writing this in April 2011, so this support forum is not an after thought, or a useless ad-don. The forum is a very good support resource for the community. There is a very well qualified team of moderators on the forum, and they are very helpful.
Each theme also comes with it’s own documentation, plus there is a general troubleshooting guide, and if for some reason you can’t figure out your support problem using all of the mentioned resources, you can even contact them directly using a contact form.
The Affiliate Program
As I mention in my introduction, the Elegant theme affiliate program is very good. Firstly, because it is such great value, the theme club has huge appeal and it converts very well. Secondly, as an affiliate you make a very generous 50% commission on every user you refer to the service for the life of their membership. So if users renew their membership after a year, and you were the original person who signed them up, then you receive another payment each year. If you sign anyone up, who then becomes an active affiliate referring other users, you receive a 5% commission on all of their sales too. So if you get any traffic that is targeted towards WordPress users, such as themes, or plugins, this affiliate program is a great one to promote. Join the affiliate program here.
Once you have made the call to signup, and downloaded and installed your theme of choice, you are greeted by the Elegant Themes ePanel. This is where you set your preferences and alter individual theme options. Having admin sections for modern wordpress themes is very common, however, the ePanel is a very good one. As you can see from the screenshot below, the design is clear, and options are all easily accessible. This truly makes Elegant themes a great option for less technical types. You don’t have to know you way around a css file, or WordPress’s PHP tags to make your theme look professional, and customized. Most options are simply a case of selecting your preference, or pasting a file path.
The themes come with a huge library of short codes. Shortcodes are just a simple way of inserting functionality. These might be for tasks as simple as inserting a button into a post, adding a social bookmark, or used for complex tasks such as creating a price comparison table. Here is a full list of the short codes available.
Many of the themes also come with custom page templates. Page templates make it easier to add function specific pages to your site..i.e. a gallery page, a contact form, a sitemap, or a member login form. These are a very useful asset and will save you time as you don’t have to install extra plugins to achieve the same result. Each of the themes support localization. This makes it very easy for designers to select which language the site is to be used in. All themes are compatible with a huge range of browsers, (Opera, Netscape, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox etc) are Valid XHTML + CSS, compatible with the latest version of WordPress, and support widgets.
All of the above might mean nothing to you if you can’t find the theme you are looking for in their library, so this is obviously a very important part of your decision. However, the Elegant Themes library is outstanding. There is a huge range of themes.
Specialist themes include:
- A Restaurant theme with a menu system – MyCuisine
- A Coming Soon Pre-launch theme – Anticipate
- An Event Website theme – Event
- A Question an Answer Website theme – Askit
- A Real Estate website theme – ElegantEstate
- An E-Commerce theme – eStore
- A theme for promoting mobile applications – MyApp
- Product Spotlight theme – MyProduct
- A Resume theme – MyResume
- A Business Card theme – BusinessCard
- A Video Blogging theme – EVid
Plus a huge selection of news, portfolio, magazine and blog style themes to select from.
Here’s a small selection of some of my favorites at the moment:
Nick Roach has created a damn fine service in Elegant themes. Elegant themes provide outstanding value to users, and he has grown the site by offering affiliates a fantastic cut of the commission making it a highly successful affiliate program. If you haven’t already, jump over to Elegant themes, and get a membership. It will be the easiest $39 you will ever spend.