Over the last couple of days I’ve been looking at responsive WordPress themes. Since “responsive” is just beginning to gain momentum among WordPress theme magicians, the number of available themes is low compared to old-fashioned, non-response themes. I eventually gave up on finding a nice, free theme and realized that I probably had to go premium for the first time since I started to use WordPress to run this site. There are a lot of very talented designers and developers who sell premium themes on the interwebs, but they are somewhat hard to find: Many of them work out of their mum’s basement, as freelance contractors. Or at least it’s like that in my head.
Thankfully, there are sites like ThemeForest. ThemeForest works as an aggregator for all those people trapped in basements around the world and enables them to sell their creations on a secure market place. Not unlike how all other market places work. Many theme artists make good money on ThemeForest as well, having sold for a million USD or more. I’m guessing that the creators of ThemeForest also laugh a little when they go to bed at night.
Unfortunately, there isn’t exactly an abundance of responsive premium themes either. Since there is limited money flowing in the blogging sphere – very few bloggers actually make money from their site – premium themes tend to be tailored for businesses and creative professions who need portfolios. I’m neither a business nor creative enough to need a portfolio, and this makes the selection of usable themes even more limited.
So far I’ve seriously considered Rewrite, PixelPower and Angular. Rewrite and PixelPower are blog themes, while Angular primarily is a portfolio theme with a nice blog section. All three themes look great and work well in terms of responsiveness. Previews are also available for all three themes (links above) and this gives the potential buyer an impression how the theme will look with his or her content.
Now, the problem with the previews is that the theme authors use just the right kind of content when the previews are created. I’ve got ten years1 worth of content with various length, images in all shapes and sizes and everything in a format that can’t exactly be described as “consistent”: The design has changed a lot over those ten years and the content format has changed with it. To be sure that things look good, or at least OK, with a new theme requires that I’m able to test drive everything with my own content. This can be challenging with a premium theme and shelling out $30+ for something untested that might not work well isn’t really an option.
So the hunt continues.