Premium WordPress themes have come a long way since their introduction as part of the WordPress platform. Nowadays, a lot of them come loaded with features and customization options, which are great for tailoring your WordPress site to your liking. In light of this progress, the standards of what makes a great theme have changed.

What Makes a Good Premium WordPress Theme

The market is overflowing with feature-loaded themes. As of now, support for menus, widgets, or even having a few custom shortcodes is almost a given and should be expected of any theme worth its salt. We’re even beginning to see page builders and visual composers as part of a theme’s feature repertoire. However, there are a few additional aspects you should keep in mind when searching for a theme.

These are the kind of things that may not be as obvious at first, but provide enormous value to the end user. You might need to look a little deeper into a theme to find about them, but they’re definitely worth it.

Customizable Content Areas

While themes normally provide a lot of flexibility on their own thanks to the core features of WordPress, you should always look for the ones that give the option to add custom content in almost any part of the design. Based on our experience working with WordPress, the most desired feature on any theme is the ability to insert pieces on content in areas that are normally not accessible, like the header or the footer.

Did you know? Brilliance lets you add shortcodes into the header & footer, making it really flexible.

Did you know? Brilliance lets you add shortcodes into the header & footer, making it really flexible.

By having the ability to add custom content in these areas, a webmaster can easily add elements like a Login or Register button, which are normally crucial for a website. A feature as simple as this can often make or break a premium WordPress theme, as they open a whole new world of possibilities for end users.

WordPress Baseline Classes

One of the less talked-about elements of great premium WordPress themes is the use of baseline CSS classes and hooks.
Simply put, the WordPress core offers a set of functions that will add certain CSS classes into the theme, such as post_class() and body_class(). For example, body_class() will add a ‘page’ and a ‘page-template’ class to thetag when viewing a page with a custom template. These functions are meant to be included in the theme by the developer, as they a standard in a WordPress site.

These little CSS classes actually make your life much easier later on.

These little CSS classes actually make your life much easier later on.

Though at first they may not seem too important, they are a decisive factor when operating your site, since they give a lot more flexibility when adding your own styles. Some plugins may even take advantage of these classes in order to add custom content, so they should always be present.

Plugin Integration

social-media-integrationAnother important aspect of great themes is their integration with specific plugins. This means the theme will be designed to work well with other services, doing most of the work normally needed to set them up properly. For instance, our own themes integrate with the WPML translation plugin right of the box. Should you install that plugin, a language switcher will appear in the header of the site, freeing you from the hassle of having to manually add the code for it.

Having integration with third party services is always a great feature to look for, as it saves a lot of time when trying to make your site work with certain plugins. Additionally, it ensures that the theme has been tested for compatibility which will prevent a lot of potential issues later on.

Get In Touch With The Author

Some of these aspects of premium themes might be a bit difficult to figure out for people new to WordPress. Still, they are definitely worth looking out for as they save a lot of time and headaches further down the line. Additionally, these characteristics are normally indicative of a well-built theme, as they enforce some of the best practices of WordPress theme development.

Since you want to be sure of making a good purchase, you should definitely invest into what your theme of choice does and what it doesn’t. This includes going out and contacting the author for further clarification, if needed. The theme you choose should stick around for a while, and as such it should meet your expectations to get the most out of WordPress.