This is a Site Review of ThemeFuse.com. If you would like to get your book, blog, site, service, or product reviewed on GDB, contact us.
What’s the most important thing when it comes to WordPress theme stores? Is it the usability of the store itself? Its ease of use? The average price of a theme? The complexity of the transaction process?
No. It’s the quality of the themes themselves.
If you’re launching a theme store and your themes are any less than exceptional then no additional features or bells & whistles can save you. On the other side, if you get this one thing right then hardly anything else matters.
Since you’re reading this blog chances are you have searched for a nice WordPress theme once or twice in the past. And therefore, I’m sure you can agree that once you find a perfect theme for your project you will do almost anything to get your hands on it, and I mean anything.
No matter how difficult the transaction process is you will go through it. No matter if the price is $10 or $100 you will still buy it. No matter how unusable the store itself is you will somehow find a way to complete your purchase. If all else fails you will even steal it.
So do the guys at ThemeFuse get this right and provide some high-quality themes?
In a word – yes.
When you visit ThemeFuse this is what you’ll see:
The site itself is pretty self-explanatory and the short tagline “We create WordPress themes” leaves no area for guessing. A visitor probably needs only 2 seconds to decide whether or not they’re in the right place, and that is a big advantage.
The most visible areas of the site are: the cool showcase in the middle, the “View Gallery” button, and the $49 price tag. So let’s just check the gallery out.
Minimalistic and clear design of the gallery focuses attention on the most important thing – the themes.
The first thing you’ll notice is that there’re only 12 themes available (at the time of writing). At first this is not that impressive since ThemeFuse’s direct competitors are offering a much bigger number of themes.
However, where ThemeFuse stands out is the quality of the themes. Each theme from top to bottom is simply pixel-perfect. I’m no guru but in my career I’ve been (co-)running a web design company and I know what the price of creating such designs approximately is. Let me just say that it’s not $49 (the average price of a theme at ThemeFuse).
In the end I must admit that investing in the creation of 12 exceptional themes is probably a way better idea than investing in 100 mediocre ones.
Each theme has a live demo, which is the standard for theme stores to be honest, but with ThemeFuse it’s especially important. That’s because their themes are not just a simple combination of a post template, a page template, an index template, and an archive template like with most themes available online (especially the free ones; hint: free WordPress themes are evil). Here each theme is a really complex piece of engineering, so it contains a big number of different page templates, possible layouts and other unique elements such as shortcodes (very cool feature). Live demos present all of that and are really worth checking out.
The themes are also very beginner-friendly. The AfterCare Support center is a really nice initiative. Each theme has its own support forum and a detailed documentation, which is not something you see every day.
Of course, each theme has a set of different color-schemes, dynamic sidebar widgets, various admin options, is cross browser compatible and so on, but this is a standard for modern themes so it’s not that impressive nowadays.
To be frank, the themes have a high eye-grabbing factor but there’s only one problem. There are no themes for bloggers… Here’s what I mean.
Each theme looks very professional and would be great for you if you’re launching a new website for your company, or a site for your new product/service, or a magazine site, or a portfolio-style photography site and so on. But if you’re launching a classic blog ñ a place where you want to focus on sharing mostly text content in a clear and highly readable format then there’s no theme for you. That being said, I think that it’s just a matter of time until such themes are available.
Ok, too much talking probably so now it’s time to actually buy a theme, take a look at the transaction process and their highly advertised “one click auto install” feature.
Buying a theme at ThemeFuse
I will be buying a theme called “Qlassik.”
Why this one? No real reason apart from the fact that I really like it. It’s well designed, clear and has a lot of additional features.
Right from the get-go there are two options to go for. You can either get a Standard license (in this case $49) or a Developer license (in this case $79). The developer version gives you a multiple site license, a set of all the PSD files (!), source files, and a discount voucher (whatever that is, we’ll see).
I’m going for the developer version!
The checkout process is very quick and simple. You can use a discount code if you have one and then proceed to PayPal to finalize the transaction. It took me less than 2 minutes to complete the whole deal.
But there’s one “small” problem. The developer package is 283MB which is a lot, so it takes some time to download it. However, it’s hard to complain for getting too much of anything… Of course, most of this space is taken by the PSD files. The theme itself is about 32MB.
One click auto install feature
Sorry guys but… unfortunately, I don’t see any value in this feature.
First of all, it’s not a one click install, rather a one click database population. So you still have to actually install the theme yourself. That means you have to upload it to your hosting account, and activate it in WordPress by hand.
Only then you can go to the admin section of your new theme and push the button that will launch the one click install. As a result you end up with a massive set of example data, and that’s precisely the problem. Why would you need this amount of example data on your new website? How will that help you in your work? I mean, you still have to replace it with your own content, so why not just start with a blank blog and populate it yourself?
Thankfully, this feature is not mandatory. You can choose to say “no” to it, and that is what I advise you to do. Therefore it’s not really a flaw.
Anyway, let’s see what my new sweet theme looks like in different browsers.
Internet Explorer 8:
No difference… Point for you, ThemeFuse!
What I like about ThemeFuse
In a nutshell:
- Exceptional quality of the themes (many great features, pixel-perfect design, beginner friendly, highly customizable).
- Not expensive ($49 or $79 for all you’re getting is a bargain).
- Great customer support section (forums, FAQs, documentation).
- Quick and user-friendly checkout process.
- Simple, usable and straightforward design of ThemeFuse’s site itself.
What I don’t like about ThemeFuse
No serious problems here but I want to be honest so:
- The one click install feature (I just can’t see the value).
- Only 12 themes (come on guys, your themes are great and I want more of them).
- No themes for bloggers.
Overall impression: very good.
Let me tell you one thing about myself. I was never a fan of premium WordPress themes. I always thought that I can develop something myself, implement only the minimum set of features I need, make it run faster and be an overall better solution.
But then I stumbled upon WooThemes and thought that they provide some really interesting themes. So I tested out a couple of them and even joined their affiliate program (just to get some additional motivation to spread the word about them). But after doing this review on what ThemeFuse offers I must admit that this is how WordPress themes are meant to be. I finally see the real value of using premium WordPress themes. So from now on I’m no longer a WooThemes guy, I’m a ThemeFuse guy.
What do you think? Did you have any good or bad experience with ThemeFuse? Let me know, I want to keep this review as honest as possible.
Note from the editor: Please be aware that, while the author offers the most honest and open opinion of this site, both GDB and the author were compensated for writing and posting this review.