Do you know, a theme does much more than just changing the look of your blog. A theme can even decide your success in your blogging career. Let’s find out the 10 Best WordPress Themes for bloggers & affiliate Marketers in 2021
Blogging is now a business. Many will disagree but that’s a fact. All business needs investment to grow. The same goes true with blogging. Buying a good theme is the best investment for your blogging career.
I started blogging in 2018 and I was in no mood to spend money on premium themes. My assumption was that themes are just to change the look of your website. That’s it.
I was horribly wrong. Themes do much more than just changing the look. When slowly I learned about SEO I discovered that themes play a big role in SEO.
Off late speed become a crucial factor in ranking. A good theme contributes broadly to the speed of a website. So having a fast and SEO-friendly theme is a must if you are serious about blogging.
What is a theme?
Like how the operating system acts as the backbone of your computer, a theme is the backbone of your website. Almost all the functions and features of your website are controlled by the theme.
Starting from styling and function, it dominates the way other plugin works. It also creates a platform for the plugin to communicate between your web browser and web server
A theme is a collection of templates, stylesheets, functions and they can be changed or added very easily from the WordPress dashboard.
Why do we need premium themes?
In this world, nothing comes for free. If you use a free WordPress theme and feel that you have done a great job, then you are wrong. All free themes come with their own set of limitations and issues. That’s why we should always choose a premium theme. Below are a set of reasons why you should consider a premium theme.
Clean and Standard coding
All premium theme usually comes with clean coding and follow the standards set by different regularities. Also due to the stiff completion, all theme vendors follow the best possible practice to differentiate their theme from others.
Security is a concern for free themes. Since it’s free, so no developer put effort to add security features in free themes. Premium themes have a different story as they have to have security features. Else no one will buy that theme.
SEO & Speed
This is one of the key reasons we should always choose a premium theme. No matter how good a free theme is but it can not match the SEO features of a premium theme. The same applies to the speed also.
Features to look for in a premium theme
Now that we have discovered that premium themes are the way to go, we have to have some criteria on how to choose a good premium theme. Premium theme market is overflowing and we need to decide the best based on certain criteria as mentioned below.
Lightweight and Fast
A lightweight and Fast theme is a key parameter for blogging success. A lightweight theme contributes to low bandwidth use. A fast theme decreases the bounce rate and thus helps in ranking.
Gone are those days when you can rank your articles without doing proper SEO. In 2020 you can not rank your blog without a good SEO-friendly theme. With Google coming up with many ranking factors, it is evident that a premium SEO-friendly theme is a must.
No wonder that more than 50% of traffic nowadays comes through mobile. A responsive theme squeezes the blog layout into a mobile screen which in turn helps in good user interaction. So choose a theme that has a responsive version.
Schema is very important for SEO. It’s for the search engine to understand what your post content is. Schema helps you to be in Feature Snippets and offers rich snippets in search results. Unfortunately only reputed vendors are offering schema-enabled themes.
AMP is the latest standard for Google to serve content on a mobile device at a lightning-fast speed. AMP framework removes all java scripts and other things which hinder the rendering of websites on mobile devices. Of course, it is not a must to have AMP, but it’s better to be future-ready with AMP enable themes.
Go for a theme that offers unlimited future updates. With WordPress getting updated every now and then, it’s a good choice to choose a theme that offers unlimited future updates. Don’t go for a theme that charges for future updates.
Now that we know why should we use a premium theme and what should we look into before buying a theme, let’s find out the 10 Best WordPress Themes For Bloggers And Affiliate Marketers In 2021
- Superfast. Loads in under half a second ( Clean Install)
- SEO Friendly and Schema enabled.
- Page builder friendly
- An excellent forum-based support
- The developer is a one-man army unlike a company
- Lacks many trending features
- Yearly renewal is mandatory for getting updates.
GeneratePress has a free version that is good to use if you want to explore its capabilities. But the free version is very basic. So you have to buy the Pro-Version to have a look and feature of a professional blog. The Pro version costs $ 59 for the first year. You need to renew every year to get updates and support. They offer a 40% renewal discount. They also offer a lifetime license for $249.
They offer a great discount during the black Friday sale. Watch this space for getting an exciting offer on GeneratePress
Astra has more than 100 pre-build starter sites, which you can simply copy and edit as per your requirement. So you can create a professional website with Astra in less than 30 minutes. The theme can be used with page builders like Thrive Architect or Elementor and in fact, Astra + Elementor is a brilliant combination to create an attractive and professional website.
- Feature-rich WordPress theme compared to other competitors
- Woo Commerce integrated to create an online store
- Loads in less than half a second with a clean install
- Page size is less than 50 KB with only WordPress installed
- SEO friendly and inbuilt schema
- Pricing is high compared to the competition.
- Support is a hit or miss sometimes
- A couple of Astra free plugins are not bug-free
Astra Pro Price
Astra Pro comes at a price tag of $ 59 for the first year with a renewal discount of 20%. Astra has yearly and lifetime plans. Lifetime purchase of Astra pro costs $249 one-time charge. Astra Pro comes with an unlimited website license in any plan
Astra offers up to 40% discount during Black Friday sale. Watch out this space for Astra Pro offers.
3. Academy Pro
Academy Pro is a very powerful theme built on Genesis Framework and powered by a Studio press theme. Genesis framework is known for the extreme level of security in their coding. It is well SEO optimized and loads very fast.
Usually, themes from Studio press are meant for the purpose rather than the looks, But Acamedy pro is really a well-designed and intuitive theme. Customizing the theme is a concern for many but if you know how to do that, no other theme can beat Academy pro.
- Academy Pro is built on Genesis Framework
- Extremely fast and lightweight
- SEO friendly and schema enabled
- Offers an extreme level of security
- One license for unlimited websites
- Not for newbie if you don’t know much about customization
- Feature and looks are a miss at the cost of solidity
- One time price is high
Academy Pro Price
You can buy the Academy pro theme with Genesis Framework at a one-time fee of $ 129. You can also buy their
4. Authority Pro
Authority Pro is one more brilliant theme from Studiopress. Super fast, lightweight and well SEO optimized. It is built on Genesis Framework and works out of the box. No need for any page builder as the theme is optimized for Gutenberg.
Since it is built on Genesis Framework, security is at its best in the Authority pro theme. Although you will notice that it is not the best-looking theme out there, if your preference is the functionality rather than the website’s looks, then this theme is for you.
- Built on Genesis Framework
- Class-leading security at its core
- Superfast and SEO friendly.
- No page builder needed.
- One license for unlimited websites
- Not intuitive compare to other premium themes
- Customization is a bit hard if you don’t know to code
- Support is in the grey zone
Authority Pro Price
The price of Authority pro with Genesis Framework is $ 129.95. It’s a one-time fee and the license can be used for unlimited websites. If you are running a web development business, you can try their Pro-Plus plan which offers all Studiopress theme at $499
No wonder, this is the most underrated theme for WordPress. You may not see this theme is ever mentioned by any blogger as one of the best WordPress themes. It was known for magazine/news style blog. But with Newspaper 10, you can create any type of blog with this theme.
It comes bundled with its own page builder called tagdiv composer, so no need to buy any other page builder. Extremely fast if you know how to optimize it.
The newspaper theme is optimized for AMP and comes packed with SEO features. If your monetization strategy is Google AdSense, then this theme is very good to get the best out of ads. Many themes use hooks to add Google Adsense codes, but Newspaper theme has inbuilt hooks to use those codes.
- The feature-rich theme for magazine /news blog
- Loads very fast if optimized properly
- Optimized for earning through Google AdSense
- AMP ready and optimized for SEO
- More than 100 sample website to build from
- The default TD Composer has tons of bugs
- Support team response is slow
- Can be used on One website per license
Newspaper Theme Price
Newspaper themes can be bought from Themeforest at $ 59. It can be updated for a lifetime without any extra charges. Ideally, it can be only used for one website per license but even if you use it for multiple websites, you won’t see any license error.
6. Schema ( My Theme Shop)
If you are looking for the best SEO-optimized theme then look no other than Schema Theme from My Theme Shop. Apart from being well SEO optimized, it is also very fast and packed with many useful features that a premium theme should have. Many users have even reported that Schema theme loads faster than Generatepress. Schema theme offers a free version called schema lite which you can try before making a purchase.
- Best SEO optimized theme
- Loads really fast
- Plenty of features
- Support is extremely good
- Very cheap compared to other premium themes
- Best suited for Magazine type of blogs
- Integrating with page builders in a problem
- Not as intuitive as other premium themes
Schema Theme Price
The price of schema theme is $35 for one site and one year of support. You can buy the theme for unlimited websites at $ 77. If you run a web development agency, you can buy their membership for $8.29 per month where you can enjoy all plugins and themes developed by Mythemeshop.
No wonder why OceanWP is very popular among new bloggers. It is one of the best and popular WordPress themes available. With support for page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, you can create any type of website with Ocean WP. It also supports woo commerce integration, so in case you want to venture into the eCommerce business, Ocean WP can be a choice. It has a free theme that you can try before you purchase the pro plan.
- The free version has plenty of features
- Seamless Woo-commerce integration
- Fast and SEO optimized
- supports third-party page builders
- License for a single website is cheap
- Lacks the fluidity of Astra and Generatepress
- Support is a painful affair
- The lifetime license is costly
Ocean WP costs $ 39 per year for single website use or you can pay $129 for 25 websites. The lifetime license fee is $ 159 for a single website and $ 519 for 25 websites.
8. Divi Theme
Divi is one of the most popular and widely used themes for WordPress. The theme comes packed with its own page builder called Divi Builder. It also packed with a social share plugin called Monarch and Bloom for conversion leads. Unlike Astra and Generatepress where you need to buy page builders and conversion lead plugins, Divi theme offers everything for the price of a theme. Though it does not load as fast as Astra and Generatepress, it is not bad either.
Divi has plenty of started sites that you can copy and modify as per your needs. Although Divi has a bad reputation for bad support and customizations are really tough, but it’s a good theme if you know a little bit of coding.
- Comes with its own page builder
- Feature-rich and SEO friendly
- All useful plugins are inbuilt
- Plenty of starter sites to copy from
- Loads comparatively fast if optimized
- Support is bad. Takes a couple of days to reply
- Customization is a real pain
- Out of the box, Divi loads very slow
Divi Theme Price
The price of Divi with all its modules is $ 89 per year and if you plan to buy a lifetime plan, it about $ 249. A single license can be used for unlimited websites. Divi also offer a 30 days trial, so if you are not happy you can back off from the plan
9. Rehub Theme ( For Affiliate Store)
If you plan to start an affiliate website, then the Rehub theme is one of the best themes out there in Themeforest. You can not only create an intuitive Amazon affiliate blog but you can create a price or product comparison blog using the Rehub theme. Rehub theme has many plugins like, Content Egg, Affiliate Egg which helps to create a professional and intuitive affiliate blog. If you want to see the capabilities of the Rehub theme, you can visit RiansDeal to get a fair idea.
To get the best out of the Rehub theme, you can use it with the Amazon Associate plugin and you will see the conversion rates growing high. Rehub theme loads very fast. It also comes with SEO features and Schema enabled.
- Best and Intuitive Affiliates theme
- SEO optimized and Schema built-in
- Loads super fast and clean coding
- Recommended by Amazon
- Plenty of useful plugins for free
- Customization is not easy for a newbie
- Not properly suited for many cache plugins
- Too many features may confuse you
Rehub Theme Price
The Rehub theme is available for $ 59 at Themeforest. You need to buy Content Egg and Affiliate Egg separately if you need to. Personally, I would recommend buying both plugins to create an amazing affiliate store.
10. Buddyboss Theme
Do you have a plan for creating a social networking group or forum using WordPress? If yes then this theme is for you. Plenty of features for creating social networking sites, forums, online courses, Online memberships, Subscription-based programs, and many more. BuddyBoss also supports creating an online store using WooCommerce. It can also integrate with learn dash which is useful for creating online training materials.
- You can create forums, social networking sites with ease
- Integrating with Woocommerce is a breeze
- Customized plans to suit your needs
- Prompt and helpful support
- Plenty of monetization options
- Customization is a bit tricky
- Not as fast as other themes
- All plans are super pricy with no lifetime license option
The starting price for Buddyboss is $228 per year which goes up to $ 8000 per year for a customized plan. The basic plan is for only one website and no renewal discount available.
Conclusion: Best WordPress Theme
Themes are the backbone of a blog. Don’t make compromises on choosing a theme. It’s a very difficult and painful task if you decide to choose a different theme after your blog is running for a couple of years. So choosing a theme is to be the first time best.
There is nothing called the best theme for WordPress. Every theme has its positives and negatives and choosing the best theme is as per your requirement. However, you have to look for certain basic and essential features before choosing a theme. Try to choose a theme that offers a lifetime license for unlimited websites because that saves a lot of money if you want to launch many micro niche blogs.
Out of all those 10 themes, my pick would be either GeneratePress or Astra if I plan to run a blog. If you know to code, then Academy Pro is a great choice. For a news website, I would suggest blindly go for a Newspaper theme. If your plan is to run an affiliate website, then the Rehub theme is the best.
That’s all I have in my bucket for this article. Did I miss anything? Pen down in the comment section with the name of the theme and I will be happy to include that in the list.