Website: www.elegantthemes.comElegant Themes
Owner/Head Designer: Nick Roach

Origin: USA

Pricing structure: 3 levels to choose from:
1. $39 per year “Personal”
2. $89 per year “Developer”
3. $249 one-time “Lifetime” membership

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced online marketers
Overall Rank: 75 out of 100

Professional webmasters often buy “Premium” themes such as these to create unique and beautiful websites.

Premium themes will have more features and options than the free ones and usually come with customer support and technical help.

Free themes can be limiting in their functionality and rarely have customer support.

Product Overview

Elegant themes is a paid theme service that provides a webmaster with an ever growing list of modern templates on which to build their websites. There are thousands of paid themes available from many sources, Elegant Themes is only one of many.

My experience with ET

I joined Elegant Themes in November of 2012, they came highly recommended by a respected collegue of mine. What I realized very quickly when I got in to the members area, was that I really was still very new to the technical side of website building.

The sad part was that after I joined, I was told that Elegant Themes were simplified! I found out that I had A LOT to learn.

I didn’t understand any of it and wasted many days and a few hundred hours being frustrated trying to put one of their themes together. I gave up.

I closed it and didn’t look at it again for almost a year, until September/October 2013.  I wasn’t planning to renew my yearly membership because of the experience I had at the beginning.

I went into my dashboard and in to the members area to figure out how to cancel my membership and to my surprise I understood a lot more about the themes than I did one year before.

So I started trying again to apply these themes to my websites. This time it worked, I understood a lot more. I recommend always trying again! 

Elegant Themes Members Area

Among many things, I finally understood that “ICON” meant that I needed to have the url of the thumbnail image entered in a very specific custom field in order for it to show up.

I don’t know how long it took me to figure that out. Then when I did it was distorted, it still was frustrating but not nearly as bad.

I found using the ET site itself was frustrating because as I would navigate through their site to the information that I wanted it would repeatedly log me out and on other days it would let me into the the members area without signing in.

I felt that I couldn’t count on the site.

The Pros

Pro #1 – Very nice, modern looking themes, frequently updated
Pro #2 – Good support service and huge help forum
Pro #3 – New themes and updates are frequently added
Pro #4 – They have a “custom CSS” field where you can enter snippets of CSS code to make site changes without breaking the theme

Pro #5 – There are additional plugins provided that add extra functions. “Handheld” is one example that makes the themes view properly on mobile devices.
Pro #6 – The theme demos are really good
Pro #7 – ET members receive a 25% discount at HostGator
Pro #8 – The support team answers tickets quickly

The Cons

Con #1 – The dashboard and control panel can be intimidating for someone new to website building
Con #2 – It requires the creating of tiny image logos for icons on mobile applications (fussy and unlike other themes)

Con #3 – Visual parts of the theme builder use language that a new person wouldn’t be familiar with (ie. custom fields and making logos)

Con #4 – The “Read Me” files are all very similar, cryptic and can be vague and without much guidance
Con #5 – The support forum is huge but time consuming to find answers in
Con #6 – The logo sizes and other exact dimensions are difficult to find and not provided with each theme, which would be very helpful

Support forum search function leaves a lot to be desired. It will sometimes skip between themes without you knowing it.

You may end up finding a piece of CSS that was meant for a different theme, but if you don’t notice and put it into a different theme, you’ll think you’ve done something wrong with the code when it doesn’t work.

I found working with images and sizing them to be very fussy and almost impossible to find the required dimensions of each one to make them look clear and not distorted.

I put my recent Christmas present to good use, the Corel PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate program has been a savior in resizing the images for the Elegant Themes and well as all my other site themes.
There is an X6 out now, but I’m happy with the X5.

Elegant Themes Dashboard

This product is marketed to and intended for all those who are building websites at an intermediate level.

I personally would only recommend Elegant Themes to someone who has been doing website building for several months already. It’ll make the dashboard of ET seem much less confusing and overwhelming.

Please note that I started out with not one single shred of website building ability so it was a long learning curve for me.

However, if you are a fast learner or technically inclined already then you may very well have an easier time than I did.

ET Tools & Training

There is an extensive help forum for every theme and plugin they offer. The search field can be good if you type in the right thing. If you have hours and hours to dig through the questions from other users, you will find some useful information.

I began to feel like my life was ticking away faster than I could find answers in the forum.

Theme Support

Inside the Elegant themes support forum, the help desk staff very responsive and helpful with customer inquiries for assistance. 

Elegant Themes Quick Recap

Website: www.elegantthemes.comElegant Themes
Owner/Designer: Nick Roach
Origin: USA
Pricing structure: 3 levels to choose from:
1. $39 per year “Personal”
2. $89 per year “Developer”
3. $249 one-time “Lifetime” membership

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced online marketers
Overall Rank: 90 out of 100

My Final Verdict

After many thousands of hours I can confidently say that ET’s is a good investment if you stick with it and learn the way those particular themes function.

They are all very similar in the way they are pieced together behind the scenes but they all end up looking much different when published.

I personally have two websites published using the these two Elegant themes “Notebook” and “Trim”. I’m happy with them and plan to keep them but it took me a very long time to make them look right.

They were definitely earned with a lot of hours of effort. 

Backyard Food Growing used Trim at this point, it no longer does but the image still serves as a good example of a home gardening website.

Backyard Food Growing Homepage
Gift Ideas for Gardeners used Notebook at the time, it no longer does but this image still serves as an example of how to set up an Elegant theme.

Gift Ideas for Gardeners - Jewelry Page

Elegant themes is an excellent investment if you are going to be making more than one website or are embarking on a new career as a website builder.

The themes are very nice looking with many choices to suit all different niche market websites.

I do recommend Elegant Themes but it’s a steep learning curve so allow yourself time to learn how to use them. They function differently than most other themes.

Do you use Elegant Themes? What has been your experience, do you like the themes or not? Leave a comment below.

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