It’s not easy to look for the perfect theme for any WordPress site, but it’s doable if you’re searching for them in the right place.
And when it comes to places where you can find the best WordPress themes, StudioPress and ThemeForest are two popular choices. But how do they compare, and which of them can give you the best theme?
StudioPress is an ecosystem that revolves around Genesis Framework. Everything that you can get there is optimized for it, improving its functionality and flexibility.
ThemeForest is a marketplace where you can find thousands of themes with varying features from independent developers.
It can be confusing at first, but we’ll talk about everything you need to know about StudioPress and ThemeForest.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what they offer and which of these two can help you get the “perfect” theme for your site.
Let’s get started..
StudioPress vs ThemeForest: Introduction
StudioPress and ThemeForest may be recognizable for many WordPress users, but choosing between them isn’t always clear-cut.
In fact, it can be confusing for someone new to WordPress because both companies can provide you with a plethora of themes that you can use.
StudioPress has a unique approach in building WordPress sites because they have multiple themes and plugins that all revolve around one framework-Genesis.
This framework is the most popular way to future-proof a WordPress site and keep it secured from all updates without affecting your site’s design and functionality.
Inside StudioPress, users can purchase the framework, premium themes that run on the Genesis framework, and plugins that unlock various Genesis functionalities.
Aside from this, they can also pay an annual fee that gives them access to everything that StudioPress offers.
As mentioned, everything that you can get from StudioPress revolves around Genesis Framework.
So the best way to determine whether StudioPress can help you build your site is to understand Genesis Framework.
What Is Genesis Framework?
Genesis Framework is an open-source package that anyone can use with WordPress to have the necessary files that a fully functional site needs.
Once you have this framework installed, you can choose from a variety of premium themes (child themes) that you can use on top of it to inherit its functionality while giving you the flexibility to design your site the way you want it.
It’s important to have a parent theme like Genesis because it serves as a security for your site and ensures that you’re using a search-engine-optimized theme.
When WordPress releases an update, it can make a lot of themes and plugins obsolete because the designs are embedded within the code that works with the previous version.
So, when WordPress releases an update, users are often left with three options:
- Don’t update WordPress.
- Update WordPress and hope it works with your theme.
- If there’s an error, you can fix it on your own or wait for an update from the company.
Genesis Framework allows you to update WordPress without worrying about losing your site’s design or functionality.
The actual theme you have (child theme) only inherits Genesis Framework’s functionality-it keeps the design separate from the essential codes that make your site function.
Unlike StudioPress, ThemeForest provides users with a more streamlined way of choosing a WordPress theme.
It’s a marketplace where people can buy themes from independent developers and where you can find themes for other content management systems (CMS) like Drupal and Joomla.
The biggest advantage of using ThemeForest when looking for a WordPress theme is its competition for the developers to create the best theme possible.
It’s also easier to compare options side-by-side because you’re only searching for them in one place. Buyers can also rate the ones they purchased, which improves the way we search for themes.
Although it can provide you with the largest collection of themes that you can use for your site, all of these are sold, managed, and updated by independent developers.
Unlike StudioPress that has an ecosystem with tools that work together, ThemeForest only provides you with excellent themes that you can use, then pick the tools that may be compatible with it.
ThemeForest vs StudioPress: Availability & Compatibility
Design availability is an important factor that we need to consider. Unfortunately, StudioPress falls behind when it comes to the available designs that users can choose from-they only have 35 themes, while ThemeForest can provide you with thousands of options.
Aside from this, ThemeForest also has a better selection of theme functionalities that you can use. In fact, every theme you can find in ThemeForest is standalone and will work well independently.
On the other hand, StudioPress themes require the Genesis Framework, which may or may not be advantageous, depending on what you want to achieve for your site.
Finally, the options that you have for the tools that work with StudioPress themes may be limited.
Unlike the themes that you can get from ThemeForest that are more streamlined and compatible with even more plugins, the functionalities you can get from StudioPress are only limited to what works with Genesis.
StudioPress vs ThemeForest: Pricing
StudioPress and ThemeForest’s pricing may be a bit complicated because there are different options to get the themes you want. StudioPress allows you to pay for individual themes, including the Genesis Framework.
You can get one theme + framework package for only $100, but others with better features may cost you $130.
You can also pay for their membership, which costs $360 per year to access all the themes and plugins they have. Whether you get individual themes or the membership, you can use them on unlimited sites.
ThemeForest can also be complicated because the prices for these themes vary, starting at $19. Since these themes come from independent developers, there’s no definitive price range, and these are only for one site.
So, even though it’s easy to pick a theme for your site, then move on to the next project, it’s impossible to determine how much you’d spend on it until you found the one that you want to use.
If you’re only building one site, ThemeForest is the best place to find great themes without recurring costs. However, if you plan to build multiple sites for your business, StudioPress can help you save more with its unlimited license.
Final Thoughts on StudioPress vs ThemeForest
StudioPress and ThemeForest are two very different services, but both can provide you with the themes you need.
That’s why it can be daunting for newer WordPress users to choose between the two. So, to help you decide, here’s a summary of the best instances where you can get better value from either of them.
Why Is StudioPress Better for WordPress Users?
Genesis Framework is the most compelling reason why StudioPress is a better option for WordPress users.
If you think it can help you build better WordPress sites, investing in the StudioPress ecosystem is the best investment you can make.
Although the number of themes you can use will be limited, StudioPress made sure that they are flexible enough for most users, and you can use their themes to build almost every site.
Aside from this, here are other reasons why it’s a better choice for you:
- You want to build multiple websites, and you don’t want to pay for the theme every time you use one.
- You want the security, flexibility, and future-proofing that Genesis offers.
- Your clients want to have a simple interface that they are familiar with.
Why Is ThemeForest Better for WordPress Users?
Social proof is the strongest suit for ThemeForest because it’s a marketplace where you can find the reviews of other people who are actually using the theme you want to buy.
It takes out all the guesswork in finding the best theme for you. In fact, I know some people who skipped the “research part” of finding themes and just head straight to the reviews section to find actual user experiences.
The number of themes available and competition is also why independent developers are pushing the boundaries of what WordPress can do.
Aside from that, here are other reasons why ThemeForest is a better place to find WordPress themes:
- You want to keep the website building process streamlined and straightforward-pick the theme you want, pay for the license, then move on to the next project.
- You want the flexibility to choose any theme that you want without the constraints of a parent theme to build your site.
Conclusion: StudioPress vs ThemeForest
StudioPress and ThemeForest may have the best premium WordPress themes that you can use. Still, there’s a clear separation between users who should use StudioPress themes and those that will find better value from ThemeForest.
If you want to invest in an ecosystem that can provide you with all the themes and plugins you need to build multiple WordPress sites, StudioPress is, perhaps, the best company.
For users who want a more streamlined approach to building sites, ThemeForest can provide you with the best selection of themes that you can use.
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