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You have a new blog that you would like to start and you look at your options. After considering all the ways you could go, you opt for the WordPress CMS. All things considered, it is indeed a solid choice for quickly setting up a new blog that you would like to maintain for a long term. 

After all, it powers more than 30% of all the websites in the World. 

So you get your hosting sorted, your domain name and SSL in place and a vanilla WordPress installed and ready. 

Now, if you are a WordPress Developer or a WordPress Development Company, you probably can just spin up your own slick custom theme and start your website that is easy to navigate, is super fast and is secure. 

But not everyone has that kind of time or resources to devote to setting up a website. So you decide to go the mid route, i.e., Premium WordPress Themes. 

Congratulations, and let the turmoil begin. 

Finding The “Best” WordPress Themes Using Google

So naturally, you go jump on to Google, and type in “Best WordPress Themes”. Google welcomes you with a featured snippet from colorlib that looks something like the image below:

Featured Snippet on Google Search for “Best WordPress Themes”

Really?

All right. The search results could fool you if you haven’t had a chance to try and test out various themes, page builders and their performance, SEO-Wise and Speed-Wise.

But they don’t fool me amigo. I personally have tried and tested more than 270 premium themes in the past 4 years and I can see that the list was compiled for just these two reasons:

  1. Making money from affiliate theme sales
  2. Dominating the search results by generating backlinks like it’s the year 2080

Let me give you a quick overview of what the featured snippet features (Wohow, slow down, Purushottam).

The top of the list is Shapely, oh and they mention that it is the most popular! The theme must be really good, eh? Well then let us checkout the demo. I am not going to even link it here. 

Notice the “Theme by Colorlib Powered by WordPress”? This links back to colorlib.com and helps it retain the dominant position on SERPs.

Just a look at this theme and I would put it in the Trash and empty it right away. Why?

  1. It looks like it was designed by a 15 year old
  2. Look at all the bloat the theme loads:

Moving on, the second on the list is Divi. If I had a dollar for each time a client asked me to move their website from Divi to another, better, bloat-free or custom theme, I would be 3655 dollars richer. Of course, we aren’t getting a dollar every time someone asks, but every time someone Really needs to move away from the theme.

The Divi theme is completely built on shortcodes. Which means the moment you disable the theme and install another, your website will be infested with things that look like this: [ shortcode name here ]. This is a menace to cure. Most of the website pages have to be manually recreated. It costs more than $10000 if you ask us, depending on the size of the website. 

So definitely not the deserving candidate for a best themes list. It’s just there because Divi has an affiliate programme and whoever gets a sale through their link earns a commission. 

Backlinks = Money

I could go on, but let’s stop here, every theme on the list is flawed in some way or the other. Because the list’s goal is not to help you. 

And I am sounding rather negative, but I really think this strategy is rather genius. Don’t you? 

I am just irked because it has become progressively difficult to find themes using search.

Let’s have a look at the ahrefs metrics for colorlib.com, just to have a look at their growth:

And the backlink growth over time.

Backlinks over time for colorlib.com

That is Massive, to say the least, they are generating backlinks by the minute and thousands of them! Let’s also have a quick look at their organic search traffic:

Organic Traffic Overview for colorlib.com

Look at that! That is insane!

So basically, if you try to find the best theme you are either being pushed an affiliate product or are helping the list makers by installing their theme on your website and helping them stay on the first page!

Conclusion

Anyway, this is a first post of hopefully many more to come as I come across things that I find interesting. 

👉 If you liked it, join our newsletter or if you need to discuss your next website project, you can book a free discovery session here.

For a blog, my favorite is Kutak on themeforest. Why? It’s faster than Generatepress and Astra and looks stunning right out the box.

If I had a dollar every time someone told me about the one “Fastest” WordPress Theme they found. Let’s leave that for another time 😂

👉 Oh, and would you mind dropping your favorite theme in the comments?

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