Finding a decent theme for your WordPress website is often much more difficult than writing decent content for it! There are literally thousands of themes out there, from downright awful, to exceedingly good, both free and premium. One of the rages to hit the WordPress theme industry in recent years are Theme Clubs, where you subscribe for a year and get access to all that theme foundry’s selection of themes. Often this selection number in the dozens, sometimes as up to the hundred mark. As such you get extremely good value for money because often the price of the membership is equivalent to purchasing just one theme. Tesla Themes follows this business model. In fact you are better off buying their subscription even if you only want one theme as it is only $10 more expensive which is a bargain. They are a small foundry, with only 18 themes at the time of writing, but honestly that’s not a bad thing.
Ease of use
The main thing I look for in a theme is ease of use. I don’t want to have to spend 3 hours deciphering the different options just to find out how to change the background colour. The Tesla themes I reviewed are certainly easy to get set up. They have limited the options to the main things that most people want to change: header, background, favicon, etc. Leaving out the minutiae really helps get things going quickly, you won’t be spending a ton of time fiddling with options. If you are not good with CSS, then this might be a deterrent though, because you won’t be able to change the H2 text size and colour via an option. If you have a little bit of CSS knowledge you are good to go.
Eye of the beholder
- Blog style themes
- Portfolio themes
- Business/creative themes
- A medical niche theme
- A wedding theme
There is certainly enough of a choice for most people. The all-important responsive designs are there as well, in every theme which is excellent!
Each theme provides several different post types that can be used, such as Portfolio, Events, etc. Now I am not a fan of themes providing custom post types and when they do I refuse to use them, I simply don’t want my content tied to a theme. However your opinion may differ and having the post types certainly expands the functionality of the themes. They do tend to have some functional value within each theme though, such as the rather nifty grid Portfolio post type in the Revoke theme, which if used with the right images would look awesome.
The Themes each come with online and offline documentation that is quite detailed and even runs though how to set up WordPress. It provides a full overview of each theme including a decent amount of annotated images which is always handy when you are trying to find a particular option. Support itself is handled via a forum and most support requests seem to be responded to within 24 hours but it could be longer. It is far from the worst response time I have ever seen, but one would hope they speed it up as they grow.
Nothing is perfect
I found some issues within the themes I tested, nothing to stop them from being functional. In fact it was only minor stuff in the admin area, but they take a shine off. Firstly, the Post Types categories are all called Categories, which makes it really annoying to find the right one at a glance. There was also some polish lost due to the themes not being read for the new admin themes in WordPress 3.8. Honestly though, that’s the worst I can find, and it is most definitely not a deal breaker.
Tesla Themes looks like an upcoming theme foundry, with plenty of great styles and a smooth looking options area that could be easily expanded on if they get enough demand. The feature set is decent, with a variety of post types, but not overwhelming. Support looks OK, it could be improved in my humble opinion, but they respond quite quickly and are helpful when they do. For the price of $45 a year, Tesla Themes are a bargain and well worth looking into.