The Rising Popularity of Free and Premium WordPress Themes

WordPress Themes
Free and premium website themes, featuring professional designs and a number of useful plugins, add a lot of value to open-source content management systems like WordPress; and the market is growing rapidly!
One particular premium theme directory worth mentioning is Envato, which sells a high number of premium WordPress templates priced between $20-100; some are even free!

Premium Themes

Collis Ta’eed, founder of Envato, said in a recent WP Candy article that “the fact that WordPress powers one-sixth of the web is astounding. It’s a testament to the versatility and durability of the platform.”
“On ThemeForest, one of the sites we run at Envato, we’ve seen first hand the run on effect of this market penetration,” said Ta’eed. “Although we sell themes for all kinds of products, WordPress has been thriving in a particularly spectacular way.”
Small business owners, individuals, large enterprises, and non-profit organizations prefer WordPress because it is affordable, easy to maintain, and equipped with a responsive mobile design.
Ta’eed estimates there are around 10,000-12,000 WordPress themes out on the web.
The large majority of these today are paid or premium themes.
Available Themes
Ta’eed said their themes could be categorized accordingly on the web:

  • Free theme directories: 2,500 themes
  • ThemeForest and other market places: 2,500 themes
  • Boutique theme shops and clubs: 2,000 themes
  • Template factory shops: 3,500 themes

The figures above show the increase of WordPress usage regardless of the niche. It remains one of the leading CMS and blogging platforms deployed on affordable hosting platforms!
“The theme landscape has grown about 50% in the last year,” said Ta’eed. “That means half of all WordPress themes out there were created in the last twelve months. At the moment I don’t see any signs of that growth rate slowing down. If anything, on ThemeForest, it’s been increasing.”
Ta’eed said the following categories of themes are fast becoming popular:

  • Responsive Themes
  • e-Commerce Themes
  • App Themes

“WordPress is used by 54.4% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 17.0% of all websites,” said W3 Techs in a recent report.
Premium themes also solve a number of technical challenges for small business owners who run WordPress websites on professional hosting platforms. This includes a new generation of high-definition screens, including the Mac Retina displays, which may require WordPress customization in order gain the full benefit of HD rendering technology.
“Apple’s new Retina Display is a topic of discussion among web designers and developers,” said blogging site, WPLift. “WordPress developers and designers have already started responding to this new technology by providing Retina Display ready themes and plugins to do that.”