Want to feel like you’re growing money on trees?
To make this dream a reality, you’ll want a website that’s designed to make money.
And you can’t look past AppThemes when it comes time to choose that money-making theme.
The team behind AppThemes are design and development pros who are great at what they do and know their place in the market, and they’ve perfected their business model to target that.
But for the most part, before I get into my detailed AppThemes review, all you really need to know is this: If you want your business to make money online, you need to start with a website that emphasizes profit generation with a range of seamlessly integrated monetization options.
And that’s where AppThemes truly shines.
A Quick Intro to the AppThemes Shop
AppThemes was founded in 2010 with the primary goal of building high-quality, affordable and easy-to-use WordPress solutions for businesses of all sizes. Their focus has been on producing commercial sites and online businesses (rather than personal websites, blogs, etc.) right from the start, and they’ve never strayed from this core purpose.
Their themes are all super-light, clean and professional, and they’re built with specific industry niches in mind (such as classified ads, job boards and directories). But the designs are simple and visually appealing, and they could easily be used for any type of business that wants to make money online. As a result of this target audience, monetization is a big focus for AppThemes and all their products are designed around features to generate revenue.
AppThemes HQ is in San Francisco, California, but the team is spread out all around the world to provide products and support in over two dozen languages and every timezone.
With more than 100,000 theme downloads and 48,000 users to date, AppThemes is a standout WordPress theme shop that’s trusted and relied on by many online businesses—and their themes are certainly worth considering for yours, too.
AppThemes Review: Instantly Monetize Your Site with Premium WordPress Themes
Notable AppThemes Features That Businesses Love
There’s a range of features offered by AppThemes that make the theme shop and their themes a great fit for a wide range of businesses.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly (because how good could a theme shop possibly be if the themes themselves aren’t built well?), is the solid, intelligent coding behind the themes. AppThemes pride themselves on their developers—some of the best in the industry—and the knowledge and experience that they bring to their work. As a result, the WordPress themes they offer are well-coded, clean and reliable enough to be used with confidence by even the most inexperienced of website owners.
Built for Business
The big selling point for AppThemes is that their themes are profit-focused and developed for commercial use. Successfully monetizing your website to maximize return comes down to implementing a diverse range of profit strategies such as native content production, e-commerce, subscriptions and so on.
With AppThemes, monetizing your website is a key focus and their themes come complete with a range of options for you to make money including membership platforms, a variety of payment options and more.
Another big factor in today’s digital environment, SEO is vital to your website’s overall success online. Making your website rank as highly as possible in the organic search results has a direct influence on your visibility, traffic and, ultimately, your conversions and sales.
AppThemes develops SEO-friendly WordPress themes that integrate seamlessly with important SEO and social media plugins to improve your online performance, and all of the themes can be customized in both the frontend and backend so that more tech-savvy business owners can optimize every inch of their websites.
Updates and Active Support
AppThemes offers complimentary product updates for the first 12 months to keep your website free of bugs and other issues, and to keep it running smoothly. You’ll also automatically get any new features that are added in that time, and you can renew your subscription annually to keep your site up to date.
Comprehensive support is available from the theme shop in the form of documentation, product support forums, language packs (to install a variety of languages and make your website accessible worldwide) and answers to frequently asked questions.
Beyond that, the AppThemes support team is available on the forums every day during regular business hours, and their unique “follow the sun” technique makes them accessible to their global customer base during those same hours in every time zone.
Extended Product Range
Aside from the theme range (which I’ll look at in more detail below), AppThemes also has a great add-on marketplace which gives you access to hundreds of premium plugins, child themes and other add-ons from trusted third party developers.
This is an especially nice touch considering their somewhat limited range of themes. Anything from their marketplace can be used with any one of their themes to boost the functionality of your website and give it the edge it needs to stand out from the competition.
Despite its premium label, AppThemes prides itself on developing themes that are easy to set up and use by every business of every size. Don’t fret if you have limited tech skills.
Their offerings are strong enough on their own to give you a solid, attractive website without changing a single setting, while the more digitally-savvy business owners can tweak the backend—and even build supported child themes—to customize their websites down to the last detail.
The Appetizing AppThemes Theme Range
AppThemes have six premium themes currently available to use.
And one quick note: While each of the themes below is primarily designed for a specific commercial niche, they’re all still flexible enough to be customized to just about any type of online business.
This is a feature-rich theme designed for selling classified ads. It lets you work with a number of tailored features including an intuitive and easy-to-use custom fields and forms builder, personalized ad management for your customers, three different pricing models and customizable membership packs that work for your business.
It doesn’t just stop there, either (I said it was feature-rich!). ClassiPress also offers dozens of other ways to improve your website such as a real-time auto-correct search function, smooth social media integration, visitor stats for your listings and a nice-looking blog for full content control.
This one is a directory theme that’s beautifully simple and simply beautiful. It’s easy to use for both you and your customers and has a really clean, elegant and professional design that puts across a very confident image.
Main features include a solid user dashboard to give your customers control over their listings, a location and keyword search function that’s accurate to the exact pinpoint, and a range of ways to generate income including multiple pricing plans across different categories and featured listings.
Vantage has a lot to like about it, all wrapped up in a neat, well-coded package. It can help you reach profit targets and attract new leads by giving your customers greater flexibility and control.
Clipper is a coupon theme with features galore. On top of its easy-to-navigate design, its focus is on monetizing your traffic by letting you set up multiple coupon shops, charge for listings and take advantage of affiliate referrals and advertising.
It can help you maintain regular customer communication with custom email templates and a dedicated blog, tailor your customers’ browsing experience with automated shop and category pages, and track important metrics so you can always identify ways to keep improving.
If you couldn’t guess from the name, JobRoller is a job board theme that lets you build a full-service recruitment portal for employers, recruiters and job seekers alike. You can create an unlimited number of job types (on top of the five that come pre-installed), build a resume database and utilize built-in job applications for an extremely smooth and seamless user experience.
This theme also keeps track of all your job listing sales with real-time transaction logging and PayPal integration, making it much easier for you to organize payment records and stay on top of every sale.
Get on board with the sharing economy and build a micro jobs website with Taskerr that connects people looking for a specific service with people offering that service. This theme is perfectly designed to build a community with comprehensive service listings, reviews and comments to generate trust, easy-to-use user dashboards and open communication channels.
I really like the concept behind this whole theme. With the peer-to-peer business model proven so successful in recent years, Taskerr gives you the opportunity to connect the right people while generating a passive income through things like fixed price plans and featured listings.
The last theme in the current AppThemes range is a freelance marketplace theme that matches employers and their projects with freelancers willing to do the job, similar to the way Taskerr works. HireBee is secure and easy to use, offering a ton of features to streamline the job matching process for users while making sure all the right terms are met and both parties are protected in each transaction.
It’s a flexible theme with a clean, modern design, acting as the perfect platform for a crowdsourced and community-minded project matching service.
An Overview of AppThemes Pricing
AppThemes offers two pricing levels:
- A single theme, standard subscription for $69.
- A club subscription which gives you access to every theme in their range plus 20+ marketplace items for $199.
Both subscriptions come with 12 months of complimentary updates and support, and a lifetime license for your theme(s), which means that you can continue to use them regardless of whether you renew your subscription or not.
To keep getting product support and updates, you’ll need to renew your subscription annually for $29 per theme, per year (standard) or $79 per year (club).
There are a few significant things that I really like about AppThemes (other than the main features listed above).
For one thing, it’s a comparatively small theme shop, with typically just a handful of themes available at any one time.
This is especially noticeable when compared to other big-name shops in the market such as Elegant Themes (which currently offers 80+ themes) and ThemeForest (with thousands available)—even more than ThemeIsle and Themify, which only offer a few dozen options.
Where AppThemes really holds its own is that the team has strategically chosen to deliver a small number of quality themes rather than a large range of themes that (inevitably) vary in quality.
It also supports independent, third party developers with opportunities to sell their plugins, child themes and other products in their marketplace. This actually works out to be quite mutually beneficial, enabling new or self-funded developers to showcase their products to a wider audience than they could reach on their own, while also extending the range of products AppThemes can offer to their own customers.
Another thing I really like about this WordPress theme shop is its commitment to its target audience. As I mentioned earlier, they went with a commercial focus right from the start with their premium-only themes and higher price bracket. They knew who they were building their themes for, and they didn’t compromise—and they haven’t ever since.
As a result, AppThemes products are great for business because that’s exactly what they were designed for.
While AppThemes certainly offers plenty of advantages, there are still a few aspects to the shop and their themes that I’m not really a fan of.
For one thing (and what I find the most disappointing), is that they don’t offer free versions or trials of any of their themes. This means that the only way to access a theme you like is to cough up the subscription fee. Even then, with no way to try it out before you buy, there’s no guarantee that it’ll give you exactly want you need (and all sales are final with no refunds).
With that said, you can play around with the live demo of any theme before you purchase. But it’s still not quite the same as getting your hands on a version that you can apply all of your changes to and see how it handles. This is the way a shop like ThemeIsle operates, offering up a free version of almost every premium theme in their range.
And while I get that AppThemes’ target audience is one specifically looking for a premium theme and willing to pay for it, they could be winning over a lot more customers by giving away just a little something for free.
The themes are also quite advanced in terms of coding and development. While not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that inexperienced website owners will have more limited customization options without a solid understanding of programming and code. It is possible to customize your theme’s design and add more complex features, but this isn’t covered under their product support package, so you’ll need to have a good idea of what you’re doing if you don’t want to run into any roadblocks.
And the final thing I’ll mention here isn’t really a major drawback, but just more of an inconvenience for users in certain countries. AppThemes accepts only two payment options, PayPal and Google Wallet, which means that if you live in a region where these payment gateways aren’t supported, the only way you can make a purchase is through someone else in a supported country.
Summary and Recommendations
AppThemes is, overall, a really solid WordPress theme shop that offers a nice range of high-quality, professional themes. For online businesses that want to take advantage of their diverse portfolio of built-in monetization features and easy-to-use designs—and are willing to pay for it—there’s definitely the potential for a lot of money to be made.
But if you’re just starting out, and maybe don’t have a lot of money to spend, then AppThemes products probably aren’t right for you just yet. You’d be better off starting with a free theme and scaling your website to suit your business as you grow—you can opt for one of their premium themes after you’re making a profit.
Just remember, though, that even the most profit-centric website design doesn’t take the place of a well-rounded marketing strategy and business plan! You need a strategic combination of all of the above to really make a successful online business.
All in all, I really like the range of themes that AppThemes offers, and if I was in a position where I needed their level of quality and professional image for a profitable business, I would very happily use one of them.