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Last Updated on January 19, 2023
Building effective websites for coaches, creatives, bloggers + course creators is ALL about picking the right WordPress theme. Get my top 4 recommendations for the best WordPress themes, PLUS a helpful guide to help you pick a theme that can best support your online business needs.
Table of Contents
I’m generally tech agnostic — meaning, I don’t insist that there’s only one tech solution to a given problem, but rather that there might be multiple options depending on what’s right for you and your business. But I am a huge fan of WordPress.
I believe in WordPress so strongly as a key to having a successful online business that it’s the one time I break my tech-agnostic rule.
And I want to be super-duper clear about this: there is NO situation where I would recommend using Wix, Squarespace, or any other website platform to host your site. WordPress is such a powerful SEO tool, and if you care at all about organic traffic and being findable in Google, WordPress is the BEST option.
Websites for coaches, therapists, creatives, bloggers — really an online business of any kind — are all made WAY more effective with the use the WordPress.
You’ll also hear me talk a lot about how important it is to have a blog for your online business. And by “blog,” I mean any free content you offer on your site that is of real value to your ideal customer.
If you want some guidance on how to start your own blog, you can read about my 6 Easy Steps to Starting a Blog. You’ll see in that post that Step #5 is choosing a WordPress Theme.
And today we’re going to dig a little deeper into what exactly a WordPress theme is, what they offer, and what to look for so that you can build the most powerful, beautiful, authentic website for yourself.
Plus, I’ll give you my top 4 recommendations to help you narrow down the MOUNTAIN of choices you have when choosing the best WordPress theme for your online business.
A WordPress theme is a package of files (graphics, style sheets, and code) that dictates the overall appearance of your website. The theme you choose defines everything from your page layouts to your hyperlink colors. Some themes also come with built-in plug-ins and other functionality right out of the box.
Choosing the best WordPress theme for your online business will make building and maintaining your website easier and more efficient.
Before you dig into researching the best WordPress themes, take some time to brainstorm your business and make a list of criteria for your website. Answering these questions ahead of time will help you narrow down the top WordPress theme for you.
I will say this: your theme is NOT the place to skimp. The overall cost is not that much (we’re talking a couple hundred bucks max), so I don’t recommend going with a free theme thinking you’ll upgrade when you’re bringing in more money. You want a theme that can grow with your business. Go ahead and choose a premium theme for your website based on your criteria now, and your goals for your business over the next few years.
With some of those foundational issues addressed, let’s talk about actual themes. The number to choose from is pretty mind-boggling, but I have 4 great recommendations for resources that offer amazing themes to get you started.
I’m starting with my very favorite first! I love everything about this company. It’s built by women, for women. There are tons of themes, and they all have a clear, clean aesthetic — you can tell they were created by someone who understands design AND all their themes are optimized for SEO and core web vitals (they’re a performance-focused developer to optimize theme elements).
The founder of company is well-trained in coding and back-end tech stuff, so she understands function as well as form. The customer service is excellent (like blow you away with how much support they can offer you and questions they’ll answer!). They live their values.
Their themes are also super affordable and easy to customize and get up and running in a matter of hours (compared with some of the other options below, like Elementor). I can’t say enough good things about this company and the products they offer!
Elementor is the perfect option for someone who wants full control over every aspect of her site, but doesn’t know code (yet) or just wants a serious visual website builder. With this platform, you can easily build and design websites for coaches, bloggers, photographers, therapists, course creators — basically, if you can imagine it, you can build it with Elementor.
With its easy-to-use ‘drag and drop’ feature, it’s the most popular page builder for WordPress. And in addition to its many visual options, it has an extremely robust tech foundation. One of its best features is what it allows you to do with SEO: because the code that gets automatically output is high-quality and “clean,” Google tends to like it. When combined with an SEO plugin like RankMath, your website can really become an SEO powerhouse.
Every subscription comes with cloud hosting, but they make it hassle-free to transfer hosting anywhere you like. Security is solid, and customer service is attentive and knowledgable.
The main reason I recommend Restored316 over Elementor is because of the ease of use; while you’re not able to customize everything quite as much, sometimes less is more and keeping it simple is best, especially when you’re building your first website.
In the world of WordPress themes, there are “frameworks” — which are a kind of supertheme that everything else is built on. Genesis is one of the best, most powerful WordPress frameworks out there.
I like the analogy WPEngine uses: if WordPress is the engine of a car, the frameworks are like … well, the frame of the car: the structure, what keeps it strong and steady. For your website, this is the basic design, security, and SEO foundation. Then, what’s called the “child theme” is like the interior and exterior details of the car. For your website, this means all the layout details — setup, arrangement of elements, typography, palette, aesthetic.
So Studiopress offers the premium WordPress child themes that are specifically designed to work inside the Genesis framework. The result is a well-oiled machine: design is easy, the elements all work together well, the SEO is great, there’s tons of support, and the security is solid.
Like Elementor, Divi is a great choice for you if you don’t know a ton about web design or code, but you still want full control over your website.
Divi offers a visual, drag-and-drop style editor, similar to platforms like Squarespace or Wix, but with all the benefits of a WordPress website.
Along with over 2,000 pre-made website layouts, brand new layouts are added weekly. And Divi also comes with royalty free photos, icons, and illustrations.
As a bonus, Elegant Themes is one of the most trusted names in WordPress themes. They’ve been around for 14 years and offer great customer support.
There are currently around 31,000 WordPress themes available. (For anyone doing the math at home, that means it would take you almost 85 years to look at each one!)
As with any marketplace like this, the quality varies. Some themes are robust and amazing, and others won’t deliver. It’s definitely wise to pay attention to user reviews, and notice what comes up over and over again, both in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
You really can’t go wrong with any one of the choices above, and there are probably hundreds more that could work for you just fine. This is obviously not meant to be an exhaustive list, but it’s a place to start and can save you the headache of getting lost in the weeds of research and comparison.
If you are the type of person who likes to do your own research and see what else is out there, my advice is to set a limit on how much time you’re going to spend researching WordPress themes.
For example: decide to spend no more than 10 hours researching the best WordPress theme for your online business, and at the end of that 10 hours, you have to make a choice and decide that it’s going to be good enough. Often entrepreneurs can get hung up on trying to decide one thing, or waiting for perfect, and it can keep us from moving forward.
You’ll always hear me saying that what you choose now doesn’t have to be forever — and that includes picking a WordPress theme. Part of the amazing creative freedom of starting your own biz is that you get to make it your own. And that means choosing, testing, and adjusting as you go.
If you know you want to start your own biz, but you need help getting organized so you know which essential things to focus on first — I’ve got a FREE resource you’re going to love.
My First Month Biz Plan is a complete, step-by-step 30-day roadmap to start your online biz with ease. Stop wasting time + money trying to figure it all out yourself—we can help!
You can look at the questions and criteria above, but if all the tech boxes are checked, and you know it can do what you need it to — it’s okay to go with your gut. What speaks to you? Which design feels the most like you? When in doubt, go with Restored316. It’s easy and awesome!
You can spend literally years searching for the best WordPress themes … and you might choose one that doesn’t work out for one reason or another. The good news is that, while it can be a bit of a headache, it is totally possible to migrate from one theme to another. So don’t be afraid to switch!
Yes! One of the (many, many) reasons I love WordPress is that it is integrated with so many other types of platforms. For example, I use it with Kartra, and it works like a dream. So once you’ve chosen the best WordPress theme for your needs, you can be confident that it will “talk” to other tech systems you might want to use.
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.