Affordable but still undeniably gorgeous blog themes — do they exist?
The months leading up to my blog relaunch are quite fresh in my mind. I can still recall the exhaustion I felt as I searched high and low for a new theme that suited my needs and was well within my tiny budget.
On average, beautifully designed premium themes can cost from $60 to $90. That is a huge investment to make! Especially if your blog is less of a business and more of a sideline passion project. And I think that’s the case for many of us. We’re just here to express ourselves creatively and to share our thoughts in an online space — that’s hopefully pretty, modern, and easy on the eyes.
Another source of frustration is that some design shops can be very misleading. For instance, the first premium theme I bought cost me well over $65, and later on, I discovered that I had to pay a renewal fee of the same amount every year. I triple-checked, and it was not mentioned on the website. Like, at all. It felt like a punch to the gut and to my already weathered wallet. Thankfully, I managed to get a refund with PayPal’s assistance. But it has definitely made me warier of purchasing premium themes.
So, to answer my own question: yes, affordable but still undeniably gorgeous blog themes exist. They’re just trickier to find. Especially when you have your sights set on a theme that’s specifically designed for personal blogging.
Where can you buy affordable themes for your personal blog?
In design shops that you can trust! In fact, I’ve done a fair bit of research prior to my relaunch, and I’ve found a lot of hidden gems where you can get beautiful, clean themes for a very fair and very cheap price. Yay!
I tried to compile a list that features a diverse range of themes and layouts since we all have different preferences and aesthetic goals. But of course, personal judgment is difficult to completely erase from the conversation. I tend to prefer blog themes that are feminine, minimalist, and versatile. In addition, different bloggers have different budgets. What I find affordable might be too pricey for someone else. So, do keep those in mind!
In putting this list together, I set the following criteria:
- Price range within $10 to $35 (USD)
- Responsive web design
- One-time payment only
- Designed specifically for personal blogging
Before I begin, kindly take note that you can only use premium themes if you have upgraded to a paid WordPress plan or if your blog is self-hosted. Personally, I get my hosting from SiteGround [affiliate], which offers fairly affordable rates.
- Where can you buy affordable themes for your personal blog?
- What is the best design shop for affordable blog themes?
- Where else can you buy affordable WordPress themes?
What is the best design shop for affordable blog themes?
Among all the design shops that caught my eye, my biggest favorite is Studio Mommy [affiliate]. And I’m not just saying that to earn a small commission! In fact, Shut up, Shealea is currently using one of their themes, which only cost me 10 measly bucks. It’s certainly one of my smarter blogging investments.
Studio Mommy offers premium themes and blog themes that are classy, modern, and very easy to customize. On top of great support, they also provide tailored document guides to assist you in designing and customizing the theme you purchased. If you don’t feel like doing all the labor yourself, then you can avail of their installation service.
Price range: $10 to $28
Where else can you buy affordable WordPress themes?
1. Bella Creative
I love the quiet elegance of simple themes with plenty of white spaces — and that’s a consistent quality of all the WordPress themes from Bella Creative.
While their themes are perfect for fashion and lifestyle content, I think that they’re great for just about anything! Additionally, Bella Creative also offers an installation service.
2. Blog Pixie
Blog Pixie describes itself as “your go-to creative blogging, branding, and business website with everything you need to create the online space of your dreams.” Its design shop offers a variety of affordable blog themes — WordPress themes and Blogger templates at very low prices.
All their layouts have a soft, pastel aesthetic that’s very pleasant to the eyes. In other words, Blog Pixie’s style is unapologetically feminine, and it shows quite nicely in each of their design.
3. Eclair Designs
Eclair Designs creates feminine WordPress themes with love. It has an entire portfolio dedicated to clean minimalist themes, which provide a casual blogger’s essentials. This shop’s theme installation service doesn’t cost a lot.
All their layouts have this classic, timeless look to them that I just adore! Rainy is a theme that my eyes were immediately drawn to, and it’s my favorite one from this shop.
Elmastudio is a great shop if you’re looking for a simple, professional layout that highlights your photography. In addition, if you want your blog to somewhat resemble a digital magazine, then you’ll probably find something here.
5. Small Shop
Unlike most of the shops on this list, Small Shop is relatively new. Currently, it’s only based in Etsy and it has a limited number of WordPress themes to select from.
Their designs are feminine, high-fashion, and refreshing. Great if you like sharing your photos!
KateNdesigns is another Etsy-based design shop that is focused on responsive Blogger templates. Its inventory is diverse, ranging from classy designs with neutral tones (like Clara) to bolder and louder layouts (like Danna). Moreover, everything is offered at an extremely cheap price!
7. Little Theme Shop
Little Theme Shop is a design company that hates the dull, the dreary, and the boring. True enough, all their WordPress themes are loud, vibrant, and fun!
Admittedly, among all the shops featured in this post, Little Theme Shop falls under the more expensive end. But I do think that their themes are worth your while.
8. Lucid Themes
The majority of items in Lucid Themes are relatively expensive. Especially when compared to the other shops on this list. However, their prices are still slightly below the usual cost of premium themes.
Nonetheless, Lucid Themes does have a couple of beautiful WordPress themes that are much more affordable. For instance, Spirit would be perfect for a travel and lifestyle blog.
SkyandStars is a recent favorite of mine, and if I wasn’t totally in love with my blog’s current look, I’d be tempted to purchase another one from them.
It’s definitely an excellent source of affordable blog themes. Specifically, their portfolio consists of WordPress themes and Blogger templates. There’s a lot of pastel, simplicity, and elegance in their layouts. Too beautiful for my life!
SoleilflareDesigns is a fairly popular Etsy-based design shop. They mostly dabble in Blogger templates, with only a few WordPress themes. Nonetheless, they’re all fairly affordable.
Their designs are chic, light, and simple. They’re great for showing off photos and more visual aesthetics.
11. Studio Gem
Studio Gem is another fantastic shop for affordable, feminine WordPress themes.
Despite being feminine, I think that their designs are very versatile. Especially for lifestyle content. Moreover, they’re very modern and minimalist. Plus, lots of white space to play with!
12. Underline Designs
Underline Designs is a shop that offers reasonably priced Blogger templates and WordPress themes. Specifically, most of their shop items fall within the range of $20 to $25.
Their designs range from minimalist themes to layouts with bolder color palettes. Moreover, they’re incredibly customizable with numerous creative options.
13. Wild Honey Studio
Wild Honey Studio doesn’t have a wide inventory of WordPress themes. But I do like their available designs. Although their themes are still feminine, the autumn vibes and vintage feels are strong.
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I’d love to hear from you:
? Are you also a blogger on a tight budget?
? Do you settle for free blog themes, or have you invested in a premium theme? Have you tried canvassing for more affordable blog themes?
? How important are blog aesthetics to you as a blogger and as a reader of blogs? What qualities or design elements do you look for in a good blog theme?