Reliable Wordpress Theme Marketplaces & advice?

I’m not a web designer. I have some working knowledge but it is typically out of my wheelhouse. I have two friends that are asking me to help them rebrand their sites through WordPress and I’m having some trouble with the entire process which lead me to look into templates on the marketplace that may offer support, plug ins, and installation. I’m also reading more and more about Elementor’s drag and drop features.

Keep in mind that I am redesigning the logo, color palette, and taking/editing the photography in addition to designing a new website for pennies as this is mostly a favor. I’m just not making enough money to go through the frustration of learning how to completely design a website from scratch and am looking for something that is super user friendly but also won’t restrict me as a designer in the case that I want to do further edits that require coding, etc.

Here is the website that my friend likes but the reviews for Template Monster are atrocious. The company is also saying that I need to pay $269 on top of $75 for the website to convert from a cherry framework to Elementor before using - they were the ones that told me about Elementor. I would happily cut into my profit to cover this but the reviews are so terrible I’m afraid I’ll wind up with a site I can’t use. After looking online for other reliable marketplaces, just about every single one suggested in a blog got equally bad reviews on sitejabber. I’m just getting more confused by the minute on what I need and where to go that can help expedite the entire rebranding process for me with way less headaches than having to figure it all out.

I’m also a little sad that I can’t find the below theme without having to go through template monster as my friend was really drawn to that particular theme.

Any advice for me as a total amateur with web design?

Tell the client (or friend or whoever) that you’re happy to do the logo, color palette, and photography but the website isn’t in your wheelhouse.

My hunch is that if you take it on, you are gong to be spending way the heck more time on it than you bargained for. When I got started with WordPress, one of the biggest hangups was that templates aren’t quite as straight forward as you think they’d be. Template designers show you a gorgeous built out example of what can be achieved. When you install a template and activate it, the site doesn’t look anything at all like the screen captures. You have to plug in content (you can get dummy content to use as a starting point), set up pages, assign page templates, etc., etc., etc.

Add on to that typical scope creep (which is way worse on web projects than it is on print projects) and the fact that you’re going to need a good working knowledge of additional plugins (for example security and backup plugins).

If you and/or the client are dead set on you pressing forward, you might consider an option like Wix. I have not used Wix (or similar) but my general impression is that it is an easier path forward for those with no web experience.

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I am going to have a conversation soon and plan on making sure she is aware of what I can and cannot do ahead of time. It’s actually the very first thing I told her we need to discuss in regards to her expectations.

I am willing to work WITH her on the website and YES! The whole empty theme templates were driving me nuts! I didn’t even know how to plug “why” into a search engine to figure out why they weren’t complete. But that site, Template Monster, says they would basically install all the plug ins and make the finished design look exactly as the live demo where I can then go in and swap out as I need. So they claim to offer exactly what I want and would be willing to do. However, the reviews are super questionable and making me very hesitant to move forward with them.

As for Wix, I have designed a website before using it and I absolutely hate it. While it is very user friendly, it is way too restricted for my style. I don’t mind working through some hiccups to get this site off the ground, I’m just looking for more of a foundation to work off of or a reliable theme company that can fill in some of the gaps for me. I do want to learn the basics as I go along since I am also designing my own website currently. I also reached out to Wyzant for one-on-one tutorials that might help me walk through the process. I’ve used Wyzant for illustration and music production and I really like the tutors on there.

Thank you for that tidbit on the WordPress themes. I feel a little less crazy on why they were so empty.

Two very popular wordpress themes are Divi and Avada.

I have used Avada but not Divi. Based on my experience with Avada, it is pretty user friendly and easy to use. I mean, yes, themes are “blank” but they allow you the flexibility of easily adding elements to your page in a pretty straightforward manner including images, text, buttons, navigation menus, etc.

And to @Steve_O 's point you will need to most likely hunt down and manage plugins, as well as ensure that those plugins don’t have vulnerabilities in them that could allow insecure access to your site.

ah… So I am guessing there really is no easy “Download a theme & simply swap out colors, text, and images” option? :frowning:

The idea of issues with plug ins just makes me head hurt at this point. She’s using go daddy and has a current website up already so we may just swap the content on the existing site instead if switching themes will be a headache.

So, it sounds like you are looking for something more like a template rather than a theme.

A theme, to me, may have some general formatting and design, but it is simply a collection of elements and components that need to still be designed and placed into a layout. But you mentioning looking to simply swap out colors, text and images" sounds more like you are looking for the design to already be essentially done.

If that’s the case it looks as if Divi has quite a few pre-made templates and layout packs.

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Yes, I suppose that is true - a template. I’ve had to put this project down for other paying jobs. But I had a conversation with my friend going over my capabilities and her expectations. She used Go Daddy to build her original website herself and said it was very easy. I’m wondering if Go Daddy uses WordPress “Templates” rather than themes, like you said. Thanks again.