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Elegant Themes is a WordPress theme club owned by Nick Roach. For $19.95, you get unlimited access to 19 premium WordPress themes, and every theme he brings out for the next year.

This post was sponsored by Nick, but I’m not using any affiliate links. It means there’s no benefit to me in selling the themes, so it’s as unbiased as I can get.

The Obvious – Great Looking Themes

The first things you look for in a premium theme are a great look, and great functionality.

Elegant Themes has both, so I won’t waste time talking about that. You can see live demos of all the themes from the gallery page and make up your own mind there.

The two I would suggest looking at most of all are ColdStone and Cion:

elegant-coldstone

elegant-cion 

The Extras – Options and Copyright

When you delve deeper into the themes, you’ll find two things that may not have been so obvious at first.

The first is an extensive options page. Not all of the themes will use the same options pages, but for the newer ones in particular, you will be able to control a lot of the details about your theme without ever touching the theme files.

For instance, you can set every detail of your adverts and manage them from the options page. You can choose how to display your page navigation. You can select certain features to show or hide, like the tabbed menus. And you can set options like which category to use for featured posts.

The second thing is that you don’t have to retain the copyright notice in the footer, like some other themes force you to. From the Elegant Themes FAQ page:

12. Am I required to retain the linkback to elegantthemes when I use your themes?

No, I do not require that you retain the credit links, however, it is much appreciated!

The Developer’s Viewpoint – Code Library!

Often WordPress themes can be seen as tools for people who don’t know how to design their own website. That’s a fair viewpoint, and there’s no doubt that that group makes up the majority of premium theme purchases.

But on the other hand, if you have an idea for a new site and want to get it up and running quickly, why not use a decent theme to start things off and buy yourself time to make something unique?

Or better yet, why not use a premium theme as the basis for building your own theme, in a far shorter time period?

Elegant Themes is perfect for this because there is a huge amount of functionality across the club. If you want to learn how to do more with WordPress and take your own work to the next level, then subscribing to Elegant Themes gives you access to a massive code library.

See a feature you like? Go through the source code and learn how it was done! For just $19.95, you’re getting access to features like these:

  • Featured post slider from ColdStone.
  • Animated lifestream from LightSource.
  • Rating system from eGamer.
  • Image thumbnail overlays from Cion.
  • WordPress 2.7 threaded comments from eVid.

Access to all these themes stands to teach you a whole lot, and given the low cost it really doesn’t matter if you never use any of themes in a live website. $20 isn’t much to pay for what you’ll learn.

In conclusion, I would say that Elegant Themes is well worth joining if you’re in the market for a new theme, or if you’d like to learn how they do what they do. The themes seem to keep getting better and better over time, and the price is by far the cheapest you’re going to get for that number of themes.

What do you think? Would you consider Elegant if you were buying a theme?

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