How to choose WordPress themes and plugins you can trust

With thousands of WordPress themes and plugins out there, how do you know which ones to choose?  Here are three tried and tested tips to help you find reliable, high quality themes and plugins you can trust.  


Tip 1: Go premium for WordPress Themes and Plugins

The advantages of premium WordPress themes and plugins are a reliable code base and support if something goes wrong.  The designs and functionality are often richer (ie include more options to tailor how your site will look when using that theme, or do more as a plugin).

As the saying goes, free things ain’t good, good things ain’t free. Developers of premium themes and plugins have invested time and effort in creating a good quality product.  They are more likely to keep it up to date, sort out bugs quickly and provide support when you have questions.

You should also be aware that the good themes and plugins are there for a reason: to make money for the developer. It is common practice with plugins for developers to offer a bit of the functionality for free and then ask you to upgrade to get the rest. This is good for users. You get to try, and, if you like it, you pay a modest price depending on your needs.


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Tip 2: Use a trusted third party theme marketplace

The WordPress Theme Directory lists thousands of free themes, but we recommend using the reputable third party marketplace,, to find premium themes.

Offering nearly 5,000 WordPress themes across fourteen categories, you can narrow your search by category or keyword. Use your sector (e.g. ‘catering’) as a search term to bring up any sector-specific themes.  This may help you get a sense of what you do and don’t want from your theme, which may help you assess whether generic themes offer what you need.

Free and premium plugins can be searched on the plugin directory,


Tip 3: Apply the right filters

Many people are caught out by choosing nice looking themes without realising they are first releases full of bugs or lacking decent support.  Filtering your search based on the four questions and rules of thumb below will help you avoid this mistake.

  1. When was the theme created? Rule of thumb: Discount themes that are very new.
  2. When was the theme last updated? Rule of thumb: A good theme will be updated 2-3 times a year.
  3. How many users / sales / downloads?  Rule of thumb: More users / sales / downloads = better theme or plugin.
  4. How have users rated it? Rule of thumb: Good ratings = good. Low rating = more investigation into why.
  5. Does the theme/plugin update history show it stays compatible with the latest WordPress version?  Rule of thumb: Up to date = reliable.
  6. Is there an active support forum and how quickly have problems been resolved ? Rule of thumb: No support forum = no good.  Users satisfied with solutions = good.


There are oc course many other signs to check to make sure you choose the perfect match of WordPress themes and plugins. Please contact us if you would like our advice.

Create exactly the website or blog you want with Cloudnames. Choose from thousands of themes and plugins and enjoy support from our friendly, expert team whenever you need them.


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Other articles you might like:


Basic things to know before choosing WordPress

How to build a website that looks great, works well and achieves results

Ten must-have plugins for small business websites

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