Wordpress theme vendor recommendations

20 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

So to create your inn's website, you have the option of having someone else do it, or doing it yourself.  If you do it yourself, you have an array of frameworks to use- you can use WordPress, or HTML or what have you.

For those of you who create your own website with a WP theme, do you have any vendor experiences/recommendations? Seems to me that there are thousands of themes out there, and a thousand more ways you can adapt them, so I've been lately thinking that it would be best to buy not on the theme itself, but on the reputation of the company that produces the theme.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've narrowed down the front runners to WooThemes, StudioPress and Templatic.  I really like WooThemes interface or backend for management.  Templatic has these awesome themes, but seem a little glitchy and others complain about their shoddiness (all look and nothing of action).  Studiopress comes highly recommended in people's comments of good vendors, but their themes just don't call out to me.  Thoughts?  Experiences?

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Yes, Theme Forest WP themes is where I've been looking. The ones at Woo start at $70 and I wouldn't think of spending that when I'm not sure it's one that will work for me.

I wish I knew how to do the responsiveness thing myself, via FrontPage or Expression Web, so I could bypass WordPress and have more control, but I'm sure that's way beyond what I want to get into.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 You can't do it yourself..  Forget Front Page etc....you have to bite the bullet and buy a theme! REALLY!!!

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Terribly frustrating. All the free ones I've found are designed for blogs, so they try to put reply boxes on everthing. The ones that are more laid out to be used for main websites cost $35 and up, and I don't want to buy before I try.

Also, some do the responsive shrinking thing more smoothly than others. Lots of things to watch out for.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

I've now spent 12 hours looking for the right WordPress responsive hospitality theme. Please, someone, just give me the answer!!!

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

I hear you.  I ended up purchasing Whitelight from Woo, mentioned above.  I loved their shortcodes.  I loved that it was responsive...and I loved the SEO tools, and was developing and things got complicated with booking & CC payments, and I needed something with an integrated booking module  in the short term, so I had to buy another hotel specific theme - did that from dailywp. 

Don't really recommend the second theme - I had to and am still correcting language on the booking module, though I hear they're coming out with a new version and they reply to emails on the spot. 

One thing that I did do, in the larger theme companies, they often let you sign up for a demo account to  test the theme on their server with their themes, so you can see what the backend looks like, and get a taste for what customization would look like.

In woo, it's called the "theme playground".

 

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 You don't have to buy a hotel specific theme. You can adapt any theme to suit your needs. You can incorporate your own reservation system into the site. Don't depend on theirs. You can also get plugins which will do reservations. They aren't the best but they will work. Just to a plug in search in wordpress. Look for the ones that have the most stars. Those are usually the ones most use.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 I use THEME FOREST as the place to look for my themes. I have had good luck with them. WOO Themes is another good site.

None are perfect. You have to just pick one that looks the closest to what you want. Then you can always edit to suit your needs. I also look for the TOP selling theme and read the comments. Those that get high marks for good support are the ones I usually pick.

Don't go with the Wordpress freebies. These are usually pretty basic and you can't depend on support for them. It is hit and miss.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Arkansawyer wrote:

I've now spent 12 hours looking for the right WordPress responsive hospitality theme. Please, someone, just give me the answer!!!

I know, isn't it frustrating?

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

fsconsult's picture
Offline
Joined:
03/19/2012

 Choosing Wordpress themes can be challenging with so many options out there, but at least there are options and most of them are good looking. 

My favourite frameworks to work with are from WooThemes, and Themify. 

WooThemes is powerful with many options in their backend settings, incorporates a lot of widgets for a blog or social connections, and provides documentation to get you going. 

Themify is a bit simpler, so it's great if you want to get a site up and running without a lot of tweaking going on. 

Themeforest also has some hotel/bnb specific themes available for a price. I haven't used that framework yet, but they have some great looking themes. 

In regards to the themes changing scale, another option is to use a plugin that allows you to control what kind of theme is seen depending on the device. The one I use is called Mobile Theme Switcher and is straight forward. For the web, you'd redirect it to your main theme. For iPhone/Android, use a mobile friendly one. For iPad, you could go either way. It's simple to use. You can see an example by visiting my website from the desktop, then using a mobile device. 

Feel free to get in touch if you want assistance with this. I'd provide links, but I'm new to the site and don't want to get myself flagged right away. Everything is easy to find with Google these days though.

__________________

James McCullough, Hospitality Consultant
Four Sides Hospitality Consulting

 

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

Just as an update, I did decide to go with this particular wootheme that is supposed to be "responsive"...which means it scales to different screen sizes, automatically, like from a mobile device to a desktop.  I'm not sure how well I like it yet, but will give an update and post a link when the site  is more complete.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

I would hope any new template or theme would do that.

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 hMMM I thought most of them did that anyway. Any theme I have used I have check in a smartphone and on a tablet and they all worked fine with nothing needing to be done. Maybe I am not clear on this but it has worked with what I have done. Good luck.

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

catlady wrote:

 hMMM I thought most of them did that anyway. Any theme I have used I have check in a smartphone and on a tablet and they all worked fine with nothing needing to be done. Maybe I am not clear on this but it has worked with what I have done. Good luck.

Thanks.  It's new to me too.  

Here's Woo's blog about one of their first responsive themes, for those curious: www.woothemes.com/2011/09/a-responsive-wordpress-theme/

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 Aside from the color scheme, it looks just like a site I am working on now. Basic layout and structure the same. Works on iphone and tablets. I think they are trying to grab a market making people think this is something special.  I hope you change the color scheme as that one won't attract much...boring and dark ..sorry.

It was funny, the other day my client emailed me from her I phone. Said I was going to have to make the navigation bigger because it was too small to use on her phone. I told her, did you rotate your phone??? DUH...No she did not. She was so embarrassed and emailed right back...All is ok!!!!  Like YEAH!

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

CafeMae wrote:

catlady wrote:

 hMMM I thought most of them did that anyway. Any theme I have used I have check in a smartphone and on a tablet and they all worked fine with nothing needing to be done. Maybe I am not clear on this but it has worked with what I have done. Good luck.

Thanks.  It's new to me too.  

Here's Woo's blog about one of their first responsive themes, for those curious: www.woothemes.com/2011/09/a-responsive-wordpress-theme/

Not sure I am a fan of the "responsive" if that is what it is going to look like, I would rather have visitors to our site stuck with a eautiful photo and  book from there then have everything gutted and generic. I realize this is not a B&B example they give.  These handheld devices have top speed and seem to be the ones who can view anything better anyway. They might have to hand size the page and move around it a bit (like on a tablet).

PS The link brought up more questions than I neeed in the comments below.  Hope it works out well for you Cafemae. B&B websites are all about the photos!

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

Joey Bloggs wrote:

CafeMae wrote:

catlady wrote:

 hMMM I thought most of them did that anyway. Any theme I have used I have check in a smartphone and on a tablet and they all worked fine with nothing needing to be done. Maybe I am not clear on this but it has worked with what I have done. Good luck.

Thanks.  It's new to me too.  

Here's Woo's blog about one of their first responsive themes, for those curious: www.woothemes.com/2011/09/a-responsive-wordpress-theme/

Not sure I am a fan of the "responsive" if that is what it is going to look like, I would rather have visitors to our site stuck with a eautiful photo and  book from there then have everything gutted and generic. I realize this is not a B&B example they give.  These handheld devices have top speed and seem to be the ones who can view anything better anyway. They might have to hand size the page and move around it a bit (like on a tablet).

PS The link brought up more questions than I neeed in the comments below.  Hope it works out well for you Cafemae. B&B websites are all about the photos!

Thanks, much appreciated - you're right, this theme is kind of stripped on the iphone size.  On my  theme, it is a bit different , my slider of photos scales down.  But there are other things I don't like, and well, other things I love.  I'll post when further along.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 Well I now stand corrected. My support guy at TrueTHemes explained the "responsive" thing to me. Here is a link that explains some of it...more than I can comprehend. But at least I know the next one I buy from them will be responsiveSmiling It is due out in several weeks.

http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/12/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

catlady wrote:

 Well I now stand corrected. My support guy at TrueTHemes explained the "responsive" thing to me. Here is a link that explains some of it...more than I can comprehend. But at least I know the next one I buy from them will be responsiveSmiling It is due out in several weeks.

http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/12/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/

Got you curious?  Good link, does a more complete job explaining.

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

Just checked it out.  Karma theme is beautiful, has tons of little short codes, and has fantastic reviews.  Sigh... Choosing a theme is like having a box of chocolates, and they all look good, but you need to pick one. 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 Woo Themes is pretty good. THeme Forest has alot of good ones as well. One called Karma I used and the support from these guys is absolutely TERRIFIC !!!  They have taught me so much and been so patient. I am anxiously awaiting their new theme. I will buy it right away and I don't even have a specific client in mind for it. But I know it will be good.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.