This question actually came to me from a reader. I’ve decided to provide some steps if you would like to choose a theme from Themeforest.
Below are steps that I personally use to decide on a theme.
Look Within Your Category
Themeforest is a crowded place with lots of themes (which is a good thing). To narrow down your search, you can look at some of the bestsellers.
Look at Sales
I’m a believer of sales being an indication of quality – often but not always the case. Check out the number of sales of one theme relative to another – there are reasons why some of them sell better.
Use the Live Preview
Once you are interested in a couple of designs, to me, the best feature of Themeforest and the most important thing to do is to use the Live Preview.
You can look at screenshots too, but nothing beats Live Preview and experiencing the theme for yourself.
In the Live Preview, you can click around and experience exactly what the look and feel of the website will be. It is ideal to take the theme as it is (and not imagine you can customize it beyond what they show as it can be too technically challenging). This also gives you the opportunity to look at the features available in the theme (e.g. page builder, sliders, portfolios, pricing tables, etc.)
It is important to know what you want to build when browsing the themes.
Check Buyers’ Ratings
As with buying anything, it’s always good practice to check buyers’ ratings. Great theme sellers will make sure their theme is up to the mark and support is provided to ensure a good rating.
Browse Through the Comments Section
The comments section is a great place to get understand experiences of other buyers. A consistently good experience may mean that your experience will be good too.
Tip: Prior to buying my Hazel theme, I put up a comment and the seller actually offered me to test their website with the inbuilt theme (which I did). Not all sellers may want to offer this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Actually trying out a demo is probably the best way to understand the theme – and clear any doubts you may have.
Check Out What Support is Provided
Well, you’ll get most of the information about the theme providers through the comments section. Though it doesn’t hurt to read what kind of support is officially provided.
Scroll Down to the Feature List
If you’re a little technical, you can scroll through the Feature List. To me, this is mostly a bunch of words which is good to know, but it’s difficult to make out what the theme eventually will be like. I’ll choose to stick to the Live Preview instead.
An Extra Note
WordPress, though incredibly robust, does not come built in with a good page-builder. By page builder, I mean an easy way to build beautiful pages. This may or may be a concern for you, but I’ve found with my theme, which came pre-packaged with Visual Composer, that a good page-builder can make your life so much easier, especially if you’re already paying for one.
To narrow down your search, I tried a custom search for themes that with comes with Visual Composer – check them out individually yourself.
If not, it is still possible to build good pages with free plugin like PageBuilder by SiteOrigin.
I have to say, choosing a theme is not easy.
If you’re getting a free theme, you can always install the them to test it out, and discard if you do not like it.
If you go for a premium theme, you do want to make sure you’re getting what you want, otherwise it’s a waste of money. So take your time and choose carefully on this step.
I really hope that the above guide gives you my experience and perspective to getting a premium theme on Themeforest. If you have any more questions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.