In continuation with our smaller-and-possibly-overlooked theme shop review series, today we’ll be taking a look at yet another WordPress premium theme seller: Authentic Themes.
Authentic Themes is a theme shop started by A J Clarke and Matt Tucker. While the theme shop itself is hardly a year old, Clarke is well known for his premium and free themes collection, and has also been active at theme marketplaces such as ThemeForest and Creative Market.
Authentic Themes also offers an affiliate program with a commission of 50% per sale.
Authentic Themes currently has over 30 themes in its collection. In terms of design, almost all the themes are fully responsive and minimal. However, most, if not all, themes offered by Authentic Themes are best suited for personal blogs, portfolios, and photoblogs. The themes are content-centric, and even the blogging themes place special emphasis on the use of images.
The themes are all localization ready, come with custom shortcodes and have been tested with Google Pagespeed. All in all, if yours is a website or blog that makes abundant use of WordPress features such as Featured Images and/or Gallery, and especially if you are looking for super minimal and lightweight themes, you should check out Authentic Themes.
There are also few free themes, mostly meant for personal bloggers or portfolio artists—including the most recent one, Discover.
Authentic Themes offer three membership or subscription plans. The first one—Standard—gives you access to the entire theme collection, plus knowledgebase articles and future theme updates for $40 per annum. You are, however, not entitled to advanced tutorials or guides.
For advanced tutorials and guides (in addition to the contents of the Standard plan), you can opt for the Developer plan, which costs $80 per year. I assume that the Developer plan also includes access to PSDs and other resources.
Lastly, there is a one-time payment option. Under the Lifetime Developer plan, you get access to all the offerings of the Developer plan sans the annual fees. Instead, you are charged a one-off payment of $250.
There is no refund policy.
Authentic Themes offer ticket-based support via their support portal (no direct email support, that is). They also have a separate bug/issue reporting mechanism.
Beyond that, there are individual changelogs for each WordPress theme in the collection. And of course, the knowledgebase forms the backbone of the documentation.
Speaking of the knowledgebase, the information provided is above par, but not outstanding. There are four major sections: the first one deals with starter-level issues, such as installation, slider setup, recommended plugins, etc. The second section offers solutions to basic problems—404 errors, broken links, etc. The third talks about custom shortcodes, while the fourth is about detailed theme customization—including the creation of child themes.
The knowledgebase seems to be acceptable enough, but most of the documentation provided therein is catered towards the beginner-level users. There is also a YouTube channel, with videos offering overview and setup instructions for individual themes.
So how does Authentic Themes perform?
- Clean and minimal themes
- Content-centric theme design
- 30+ themes offered in the first year—what terrific productivity!
- Budget-friendly subscription models
- Video tutorials
- Knowledgebase needs more content
- If your content is not image-heavy, you will have a hard time getting the themes to look good.
With the Standard plan priced at $40 per annum, and with over 30 themes in their arsenal, Authentic Themes has a lot to offer. In fact, Authentic Themes is one prolific seller—in addition to the club subscriptions, they are also active on marketplaces (take Creative Market for instance).
If you are looking for minimal and responsive WordPress themes that put the focus back on your content—and your content is image-heavy, making good use of Featured Images and Galleries—the offerings at Authentic Themes might just be the dose of excellence your website needs.
On the downside, the documentation is nothing special. Having said that, unless you really need step-by-step directives, the knowledgebase won’t give you much to complain about either.
How are you enjoying this review series of some less well-known but great WordPress theme makers? Did you give any of them a try?
Sufyan bin Uzayr is a freelance writer and Linux enthusiast. He writes for several print magazines as well as technology blogs, and has also authored a book named Sufism: A Brief History. His primary areas of interest include open source, mobile development and web CMS. He is also the Editor of an e-journal named Brave New World. You can visit his website, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.