If you’re reading this Elegant Themes review, then I’m going to assume that you’re wondering if Elegant Themes is right for you.
I’m also going to assume that you’re using or planning to use WordPress for your website, and maybe you’re wondering if you need a custom theme at all.
You should also assume that I’m an Elegant Theme affiliate. That’s because you should assume that most of the reviews you read online are by people who are also marketing the product – that’s just the way things work today.
Don’t let that fool you. I am an Elegant Themes affiliate because Elegant Themes changed my life, and led me down a career path where I’m now working for myself. I own my own small company – and more importantly, I’m in control of how I live my life.
And I did it all without knowing a line of code! That’s the brilliance of Elegant Themes, and it’s why I hope you consider it, too.
Elegant Themes Review: My Story
I’m a full fledged digital marketer, and like lots of my peers, it was a winding rode that got me here. I got an anthropology degree in university. I loved what I learned, and my degree showed me how to keep learning into the future. It helped me in all kinds of ways.
But my degree did NOT teach me about building websites, or online marketing. That’s why I’m living proof – you don’t need the fancy degrees to do all kinds of ‘stuff’ online nowadays.
Also like many of my peers, I got into this career helping family. In fact, helping family is one of the ways I recommend you break into freelancing work, if you’re looking for your first clients.
So, my uncle bought a set of cottages on the west coast of Canada, after he retired. He needed help promoting them, and I’m a good writer, so he asked me to help him do up a mailout that he’d send out to all his colleagues
I’m glad I chose Mailchimp as my email provider because it was also simple and easy to use, and after writing that email campaign, I knew I could do more to help him.
So first, I set him up with a Facebook page. This was about 6 years ago, in the early early days of Facebook marketing, before you could even pay to boost posts or run ads! I cut my teeth and we actually had some amazing results right away. I helped develop a unique voice and come up with content that actually really engaged people.
Learning that I could take my innate writing skill (holla!) and use it to actually help my uncle out, while getting paid a little bit in return? What a priceless discovery.
A little idea of how easy Elegant Themes makes web design. Gif courtesty of Elegant Themes.
At the time, my uncle has an awful WordPress website that he’d inherited from the previous owner. I quickly learned that, hey, WordPress isn’t so hard to navigate. And because I could navigate it easily, I started blogging, and started to see how powerful that could be.
It was a loop – we needed content for his Facebook page, so we’d write blog posts and share those. We quickly gained lots of traction, and I was hooked.
But …. his website was …. how do I say this nicely? It was shitty. After about 6 months of blogging and doing his Facebook marketing, we decided we needed a new one.
AND, we decided that little old me with no design experience was the one to do it. It was ballsy, but I thought it was worth the risk. Worst case? I fail, and he can keep the (albeit shitty) website he already had. Best case? Hello, beautiful new website!
Now, I always talk about how there are so many options available to online marketers today (like, see how you can brand a whole website with no design experience here), so that you don’t need to have these awesome coding skills to do great work online.
That was true then, too, but remember that this was about 6 years ago. Website builders were around, sure, but things like Shopify and Wix weren’t mainstream.
(And I’m actually glad they weren’t around to tempt me – I still believe that WordPress was and is the better option for him, and for me, and for most of my clients).
But I was game and willing to learn, so I took to Google, and started researching WordPress themes. And I stumbled upon Elegant Themes, which was then a little upstart. It wasn’t nearly the all-popular custom theme that it is today. But the reviews were great, so I dove in.
At the time, their drag-and-drop flagship theme Divi wasn’t available, so I used one of their original themes – the theme ‘Flexible,’ to be exact, to be exact. It was a great little theme and I used it to build a great little website.
My uncle was more than happy, as he got lots of attention online and was really happy with how many bookings he was getting.
And I was happy because it felt great to build something with my own two hands (or I guess I should say, my own ten fingers?). And it was actually a really great product, that I knew would serve my uncle – aka my ‘client’ – for years to come.
We actually did keep that website going for a few years, until we decided to make the switch to Elegant Themes’ more modern theme Divi. And he hasn’t looked back since.
(See how easy it is to build a website today using their more modern theme Divi here. I walk you through all the steps, from getting your domain and hosting, to setting up WordPress, getting Divi and then customizing it to make your site great).
My Experience With Elegant Themes
By the time I’d built my first website, I had about 6 months of experience under my belt. And now, I also had a nice little website I could use as a portfolio piece. I took that, and I ran with it.
At that time in my life, I was in limbo a little bit. I wasn’t working, kind of by choice, but also kind of because I didn’t know what to do next. Seeing how easy it was to use Elegant Themes led the way to my next step, and I haven’t looked back.
So the next thing I did was build my own website for my new freelancing biz, using the Nimble theme (writing this is making me nostalgic – I still love Nimble, it made such a fun website).
Remember that if you’re starting out, your own business website is as much a part of your portfolio as anything else. It’s your introduction for new clients, so make it good!
And, having your own website, even if you don’t have much work to support it, is a great way to amplify your resume when you’re applying for freelance work.
So with my Elegant Themes website and my humble portfolio in hand (with only two websites actually built!), I went looking for freelance work. And I got it.
In the beginning, you have to start small, and you have to take some crappy work for crappy pay. I did that. This isn’t a fairy tale. Every day wasn’t sunshine and rainbows after deciding to jump into freelance work.
But I kept chugging along, and I eventually got to a position where I could charge $5000 for a website.
More fun stuff … Gif courtesty of Elegant Themes.
More importantly, along the way, I learned what I already knew: my first love is writing. And if you love writing, you can write for companies online, and help them with social media and other efforts.
And while you work on building a great website for a company, you also learn a lot about them and their brand and how they operate internally.
After you build a client a website, you have a foot in the door. And you can use that foot in the door to pitch ongoing blogging and social media work.
And just upkeeping websites requires work, too – so after you build a site, you can get retainers and in positions where you provide ongoing work.
In fact, I’m still working with some of my original clients. Basically, I took my initial Elegant Themes website projects to get ongoing positions that pay monthly, indefinitely. Score.
Today, I don’t focus as much on building websites, because I have a handful of clients that I’m working with. I maintain their websites, and update them as need be, and help them build awesome landing pages and blog posts (again, using Divi or Extra).
And I use Elegant Themes to build my own websites, which I monetize in different ways.
I haven’t had a ‘boss’ since I started with Elegant Themes. Working for yourself isn’t for everyone. And I probably don’t make as much money as I would if I decided to hunker down in a more corporate position. And I have a partner (in my boyfriend) who works with me, which obviously helps.
But if you’d told me ten years ago that I’d be making a living off my ability to build websites, I would have laughed at you. I love my life and my freedom, and it’s all because the geniuses at Elegant Themes decided to make web design simple for folks like me.
(Psssttt … for more tips on how web designers can create multiple streams of revenue off their websites, please see here).
But Aren’t You An
Elegant Themes Affiliate?
Lots of theme companies offer affiliate programs, and there are lots of other ways to make money online. I’m an Elegant Themes affiliate because I know that they are a great resource with even better support, and they’re continually (and I mean continually) updating their products to make them even better.
Lots of tech companies are in it for themselves, and I don’t actually work at Elegant Themes, so I don’t know the ins and outs of how they do things. But I do know that they put their clients first, and they have consistently done so since I started with them about 6 years ago.
When I first started as an Elegant Themes affiliate, I think I was among the first. The company was just much newer then then. Since then, there has been a real proliferation of Elegant Themes content online.
And that only makes things better for the end user. There are TONS of free websites out there offering all kinds of guidance on how to use Elegant Themes. There are even custom child themes you can buy if you want to amp up your design further.
It’s another reason why I’m happy to recommend this product – I have no doubt that for the vast majority of people, there’s enough supporting material out there that they’ll be able to make just the website they want.
All of which is to say, yes, I’m a proud Elegant Themes affiliate, and I have been for a long time. I’m an affiliate because I love Elegant Themes, and it changed my life.
Don’t Use Elegant Themes If …
Elegant Themes isn’t always the right choice for people. I keep saying – if you’re too burnt out from your day job to devote a few weeks to learning the software and building your site, then you probably want to consider outsourcing your website. Elegant Themes is easy, but it’s not that easy. There’s a learning curve.
The biggest criticism lobbied against Elegant Themes is that it’s pretty hard to switch back from it. Basically, if build your website in Divi, then you’ll have all kinds of nice features and layouts that won’t translate if you switch themes. But this is true of any premium, custom website.
Which means that if you use Divi, you want to be sure you’re ready for the upgrade, and you’re going to want to stick with your new design for awhile.
Thankfully, Elegant Themes is always updating their themes, so it’s easy to keep re-desiging your site to keep it fresh and modern. I have lots of websites that have been using Divi for years, and that look very different now from when they started.
But Don’t Take My Word For It …
When you start looking, you’re going to find lots of Elegant Themes reviews from people like me, who have used it to start freelancing careers or working for themselves. Some have more or less coding experience than me (in fact, lots of really experienced web developers still use Elegant Themes, because it just makes their lives easier).
So check out these stories from other Elegant Themes addicts.
Ready To Get Started?
Before you dive into Divi, check out my newbie guide here. It’ll walk you through how to add it to WordPress and how to customize it, step by step. And whether or not you’re ready to commit, this guide will give you an idea of whether Divi is something you can actually tackle.
And if you’re worried about whether you have the design chops to make a website actually look nice and modern, then don’t worry. These guides will help you, too:
Overall, building a website (and a freelance career) is going to look different for everyone. My Elegant Themes review may be a bit different than yours. But I do know it’s a great product for WordPress websites that is worth checking out. Please let me know if you do, and if you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I try to answer as many as I can!
Psssst …. like the Pinterest graphic in this post? I built it super easily and FOR FREE using Canva.
It’s one of my favourite online resources available to digital marketers …
find them all with links here!