Best WordPress Theme Generator Roundup

July 29, 2012 · 41 comments

by Lars

best-wordpress-theme-generator

Creating your own WordPress theme can be simple or really complicated depending at what you want to achieve and how you do it. For some it is indeed possible to find a free theme that fits their needs perfectly and then the task may only be about changing the logo and a few colors. The disadvantage with this approach is the risk that your site looks similar to several other sites. Further a lot of free themes are not maintained putting your site at risk when major releases of WordPress are made available. There are many websites helping us to find WordPress themes and of course you can use them as starting point and change as much as you like.

Another great way to get started with WordPress is to use simple WordPress themes that have been designed specifically to be easy to change – that are to some extend working as WordPress theme frameworks. Finally there is the option to create your own theme. There are many advantages with this approach – like having a unique look and feel, having complete flexibility of how to design the theme etc. Unfortunately getting a WordPress theme designed and implemented by a web designer can be quite costly, but if you find the right designer the result will be excellent. If your budget is limited and you still want the flexibility and unique look of your own theme there is another and much cheaper solution. Simply use a theme generator to setup a theme as you like it.

This article will give you an overview of the best WordPress theme generators currently available and review Artisteer for WordPress in detail. The idea behind this kind of software is to allow people that are not skilled designers and developers to create themes themselves. This is pretty smart but of course keep in mind that a generated theme will probably no be as unique and awesome as a theme created from scratch by a top professional web designer. Still I think this approach is still worth to consider. Besides the most popular theme generator, Artisteer, I have also found a few other theme generators you can have a look at as well.


Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.


ElegantThemes
ThemeForest

Advertisement

Artisteer WordPress Theme Generator

Artisteer has been around for quite some time and support export to several other platforms than WordPress (Joomla, Drupal etc.). It is probably one of the best tools you can own for WordPress if you want to take control of you theme look and feel yourself. For less than $50 you can have an endless number of custom WordPress Themes at your finger tips. Once you start it up you choose the export format you need and in this case we pick WordPress. Other interesting options are in my opinion Joomla and Drupal and HTML page, but it depends mainly on your preference.

Atisteer WordPress Theme Generator

You can design the theme you need with great flexibility in this software and it runs on your pc and is really responsive. You should start by using the Suggest Design button. Pressing it will load random theme designs and believe me they are random and you quickly see it is not just a single theme with different colors Artisteer circle through. It is completely different themes that are presented.

Example of Atisteer WordPress Theme Generator

Once you have found a theme that is worth adjusting to fit your exact needs you start improving design elements. Below I show you how pressing Suggest Header and Menu have changed these elements.

Menu editor

If the random approach is not preferred for you it is possible to change the design yourself fast and easily. The design is broken up into 10 elements; Colors & Fonts, Layout, Background, Sheet, Header, Menu, Articles, Blocks, Buttons and Footer. Below I show you how the shape of the menu buttons can be changed from a set of pre-sets. The same flexibility is found for any other element of the page layout. Just hovering the mouse over a design setting makes Artisteer apply it as preview – pretty cool actually!

Atisteer styling

Now it’s important that you understand that when it says ‘random’, you’re not going to end up with a rainbow-colored website with strange backgrounds and fonts. Artisteer has been cleverly programmed with sets of complimentary colors, fonts and layouts.for example when you click ‘suggest colors’, it will pick out a pallet from a list of professionally created sets. The change color theme effect is awesome and you need to try it out yourself.

change color theme

Another element most of people want to change is the background. In Artisteer you can choose from a list of good looking prebuild backgrounds, but you can also upload your own files, add texture, gradient etc.

change is the background

The vertical menu can also be adjusted easily and I think the available predefined designs look great.

header styling

Artisteer also comes complete with a bunch of stock images that you can use in the header, articles etc. The software allows you to choose an image from the built in categorized collection or you can import your own – just remember that you get the best results with transparent background gif or png format. You can also add Flash effects to give the header a dynamic look and feel

stock images

Another nice feature is the Page layout options, which allows you to easily move around your menus (vertical menu) and your columns/sidebars (horizontal menu).

Page layout options

This way you can easily add another sidebar or move it form one side to another.

Atisteer sidebar layout

There are several more options we have not showed here. I recommend you get the trail version and play around with it yourself – it’s fun and very effective at the same time.

Once you’ve got a design you’re happy with, you can preview it in your browser (supports I.E, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari – provided you have them installed) – this is a great way to make sure everything is displaying properly for all users. Below you see the theme loaded in Firefox. As I’m using a trail version for this review the software have written “Trail” all over it.

Atisteer WordPress Theme Generator preview

Then comes the exporting of the theme is just two clicks away – you can choose whether to export as a folder or as a ZIP file. If you want to upload the theme using an FTP client, use the folder option, however if you wish to use WordPress’s theme upload function, you’ll need it in a ZIP. I have tried to export to ZIP and install it as a theme in WordPress. It just worked as with any other theme I have used.

Atisteer exporting of the theme

Best of all, Artisteer takes care of all the tricky coding of making the site look good across all browsers – it displays properly in all major browsers. In fact it also passes official W3C CSS validation with no problems. In other words; no more hours of complex coding and fiddling around to make sure that everything is properly formatted with correct syntax and no errors – it’s all done for you.  Artisteer comes in two versions – Home/Academic and Standard. The standard edition exports in all formats (XHTML+CSS, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, ASP.Net, CodeCharge, and DotNEtNuke) and has a full library of images, colors, fonts, textures and gradients, while the Home/Academic version only exports in WordPress and XHTML+CSS and has slightly more limited libraries.

Download Trail version here

Resources

Other WordPress Theme Generators

WP Theme Generator (responsive themes can be generated)

Create WordPress themes or html/css templates with this theme generator tool. You can choose from several theme styles to make it fast to get started designing a special look and feel. WP Theme Generator has lots of pre-designed elements you can combine or edit, change layout positions as you wish and upload your own designs. Save or download your created themes whenever you want and they always be updated with the latest WP version and powered with a “full of features” framework. With this generator it is possible to make themes responsive. This makes WP Theme Generator really cool!

wp-theme-generator

The list of available themes to use as starting point is pretty large and I believe you will be able to find what you need.

wp-theme-generator-gallery

Lubith

This is an oline theme generator with drag and drop features. It is free with some features made available but to get the full monty you need to sign up for the premium service.

lubith

YvosChaap (WP Theme Generator)

This online generator creates your own custom unique wordpress themes. Without any need for HTML, JS, PHP or CSS knowledge. In this theme generator you can change the colors, settings, layout, can preview live, click “save” and download your unique WordPress theme Zip-file. Extract, upload, set, and you are done! Supports WordPress 2.1 to 3.0 WordPress themes. With  Yahoo UI (grids, tabs and fonts) to support all A-Grade browsers and valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional also supports widgets and Tags.

YvosChaap (WP Theme Generator)

There used to be some very good ones out there but they seem to have dropped out of favor. This new one offers such conveniences as instant previews, lots of layout, color and gradient settings, custom header graphics and download of individual files as well as a neatly packaged zip. This could be a good starting point for WordPress bloggers who want to play around with colors and layout and do not want to muddy their hands with code. I like the instant gratification and appreciate Yvo’s hard work.

Templatr

Templatr

Templatr is a Template Generator, with which you can create an individual design for your Blog online. You need no knowledge of HTML and no special Software. All you need is a Browser, maybe a little creativity and a small idea of how the finished design should look. You can download the finished Template with a simple click. provides you more than 20 layouts, and formatting options for various page elements including pages, header, footer, titles, margin, padding, border, and more for your WordPress blog. It also provides you an upload tool with which you can upload your site graphics. You can download the template on your system once you are complete.

WordPressthemegen

WordPressthemegen

A Desktop based WordPress Theme Generator, Unleash your creative ideas and bring your WordPress sites to life with this free and powerful software.Unleash your creative ideas and bring your WordPress sites to life with this free and powerful software. Generate elegant, modern WordPress theme. Harness the power of WordPress to transform your publishing platform to a success. Make your design decision on fly without any HTML, JS, PHP, or CSS knowledge. Identical experience Create a CSS-based, XHTML 1.0 Transitional-conforming WordPress site.

Theme Press

Theme Press

ThemesPress is a service that allows you to automatically convert your HTML and CSS based design into a WordPress blog theme, allowing you to take full control of the look of your blog without having to know or bother with PHP. Get your design powered by WordPress in minutes! For only $10, it’s a great deal. Before you buy, you can preview your design and make as many edits as you like. After you buy you will still be able to make all the CSS and setting edits you want in the future. Only the HTML will be locked from changes after purchase.

WordPress Theme Generator

ThemeGenerator

WordPress Theme generator.net is an online layout generator that allows you to design and dynamically generate a personalized wordpress theme for your blog.  There is some more functionalities they have to add to make it more powerful and allow you to customize more elements. The theme is widget ready and compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Play around with the tools on the sidebar on the lefthand side of the screen and create a personalized theme for your blog! These tools allow you to change the structure of the layout, header, background color, customize the font, etc. When you are happy with the new format, first click on save & then generate. This will export your theme to a zip file. Simply upload it on your host and activate it within the wordpress admin panel.

Author : Lars Vraa

Lars is passionate about web design, web development, SEO, social media and loves to look into new technologies, techniques, tools etc. and to write articles for tripwire magazine readers.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

mgarfath July 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

Complete waste of time for a professional, the main drawbacks include ( artisteer4.0 ) its not cross browser compatible ( IE 7 and IE8) another is that while working on projects clients generally want to see a jpg or png layout of the webpage before confirming a concept, so with artisteer even the designer / developer is clueless about what the next design “suggestion” is going to be, providing a png or jpg layout to client to confirm a design is impossible.

Reply

Krishoo March 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Nice wordpress theme generator i like it. thank you…

Reply

Wordpress theme generator December 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

WordPress users may install and switch between themes.Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure.

Reply

Wordpress theme generator December 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

WordPress users may install and switch between themes.Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure.

Reply

Justin December 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Great Collection! However, I am looking for a site that would allow me to create premium looking wordpress theme. Any recommendation is hugely appreciated!

Reply

chayd June 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

Great tool! I was an old school coder and designer. Using Photoshop, Dreamweaver, HTML, PHP and CSS. Then I discovered that there’s an easy way to do everything, and that’s CMS + ARTISTEER! Projects are a lot easier and faster to make! About the bad experience, the only bad experience I see and encountered are those people who can’t accept the fact that there’s an easy way to do everything rather than their own way.

Reply

Christo jackson May 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Great tip, just what i needed to tweak my new blog. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Cesar Pietri April 3, 2012 at 10:50 am

Hello everyone i use arteester to create myown WordPress theme since 2010 and i think is reaaly simple to use a faster. So is a good option when you want to create a wordpress theme in a easy way!!!

Reply

Mucahitt March 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I think a very good program. going to trial.Thanks.

Reply

Jill March 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I used Artisteer for a while but as a home user I prefer more user-friendly and flexible theme generators, like Lubith. It is an online, free WordPress theme generator. You make the modifications directly in the browser, it’s more dynamic , generates themes than can be directly tested, downloaded and used in WP, saves you a lot of trouble and you don’t have surprises like changes in the layout once you upload them.

Reply

house of script February 28, 2012 at 7:39 am

yeah.. im using Artisteer to, but this software doesn’t good enough, there’s plenty deficiencies.

Reply

Jasmine January 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thank you so much for this list of theme generators. I am actually looking for a software which can help me to design some nice WordPress themes, I think Artisteer is one of the best. Will check out the software in more detail!

Reply

kaety January 14, 2012 at 1:38 am

I use Artisteer for Joomla and Wordpress but only if I am looking for a basic design,
I find it a little restrictive when it comes to block placement and layout of modules.(widgets)
I recommend it for anyone trying to create a basic template for sure, however if you want something very customised you will still have to hack the template.

Reply

noed November 5, 2011 at 6:40 am

currently also used artister.. :D
thanks for sharing, really nice info

Reply

funny illusion October 3, 2011 at 7:50 am

Please help me how can I import a wordpress theme on Artisteer.3.0.0.41778 ?

Reply

Sri Lankan Web Designer September 27, 2011 at 6:45 am

Well said marc, I’m looking for a blank theme where I need all of my blocks with empty styles. Just like Magento blank theme with block separation in developer view. Seems like yvoschaap is the one for me. But still to find a plugin that can visualize the structure of the current theme. But no matter how good you are with these tools you still want to get your hands dirty by going to the code level to do changes if you really wants to be a pro.

Reply

Marc September 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I find that the people who bash Artisteer are essentially ‘web pros’ who don’t really understand the technology (or the platforms) they are working on at all. I spent over a year moderating the Artisteer forums (and have used the other tools listed in article) and the same questions would be asked over and over and over, and most of them were related to how Wordpress worked, NOT the way a theme provides a skin for the framework.

As always, people what a cheap and easy way to make themselves to be a proficient web pro… and they get mad when they actually have to learn how to do something.

If you don’t know how headers and sidebars work, how the calls in PHP actually assembles the page you view (the ‘loop’ or include statements or a whole host of other noteable quirks withing WP, Joomla, Drupal etc) then no amount of window dressing you do with any of these tools will matter. You’re still a hack trying to polish an inferior skill set.

Reply

Osmosis June 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

agreed for the most part. I find Artisteer a wonderful tool to get to a place of “starting” with a template design. Almost as if Artisteer generates a sketch and all that needs to be done is some more CSS coding. NBD. Yeah, it’s easy to bash Artisteer, but really it is a preference. Either way it’s easier to start with a blank set of templates than just making everything from scratch every-time. I am sure that anyone that has to do any work with WP on a regular basis has a base template set or two that they use as a starting-point (why reinvent the wheel). Artisteer often turns out to be mine, and it works for Joomla too (which I am a heavy user of).

Artisteer is a win in my book.

Reply

Dan July 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I disagree. The entire point of wanting to use, and pay for, a tool like this is to stay away from needing to tinker with the underlying code. Artisteer, to my knowledge, advertises that it creates WordPress templates. If those templates fail to work correctly, then even if it is due to some quirk in WordPress the defect is still with Artisteer because it is failing to do what it is expected to do. If on the other hand Artisteer is advertised as a product that creates semi-functional templates which will require fiddling the code afterward to get them to actually work that’s a different matter. Don’t know how many copies they’d sell marketing it as a product that creates templates that sometimes work, maybe, if you don’t look at them wrong.

Reply

Bjorn September 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Quote:I have tried the trial version and loved it. When I tried to purchase through Paypal, they say I have to have an American Credit Card! So dissappointing!

They have paypal payment option. That is a super easy internasjonal payment service that works from every country..

Reply

Website Development July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Hi love your site thanks for sharing some really good ideas for web development, which fits in great with a simple online marketing strategy. Over the months that have gone by, my partner has been working very smart adapting many of the steps outlined by you…

Reply

ganhar dinheiro July 5, 2011 at 1:07 am

excellent, really enjoyed it.

thanks for sharing

Reply

Dilla April 11, 2011 at 7:06 am

I have tried the trial version and loved it. When I tried to purchase through Paypal, they say I have to have an American Credit Card! So dissappointing!

Reply

Criar Websites March 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Artisteer is a good software to create free templates for the most known CMS, but it lacks in some areas. What’s good is that’s available for free, with the constraint that template comes with made by artisteer. But that’s ok.

Good review that you’ve done Lars.

Regards,
Adriano

Reply

Lars March 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Thanks for your feedback Criar!

Reply

Francois March 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

I have had only the best of experience with artisteer and have put up various websites using artisteer. They are continuously improving the app with a new version that is due for release as we speak. I am currently using the home edition. I think the full edition is a bit expensive considering the limited upside you get from the home edition.

Reply

Lars March 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience Francois

Reply

Meindert A, Jorna December 14, 2010 at 1:08 am

Disappointing. I have the same experience a person 1. Main problem: installing any artisteer template into an existing joomla website with a bit different layout as the standard joomla layout, gives problem like: (main) menu not showing up, sidebar not in layout as the template, e.a. Artisteer is made only for use in the standaard database settings of a standard joomla installations. In all other instances you will get disappointed.
Kind regards,
Ir. Meindert A. Jorna (Msc.)

Reply

Die Joomla February 9, 2012 at 2:34 am

i’ll bet dollars to doughnuts the problem is Joomla

Reply

TeckoGecko Small Business Websites October 3, 2010 at 9:50 am

I am a webdesigner who uses artisteer extensively for websites both for Joomla and Wordpress. It is an excellent tool and while there are a few little CSS corrections I make to each use, they tend to be related to personal preference. I suspect that many designers would be surprised at the results we have been able to achieve with this tool. Obviously there are some sites, that we use artisteer to provide the ‘base’ template and then add our own PHP, HTML and CSS coding to it to get a high quality graphic designer result. Mind you, I bet we are doing it in a fraction of the time, it would take a ‘hand-built’ design to be completed.
I recommend this tool to anyone. The only word of advice I would give is that for Wordpress 3.0.1 make sure you use the current Artisteer version of 2.5.

Reply

Unfortunate Artisteer User October 1, 2010 at 2:43 am

I’ve quickly discovered that Artisteer is only for show. Once you take the time to make a nice looking theme you have to gamble to see if works properly chances are that if it does display on the first try something is going to be broken whether it be a menu, header, or etc. Oh and like they warn on there website, when you go to fix these issue don’t bother using Dreamweaver CS5 with the new handy CMS tools it brings to try remedying it you’re better off using a text editor. Newbies unless you know coding to fix the problems that Artisteer creates don’t waste your money. I’ve had the misfortune of testing the full paid version on WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. This product has been more than disappointing and I’d definitely not recommend this product to any friend of mine but maybe to a pesky neighbor. I gave the product as many chances as I could but ended up losing hair and to stop myself from looking like Mr. Clean no offensive anyone I’ve stopped using the product. The product absolutely looked promising when I tried out the free trial but it fell short way short from expectation and what was advertised and on top of that no refunds. I’m hoping to save some of you from such aggravation.

Reply

tripwire team October 2, 2010 at 12:17 am

Thanks for sharing your opinion and experience. Not good that you had this kind of problems. I have not experienced anything like it myself so it is hard to know what made it screw up for you?

Reply

databasepro December 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I’m sql database programmer and not a php pro so used Artisteer to make several wordpress blogs and I have never had any problems with it whatsoever. There are some features and options I would like to add to it like buddypress and bbpress support but beyond I have never had a problem with it . I wonder if it might be an expectations issue you had. As far as I can see artisteer is just for layout and color scheme which all works great.

Reply

Almarma December 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Have a look at their website’s forum. A lot of people is complaining about bugs, slowness, the Mac release being delayed continuously :(. I’ve using Artisteer for two years and I’m very tired of it. To work with it is a pain, you cannot style comments, and has a lot of small problems if you want to fix a small detail that is not like it’s supposed to be. I paid to them because there were no alternatives, but now it’s getting more and more interesting as alternatives are arising.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

{ 7 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:


Web Analytics