It is against my natural instinct to pay for what can be had for free. There are plenty of WordPress themes freely available. Each year brings a new ‘official’ theme, unimaginatively named 2015, 2014, 2013 and so on. The site admin can swap to the new theme (with a new layout that could mess up the current look and feel) or keep to the existing theme. There are also a host of free themes from other sources. Some design houses provide a free theme and other paid themes or provide ‘free’ themes with additional customisation options that can be unlocked at a price.
This site has been through several themes as one of its purposes is to provide a sandbox to try out a look and feel for other sites without having to modify those sites. Here the site is running the paid Dolce theme;
This theme was set up to duplicate the theme on the ‘no opencast coal‘ campaign site. The theme itself was created by css igniter, who offer themes on a yearly subscription either individually or as a bundle. In WordPress the functions on the dashboard menu vary with the theme and plug-ins installed, some allow more features to be tweaked than others. There is almost always a plug-in allowing an existing feature to be changed if the theme itself does not allow it. Failing that the underlying page code can be edited, having some idea what is going on is a big help here. The major positive of going for the paid theme from css igniter was the access to their help forum. Most of the theme was easy to sort out but one issue did require a forum request that was swiftly sorted and put the development back on track. Some lesser issues were fixed by searching through previous posts in the theme forum. From the seller’s point of view access is only granted for one year. After that no theme updates are available and access to the forum is closed.
The kindus blog uses a custom theme specifically created for that site, here shown in the theme choice window.
The designer has set up custom elements to make updating the content relatively easy for the non-coder. With some WordPress, php and CSS knowledge more detailed changes could be made to the site while still keeping the original design ethos. This arrangement involves paying for the initial design and set up but ensures that maintenance does not rely on continuing payments to the original designer.