JUST HOW GOOD IS IT?
The debate on whether plugins or dedicated themes are the best way to build review sites will probably never be resolved. Everybody will try out different ideas and make their own decisions based on ease-of-use, functionality and results.
There are now 3 good reviews themes out there:
ElegantThemes In Review – Cheap, pretty easy to use and decent looking. Negatives include the lack of flexibility in design, the somewhat clunky header title editing, the not-so-well thought out H1,H2 SEO settings and a look that doesn’t capture attention in the same way as more affiliate specific themes do. It’s still popular due to its price point and the fact that you get all other ElegantThemes at the same price (for a 1 year membership).
WordPress Review Theme – This is a much better option. It’s lay out is bold, clear and it’s designed by a knowledgable affiliate marketer. I do like this theme a lot, and it was my top pick until a couple of weeks ago.
Product Review WordPress Theme – This is the 3rd, very interesting contender and one that was new to me until recently.
The default layout is much better than ElegantThemes InReview and possibly more well thought out than the excellent WordPress Review Theme.
One immediate advantage is the overview of all reviews, complete with star ratings, on the homepage and the star ratings for each featured review also being visible from the homepage. People tend to be lazy, and skim through content, so making sure the as much info as possible is on the homepage, above-the-fold, is a good idea.
The colors of the theme are not as vivid as those used by WordPress Review Theme, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as pastel shades can help to get visitors focusing on content instead of looks. However, Product Review Theme does take into account the psychological effects of certain colors, so negative and positive reviews will be automatically colored accordingly.
An opt-in box widget in available, where you can cut and paste your auto-responder service’s code.
The footer and sidebar menu’s are easily customizable, which is always good.
Another major plus for affiliate marketers is the built in link cloaking. This seems to be overlooked by many, and really, it should be built-in to all themes that advertise themselves as designed for affiliates. Too many themes out there build themselves up and then don’t even include basic features.
Author ratings and user ratings are both offered, and completely flexible to your needs.
The theme comes with a 30 day money back guarantee and the price includes use on unlimited domains, full time support and video tutorials to get you up and running.
The designer’s have taken the time to implement link cloaking, opt-in forms and really thought hard about how to maximize CTR. I found this quite refreshing, as many theme designers give us half answers / cobbled together themes and expect users to pay through the nose for plugin upon plugin to deal with the shortcomings of their work.
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