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SMThemes Review

Well, there’s no arguing with SMThemes; they’re all free. Up to a point, anyway. With the free license you can’t post sponsored links or use it to build sites for your clients. The Standard one allows sponsored links and the developer’s license allows full access and freedom. For free themes, some of them are really, really nice. Batik, for example, is better than most free themes I’ve seen; even the themes given away by good companies like Gavick aren’t nicer than this, really. The problem is that nearly all of themes on the site don’t leave much to write home about. Well, what am I saying, ‘nearly all’? I didn’t look through all of them because there are far too many.

They helpfully collated the highlights of their set, with their ‘Top 50’ link at the top. I took the time to go through all of those, and I like exactly 8 of them out of 50. That’s quite good, really. You can’t please everyone. Apparently they have had absolutely thousands of downloads of these things, so they must be doing something very right. It seems that they aren’t just “sell-anything” theme vendors like ThemeForest, but actually a group who design a LOT of themes. That’s surprising; usually a theme shop which is either free or very full is just a marketplace. This site is both of those things and isn’t a marketplace, which is respectable actually.

Their categories range from toys, to business to women. They don’t have a patch on Bluchic with their women section though. Bluchic get absolutely everything right. SM’s women templates are just okay, they’re not quite as cute or sexy as Bluchic’s. To beat some of the top paid theme shops with free themes might be too much to ask, but if SM want to stand out they need more than quantity and downloads, they need themes which are actually unique. They must be making a ton of money if they have had over 3,000,000 free downloaders, they must have had a few buyers as well, surely!

It’s time SMThemes turned into a real theme shop and scaled down its output to concentrate on a few really great themes and stop churning out re-hashes of WordPress defaults. Still, can’t complain when it’s free, can you? Graph Paper Press and Colorlib did free themes better, so there.

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