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Last updated: February 1, 2024
Reviews of five of the best WordPress themes for affiliate marketing, based on code quality, customizability, performance, features, support, and more.
Affiliate marketing is certainly not for everyone, but I love it as it involves skills I am passionate about, such as competitor analysis, SEO, and keyword research.
Over the years, I’ve built several niche affiliate sites, some more successful than others. One of the most important aspects of building and growing an affiliate site is finding the right WordPress theme.
With literally thousands of WordPress themes on the market, it’s tough to pick a theme that is suitable for building a lean and successful affiliate website. Keep reading, as I will share my 5 favorite WordPress themes for affiliate marketing.
Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Themes:
|Kadence Theme Pro
Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Themes
I’m deliberately keeping this list short and sweet to avoid random clutter. The below 5 themes have been tried and tested by myself, and I can vouch for them.
These themes are lightweight and aren’t overloaded with fancy bells and whistles. That’s what I personally think affiliate marketing themes should be like.
1. Kadence Theme Pro
Kadence is a WordPress theme that has grown strongly in recent years, especially in the affiliate marketing industry. The Kadence Theme was developed and designed to offer fast performance, and comes with a large set of features that make it easy to quickly build great looking websites.
For a quick and easy setup, Kadence has a collection of free templates available that you can use for your own affiliate marketing website. The theme itself is free, but you can purchase Kadence Pro at an affordable price, giving you access to a whole bunch of useful extra features without sacrificing performance.
Kadence also offers several plugins, with Kadence Blocks being their most popular one. Kadence Blocks is a page builder that works as an extra layer on top of the native WordPress block editor. It allows you to create content with a professional-looking design without bloat.
The most ideal Kadence setup is Kadence Essential Bundle, which includes their pro theme, the blocks plugin, and access to all of their starter templates.
2. GeneratePress Premium
My personal favorite theme is GeneratePress, which can be used for any type of WordPress blog. Most of my affiliate websites are running on GeneratePress, and I couldn’t be more satisfied.
GeneratePress is a super light, free theme that you can extend with their Premium plugin that adds several useful modules. With the plugin, you can decide which modules you want to use and which you want to keep deactivated.
Out of the box, GeneratePress isn’t exactly mind-blowing from a look-and-feel perspective. But by adding the modules you want and customizing the theme to fit your needs, GeneratePress can satisfy any WordPress blogger.
What’s even better is that GeneratePress offers ready-to-go templates. Choose one you like from the library and import its settings into your site. Once that’s done, you’re pretty much ready to go. But GeneratePress offers endless customization options, so you can spend some time customizing your new site to fit your needs.
GeneratePress offers a template specifically for affiliate sites called “Marketing”. That is the template that I’ve been using for my own niche sites as well. It’s a super clean, great-looking template that works amazingly well for blogs focused on affiliate marketing.
3. Astra Pro
The popular Astra theme was built with site speed in mind. It’s super lightweight and designed based on a modular approach.
Similar to GeneratePress, Astra is a free theme that you can enhance by purchasing the Pro version. This Pro version allows you to activate several features that you believe are a good fit for your new affiliate website.
Astra is also designed to be compatible with popular page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder. As I explain below, I wouldn’t use a page builder to create blog posts, but if this is something you wish to do, it’s good to know that Astra (and GeneratePress also) cater to this.
In fact, Astra has several plug-and-play, conversion-optimized, website templates specifically designed with these page builders. You can import any of these templates that you like.
The OceanWP theme is a free, lightweight theme that can be extended by purchasing individual modules or by purchasing the Core Extensions Bundle.
The free theme is lightweight and a great foundation to build on. It’s then up to you which features you would like to add to your theme setup. This approach makes OceanWP one of the fastest-loading themes on the market.
To get you up and running quickly, OceanWP offers several demo site imports, either free or paid. The Simpleblog template, for example, would be very suitable to build an affiliate marketing website with.
OceanWP has tons of 5-star reviews, which proves I am certainly not the only one who gets excited about this theme.
5. Magazine Pro
As the name suggests, the Magazine Pro theme was initially designed for the online publishing/media niche, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use this theme for affiliate marketing.
The reason I personally really like this theme is the simplistic yet stylish design, but also the reliability of the Genesis Framework. That’s right, Magazine Pro is built on the Genesis framework by StudioPress (now owned by WPEngine), meaning you’ll have to buy the theme + Framework package to build an affiliate site with this setup.
Magazine Pro is hugely customizable without making things too complicated. You can literally have a professional-looking site up and running within minutes.
If, for whatever reason, Magazine Pro doesn’t appeal to you, StudioPress has lots of other great themes on offer that run on the Genesis framework.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable theme that runs on one of the most trusted WordPress frameworks, you can’t really go wrong with a theme from StudioPress.
What do you need to consider when looking for a suitable WordPress theme to install on your brand new affiliate site?
1. Ongoing Updates
This is a no-brainer, but stay far away from themes that haven’t been updated in some time. The Internet evolves rapidly, and WordPress themes must also evolve and adapt.
A software development team should always release updates to their software, ideally on a set schedule. This is to iron out bugs and issues (that will always exist) and to include new, value-adding features.
2. Good Support
With most themes, you can have a peek into their support forums. Use it. Have a look around to see what’s going on in there, what types of issues users are reporting, how the developers are responding, etc.
This will give you great insights into not only the quality of the theme but also the quality of the support they provide.
For example, GeneratePress has a very active support forum, and as you will see, the support being provided is top notch.
3. Page Speed and CWV
As we all know, page speed and Core Web Vitals are important. Not just from Google’s perspective but also from a user experience perspective.
While there may be tons of things that can impact page speed, the theme you’re using can be a considerable burden.
Go ahead and find sites that use the theme you want to buy and run them through a few different page speed tools. You can also use the theme’s demo site and do a speed test on that.
This can give you some very insightful clues about how the theme impacts page speed and Core Web Vitals.
4. Clean Look and Feel
Everyone has a different opinion on this, but I want affiliate sites to look clean and simple. The less clutter and distraction, the more chance your readers will click those affiliate links.
5. No Unnecessary Features
It can be tempting to choose a theme that offers tons of great features. I get it.
In reality, you won’t be using many of these features, but all these fancy bells and whistles do make the theme heavier.
This correlates with criteria 3 and 4. What you really want is a lightweight theme that offers good page speed out of the box and a clean look and feel.
6. Clean HTML
If you know me, then you will know that I am incredibly picky when it comes to the cleanliness of HTML code. The HTML your site spits out can greatly impact the quality of your on-page SEO.
Some themes (and page builders, see further below) just aren’t coded very nicely, and produce HTML that breaks all the rules. Without going into too much detail, choose a theme that values best coding practices.
7. SEO Friendly?
I would prefer not to include this criterion because SEO is far too complicated to say that a particular theme is “SEO friendly”, or worse, “SEO ready”.
But so many themes do make that claim and support that claim by mentioning random and vague things.
I will say this. If you have a theme that is well-coded, loads fast, has a clean look and feel, and is regularly updated, then you can safely assume that this theme is SEO-friendly.
That’s the foundation you need to create and grow a site that can rank in the organic search results. But ultimately, it depends on you, your skills, and how much effort you will put in.
8. Page Builders?
I don’t recommend using them. Full stop. And with the WordPress Block Editor, who needs a page builder anyway?
That doesn’t mean you can’t build a successful site with a page builder like Elementor and Thrive Architect. You absolutely can. But personally, I would never ever use a page builder to create affiliate content.
Unfortunately, page builders create a lot of bloat, which is reflected in the HTML they produce. The cleaner the HTML output of your affiliate website, the easier it is for Google to interpret your content and rank and display it in their search results pages.
9. Affiliate Marketing Plugin
What I do recommend using is a purpose-built affiliate marketing plugin, such as AAWP, Lasso, and others.
These plugins will help you display beautiful tables and product widgets that will ultimately make you more affiliate sales.
If you’re going to focus on Amazon, check out my review of AAWP, an excellent WordPress plugin for Amazon-focused affiliate marketing.
Best WordPress themes for writers.
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