Design Your Own WordPress Themes…No Coding Required!

Successful WordPress sites have great looking themes. Artisteer lets you have that amazing theme with no hassle, no fuss, and best of all, you don’t need any coding skills to use it.

Artisteer works with several platforms, including Joomla, Blogger, WordPress, and Drupal.

Unlike many tools WordPress users are used to, Artisteer is not a plugin that is added to a blogging platform installation. Instead, it is a standalone computer program designed for Windows and Apple operating systems. While it shares many features with WYSIWYG html editors, it is a unique piece of software that hides the HTML and focuses on pure visual design, allowing even non-coders to create professional-looking templates.

Artisteer can…

  • Create unique themes based on a database of professional templates
  • Handle WYSIWYG template creation
  • Create W3 compliant HTML code
  • Create templates compatible with all modern browsers

On the other hand, Artisteer does not

  • Allow modification of themes created outside of Artisteer
  • Offer full functionality when using the trial version or the Home & Academic version
  • Create complete websites

Like many premium themes, Artisteer is not free. While there is a trial version, it is significantly limited in what it can do and what you can do with the templates that you create. While you can export the templates to limited platforms, you cannot save the design for further modification.

Using Artisteer

Once you install the program, using Artisteer is very simplistic, which is excellent for those who are inexperienced with HTML design and creation.

This is the heart and soul of the program. You have several ways to work with Artisteer, ranging from the common commands found on the home screen to editing the colors, fonts, general layout and background patterns of the theme you are building.

However, the magic of Artisteer is in the Suggest Design function. Creating a unique, interesting, and professional WordPress theme is a major challenge. Artisteer uses an innovative system that allows it to make unique, good-looking themes by customizing a series of common themes in its database.

In short, it can suggest a site design for you. You can then decide whether or not you want to build from the design it offered you, or if you want to try a new design. Unlike other WYSIWYG software programs, you start with an attractive base that you can then customize to match your site, your business, and your design ideals.

Once you have selected the basic design you want to work with, you can start making modifications. Unfortunately, you have to work with themes that are native with Artisteer. If you have created a heavily-modified WordPress theme that you like, you won’t be able to use it as a foundation for a new theme.

On the other hand, Artisteer offers so many different unique themes with its Suggest Design feature that creating a new and attractive theme is extremely simple.

Trial users may only export to limited platforms. Home & Academic users can export to XHTML-CSS, Blogger, and WordPress. Standard Edition users are the only ones who can export to XHTM-CSS, Blogger, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and DotNetNuke.

While trial users can get by – barely – with the software, upgrading is a bit of a necessity for anyone who wants to see the full power of this program. The basic level, the Home & Academic version, costs around $50.00, offers free upgrades for one year, supports the Suggest Design feature, and can export to XHTML-CSS, Blogger, and WordPress. It only has access to approximately 75% of the available gradients, textures and extras compared to the Standard edition, which limits its complete functionality.

The Standard Edition costs $129,95, offers free upgrades for one year, supports the Suggest Design feature, includes export options for all available format types, and includes access to special plugins, several customization dialogs, and complete access to Artisteer’s database of colors, textures, gradients, fonts, and extras.

For those who want to save time on theme development, there are few applications that have the strength and versatility of Artisteer. While the standard edition is a little expensive for individuals, it is affordable for businesses and offers enough extras compared to the home & academic version to be worth the additional cost for those who require that functionality.

Artisteer does not offer refunds on license purchases, so make certain you check out the trial version prior to purchasing any level. If you use the latest versions of WordPress, you will likely have to upgrade every year in order to maintain compatibility with the latest versions of your blogging platforms.

Enjoy,

Seth C

Comments (15)

      • I think he was referring to the generated themes. Since the software uses some specific HTML and CSS elements in order to create various layouts, all those elements will appear in the generated theme. It doesn’t matter if you have an all white template or an image heavy template, the theme will have all the divs in the source code. You’ll basically be playing with transparency or none attribute in order to generate a simpler design. So there will actually be a lot of unused HTML and CSS elements. That’s why i think he said it’s hard to modify it without being good at php.

        And on the ugly part – maybe he just used the graphics included in the software and yes those are not nice. But i personally used it and added my own graphics and the result was really good. But pros will not use it and to pay 150$ just to generate a layout for your personal blog it’s not worth it. There are a bunch of very customizable wordpress themes out there.

        And there is one more problem – You can’t make your theme logo clickable so that it can take you to the home page.

        • Obviously you have not spent a great deal of time using this program. I am a seasoned pro in the game for many years now and I was put onto this program by another colleague of mine whom is also a professional web designer. The main benefit is that is saves a whole lot of time with some of the basic stuff. OF course afterwards we are able to further modify any of the code to our liking so pros like me who have tons of clients to keep happy are on the clock and this helps shed quite a bit of time! Furthermore compared to other software applications out there the cost is very reasonable.
          Also you can make the them logo clickable so that it can take you to the homepage! If you dont know how to do that ask someone dont assume it isnt possible and then make false statements.

          • I’m sorry if my comment left the wrong impression. Comment fighting wasn’t my intention.

            1. You are right. I haven’t spent a lot of time with it. I only made 4 themes with it.

            2. I agree with you that it is useful for saving time with some of the basic stuff. You can then modify the source code to adjust a theme to your needs.

            3. Maybe “pros” wasn’t my best choice as a word. If you look on the internet you will see a lot of developers who choose to manually code their themes, not generate them. Usually they don’t like/don’t “recognize” web developers that use website generators. I have nothing against people who use this type of software. Maybe they have a good reason – lots of clients.

            4. Yes compared to similar software the price is reasonable. But i specified that i was comparing it to – very customizable wordpress themes. Those that have their own customization panel for css, fonts, link colors, logo, header image, social links etc.

            5. And on the logo part – people would add the logo via Header tab > Foreground Photo. And you can’t add an URL to that – not when making a wordpress theme (we’re on WPMU). Only the headline is programmed to take you back to the homepage – i think, didn’t actually used it. And i think, what you meant by “don’t assume it isn’t possible”, you were referring to editing the source code after exporting the theme.

            Thank you!

  1. The old version was too tedious and limited, but v.4 should put Artisteer right up there with the best of the frameworks, or at least close. Add a touch of Templateer, and you’re there. And for those who do hybrid sites (an HTML site with a WP blog) matching up the sites is a breeze with Artisteer. And the price is right too!

  2. My personal opinion is that if you are having to consider using artisteer to produce websites on a professional level you are in the wrong business. Getting the best websites is not just about what they look like – it’s how they function, how efficient they are etc etc.

    • You got it, Dani. You see, my first attempts ever with WordPres themes installations and customizations involved some Artisteer generated ones. If any uses WayBackMachine can bring those terrible versions. Artisteer seems to me that they’r not exactly a tool to produce themes. Instead, they create a universe, a bunch of stuff of their own, like a MOD or a different framework. Once a dev is attached to Artisteer’s methods, than is harder to get out of it. Because if you’re a regular WP dev and for the 1st time ever you go check someting made with Artisteer, you’ll not understand it. You’ll have to deciphre ‘em first… SO, it’s up to you to choose: either one (Artisteer army), or the other (tradicional). Both can not co-exist. That’s the whole point, simply because they’re SO DIFFRENT, because they made Artisteer for only a bunch of people willing to like it, buy it, and staying there, within the Artisteer’s group of people. That’s it! I’m out of there, and feeling free…

  3. After having had a couple of bad experiences, I’d never trust a company that doesn’t provide a refund policy.

    In this specific case, the trial version lacks many features available in the other two version: this to me is just a confirmation that I should’n even try the trial version.

  4. Artisteer is okay if you are developing across multiple platforms. But, if you’re using it just for WordPress sites, there are better actual frameworks out there.

    Check the Artisteer forums to see the types of issues users encounter:
    http://www.artisteer.com/?p=forums

    The biggest flaws are the heavy code, learning curve, and relatively limited “theme options” available on the WordPress dashboard. But, as far as design, you can do a lot with the tool. Genesis, Catalyst and Weaver are just as good and can be managed right in the dashboard.

  5. I am using Artisteer 4 on my website and I have not encountered any problems on my website and I have quite few plugins as well and yet my website loads in about 5 sec average.

    I find that Artisteer is like any other software and just gives you some templates to start designing your theme and then you can customize any part of the theme as you wish with layouts of each part of theme that are provided.

  6. Professionals like myself love the fact that I can use this program to set up the basics in no time flat. We you are on deadlines and have many clients to cater to that alone is a godsend. Afterwards making changes to the code to suit our liking is allot quicker as the foundation has been laid. I have built tons of amazing sites for my clients using this program and then exported to Joomla without any issues whatsoever. I personally prefer Joomla however the other beautiful thing about this software is if I have a client whom would like to self manage their site then it is easy enough for me to go back and export it as a wordpress site. That alone is worth is weight in gold. Anyways to each to their own but at the end of the day no matter what program you use designing is designing and if you dont have the eye then you wont get the result no matter what you do period!

Participate