Expand2Web vs. Soliloquy vs. Catalyst Theme: Wordpress Theme ComparisonWebsites & eCommerce
Nowadays it is imperative for a business to have a website and general presence on the Internet. Because not all business owners are tech savvy, they need platforms for building websites that are intuitive, user-friendly, and involve little to no web coding. As a result, web developers created the concept of themes to help build websites for individuals and businesses alike.
WordPress is one of the most common website hosts, and WordPress themes flood the market, both free and paid. They are akin to website outfits, as they preformat the overall design and aesthetics of the web page(s), from text font to photo layout. They arrange content in ways that attract readers and potential customers for individuals and businesses who are ready to move forward with a good-looking website.
Why Are WordPress Themes Important?
Sometimes, those looking to build a website are looking to apply their content to designs in a hurry. Instead of hiring a designer for lengthy consultations and less hands-on control over future website edits, they turn to themes for built-in design and support. They’re ready to simply enter their content and launch the site.
WordPress themes can be helpful for individuals looking to build a:
- Fan site
- Site to share photos
- User forum
- Site to keep in touch with family
Image courtesy of Catalyst
Not only might a user be flush with content and ready to put it on the web, he or she may simply not need the advanced functionality that comes with more complex HTML and CSS-based websites. They also may not have the need or budget to hire a web developer or designer and would prefer a fast and simple website designed by a third-party company.
The Soliloquy sliders are perfect for sharing photos, and Expand2Web’s inexpensive price point makes adapting a theme much easier on a smaller budget. Catalyst is slightly more expensive for a single site, but considerably less expensive if the user is looking to use the theme on more than one website.
Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Similar to individuals, many startups, nonprofits, and small businesses do not have the budget to hire a web designer to create and customize a complex website.
But perhaps the best functions of WordPress themes for small businesses are their:
- Speedy setup
- User-friendly content entry
Image courtesy of Catalyst
The sooner businesses launch a website, the better, so not having to spend a large amount of time on design, and the ease with which content can be entered, is important for optimum functionality. You may not need a lot of bells and whistles—particularly not starting out—so affordable themes might be the way to go for getting your website off the ground.
Expand2Web developed their SmallBiz theme specifically with small businesses in mind. Their single website price is reasonable considering the wide range of designs, so for businesses, nonprofits, and freelancers with not a lot of money to spend, this might be the best option.
Large-Sized Businesses and Consultants
Many large-sized businesses will already have a website set up, albeit a simpler one with less integrated features like mobile sites and social media and a less eye-catching design. Many larger businesses also may have a little more money to consult with a developer about tweaking the theme’s coding to make their website more original than the basic template that many others buy as well.
Like consultants, they also may be overseeing multiple websites and may wish to use the same theme on all of them. For use on unlimited websites, the Catalyst theme has the best price by far, and on the backend, their customization possibilities are seemingly endless.
WordPress themes are generally either free or premium, which usually means that you pay a one-time fee to use the theme indefinitely. Expand2Web, Soliloquy, and Catalyst are all premium themes, which also means they generally come with more features than free themes.
Video courtesy of Expand2Web
The SmallBiz theme has a number of useful features:
- Mobile-enabled sites
- Social media/blog integration
- Ecommerce/online store
- SEO – higher Google rankings
With the expansion of mobile searches, commerce, and the like, having a mobile-enabled site is important for being visible and accessible on users’ smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Social media and blog integration has become important for higher search rankings, which also gets a boost from this service’s SEO techniques. And finally, it’s important to have an easy-to-use online store to be able to effectively sell your products—if you don’t make your product or service easy to buy, your potential customers will go elsewhere to find it.
Video courtesy of Soliloquy
Soliloquy is primarily a WordPress slider service. Sliders present slideshows of photos and text, generally located along the top of a website for instant access. Their value lies in their ability to present more designs and detailed information in one spot on the website without taking up as much space and without forcing the reader to scroll down as much.
A customized slider from Soliloquy may be a very useful tool for your website. It differs from the other two services, however, by not being a full theme.
Video courtesy of Catalyst
Catalyst offers a wide range of customization options for getting more technical with site design. Their point-and-click interface makes these customizations even easier to implement. In addition, there are more than 800 possible designs for you to work with including predesigned skins and layouts. They also offer a wide range of service support and resources for continuing to build a thriving website as you go along.
As the three services vary in feature sets, so do their prices:
Expand2Web – SmallBiz Theme
- Unlimited websites - $127
- 30-day money back guarantee
Soliloquy appears to have the lowest prices, but their prices are only for the slider plugin rather than an entire theme. This actually puts their prices on the higher end of these three services.
Expand2Web is the right price for a single website. But for consultants and larger businesses with multiple websites, Expand2Web has the more expensive option, while Catalyst has the best price for use on unlimited sites.
Image courtesy of Expand2Web
Small businesses, nonprofits, and freelancers will find Expand2Web’s SmallBiz theme helpful and the less expensive option. Catalyst is better for a consultant or larger business looking for a better deal on multiple websites. Rather than being a full theme like the others, Soliloquy offers a beautiful and decently priced slider plugin, though it can get a little pricey for multiple sites. Depending on your needs and budget, each of these three services offers a variety of features that may best suit your new website.