I’ve been working on WordPress for almost 8 years, and by now I am confident that I can build a small company website or a blog easily. But web design has never been one of my strengths. Even though I work on websites every day and I have a very good understanding of user experience, every time I need to build a new website from scratch, I really struggle with design ideas. Fortunately, many modern WordPress themes come with pre-made websites that you can use directly or as an inspiration for your own website.
In this article, I’ll be listing my favorite WordPress themes that include pre-built websites or demo websites, which are also the most affordable and useful for freelancers or small companies.
What is a pre-built demo website?
A prebuilt website is a demo website made by professional designers and developers. It can be offered either for a specific WordPress theme or for a specific WordPress page builder such as Elementor, Gutenberg, or Beaver. The demo website can be imported into your own WordPress installation and entirely customized with your own text, images, and color palette. Once you’ve imported the prebuilt website, you are free to make any changes you want.
Prebuilt websites are made by the developer of the WordPress theme or by a third-party company or an independent developer. In fact, anyone can make a demo website and sell it on marketplaces such as Envato Elements or Tamplately. In these marketplaces, you will find thousands of easy-to-customize website templates made by professional designers that are responsive and conversion optimized. Each demo site is a compilation of several ready pages of different page types.
For example, pre-built company website will most probably include the following pages:
- Home Page
- Service Page
- About Page
- Contact Page
A pre-built e-commerce website will have the following pages:
- Home Page
- Product Page
- Product Category Page
- Cart Page
- Checkout Page
- About Page
- Contact Page
Most demo websites even come with royalty-free photos, icons, and illustrations that you can use freely on your own website.
Because many WordPress themes don’t include demo websites, many website owners and developers will use marketplaces such as Envato Elements or Tamplately to draw inspiration or to directly purchase a demo website they can easily customize and use. I usually don’t have good design ideas (or any ideas) so each time I need to build a new website from scratch, I will use a pre-build designs, at least for the main webpages. Once you’ve imported the demo design or the demo pages to my own WordPress, you can customize and/or delete everything I don’t need. Using pre-built websites is that convenient.
Five WordPress Themes with Ready-to-Import Demo Websites
Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes at the moment. It has more than 1,400 reviews on Trustpilot and over 4,800 ratings on WordPress.org. Astra’s popularity is no coincidence. This theme, as well as its demo websites, is compatible with all popular website builders – Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Gutenberg. In fact, it was one of the first themes to become Gutenberg-compatible.
If you choose Astra as your WordPress theme, you’ll have access to an extensive library of more than 280 pre-built website templates. You can preview every pre-built website directly on the official website of the Astra WordPress Theme. On their website, you can also read more details about each template, such as the page builder for which this pre-build website is available (Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Gutenberg), whether the website is WordPress compatible, and some key features.
However, the number of pre-built website designs you’ll get access to depends on the type of license you’ll purchase. The cheapest theme license is Astra Pro, and it comes with 100+ Free Starter Templates, while the Mini Agency license will give you access to 150+ Agency Starter Templates. Usually, the prices of these licenses are respectively $59 and $135 per year, but the theme is always almost on sale and offers interesting discounts.
Also, Astra offers a lifetime subscription plan which will allow for getting lifetime theme updates for the price of $299 for Astra Pro and $849 for Mini Agency.
In fact, Astra even offers some free website templates that you can install and use on the free version of the theme. However, I found these to be very basic, a bit boring, and even if you decide to use a free pre-build website, you’ll still be limited by the features of the free theme, which offers few customizations.
The second theme on my list of the 5 most affordable WordPress themes with ready-to-import websites is Neve.
Neve is another very popular multipurpose WordPress theme that also works with the two most popular page builders: Gutenberg and Elementor. The team is known to be very fast, and many of the reviews you’ll read on WordPress.org about this theme are pointing out the theme’s speed and the fact that it’s mobile-first compatible. It includes a speed performance module that allows you to load remote fonts locally, to lazy render content, or to remove unnecessary scripts and built-in Critical CSS.
Neve offers a choice of 100+ ready-to-import websites that they call “starter sites” and the team promises that the “list is growing” and that new designs are added each month. The pre-built website collection can be viewed on the website, and you can even filter by page builder for which the template is made.
However, access to the starter site library is only available with the business plan, with the original price being $151 per year. Neve doesn’t offer lifetime subscription plans.
Ultra Pro is WordPress theme created by Themify. Similar to the other themes in this list, this theme is fully responsive and entirely customizable, making it easy to create any site quickly and beautifully. In addition to the pre-built website layouts, Ultra includes 12 builder add-ons, 17 different page designs, 5 single post layouts, and multiple header background styles.
The Pro theme comes with 60+ Pre-designed Layouts, and they can all be seen and previewed on the official website.
Some of the pre-designed layouts include only 3 or 4 pages, but the builder add-ons allow you to easily develop the website layout you’ve chosen.
To use the ULTRA Pro WordPress theme, you can purchase the cheapest license on Themily for $59. It allows you to use the Ultra theme and all of its pre-built layouts on an unlimited number of websites. If you get the Master club plan for $89 you have access to all 42 WordPress themes (including ULTRA, Shoppe, Parallax, etc.) developed by Themify.
And finally, Themify offers a lifetime subscription plan that is valid for all of their themes at the price of $249.
Zakkra is another very popular WordPress theme with thousands of positive reviews and satisfied users across the web. This theme has a free version that is quite flexible and easy to customize. On their website, you can check a comparison of the Zakra vs. Zakra Pro features.
The theme comes with more than 80 website templates for different website purposes and they can all be previewed online.
Some of their website templates exist in both free and premium versions. The premium templates are created using the Zakra theme, the Zakra Pro plugin, and the Companion Addons for Elementor plugin, while the free templates don’t use the Pro plugin and can be used under the free version of the theme.
The only downside of this theme is that the cheapest license that is $45 can be used on one website only. If you are planning to use Zakra on multiple websites, you’ll have to look at the more expensive licenses: $159 for 10 websites or $164 for unlimited websites use.
Additionally, all plans exist as lifetime subscription plans that are priced between $100 and $350.
The last theme on my list of the most affordable WordPress themes with ready-on websites is DIVI. This is a very popular WordPress theme that needs no introduction. It is developed by Elegant Themes and according to their official website, DIVI is one of the most downloaded WoprdPress themes of 2022.
DIVI Pro comes with more than 800 pre-made website layouts for all types of businesses. The demo sites can be seen here.
At first glance, DIVI Pro may look like one of the most expensive themes on this list. The early access costs $89, and there is also a lifetime access option priced at $249. However, for these prices, you’ll get access not only to one but to four WordPress themes developed by Elegant themes: Divi, Extra, Bloom, and Monarch. You will also gain access to the full catalog of website templates that you can use across your websites. That’s why I believe DIVI should be added to the list of the most affordable WordPress themes with demo websites.
Your website is your online presence and very often – the first impression that potential customers have of your company. It should convey your brand identity and message. For that reason, some developers may advise you against using pre-build websites. However, keep in mind that everything is customizable. Using a demo website doesn’t mean that you’ll have a website that is an exact copy of another website.