*UPDATE: Baamboo Studio has drastically changed over the past couple of years. The quality of their products, services and customer support has fallen off a cliff. I have chosen to no longer work with the company, and I highly recommend you stay away from them as well. A much, much better alternative is Webfire Themes. They really are the best Weebly theme provider at this point.*
Weebly is, in my opinion, one of the best website builders on the market. It’s easy to use, extremely intuitive, and very affordable.
However, it is not without it’s own shortcomings. One of the biggest problems with Weebly is their lack of high quality, modern, and up-to-date themes and templates. They have many to choose from, but they lack creativity and beauty.
Fortunately, there are a few awesome 3rd party developers making some truly inspiring Weebly themes. They may not all be free, but you should be willing to put a small investment into really making your website stand out from the competition.
We’ll be taking a look at one of the more popular options for premium Weebly themes, Baamboo Studio.
Upon visiting Baamboo Studio’s website for the first time, it’s understandable that you would find yourself apprehensive at first. The chat box and social sharing pop ups can be a tad aggressive, even jarring at first.
Once you get past that, it becomes clear that this is a company who knows how to make a beautiful website. When searching for Weebly themes and templates, the first thing you should take into account is how good the developer’s website looks. If their own website is terrible, how can you expect them to make great themes for you?
Fortunately, Baamboo Studio’s website passes with flying colors. Beautiful, functional, and well laid out, it scrolls, fades, drops, and slides like a dream. At no point do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed, and the calls to action are loud and clear.
Lets start where it matters most, the themes themselves. Are they any good?
In a word, absolutely.
Baamboo Studio promises to create a new Weebly theme each and every month. While they may not always live up to that promise, when they do release a new theme it is of the utmost quality.
It’s clear that the folks here stay on top of web design trends and create their themes accordingly. All of their designs are beautiful and packed with features like portfolios, slideshows, video headers, animated backgrounds and more.
Crucially, all of their themes are fully responsive, meaning they will adjust to any device that they are being viewed from, whether computer, tablet or phone. This may be something you think every developer must offer by now, but it is astonishing how many developers have not updated their themes to be responsive and mobile friendly.
If you’re finding it difficult to choose a theme, you can easily view a live demo to see how it looks and feels.
In addition to the themes themselves, Baamboo Studio also offers what they call “Apps”. These apps are essentially widget features you can use to customize your Weebly website even further. Call to actions, sliders, and testimonials are just some of the widgets at your disposal.
One thing to note… These widgets used to be included for free with the purchase of any theme. It would seem that Baamboo Studio have revamped the widgets a bit and started charging for them.
While I can’t fault a company for finding new sources of revenue, there has to be added value for the customer in the process.
So, while these “apps” do cost money now, Baamboo Studio has reduced the price of their themes to compensate for it. So the end experience for you, the customer, will be unchanged.
In fact, you even save money now if you have no use for these apps.
Also included with the purchase of each theme is unlimited usage on any domain and lifetime updates. This in itself is a pretty big deal. Many developers would require you to purchase the theme every time you want to use it to build a new website.
Ease of use
The second most important feature of premium Weebly themes is ease of installation and customization. This is often where you’ll find the biggest differences between developers, and will likely be the biggest factor in choosing your favorite.
Of all the 3rd party Weebly themes I’ve used, Baamboo Studio’s themes are definitely the easiest to customize. Everything is spelled out and simplified as much as possible.
For example, while most developers would require you to go into the HTML editor to upload custom backgrounds for the parallax effect, Baamboo Studio makes it as easy as clicking a button.
This is important, because the primary value that Weebly provides is being able to build beautiful, high quality websites easily.
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to do any coding modifications. As with any 3rd party Weebly theme developer, there are going to be some necessary mods for things like colors, sizing, widgets, and other features.
Thankfully, Baamboo does a great job of labeling a lot of the HTML and CSS coding, making it easier to navigate the vast sea of data.
It’s a small detail that helps in a big way.
And in some cases, the big ones.
With the recent update to Weebly 4, all of the third party Weebly theme developers had to update their themes to the new platform standards. Some of them took this opportunity to add features to their designs.
Baamboo Studio added the best one by far. Making color and section changes as simple as a flick of the switch.
You have no idea how many hours I’ve spent modifying CSS code to change little things like font and button colors.
This is a massive improvement, and should not be overlooked when making your choice of Weebly themes.
In addition to the killer ease-of-use features, you’ll receive documentation with the purchase of each theme, with detailed instructions on how to make the most common modifications and customization.
All of this adds up to a great experience, especially for users who are new to HTML and CSS coding, like I was.
Even with the best instructions and support documentation, your are going to run into some roadblocks. And because these are all custom made themes for a very niche audience, Google isn’t going to be much help.
This is where it’s crucial to have good customer support and, thankfully, Baamboo Studio is aware of this.
If you run into problems that the documentation can’t help you with, you can head to their website and submit a ticket request for help.
I only needed to do this a few times for the sites I was building, but each time I received a reply within 24 hours. But it’s better than that.
Rather than simply provide answers or instructions to fix my problems, Quang from Baamboo offered to fix them for me. For free.
I simply gave him administrator access to the site I was building, told him what I needed done, and he fixed it for me. All within 24 hours.
If that’s not great customer support, I don’t know what is.
Overall review of Baamboo Studio
I’ve briefly mentioned this before in other posts, but this is the furthest I’ve gone to explain to people why these guys are my #1 resource for premium Weebly themes and templates. The ease of use, attention to detail, and stellar support all combine to be the best out there.
There are definitely other great developers as well, for sure, but I’ve got to give the #1 ranking to Baamboo Studio. Give them a try, and I’m confident you’ll feel the same.