Is there any Wordpress theme that DOES NOT require you to install +5 plugins in order to work?

I am very disappointed with all these WP themes you can download from Elements. So far, every single one I have downloaded required me to install at least 5 different plugins in order to work as we see them working in the live previews.

On top of that, most of the installation instructions are dated now, so chances are that you will have your installation process broken somewhere.

WTF! What happened to the old way of providing themes that just work? Maybe they don’t exist anymore! Yeah, this might be it.

I have several WordPress theme on Elements which are created on “old school way” - using shortcodes. They need 2 plugins - one is my custom made (shortcodes) and the other is Contact Form 7 plugin - maybe you can use some of them.

Of course, themes coded in that way have a lot of “limitations” but there are no updates every week, no conflict with other plugins, etc…

All themes have theme bundle plugins to make to demo look like the live preview. But all of those theme bundle plugins are not required. Most of them are recommended and 1-3 can be required like theme own shortcodes plugin, theme special features plugin. So, you have options to install the recommended plugins or not. For example, if you need a Contact Form you have to install the Contact Form 7 plugin, if you need shop (eCommerce) features then you have to install Woocommerce, if you need a page builder then have to install the page builder plugin but if you don’t need any of those features then you don’t need to install the plugin.

All themes should work fine without recommended plugin installation. Only required plugins (1-3) have to install.


Nothing happened. The quality themes are still there, but you won’t consider them at all.

WooCommerce > Storefront
Plain WordPress > Any Automattic free theme will do

Anything else? It’s your call. Also, the biggest error by far for WordPress guys is allowing everyone to make a theme and a plugin, this is why they’re so low these days. Cheers!

“Theme” - A thing more important than what runs it today, yuck.

p.s. from WP perspective, plugin or a theme doesn’t matter, it’s PHP codes, run in WP enviroment. I can even make a theme in a plugin, so “theme and 5 plugins” doesn’t make a statement.

Hello my freind,
I’m a Wordpress developer with several years of experience. but I have enterd themeforest as a seller recently.
respectfully I must clear some wrong ideas about plugins that everyone has.
Some people think installing more number of plugins is going to have a bad effect for wordpress website.
this is not completely true since the number of installed plugins is not going to slow down your site and actually bad coded plugins are effecting you. even if you install just one of them it could completely break the whole performance of your site.
Themeforest authors would never want to break their quality. installing plugins like contact form 7 or redux is not also going to reduce the performance but also they are very optimized. of course I can use my own codes and use Wordpres API to create options for theme but it’s not going to be as clean as redux plugin since it has been reviewed by wordpress standard team and approved as a secure and clean plugin in wp repository.
I think you reconsider your thoughts about themes and the industry.