Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

On which platforms can I use your themes?

Our themes are designed exclusively for self-hosted WordPress.org blogs.

We have had a few instances of customers on the WordPress.com Business Plan successfully upload our themes to their sites. If you’re a WordPress.com user, while you’re welcome to try this, please note we haven’t specifically tested our themes for WordPress.com, and cannot offer support for your platform.

Learn more about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com here.

What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Blogs on WordPress.org, are self-hosted, meaning that you purchase server space through a web host. Think of it like paying office rent for your little piece of the Internet. You will also need to purchase a domain name (i.e., yourblogname.com)—which in this analogy, is kind of like purchasing rights to a street address for your office space.

You can read more about web hosts here. The WordPress platform software is free for self-hosted, WordPress.org users.

To learn more about the differences between WordPress.com and .org, check out our longer Help Desk article here.

What do I need to blog on WordPress.org?

It’s simple. To start a blog on WordPress.org, you need only a domain name, a host server, the free WordPress platform itself (which is often provided by your host), a theme, and your ideas! Check out this section of our Help Desk which includes more articles and info to get you started.

How long does it take to install a WordPress theme?

Installing an EmPress WordPress theme is a breeze! Once you receive your purchase receipt and downloadable .zip file, it’s as simple as uploading it to your WordPress dashboard and activating it. This entire process should only take a couple minutes. (However, note from there more time is needed to customize the theme to your liking!)

If you need help installing your theme, check out our Help Desk articles, here.

And what about theme set up? Does that take a long time?

Setup depends on a lot of factors—how your content is currently set up, how much content you have, how customized you plan on making your theme, how many of the theme features you activate, and even how you’ve been creating content in the past. Each user also has a different comfort level and familiarity with WordPress, which greatly impacts setup time.

We find it can take a user anywhere from half an hour to a full weekend to set up a theme. We’ve written more about the things that add to set up time here.

The good news? No matter what, we’re here to help! If you’re having issues with your theme setup, you can submit a support ticket, and we’ll be happy to help guide you!

Why are your themes sold with annual licenses?

When you purchase an EmPress theme, your purchase includes a subscription license. Your license includes a year’s worth of updates and support. After that first year, you can renew your license to continue receiving updates and support, or cancel your renewal and use the last version you downloaded for as long as you’d like.

Why? Licensing our themes annually helps us keep your code up to date, and release new theme features (usually requests from our customers!).

How? As anyone who’s ever blogged knows, the digital world is constantly changing. At EmPress, we are committed to continuously improving our products! This includes regularly updating them to work harmoniously with updates to the core WordPress platform, as well as incorporate customer feedback to make our products better for you, the end user—especially as the blogging industry evolves.

In short, regular updates help make our products continuously usable for you, our wonderful customers!

We also pride ourselves on thorough, prompt, and super friendly email support, along with extra services like our Code Hacks project. We simply cannot grow and maintain these areas of our business with a single-purchase system.

The good news is that unlike some apps, if you choose not to renew a theme license with us, you can still use your theme for as long as you like—it won’t stop working instantly just because you no longer subscribe! Opting out of a theme subscription renewal simply means you won’t have access to that products’ latest updates and features, nor will you have access to our Help Desk support team for issues related to that product.

Can I receive a refund if I don’t like all or part of my purchase?

Yes! We offer a 14-day money back guarantee. If you purchase a theme, plugin, or marketing collateral product from us and it’s just not for you, email us within 14 days of the purchase date and we’ll issue you a full refund.

I have a different question I need help with before purchasing.

No problem. We’ve got even more pre-purchase FAQs right over here in our Help Desk.

Still not seeing the answer to your question? Send us a note at empressthemes.com/contact!

Working with EmPress

What is your support policy?

At EmPress, we’re proud of our stellar support that always endeavors to go above and beyond!

However, it’s important to note we offer PDF Documentation and email-based support only, for out-of-the-box design and functionality for products and services for sale in our shop, and for customers blogging on a self-hosted WordPress.org site. We require a valid product license to receive support. At this time, we do not offer phone, live chat, or social media support.

Those are the basics, but as with all policies and rules, there are more details, too. We encourage you to read our full Support and Use Policy here, and our Terms of Service here. You agree to all of these policies and terms upon checkout, so best to be familiar with them anyway!

Where can I find online help articles?

Don’t miss our Help Desk! We update it regularly based off common customer questions, trending searches, and feedback from you! The Help Desk includes sections featuring tutorials on general WordPress use, as well as specific guidance for each of our themes. Check it out at help.empressthemes.com.

What is your refund policy?

We are proud to be one of the few pre-made theme shops that offers a 14-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee on all products. If you purchase one of our products and request a refund within 14 days from the date of purchase, we’re happy to oblige! To request your refund, simply submit a support ticket.

Additionally, you may also request a refund on product renewals within 14-days from the date of auto-renewal.

A couple important caveats: If you request and receive a refund on your purchase, you’re free to continue using the product, but would no longer be eligible for product updates or email support for it. Note that after 14 days, we are unable to honor refund requests.

Do you offer theme install or customization services?

No, at this time, we do not offer theme install or customization services. You will need to work with an outside designer/developer to customize your theme beyond what editing features and content blocks are available in your theme Customizer panel.

However, we do offer a library of Code Hacks, which offers small snippets of code which you can apply to your theme to make simple changes. Browse all Code Hacks here.

I bought a theme but want to switch it to another theme you offer.

Due to limitations in our e-commerce system, we’re unable to process exchanges.

If you recently purchased an EmPress theme but have changed your mind and would like to change to a different theme instead, please submit a support ticket within 14 days of purchase and we will process a refund for your original purchase.

Our Themes

I’m having trouble editing something in my theme. Can you help?

Getting started with theme customization? We recommend heading to Appearance > Customize and working your way down the Customizer from top to bottom. Each tab will explain the various controls and help you get setup! You can also use the articles in the Theme Support area of our Help Desk, which are great places to learn about theme customization.

Be sure to read our Theme Documentation PDF, included with your purchase receipt.

Still need help? Submit a support ticket over here.

I just purchased a theme. How can I make it look exactly like the demo I saw?

Loved how we set up your theme in one of our theme demos? Our Demo Guides walk you through which settings to use, step by step. Visit our Demo Guides library here.

If you can’t quite get your theme to mimic a particular layout feature of one of our demos, you can submit a support ticket here.

Don’t forget—the look and feel of a website is GREATLY impacted by the imagery you choose. We recommend using similar edits (or photo styles) across all images in use on your site, which is going to give you a consistent, identifiable aesthetic.

How can I add my own colors and fonts into your theme?

It depends which theme you’re installing! Our Hayes and Pearl themes both include built in color and Google Font controls, so you can customize both directly in the Customizer (view the Google Fonts library here). Additionally, our Rania theme includes color controls.

For all other themes:

All other themes are packaged with our Color Pack and Font Customizer plugins, which you can opt to install and activate. These plugins provide a great foundation of color and font choices, all of which can be changed with just a few clicks.

If you want to incorporate fonts not offered in our free plugin, you’ll need to either use a third party app to adjust the fonts, or work with a developer to install and style them for you (or do this yourself). We’ve shared some advice on how to do this here.

If you have particular hex color codes in mind for your site, you’ll definitely want to check out our Code Hacks library. There, we feature small snippets of CSS code which allow you to customize all manner of things in our themes and plugins, including color.

I need to insert special tags in my head for my affiliate network/ad network/other analytics service. Where do I do this?

While you can manually edit your site’s PHP header and/or footer files, we do NOT recommend this unless you are well-versed in coding PHP. This is because the site PHP is like your blog’s skeleton—break something in one spot, and it can break the whole site!

Instead, we recommend anyone needing to insert code into their header or footer code use this plugin. It makes it really easy to insert the scripts you need, without touching our actual theme files!

Are your themes compatible with my affiliate networks and/or networked ads?

Yes, many bloggers have successfully used our themes with third-party affiliates and marketing platforms such as rewardStyle, ShopStyle, Amazon Affiliates, Google Ads, MediaVine, and more. Additionally, our co-founders have used these services either on their personal blogs, or with their custom design work over the better part of a decade—so rest assured that our themes were built with these vendors’ affiliate products and widgets in mind.

Do note that if you are using our Shop the Post plugin, it works best with rewardStyle and ShopStyle widgets, though it can technically accommodate any shortcode or HTML. More on this here.

Our themes are also compatible with the Disqus commenting system.

Can I use your theme in a language other than English?

Yes! We’ve had a few customers use our themes in languages other than English. In some cases we’ve had to make a couple minor edits to translate text in the theme, which we’re happy to help with (submit a support ticket here). And, if worse comes to worst and our themes don’t work with your language, we can always issue you a refund.

How can I further customize my theme/plugin?

We recommend checking out our Code Hacks library! This repository is constantly growing, as we get new requests for small customization tweaks for our products.

Our Plugins

What are plugins, exactly?

Think of plugins like apps for your WordPress blog. They’re small programs or applications that each perform separate functions or tasks. Just as with smart phones, there are many companies and developers globally creating plugins for WordPress sites everyday. Many plugins are free, many are paid, and many have versions of both.

At EmPress, plugins allow us to offer unique customization features for your blog. Our themes look great on their own, but with the purchase of one of our plugins, you gain access to additional features and functionality that can take your site to the next level.

All of our plugins are available via subscription license. Your license includes a year’s worth of updates and support. After that first year, you can renew your license to continue receiving updates and support, or cancel your renewal and use the last version you downloaded for as long as you’d like.

Learn more about your Subscriptions & Licensing in the section below.

Why are your plugins sold with annual licenses?

All of our plugins are available via subscription license. Your license includes a year’s worth of updates and support. After that first year, you can renew your license to continue receiving updates and support, or cancel your renewal and use the last version you downloaded for as long as you’d like.

Why? Licensing our plugins annually helps us keep your code up to date, and release new plugin features (usually requests from our customers!).

How? As anyone who’s ever blogged knows, the digital world is constantly changing. At EmPress, we are committed to continuously improving our products! This includes regularly updating them to work harmoniously with updates to the core WordPress platform, as well as incorporate customer feedback to make our products better for you, the end user—especially as the blogging industry evolves.

In short, regular updates help make our products continuously usable for you, our wonderful customers!

We also pride ourselves on thorough, prompt, and super friendly email support, along with extra services like our Code Hacks project. We simply cannot grow and maintain these areas of our business with a single-purchase system.

The good news is that unlike some apps, if you choose not to renew a plugin with us, you can still use it for as long as you like—it won’t stop working just because you no longer subscribe! Opting out of a plugin subscription renewal simply means you won’t have access to that products latest updates and features, nor will you have access to our Help Desk support team for issues related to that product.

Am I required to purchase plugins in order for my theme to work?

No way! Our themes look and work great independently of our plugins. You can think of plugins like apps—they simply provide a way for our customers to add more unique functionality and customization to their blogs. But they’re absolutely not required in order for our themes to work.

Where can I find plugin updates?

When released, plugins can be updated by going to the Plugins tab of your WordPress dashboard. You can also hover over the top Dashboard tab and select updates; any available theme or plugin updates will be listed there too.

Not sure if your plugin updates are showing up? Learn more on our help desk here.

How can I further customize my theme/plugin?

We recommend checking out our Code Hacks library! This repository is constantly growing, as we get new requests for small customization tweaks for our products.

Subscriptions & Licensing

How do product auto-renewals work?

It’s very simple! Your EmPress purchases all include a one-year license, which includes access to product updates, new features, and our email Help Desk.

A year from your purchase date, your license will auto-renew, often at a loyalty discount, which entitles you to another year of updates and support.

Don’t want to auto-renew? No problem. You can cancel your auto-renew subscription at any time, and use the last version of the theme or plugin you downloaded, for as long as you like! The only difference is that once your current license expires, you won’t receive new product updates. Additionally, in order to provide product support, we require an active product license.

If I cancel my theme or plugin auto-renew, will the theme/plugin stop working right away?

No. If you decide to cancel your subscription to any of your EmPress purchases, you’re free to use the last downloaded version of the product(s) for as long as you like. The only difference is after your current license expires, you won’t receive future updates to the product(s), nor will we be able to offer you ongoing product support.

Do note that as time goes on, it is possible your theme or plugin may no longer be compatible with future versions of WordPress, or with other theme and site updates you make. This is where support and updates can come in handy!

If down the line you decide you’d like to access the latest features and updates to your prior theme and plugin purchases, you can simply renew your license via the My Account area, and the latest updates will be delivered to your WordPress dashboard.

Why do you have an annual auto-renewals program for your products?

Licensing our products annually via auto-renewals helps us create products you’ll love that are up to date, work seamlessly, and are constantly improving.

At EmPress, our goal is to build products that not only adapt to changing tech trends, but can grow with you and your blog. This means we’re committed to continually improving our products! We do this with regular updates so our themes and plugins work harmoniously with the latest versions of WordPress, and also by releasing new features based off customer feedback. With our updates, we want to make our products better and usable for you—especially as the blogging industry continues to evolve!

As a small business, we also pride ourselves on thorough, prompt, and super friendly email support, along with extra services like our Code Hacks project.

Our product renewal program helps us grow and maintain these two core tenets of our shop—products you’ll love, and customer service that’s there for you!

The good news is that unlike some apps, if you choose not to renew a product with us, you can still use it for as long as you like—it won’t stop working immediately if you don’t auto-renew!

What types of updates do you make to your products?

At EmPress, we are commited to continually updating our products. Product updates include bug fixes, updates to code to meet changing web standards, and new features based on customer requests and feedback.

A list of all product updates can be found in our Changelog.

What can I expect when my theme or plugin auto-renews?

A couple weeks before your auto-renew is processed, you’ll receive an email reminding you about the renewal.

Then, one year after the date of your product purchase, your license will automatically renew for another year with the credit card on file. Your renewal entitles you to product updates, new feature releases, and product support for another year.

You are free to cancel your renewal(s) at any time—you can do this through the My Account area of our site. There, you can also manage your billing information, renew your license, access your license keys, and download your purchases.

What are license keys, and what do they do?

When activated on your site, license keys connect your site with ours, which allows us to send you product updates and release new product features directly to your Dashboard.

Your active license also entitles you to support for our products.