One of the biggest advantage of using WordPress for your personal blog or business website is that it offers a wide variety of themes to choose from. With over 2,000 Free WordPress themes easily available online, you may wonder why anyone would pay for a WordPress theme. Downloading a Free WordPress theme instead of a premium theme seems like the obvious choice, right?
Yet, like most things that are too good to be true, free WordPress themes come with a catch. In this read, we take a look at free themes and premium WordPress themes. Which is best for you?
Free Themes Vs. Premium Themes
Free WordPress themes are created by developers to showcase their portfolio or just for fun. There are hundreds if not thousands of Theme shops on the internet. If you have searched Google for ‘Free WordPress Themes’, chances are you have come across WordPress.org- the largest collection of Free WordPress themes available on the web.
Pros of Free WordPress Themes
- Free themes are FREE! They are not going to burn a hole through your pocket.
- It’s the best option for experimentation. You only have to choose a theme that you like, download it and activate it. If it doesn’t turn out to be what you like, you can delete it and download another
- WordPress offers plenty of resources to help you get started with a free theme. So even though free themes don’t come with support, WordPress Support Forums will give you all the help you need.
Cons of Free WordPress Themes
- As mentioned earlier, Free themes are mostly created by developers to showcase their portfolio or just for fun. Therefore, most of the free themes are poorly coded making them vulnerable to hackers and bugs.
- Free themes offer very basic features. You may not find the features necessary for responsive design and easy theme customization on a free theme.
- Everyone likes free things. Free themes are downloaded thousands of time daily. For example, the twenty thirteen default WordPress theme has been downloaded more than 200,000 times. That means that there are over 200,000 sites with the same theme.
- Free themes don’t come with support, you have to rely entirely on WordPress support forums
- WordPress free themes are seldom updated. There are themes in WordPress’ repository that have not been updated for over 2 years and yet the latest version of WordPress (Vaughan 4.7) was released just a few weeks ago.
Premium WordPress themes, on the other hand, are themes that have been professionally designed and developed. They include advanced functionalities and features like customs widgets and e-commerce styling options just to mention a few. Premium themes are usually sold at a fixed cost or as part of a membership. For example, you can get a standalone premium theme from WooThemes at $99 or $45 at Theme Forest.
Pros of Premium Themes
- Premium WordPress themes come with advanced functionality features that make customization and general site configuration a lot easier.
- Naturally, the quality of premium themes is much higher compared to Free themes. This can be attributed to the fact that the revenue generated from the funds the ability to make them better.
- Premium themes come with excellent support. From phone to email, you can easily reach out to WordPress developers to learn more about the theme instead of wasting time on forums.
- You get better design with premium themes which goes a long way in improving your productivity and maintain your sanity
- Premium WordPress themes are updated regularly ensuring that you don’t deal with the many issues that can arise from an out-of-date theme.
Cons of Premium WordPress themes
- There’s always the chance that your premium WordPress theme shop may close down leaving you with no choice but to transition to another theme which is costly
- Premium themes have a potential of getting bloated what with all the advanced features and functionalities. This can sometimes lead to slow-loading websites.
- The pricing of some premium themes is quite high and may also require additional annual license fees.
Conclusion: Free WordPress Theme Vs. Premium WordPress Theme
If you are just starting out, maybe you want to create a personal blog- it makes sense to download and experiment with free themes so you can get familiar with the features and functions. The same applies if you want to create a simple personal blog or a portfolio site. Not only is it faster to set-up, but it’s also less expensive. Besides, it is unlikely you will need advanced features that come with premium themes for a personal blog.
However, as your site starts to get more traffic, you should start to think about the premium themes. Premium WordPress themes are best suited for:
Still, when choosing what kind of theme to user-free or premium- it is worth asking yourself these questions:
- Is the theme author/shop active? How often do they update their themes?
- What support options do you have?
- What features do you need?
- Is the theme easy to customize?
- How old is the theme?
- How reputable is the shop you want to download your Free WordPress theme from?
All in all, it is important to mention that poor coding isn’t the defining characteristic of Free WordPress themes. You can find reliable free themes at WordPress Theme Repository.
Which do you prefer? Free of Premium WordPress themes? Where do you go for free reliable WordPress theme? Share with us in the comments below.