With so many different WordPress themes available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Free and paid themes each have their own unique features and benefits that you should consider before making a decision about which theme will work best for your website. In this blog post, we will discuss what those differences are, as well as how to use them to make an informed decision about which theme is right for you!
What are WordPress Themes?
WordPress themes are templates that control the look and feel of your website. They can be used to give your blog a custom design or to create a completely new website from scratch. There are thousands of different WordPress themes available for free download on the internet, as well as many premium themes that can be purchased from theme shops like ThemeForest.
Free WordPress Themes
Free Theme Pros: The biggest benefit of using a free WordPress theme is that there’s no cost involved! Many free themes are high quality and have been created by professional designers. Designers have to pass high-quality standards and are all reviewed before they are available in the free repository.
However, there are some downsides to using free themes.
Free Theme Cons: Free themes don’t come with any support. Some free themes are supported by the community, so if you have a question about your theme or need help modifying it in some way, there is no one specifically to turn to for assistance. Sometimes you can get lucky and request features are added to your theme with a donation or by contacting the designer.
Free themes also tend not to be as feature-rich as premium WordPress templates and often only include basic design elements. The lack of features can be a huge disadvantage if you are looking for specific design features. Example: One theme may have woo-commerce but not a slider bar.
Another disadvantage is that your site may not look unique and will not include a warranty. Free WordPress templates do not give you any brand protection, so if someone copies your theme it is easy for them to change certain elements and make their website look almost exactly like yours!
How To Choose Free WordPress Themes: Understand what features you need in a template before choosing one. Check that the theme has all of those specific features built-in (like WooCommerce) or available as addons (so they don’t cost extra). Then eliminate those that won’t work and review the aesthetics of those left to find one that will work for you.
Paid WordPress Themes
Paid Theme Pros: Paid themes tend to offer more support than free themes. Most designers will either have a ticketing/escalation system or an online support forum to use. I love the communities available by some designers and have learned some good SEO and design tips in those groups.
Paid themes also typically come with site warranties that protect against copyright infringement issues, giving you peace of mind. As part of the warranty process is theme updates. Most designers will give you free updates as part of your purchase.
Another advantage of paid themes is the varied options and support/add-ons given. Premium themes often have more features built-in, such as sliders, contact forms, and other bells and whistles. If you are looking for a theme with a specific function (like an e-commerce store), paying for a premium theme is your best bet.
Paid WordPress Cons: The biggest disadvantage of paid themes is the cost. Premium themes can range from $50 to several hundred dollars, making them a significant investment for small businesses and bloggers on a budget.
Another con to paid themes can be poor coding. Since designers are typically creating themes for their visual appearance they may not be coding to account for core vitals or SEO optimization.
How To Choose A Paid WordPress Theme: Identify the features you need and want in a template. Do some research on which designers offer those features, then compare prices between them. Make sure to read reviews of the designer’s themes before purchasing to get an idea of quality and customer service.
Which Is Right For Me?
Free or paid WordPress themes each have their own set of pros and cons that you should take into account when making your decision about which one to purchase for your website. Make a list of features and what you expect and then check to see if you should purchase a theme or try to find a free one.
If you are just starting your website journey and need help building your site check out this review of how to Build a Blog this Weekend so you can get started right away.