Most of the beginners find it hard to decide between free vs premium WordPress themes. What are the pros and cons? What edge do you have using one over the other? Are premium themes absolutely necessary to build a well-functioning and professional–looking website?
If you are bothered with these questions then you have landed on the right page. In this article, we will discuss about free vs premium WordPress themes and help you decide which is the best option for building your website.
Free Vs Premium WordPress Themes: Pros and Cons
Free WordPress Themes: Pros
- They are absolutely free. As a result, you don’t have to pay a penny to download a free theme, use it to build your website, and make money out of your website. There are no hidden charges applied whatsoever. Hence, you can use free themes if you are setting up your website in a very limited budget.
- Free themes undergo a strict official review process. Here we are talking about the free themes available at WordPress.org theme directory. Due to the strict review, these free themes tend to be secure and bug-free. They maintain the required level of quality and compatibility. Many premium themes break the WordPress development practices.
- Free themes are generally leaner than premium themes. This is because of the limited number of features available in free themes. As a result, you will have easy time developing your site and your site will load faster as well.
- They tend to support more plug-ins than the premium themes. This is because developers have to strictly follow the theme review guidelines.
- You can download them easily. They are located in the Appearance -> Themes in the WordPress admin.
Why are they giving away themes for free?
Many of us strongly believe in the proverb: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. It’s hard to believe that you can get the result of someone else’s hard work for free. Why would theme developers go through all the troubles to create a theme, get it reviewed and approved, and then provide it for free? What’s the catch?
The theme developers have the opportunity to learn from the review process. As a result, they are able to sharpen their skills.
WordPress’ theme directory makes their theme available to a large user base. Due to this, developers can get feedbacks, suggestions from users which aid their improvement and growth.
Likewise, free themes help in building reputation of the company. This can attract customers and help the company get paid customization jobs or get other projects.
Free WordPress Themes: Cons
- Free WordPress themes come with limited or no support. As a matter of fact, this can be a big concern for many as there are chances of beginners running into some trouble.
- Free WordPress themes have limited functionalities. They support most of the standard features but most of them don’t offer high-end, additional features.
- Free themes are used by a lot of blogs and websites. Due to their free nature, many beginners and limited budget projects use free themes. As a result, the odds are that your website won’t have a unique design.
Premium WordPress Themes: Pros
- Premium themes have more functionalities than free themes. They have higher number of customization options than their free counterparts. They also provide some high end features, paid plug-ins, etc.
- Premium themes come with some sort of support. Since you have paid for premium theme, the developers are obliged to support you after all. The support can be of any kind: forum, email, video call, etc.
- Premium themes are updated on a regular basis. Due to the high level of competition in the theme industry, developers add new features and upgrade the premium themes regularly.
- Premium themes make your website look unique. Since premium themes come with a price tag, they are fewer websites using premium themes as compared to free themes. Additionally, the customization options allow you to have a unique design for your website.
- Premium theme put security in a high priority. There is a tough market for premium themes and developers earn money by selling premium themes. Under those circumstances, developers invest a great deal of money and time for meeting high security standards.
Premium WordPress Themes: Cons
- Premium themes can be quite expensive. Sometimes your favourite theme can be over your budget. Some premium themes even require yearly licensing. It can be a deal-breaker for many users.
- Premium themes can have many unnecessary features. This may not look like a problem but it actually is. Unnecessary features can bloat your website and make it slow. Slow websites can be very frustrating to your users.
- Premium themes don’t go through any official review process. As a result, you may end up buying a premium theme that has poor code standards. Your theme may look good but lack functionalities and compatibilities with different plug-ins.
Still Can’t Decide?
Choosing between free vs premium wordpress themes boils down to your needs and expectations.
Consider using a free theme if the following points seem to be okay to your needs.
- I just want to start a personal blog.
- Great deal of features are undesirable.
- I don’t want my site to be unique. It doesn’t bother me if my website looks common.
- I know I can troubleshoot any problems I may encounter on the way. I don’t need dedicated support.
- I want to start a business website.
- My theme should have want many features.
- I want my website to look professional and unique. It should stand out from the rest.
- I can’t code and don’t have any technical knowledge whatsoever. I want dedicated support if I ever get into any trouble.
You can read this article to know why a eVision premium theme should be your choice.
So what have you decided between free vs premium WordPress themes for your website: what would better suit you? What have you used to build your website if you already have a website? Share us your experience and views in the comment section below.