WordPress Themes: Free or Paid?

Premium WordPress ThemesChoosing the theme for your blog makes a huge difference in the look and functionality. It will form the face of the blog and the wrong theme might not represent you in the right way. This is not only one of the first choices you need to make, but also one of the most important. The theme sets the table for everything else you will do and you need to start by choosing between free themes or paid themes.

Free Theme Options

Usually, free WordPress themes are just a simple design and give a similar structure to the default theme WordPress includes with the installation. Those just looking to release content may do just fine with a free theme, but they do come with limits. Most of the free WordPress themes found online don’t provide many customizations and you can’t do much with the style or the colors.

Paid WordPress Themes

When you spend money for a premium theme, you gain many advantages. Paid themes come with many options built-in, making it easy to customize your blog. Usually, you can choose from a number of different styles, features and color schemes.

Paid vs. Free WordPress Themes

Looking at the most important parts of your theme, you can determine whether you need to pay for a premium WordPress theme or you can use a free theme. Let’s look at the quality, design, options, support and security.

Quality of your Theme

As with most everything else, if you want higher quality, you must pay for it. Free themes give you basic quality, whereas a paid theme gives you a higher level of quality. Here are a few things you get from someone selling a premium theme:

  • A bug-free theme because sellers don’t want to deal with refunds and complaints
  • Less issues because sellers don’t want to handle the many troubleshooting issues
  • High quality features because sellers need to build a good reputation

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules and it’s possible to pay for a low-quality theme. Make sure you spend a little time researching the seller and the actual theme before you pay for it.

Design

Theme design is very important. You can choose one of the thousands of free WordPress themes or you can pay for a custom design to fit perfectly with your vision. Typically, paid themes will give you a better overall design because the seller actually invests time and money into the theme. Most premium themes will look and function much better than most free themes.

Options

Within WordPress, you get certain options regardless of the theme, but with the right theme, you will gain additional options. Most free themes don’t come with anything more than the basic options everybody gets with WordPress. When you choose a paid WordPress theme, you may gain new options that work with the theme. These options can include things, such as color schemes, styles, menus and many other options.

The Theme Support Team

It’s rare to find a free WordPress theme with good or any theme support. Typically, free themes might provide a webpage with a few tips, but you cannot actually contact a support team. With a premium theme, you gain access to a professional support team. This is part of what you pay for and it allows you to learn how to use the theme without needing to do it all on your own.

Security

One of the major issues with some free themes is security. Some don’t include the necessary code or any of the other security features. If you do decide to use a free theme, make sure you pay attention to the updates provided. Typically, updates are specific to security issues. With a premium theme, you often get automatic updates or at least a reminded within the actual theme.

The Final Debate

After looking at all the data, it’s clear, paying for a premium WordPress theme is far superior compared to using most free themes. However, free themes do help in some situations or if you cannot afford the pay for a theme. Most premium themes are not very expensive and provide many extra options. If you spend time designing websites or you plan to own a number of websites, you may want to consider a more expensive theme allowing you to customize it and use it on a number of different sites.

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