In this article, we have answered the following two questions:
- What should you choose between free and premium WordPress themes?
- Is it worth paying for a WordPress theme?
To create any WordPress site, you need to install a WordPress theme just after installing WordPress. At that stage, you will see there are two different options available in front of you; either you may choose a free theme or buy a premium theme. Again, if you decide to choose a free theme, you will find thousands of free themes are available. Therefore, often beginners struggle to pick between the free and premium themes.
To help you in deciding between the free and premium, this article has been crafted with clear differences between free and premium WordPress themes, advantages, and disadvantages of both the free and premium WordPress theme. Let’s get started.
Free vs Premium WordPress themes – At a Glance
|Free WordPress Themes||Premium WordPress Themes|
|Cost Free||Cost you minimum prices and offering more features|
|Limited customization options||Extensive Features and Functionality-help you create a professional and beautiful site|
|Limited support||24/7 Technical supports|
|Not all free themes are optimized for SEO and speed||A Top-level premium theme comes with optimized SEO and speed|
Advantages of Free WordPress Themes
Free of Cost – No Money Involved
One of the very first advantages of free themes is free of cost – you don’t have to pay anything to use it.
Well, we are talking about something FREE which means the themes listed in the official https://wordpress.org/ themes directory. Do not ever try to go with any resources made available in the web world by unreliable sources.
Read Also: List of Best Free WordPress Themes
The term FREE drags everyone’s interest and especially when you are dealing with a WordPress theme and you get plenty of free options, then what would stop you from creating your virtual presence. However, it has been observed that when someone hears the term FREE, then he/she gets a little cautious. If you think about a free WordPress theme, then obviously a thought will come in your mind that why free theme? Why the developer is not selling premium themes? Isn’t it making you a bit tensed?
Let’s put some light on the topic why these WordPress themes are given free
- The free theme goes through the public review process as well as the review process by WordPress’s review team and wherefrom they can get feedback and also suggestions on necessary improvements. It helps the developer to improve the theme quality and codes used.
- Theme companies able to reach out to a large number of audiences with their free themes and that helps to build their reputation.
Officially Reviewed and Tested
Every theme which is added in the official WordPress theme directory gone through a WordPress theme review process which is very strict. The platform WordPress has its review team and before adding a theme they perform several tests and examinations.
Plenty of Options to Choose
There are more than 30,000 free WordPress themes available in the WordPress theme directory. You can choose any theme according to needs. If you are a beginner, you can test your site with many themes. It will help you to understand what is the best fit for your site.
Tip: Keep in mind, not all the free themes of WordPress theme directory are up to the mark, some of them are only high quality and popular themes. You have to only choose free themes from reliable WordPress theme providers.
What are the Disadvantages of Free WordPress Themes?
As these free themes might sound highly beneficial for anyone, there are several disadvantages. Some of the common drawbacks of a free WordPress theme are mentioned below:
- Limited Support is Available – In case of free themes, through WordPress forums, the developers offer support. However, the truth is that developers do not always provide a reply to queries for free themes. In case if you get a technical error, you have to solve it form your capacity. However, for a premium theme, the developer offers 24/7 supports.
- Limited Customization Options– You might have seen that many free WordPress themes offer only the most standard features. Most of the free themes do not offer many features and functionality that you need to create beautiful and large sites.
- Not that Exclusive – A lot of blogs and websites are created using the free themes, thus you might not get a unique appearance of your website.
- The free themes come with no warranties, thus you can never blame anyone if something goes wrong.
- Update and Compatibility: Free themes do not always remain up to date with the latest version of WordPress and web. But it is not always the case for all. Some of the free themes in the WordPress theme directory always remain up to date and compatible with the latest version of WordPress and plugins.
- SEO & Speed: If you go through the WordPress free theme directory, you will find many themes that make your site slow. Therefore, you have to be a little cautious before selecting any free theme.
Advantages of Premium WordPress Themes
When you talk about the premium WordPress themes, then you have to understand that these WordPress themes are available for purchase from the WordPress marketplaces and theme shops. You might ask a question that why you would pay for something which can easily be accessed for free. Well, lets some pros of premium WordPress themes.
- Customization: In a premium theme, you will get several options to customize including numerous features and this stands as the biggest advantage. With their premium features, you can easily make a stunning and beautiful site.
- 24/7 Technical Supports and Update: You can undoubtedly get 24/7 support and regular updates if you use a premium WordPress theme.
- Unique Appearance of Your Website: If you are going to build your website using a premium WordPress theme, then you can surely get a unique appearance of your website because it deals with lots of premium features.
- Optimized for SEO and Speed: WordPress theme paly an IMPORTANT role for SEO and Website speed. Premium themes come with optimized SEO and speed.
- Website Security: Website security is another important factor. It is already known that premium themes come with more security.
Disadvantages of Premium WordPress Themes
1. Not Free of Cost: When you are choosing either a free or premium WordPress theme, then you will find an unavoidable factor called “Price” which is going to create confusion. You will see many people new to this virtual world are suspicious of paying for a Premium WordPress theme because they are investing in something new and have no idea whether the project will work out.
2. Not every premium theme is perfect. You have to be careful before you choose any premium WordPress themes. There are many premium WordPress theme providers available and not all of them are reliable. If you buy a theme from an unreliable source, you may get the following issues.
- It is maybe incompatible with some plugins due to poor coding standards.
- It may make your site slow or It may break your site
What is the solution then?
Well, there are ways to find premium themes that are as good as promised; let’s talk about them: Firstly, you have to make sure that the shop from where you are purchasing the theme is a trusted one, like
Secondly, make sure you have purchased the best and up to date theme, like
- Authority Pro from StudioPress
- Breakthrough Pro from StudioPress
- Ultra from Themify
What Would you pick? Free or Premium
If you are serious about your site or blogging, go with the premium option.
Before you choose any WordPress theme for your site you have to understand the need of your site. A free WordPress theme will be fine for you if you are building a personal site or family website, but if you run an online business or blog, then go for a paid theme. In a paid WordPress theme, not only you will get additional customization options and features, but also you will gain peace of mind as 24/7 support available for you.
Let me summarize in two following points:
- Not all the free themes are bad as well as not all the premium themes are perfect. For both cases, you have to choose a theme from a reliable source. So, you always have to find a perfect WordPress theme for your site.
- A premium theme comes with lots of extra advantages
I started my first site 5 years back with a free theme. Then, just after 15 days, I have realized that the free theme is not for me and I move to Authority Pro from StudioPress premium theme. Recently, for a few sites, I am using the Astra theme. I have to tell you that my experiences with both the premium themes are amazing and headache-free.
Let’s take a look at below the GTmerix Speed Test result of wpnewblogger.com after moving from free to Authority Pro Premium Theme from StudioPress with SiteGround hosting.
If you are serious about your online presence and security, undoubtedly it is worth paying for a WordPress theme.
If you have decided between free and premium options, go through our guide on How to Choose The Perfect WordPress Theme for Your Blog. It will help you to choose a perfect WordPress theme.
What have you decided- free or premium? Share your thoughts below in the comment box.