Free WordPress Themes vs Premium Themes – The Pros and Cons

Free WordPress themes vs Premium themes, which is right for your next project? WordPress is continuously growing its stakes in the web market. More than 29.2% of the websites are powered by WordPress currently. WordPress themes are the most sought-after product in its store. You can find many WordPress themes both paid and free on the web. 

WordPress is the best Content Management System one can get. It has a dedicated store with tons of plugins which help you to customize your website in any way. WordPress also has many themes. With so many options, the WP users are confused. The main dilemma for the creators is the choice between Free WordPress themes vs Premium themes. 

Free WordPress Themes vs Premium Themes

Free WordPress Themes vs Premium Themes

In this article, we will answer the question “What to choose, free theme or premium theme?” 

How to Choose a Best WordPress Theme?

Not every theme is suitable for every website. You need to keep various factors in mind before determining the best template for your site. The following arguments will help take a better decision. 

  • You must know the nature of the website and audience you want to target. Whether it’s a resume, or a blog, or a business page.  
  • If it’s a business website, you should keep the business goals in vision and look if you can achieve them using the theme. 
  • For a blog or resume, try to blend your website with your profession or genre you aim. Try to project your name as a premium brand.
  • For a business site, the theme must suit the branding of your business. Make sure you are able to align the brand image for best visual results. The color scheme must enhance the branding on your site. 
  • The theme should offer ample customization options on every visual element. In the end, it should not look like a theme but a whole new template. 
  • The theme should be simple yet appealing. It should contain modern fonts, sharp images with proper spacing and padding. 
  • The theme must be responsive. It should adjust itself based on the screen size and resolution. Responsive theme is necessary due to the growing number of mobile devices. 
  • The theme must offer good customer support. It is better if you go for themes having an option to go premium. 
  • The site must be highly optimized. The theme should not affect the loading time of your website.  
  • The theme should be easy to operate for the user. It should not bias on the basis of technical know-how.  
  • For a business website and blog sites, it is important that the theme comes with SEO support. 
  • The theme should be from a trusted developer or WP reviewed. 

Pros and Cons of Free WordPress Themes

When you run a WordPress based websites, you may need some features that most of the free themes don’t offer. They look impressive and customizable but they may also lack some needed features for you. This doesn’t mean, they are not good to use.

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The Pros of Free WordPress Themes

The reasons why you should choose a free theme, 

  • The biggest pros of free themes are that they are free. It becomes easy for almost all kinds of people to own their website. 
  • If you’re choosing from WP’s official theme directory, then the themes go through a strict review process. Firstly, the theme is checked automatically by a plugin and passes through manual review by WordPress’s Official Theme Developers. 
  • Free themes have a basic design due to lack of premium features. It boosts the speed of your WordPress site. 
  • The free themes are very easy to use. When they go through various review checks, it is kept in mind that the theme is operable by a beginner. 
  • May sound ambiguous, but WP approved free themes tend to offer more plugins. 

The Cons of Free WordPress Themes

The reasons why you should not choose a free theme, 

  • The free themes have no extended functionalities at your disposal. They offer very limited features. 
  • Some WP themes have more than one million downloads. Using a free template, you don’t get uniqueness on your website. Also, there are fewer customization options so you can’t change many visual aspects of the theme. 
  • You don’t get developer’s support. You have to rely on several forums to get the help. Getting a reply is not assured on these forums. 
  • The updates for the free themes are not regular. Some templates may render inoperable with further updates in WordPress CMS. 
  • If you are going for a free theme from an unofficial source, then it’s code might be poor and buggy. 

Pros and Cons of Premium WordPress Themes

Like, Free WordPress themes, it is easy to point out the pros and cons of using premium WordPress themes.

The Pros of Premium WordPress Themes

The reasons why you should choose a premium theme, 

  • Premium themes offer more features as compared to free themes. If you opt for a premium theme, then you’ll get more customization options. 
  • The premium themes come for a price, hence you get priority tech support from the developer. You’ll get rid of waiting for a reply in a forum to get the job done. 
  • Due to the money involved, the premium themes have a lesser user base. So you get uniqueness on your website. Also, the components are customizable so can modify the template completely. 
  • Frequent updates make sure that your premium theme never gets outdated. 
  • Most of the Premium themes are SEO-friendly and largely compatible with plugins. 
  • Premium themes make your website more secure. 

The Cons of Premium WordPress Themes

The reasons why you should not choose a premium theme,   

  • You have to spend some money to get a premium theme, the average price of a premium theme is $50. (Themeforest)
  • You’ll find too many unnecessary features added by the developer to sell his theme. 
  • The premium themes don’t undergo any official review process. It is possible that you may find the template which looks attractive upfront but the backend is poor. It is advised that you download the paid themes from trusted developers. 
  • The unnecessary functionalities reduce the site’s speed. Your budget for your WordPress hosting may increase due to this.
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The Conclusion

In the end, it all boils down to this.  

For basic functionalities, free themes are the right choice for you. If you can continue without much technical support, and don’t care if your website looks same as others, then you can try free WordPress themesAll in all, if you’re opening a personal blog or portfolio, then free templates are good for you. 

If you want heavy functionalities, want a unique looking website, then go for premium themes. Premium templates also offer great technical support. If you are planning to start a business website, you should not hesitate in draining those extra bucks for long-term functionality.