The best part about WordPress is that it is the most flexible and customizable CMS (Control Management System) around the web which empowers more than 60 million+ websites.
There are tons of plugins and themes for optimizing and decorating your blog. Well, this can be the worst part (in other way) for some novice/beginner bloggers as they can get seriously confuse over the various premium and free options out there for plugins as well as themes.
Whether, one should go with premium themes or stick with the free ones ?
This question hold its place place in every WordPress animal’s mind when he step-in to the WordPress forest. Which one between the premium and free WordPress themes, is best for me ? And the answer to this question knows only the person asking it. Yeah, you read it right. Only you can tell which theme is perfect for you.
Premium Vs Free WordPress Themes [Comparison,pros & cons]
Very fair, the themes which comes along with a price tags are the premium ones.
1. Ultimate Back-up (support):
This is the most important feature of any theme and off course, premium themes comes with support whether its – forums, email, phone and in many other ways.
Okay so you can spend 50+ hours to customize your theme according to your needs, or you can just pay a few bucks and utilize those 50 hours in writing and blogging (choice is yours).
2. Advance Functionality :
Premium themes are fully customizable. They are less with all the advance features which can be used without digging into complex coding. Many of them have drag and drop user interface. You can simply drag and drop the layout elements without touching the coding.
3.Frequent Update Cycle :
WordPress is frequently updating CMS and very often we come to see some major updates. So its very important for a website owner to survive those updates and remain up-to-date with the WordPress environment. Premium WordPress themes are more sensitive to WordPress core changes and updates and thus more secure and reliable option.
4. Out-of-the-Box Appearance :
Don’t fit yourself in the crowd if you are born to be stand-out.
And if you are willing to stand out from the rest of the crowd and create a unique website go with the premium themes, as they are not very common among bloggers and have unique layouts.
5. Inbuilt SEO :
If appropriate theme used, WordPress theme can enhance the overall SEO and performance of your site. Premium themes tend to have bug-free and neat & clean coding which ultimately contribute to faster loading. Also you can ditch your whole gang of SEO plugins as the premium themes have inbuilt SEO options.
The biggest factor which comes between a blogger and a premium theme is – cost. Off course, cost matter. Price for good Premium themes usually starts from 30$ and can be as high as more than 700$. Whoa ! Well that’s true.
NOTE : You may still have to pay for the license/year for further up-coming years even if you have purchased the basic package.
2. Overloaded Features :
You may be wondering, how features can be a disadvantage of any theme. Well, read it again, I said overload of features. Usually what happens, in order to sustain the competition in the market, most of the developers (not all of them) jam-packed their themes with several features, which maybe you don’t need.
This can be considered as cons by two means :
(1.) Your theme may have higher potential for “theme bloat”.
(2.) And if the above is not the case with your theme, you are still paying for the functions and features you are never going to use.
Free WordPress Themes
The most amazing thing about free WordPress themes is ……..think-think….they are FREE. And we just love that word, don’t we ?
1. Free Of Cost :
They are free and hence everyone can use them. Okay so here is the procedure –
>>Don’t like it ?
…..And the process goes on.
2. Right Within Your Dashboard :
Go to your dashboard > Appearance > Themes > explore the world of free WordPress themes.
3. Compatible With Most Plugins :
Ironically, free WordPress themes are highly compatible when it comes to plugins. That is why because all the themes available in the WordPress repo are certainly gone through a review process and are made to meet certain standards.
Premium themes have their own inbuilt functionality and thus the developers don’t really care about the plugin’s compatibility from outside environment.
1. Lack Top-Notch Support :
Free WordPress themes lack the top-notch support provided by the premium ones. If you have any query regarding the free theme, you are only dependable on the WP codex and and some other forums for help.
Its pretty obvious that you have to wait for several days to knock-out a simple bug. I mean come-on, who will as a theme designer spend hours in playing question-answer on support forums that don’t earn them a single penny.
2. Slow Update Cycle :
Free WordPress themes are not updated very often. As a WordPress user you should know that WordPress is all about updates. Updates are very important in order to make improvements, fix various bugs and boost security. But most of the free themes designer fails in this department.
3. Security Vulnerabilities :
Most of the premium themes are rarely up-to-date and hence more suspicious to security risk. The free themes available at WordPress them repo are maintain up to certain standard but if you download a free theme from any other source, there is fair chance that it contain malware along with other phishing codes.
4. Nothing Is Free :
Nothing is free . At least, not on this planet. But not everything going to cost you in dollar and bucks. And if you are using a free WordPress theme, you are already paying the price in terms of SEO, security and many other ways.
Still getting confused.
Lets make it more simple for you. Ask some simple question from yourself .
Are you a going to blog just for fun ?
Is blogging just a hobby to you ?
If your answer to the above questions is YES, you should stick to the free WordPress themes.
Lets play it one more time. Answer the questions again.
Are you a serious blogger ?
Do you want to expand your business on the web ?
Are you going to use blogging for fame and branding ?
Do you want to make money from blogging ?
If your answer for any of the above questions is YES, you should ditch your free theme and go for a premium one.