Nowadays there are plenty of good free and premium themes out there. There is so much confusion and checking demos of each theme. It’s one the toughest tasks always seems to be selecting a theme for your blog. Free themes are of course free, but premium WordPress theme which can be purchased on ThemeForest, or from any other of the numerous WordPress theme shops, from around $10 to $100, and that’s the very high-end.
With so many choices you may be wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of free oppose to premium. In this article, we will be discussing the differences between free themes vs premium themes.
Pros and Cons of Using Free WordPress Themes
The main advantage of using free WordPress themes, of course, is that they’re available for free! There are also other benefits, as well:
- Large Selection – There are thousands of free themes to choose from and depending on your preferred blog style, you will most likely have no problem finding one that fits your needs.
- Review Process – Themes downloaded from the WordPress.org theme directory undergo an official review process.
- More Compatible with Plugins – Since all free WordPress themes have to meet certain standards before being approved they tend to be compatible with more plugins than premium themes.
- Easy installation – Given to the access of the theme directory from your WordPress dashboard, browsing for themes and installing is easier.
- Trying various themes – You can try as many themes as you want without any restrictions. If you don’t like it, then you can easily switch to another theme without losing any money.
- Easier to use – Free themes don’t come with any advanced features so you don’t have to worry about anything that needs to be configured.
- Themes are not unique – Since themes are free, there could be other sites using the same theme as yours.
- Fewer updates – Some themes receive fewer updates, or none at all, leaving you with an outdated theme incompatible with the latest WordPress updates or your plugins.
- Security vulnerabilities – Some free themes are specifically designed to carry malicious code. Some developers fill up theme files with malicious codes and spam links.
- Lack of support – Minimal or no support is available for free themes.
- Fewer features – Very few features are available. You may need to invest in premium plugins for special features.
Pros and Cons of Using a Premium Theme
Premium WordPress themes typically cost money and are available for purchase from numerous third-party WordPress theme shops.
- Customer support – Most premium themes come with support. If any issues should arise you can get in contact with the developer by means of e-mail, forums, phone, etc.
- Well coded – Well coded sites rank higher in search results, which can make a great impact on your SEO.
- Updated often – Which means it will stay compatible with the latest WordPress updates and plugins.
- Features – Comes with a various amount of features to enhance your site.
- Fully customizable – Premium themes provide you with different layouts, colors scheme, fully customizable headers and footers, and font.
- Better security – Developers provide the best level security to their customers and won’t have malicious or hidden code
- Pricing – With premium themes, you need to get a license to use them and prices may vary, you either pay a one-time fee or a recurring annual fee.
- Harder to configure – Each WordPress theme is coded differently, which means that there are more features to be learned.
- Loading speed – Premium themes tend to have more files and images than free themes, meaning it would take longer to load.
You’ll learn that only because a theme is free, it isn’t necessarily bad, and a theme that costs money doesn’t mean it’s unequivocally good. You have to examine this question from the aspect of your needs and knowledge of WordPress, and budget available. However, if you are a beginner and just want to start running your website I will recommend using a free theme at first, so you’ll be able to learn the small tricks needed to make your site custom – without wasting money unnecessarily during your learning process.