Are you confused on which one to choose free WordPress theme or paid one? Then you’re on right place here in this post, I’ll be discussing on free WordPress themes and premium themes and this post will help you come on a decision. So read on to know more.
After buying WordPress hosting, next important task is to choose a theme. You get two options for that purpose; either you can choose a free theme from WordPress theme library or you can buy a premium or paid theme. Undoubtedly, WordPress offers a vast range of free themes to choose from and all themes have to pass many security check ups before getting listed in its library. WordPress theme inspection team work to leave no stone unturned while inspecting a theme. Its free themes are being offered by many renowned industry professionals therefore many of them keep their themes up to date.
Following question may be knocking your head, “If WordPress free themes are very optimized and responsive then why would we need to buy a paid theme for our WordPress blog?”
Answer is very simple. Yes, WordPress free themes library contains many responsive and SEO friendly themes because these are developed by some professionals who do this favor on bloggers; who are reluctant to spend more few bucks. But, here, we forget one thing that developers of free themes are not pledged to update their themes to curb security breaches. Though, developers take care of their themes for the sake of their reputation and for positive reviews but you cannot hold them responsible for the functionality or security issues; because you’re not giving them anything.
So, for whom, free theme is a better choice?
If you’re a hobby blogger and not concerned about your blog’s security then you can install a free theme on your blog. If you’re more than a hobby blogger then think twice even thrice before opting free themes.
Attention: WordPress themes library contains elegant themes with up-to-date security but you can’t hold them responsible if anything wrong happens like site gets hacked.
On the flip side, nowadays paid themes offer unbeatable security to your blog. Though, paid themes providers also don’t provide any indemnification option but they always make sure that your blog gets robust framework that secures your blog or website against malicious attacks. It’s also very important to pick trust worthy theme provider lest you may not get desired results. You can take a look on following reasons to know why should you choose paid theme for your blog.
I’m using Genesis Framework for my WordPress blogs. Before launching my blog, like you, I did a lot research to select Genesis Themes and I proud that I have chosen one of the best out there. Thanks to my research! Just kidding! I wrote a detailed post on why I chose Genesis Framework for my WordPress Blog.
Here are some reasons to choose WordPress paid theme for your blog –
Theme Developer is not Pledged –
Theme creator somehow manages his/her precious time to provide professional looking themes to newbie bloggers and there are lots of probabilities that he/she might not get enough time in future to keep his/her theme’s functionality and security up-to-date.
On the contrary, in paid themes, there’s always an expert curiously waiting to help someone, like you and me.
Free Themes are DIY Kind –
Another reason is support. Free themes are DIY (do it yourself) kind themes and you hardly get tutorials or help to fix design or functionality issues, therefore, you will have to fix issues pertaining to your blog theme on your own by wasting your productive time on less productive activities.
On the other hand, paid themes are click and install type and for your help, theme providers provide you plenty of tutorials for theme customization and also provide you forum help to resolve your queries. You get unlimited and lifetime support from some renowned theme providers like StudioPress.
Reasons are numerous, one more is restrictions like you cannot remove footer credit links provided by the theme developer. But, in paid or premium themes, you’re free to do anything with your theme and there is always a support team available to solve your queries.
In premium themes, you own all such rights except reselling.
Less Mobile and SEO Friendly –
Today, a large number of population use smartphones to surf internet and that’s why, renowned search engines like Google, emphasis on making mobile friendly webpages that load faster. Recently, Google Adsense urged its all publishers to make their pages mobile friendly and also sent them Google tool link (click on the link to check your site’s mobile friendliness) to check their site’s mobile friendliness and Google Page Speed Insights link to get suggestions to make web-pages faster, if you’re an Adsense publisher then you might have also got an email from Google. And now, Google has launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) concept to make web pages more mobile friendly. You should install WordPress AMP plugin to make your pages mobile friendly.
Here are some interesting Google stats regarding mobile friendliness –
In USA, 94% of people with smartphones search local information and 77% of searches occur at home or at office, places where desktop computers are likely to be present.
Majority of viewers leave a site instantly if site fails to load faster. Source link.
It’s crystal clear from above explanation that a blog/website should be mobile friendly (On my blog maapsworld.com, 70% of my traffic comes from mobile devices). But most of WordPress free themes are not mobile friendly and fail to render themselves as per different screen resolutions which makes your theme less mobile and SEO friendly.
On the other hand, paid themes come with responsive designs without compromising security.
Paid Themes Ensure Your Blog’s Security –
Framework of the theme is the foundation of any blog’s design and it also secures your blog against malicious attacks. Therefore, paid themes providers make their themes secure enough and also regularly do modifications if they find any flaw in their security.
As you may aware that nowadays all sites or blogs are vulnerable to attacks irrespective to the blogging platform like WordPress, Blogger, Medium, and Tumblr etc, so it becomes immensely important that you choose a secure theme for your blog.
Free themes hardly offer you any plugin but premium themes come with plenty of plugins that help you do customization and optimization easily for example Genesis Theme provides a variety of plugins to non-techie bloggers who are not familiar with the coding like Genesis Simple Hooks plugin to insert short codes, php, or the like things anywhere inside the theme code area, similarly Genesis Simple Edits plugin allows you edit your theme’s header and footer sections.
Plugins make customization easy for non-techie bloggers otherwise it is very difficult to edit your theme code area.
Ok, I think it’s too much to differentiate between free and premium WordPress themes. Probably, you’ve made a choice now. If you’ve decided to buy a premium theme for your blog then before buying a paid theme, keep following points into your mind –
- It’s very crucial to buy premium theme from a well-known provider, otherwise, you may be wasting your hard earned money.
- Read reviews as much as you can before buying a theme from a provider. But, after reading only one review don’t instantly come to a decision.
- Look for unlimited like unlimited installs, unlimited support, and the like (Luckily! I got everything unlimited with my Genesis Framework and I can install it on my all WordPress blogs including clients’ sites). Some theme providers give you license to use purchased theme on one WordPress blog only therefore if you want to use the same theme on your another blog then you will have to buy it again. So, find a company that offers you unlimited installs.
Free themes are good for certain bloggers but if you’re a serious blogger then you should use premium theme on your blog. One mistake that many newbie bloggers do is that they initially use free themes and they think that they will buy premium ones when their blogs get noticed significantly. But, it’s a very wrong perception and you should use premium theme on your blog right from the starting because in feature if you change your theme then you may face design and customization related difficulties. At the top, as I said earlier, premium themes provide secure and SEO friendly foundation for your blog and you could get better outputs.