The WordPress community has developed thanks in part to the love for the incredible customization capabilities of the platform. And although a high level of customization is generally considered positive, that doesn’t mean it can’t be overwhelming. For those new to WordPress, one of the most pressing questions has to do with the difference between using free or paid WordPress themes.
Here is the thing:
For many who are starting to use WordPress, the process of thinking about using WordPress for free versus payment (at least in regards to the issues) probably revolves around the fact that if there is a free option that works perfectly, would anyone spend money for a premium option? This mentality is in line with the general start-up tips, which suggests that people who want to start a new blog or website keep costs low so they have no excuse on the way to launch.
Certainly, this advice makes sense, but it does not necessarily reflect long-term strategic thinking. There are many advantages associated with investing in premium WordPress themes. Surely there would be no market for them if there were not many people willing to buy and use them.
There are many questions left:
- Do you really need a premium theme to have a beautiful website?
- Does a premium theme guarantee that your site works faster?
- What are the disadvantages of joining a free theme?
- Free / premium WordPress themes? Which one is suitable for any project?
Fortunately, you will find the answers to all these questions and more below. Let’s take a look at WordPress, free versus paid theme options:
Free WordPress Themes
It is very easy to find free WordPress themes after installing a new instance of WordPress on your favorite web server. You will find options in the official WordPress theme directory by browsing to Appearance> Themes> Add a new theme in the WordPress panel.
Keep in mind that this is not the only place to find free WordPress themes: there are also thousands of other free theme options available on the Internet.
That said, the real advantage of choosing a theme from the WordPress theme directory is that they are officially approved, which means that any topic submitted to the official theme directory is subject to rigorous review.
The theme review process begins with an automated WordPress plugin that analyzes the issue compared to the strict WordPress coding standards. If approved, WordPress theme developers will manually review the submitted topic. Only after these two steps have been done in bright colors, a theme will be publicly available in the official directory of topics.
Advantage Use of Free WordPress themes
Why would someone choose to use a free WordPress theme? The reasons are numerous:
- Free is always a good thing for new website owners and ideal for those who constantly experience or want a change from time to time. Premium WordPress themes require payment and many of them are not cheap! In fact, according to CodeinWP, the average price of a premium item is $ 57.54. Some item sellers do not accept returns. So, if you don’t like the item you bought or don’t support the plugins you need, you may have something you can’t use.
- At least for the options listed in the official themes directory, free themes are officially approved through a multi-step WordPress process.
- Free themes tend to have a very minimalist design because they don’t have many features and premium widgets. If your site does not use many plugins, this could result in a quick WordPress site (which will improve your technical SEO).
- Free themes are usually created with beginners in mind and, as such, are simple and easy to use. Before approving a theme, WordPress developers ensure that a beginner can use the themes in the theme library as part of their testing process. These free themes are also generally compatible with most WordPress plugins.
Twenty Twenty is the latest in a series of free themes offered directly by WordPress developers. Check out this developer’s introduction to the Twenty-twenty theme.
Disadvantage of Using Free WordPress Themes
As there is no free lunch, there are some delays to consider when it comes to using a free WordPress theme:
- A free theme has limited features and many larger and more professional websites do not require additional functionality.
- Some free themes have more than 1 million downloads! Free themes are not unique compared to premium themes. Since anyone can download them without the payment barrier, many types of similar sites will use the same theme. Since there aren’t as many customization options available for free themes as for premium themes, the differences will be negligible and users will probably begin to understand the repetitive features of these themes.
- Much of the themes on the WordPress repository site are rarely updated, which can make them incompatible with frequent updates of the WordPress CMS version.
- Free themes are not supported if there is a problem. There are so many contributors to the free themes that WordPress cannot track who is the author or developer of the theme. You need help from third parties (WordPress forum, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, pay a web developer) and there is no guarantee that you will get a quick response (or whatever) if you are not paying someone to help you.
- Free themes that are not in the official repository of themes may have faulty code, which can also make your site vulnerable to security issues.
- A word for the wise: not all free themes are created in the same way (there are different WordPress licenses). Therefore, when you download a topic, it is better to know what you can legally do with it.
CyberChimps is a commercial theme with more than 1 million downloads and more than 80,000 active installations.
Why companies create free WordPress themes
WordPress themes are certainly not easy to create, so why do some people offer them for free?
One situation may be that the free themes are for the work portfolio of an individual or company. Others create free themes to improve their trade and improve their experience with the WordPress platform.
Others create free WordPress themes to spread their name, advertise something or increase brand exposure. Free themes incorporate the use of footer links, which link the theme instance to the original developer’s site. Everyone who downloads the theme and uses it exposes their audience to that link, generating more traffic to the developer’s site (and creating backlinks for SEO).
Although technically not in the footer (the common heuristic of web design), developer Jack Harris shares some of Case Neistat’s fame by creating a partnership between Youtuber and himself.
Another reason why people develop WordPress themes for free is the ability to sell more. A freemium WordPress theme template involves a developer who offers a free theme for the user to try but offers somewhat limited functionality so that people who need it most need to buy the premium version of the same theme. In fact, it is an excellent risk-free way to sell the premium version of the theme, as it gives users the chance to try it before fully committing to a purchase.
While you never want to believe in the worst of people, another reason why people develop free themes is so that they can use them as an opportunity to embed their malicious code on other people’s websites.
How To Find The Best high-performance Free WordPress theme
Before a free theme entered the WordPress repository, it was thoroughly reviewed for a number of problems, namely:
- Core functionality and features
- Presentation and functionality
- Options and Settings
- Selling, credits, and links
- Stylesheets and scripts
For free themes that are outside the WordPress repository, there is a greater risk of malicious code than if you purchased only a premium theme. Here are some ways to verify if your free theme may be too good to be true:
- Do a Google search. Write a query for the site name or topic to see if there are any negative twitter online.
- Scan the theme files for viruses. VirusTotal is a free online tool that you can use for free.
- If you have the patience and time to do it, you can manually review the theme files. The most common places to find spam backlinks in a topic are CSS and footer.php.
- Check the authenticity of the subject. There are several WordPress plugins that you can use to do this, such as the Authenticity Checker, Exploit Scanner and Theme Issue Check.
- If you have already uploaded the theme to your WordPress site, check your site with Google Safe Browsing. Add your domain name at the end of this URL: http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=) or use Sucuri, a security company that offers a free website scanner.
VirusTool is just a tool that you can use to verify problems in a free WordPress theme.
When to use a free WordPress theme VS a premium WordPress theme
Topic selection is more than simply choosing an option that “looks good”; It’s also about choosing something that works well for your website content and goals.
Simply put, use a free WordPress theme if you:
- Do you want to start a personal blog?
- Don’t worry if your site looks the same as most
- They are right after the basic functionality
- You can get along with little support (ideal if you are using it primarily for simple blogging functionality)
Alternatively, use a premium WordPress theme if you:
- Will you use WordPress on a commercial site (or are you considering expanding your WordPress site to include complicated features such as electronic commerce in the future)
- You want your site to be unique
- You want your site to support many different features
- I am not sure how to solve problems and need a dedicated support team
Many of the premium themes and plugins are available online for free. But it is highly recommended that you do not use products from these sources.
To help facilitate the decision, you must first define what your site is about. If you are looking for specific functionality in your photo portfolio, food blog or e-commerce site, you should choose a WordPress theme that works for that purchase. Keep in mind that the more advanced your site is in terms of desired functionality, the more complex it will be to run and manage it. Using a free WordPress theme will make it difficult to do.
Premium WordPress theme
Like premium hosting, you should think about premium WordPress themes in terms of investment for your business. After all, there is a reason why premium themes have a premium price: they also offer premium features!
Think of a premium WordPress theme as a good boyfriend/girlfriend/partner.
When you find the perfect option, you not only have access to a fully functional theme, but you also get support, frequent updates, more freedom (in terms of customization options) and security (less virus and third-party threats). Best of all, a premium WordPress theme stands out for being much more exclusive than a free WordPress theme could be.
Here are some defining elements to look for in a premium WordPress theme:
- Complies with the standards: updated to the latest versions of WordPress, PHP, CSS, and HTML
- Responsive: A responsive WordPress site is increasingly necessary because Google considers mobile responsiveness as an important ranking factor.
- Compatible with different browsers.
- It works well with other plugins
Best Source For Premium WordPress Theme 2020
Not sure where to start your search for the perfect premium WordPress theme?
- CyberChimps Themes
- Elegant Themes
- MH Themes
- Artbees Themes
- Proteus Themes
- ThemeForest marketplace
- Macho Themes
- Anariel Design
- SKT Themes
WordPress Free vs Paid Themes
A free or premium WordPress theme has its advantages and disadvantages, but choosing which one to install ultimately depends on the needs of the site and the budget and aesthetic preferences of the site owner. Keep in mind that it is okay to start with a free WordPress theme and update it as necessary. It’s your world, we’re just living in it.
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