(This post is a guest contribution by David Meyer.Read more about him in the author bio below the post.)
A Comparative Analysis on Free and Paid WordPress Themes
Picking up a WordPress theme is definitely an interesting job to do but at the same time can turn out to be daunting if done with no objective. There are hundreds of thousands of Free, and Premium WordPress themes available online to choose. And if you are not clear about what you are looking for in your theme then I’m afraid you might end up picking the one not best suited for your business prospects.
Whether to spend on buying a premium theme or should go for the free ones? This is the question where most of the newbies get stuck during pre-development phases of their WordPress projects. No wonder, the popularity of WordPress is indomitable, not just amid bloggers but also among developers, developers and marketers actively into the online business. Many of the newbie bloggers, in the beginning, go for free WP themes instead of the premium ones, with a notion of switching to the latter after some time.
I know some of you might have already deduced a way to get the most out of free themes itself. Instead of buying a theme for 30-40$, why not simply add plugins integrating the needed features to the free WP theme. Well, this is definitely a fascinating idea, but it depends on your site, how efficiently these plugins and theme function.
No worries! Continue reading the post to get a clear image of choosing and NOT choosing Free/Premium WordPress themes for your next project.
Let us first start with Free WordPress themes and get an idea about their pros and cons.
Free WordPress Themes
|Absolutely Free! Yes, that’s why they are so famous among developers and site authors. You can easily access the core functionality of the free theme.
|Located in an easy-to-find folder in the dashboard. Unlike the premium ones that can only be found in the marketplaces or third party shops.
|Supports a wide range of plugins as compared to the premium themes, which means enhanced functionality.
|Providing only “needed” features makes them light-weight. Sidelining the concept of having an all-in-one theme that offers only the required features.
|No expert Assistance provided. Only general support via WordPress.org or theme user forums is available.
|Fewer updates are available. You will not find frequent updates for the free themes which might cause stress sometimes.
|Some of the themes lack user experience on developer and user’s end. It is where you have to compromise if you have free theme in use. They are not built with the same perfection as premium ones are.
|More vulnerable to security threats/attacks. No wonder, some of the free themes are specifically designed to carry vulnerable codes.
Pros and cons of Premium WordPress Themes
|Extensive support through Forums, Mails, etc. to help at any given stage of the process by experts unlike “no support” in Free themes.
|Best-in-quality with validated coding. Quality comes with money which gets actively funded by the purchased cost.|
|Inbuilt advanced functionality. Supports all advanced plugins that simplify customization and configuration.|
|Wider scope for designing.|
|Timely updates containing latest functions and features. Being backed by high-end authors/marketplaces, the updates keep on coming at regular interval.|
|Highly Secured. The core coding is highly validated and thus, keeps these premium themes secured and validated.|
|Not Free. If your project is simply about learning or having no future scope, then shelling considerable money for a theme may offset you. Do not buy a premium theme if you are not sure of its purpose and usage on a long run, as it would turn into a money-waste if done otherwise.|
|No official review process is done on the themes. This results in ignorance of adding advanced WordPress development practices by theme builders in theme.|
|If not chosen as per the requirements can slow down the performance in the long run. So pick a theme that confers only the required functions instead of an all-in-one premium theme.|
|Theme author/marketplace can take away their theme whenever they feel so. You can never claim if the product/theme goes out of the market or the seller stops selling it.|
I hope this structured table stating advantages and disadvantages of using Free and Premium WordPress theme has helped to get an idea of what to decide about the next step.
So you have made up your decision to go with either of the themes but are still confused about how to know that the chosen theme is right for your business or not.
Tips To Consider Before Choosing a:
Free WordPress Theme
- Choose only the theme which is high-rated and is offered by an authorised
- Check for the activities and updates done by the theme author and specifically note the interval amidst the both.
- Look out for support options if provided voluntarily by the theme author.
- Pick an advanced theme, especially the one which is new and contains latest in-demand features.
Premium WordPress Theme
- Shortlist the themes that match both your business requisites and expenses.
- Get the one from a reputed and authorised theme author, marketplace or third party shop.
- Make sure you have monitored their services along with support & assistance system.
- Pay for the one that closely matches your business requirements instead of paying
- Do not forget to check the compatibility of the theme with other themes.
Conclusively, you must weigh the needs of your business with all the pros and cons mentioned with each of the theme types. It would eventually help you get the most-suited theme exactly matching your requisites. The decision, in the end, is always yours, so carefully analyse the needs and availability on a priority basis.
So have you chosen the Freely available WordPress themes or going for a premium one? Send us your feedback in the comment section below.
Author Bio: David Meyer is a senior developer working in CSSChopper for last seven years. The company is well-known for delivering PSD to WordPress conversion services inexpensively. Apart from his work, he is passionate about reading books, mainly in technical and gadgets genre.