You can find thousands of Free WordPress themes in WordPress themes repository. They become your first choice when you are starting so a blog with no expectation of monetization or other benefits. But, when it comes to the professional website or blog, you fall into the DILLEMA! Should I use free WordPress theme or Premium (paid) WordPress theme? Which one is better for my website?
No doubt, you certainly don’t want to flow your hard earned bucks for unnecessary. This lures you towards the Free theme. But, again doubt about the quality in free theme makes you think about the premium theme. Why wouldn’t anyone doubt? After all, we all have grown up listening that you cannot get the free meal. As a newbie in WordPress, how would you ever think that free theme can be of superior quality?
Yes, you got it right! Free WordPress themes are of superior quality, sometimes even better than premium ones.
Warning: Free themes, mentioned in this article, refer to the themes available in WordPress themes repository only. Free themes that you get from other non-credible sources can always be vulnerable. So, avoid them or use them with caution.
Before I tell you which one is better for you, let’s understand the pros and cons of Free theme and Premium theme. It certainly helps you have the better perspectives of each of them.
Pros of Free theme
Free theme is more secure
Free WordPress Theme is more secure ones. Why? It’s all because brilliant review team at WordPress.org check each theme of security vulnerability thoroughly and only allow the ones which are very secure. They are very cautious about the security perspective of the theme. All possible loopholes and chances of malware are checked. Only the themes which satisfy the reviewers on the security get the space in WordPress themes repository. And, if anyone finds the security issue in the theme, later on, it is immediately removed from the repository. This way, you can highly trust on the free theme for its security.
Compatibility issues are seen in the theme if it’s not written (coded) following the best standard of WordPress. Such theme can get compatibility with different WordPress plugins or sometimes even with the certain version of WordPress core as well. But, you’ll never see such compatibility issue in free theme. It’s all because theme reviewers at WordPress.org check the coding standard of free themes very strickly before allowing them to be the part of WordPress themes repository.
You can experience better page loading time and thus better website speed when you use Free theme. You many be surprised why. Let me make it clear for you. This is because of two factors: free themes aren’t junked with huge customization options and they are clean-coded with the best standard of WordPress. Because of these two factors, free theme provide you better speed consuming least server resources.
Cons of Free theme
Limited Support in free theme
Well, you’ve not paid for the free theme. So, for sure, developers won’t be able to provide you extended support. It doesn’t mean there’s no possibility of getting support. Each theme in WordPress theme repository has dedicated forum where you can post your issues about the theme. Developers can check them out and answer you. But, you cannot expect a quick reply and even sure shot reply there.
(But, don’t rate any theme bad for it as you’ve not paid for the support. Need extended support, you can donate to the developer or buy the premium version.)
Free theme has fewer customization options
Most of the themes available in the WordPress themes repository have their premium version as well. Developers avail fewer customization option in the free theme so that you’d be encouraged to buy premium one. So, the free theme has fewer customization options.
Your website won’t be unique with free theme
Free themes are accessible to millions of WordPress users of the world. The theme that you use for your blog or website is used by thousands of others at the same time. And, due to the fewer customization options, these websites look similar. So, your website won’t be unique with free theme.
Pros of Premium theme
Better support and updates in premium theme
When you buy a premium theme, you are paying for its development cost and support. So, developers can avail you extended support whenever you need. Most of the theme developers provide Live Chat support from their website. Besides, you can email them your issue or even discuss the issues in their forum. You can expect to reply promptly from the developers. And, you can expect to get regular updates as well.
More features and customization options in Premium theme
The premium theme has so many customization options and features. This is what adds value to your money. You can build your website with your branding color and preferred design. In addition to these, a premium theme often comes with premium drag and drop page builder plugin which enables you to have unlimited customizations on your website.
Your website is more unique
More customization options in premium theme mean you can make your website as per your wish. You can choose your preferred layout, color, background, header style, footer style and much more. These things allow you make your website more unique in appearance. Besides, drag and drop page builder are always there to help you create unique and attractive pages on your website. So, if you are looking to have a unique website, the premium theme is always the best choice.
Cons of Premium theme
Premium themes may be poorly coded
Free themes of WordPress theme repository are checked strictly by the brilliant review team. But, premium themes aren’t checked by the reliable experts. So, there are chances of coding flaws in the premium theme. It doesn’t mean that all premium themes are poorly coded. Here, I’m indicating the possibility of being poorly coded. So, when you are buying a premium theme, you need to be aware of it as well.
Premium theme is Overloaded with unnecessary features
Developers want to make premium theme feature rich in order to please the buyers. For this reason, they provide so many features in a single theme that most of them become useless for you. Due to this, it becomes complex to understand and use the premium theme in the beginning.
Website may become slow
Which one is better for my website?
Well, it depends on your requirements. If you need much customization options and features, premium theme is better for you. If you need better speed and reliabity but are OK with less customization options, you can go with free theme. Choice is yours! My recommendation is use high performance server when you use premium theme to make it fast in server end.
I want unique as well as speedy website. What shall I do?
If you unique website which loads fast as well, you can hire freelancers or agency to develop WordPress theme according to your unique requirement. This way, your theme will have only those features which you actually require and is well optimized for speed and reliability as well.
If you have some CSS skills, you can install a Free theme, create a child theme of it and then do customization as per your need. And, if you have some PHP skills as well, the free theme with a child theme will do best for you. If you don’t have any coding skill, you can always hire a professional and do it for you.
Since WordPress community is huge, there are thousands of professionals waiting to serve you. And, WordPress professionals are cheaper in cost than others due to heavy competition.
Free WordPress theme and premium WordPress theme both have their own range of benefits and drawbacks. You need to aware of each and make choice according to your requirement. And, we will be reviewing the premium and free themes for your ease. So, keep following WPCounsel for more updates of best free and premium WordPress themes and plugins.