When you are just starting out in building a website, it might be a good idea to use a free WordPress theme. This will allow you to enjoy the core features of the WordPress platform, which is forever free.
There are many reasons why WordPress themes are free:
- The developer is giving back to the community as an expression of gratitude for a successful business.
- The developer wants to create awareness of his skills in preparation to introducing his premium themes with more features.
- The developer wants to improve his skills because WordPress has a strict review process before approving a theme.
- The developer wants to introduce a free base theme with premium addons.
- The developer wants to showcase his skill for people to notice it so they can hire him to build a customized theme for them.
Free WordPress themes have basic features which are enough if your only goal is to write a standard content and publish it.
But as your site grows, more and more people will notice it. You will produce a more feature-rich content which needs more features to improve the looks and functionality of your site. This is where you might need to upgrade from a free theme to a paid theme or buy an addon feature from your current theme. But knowing when to shift from free to paid is crucial in maximizing savings.
Table of Contents
Free vs Paid WordPress Themes (5 Notable Differences)
Here are 5 differences between free and paid WordPress themes:
Free. There are free themes that look great if you view them one by one. But if you compare a free theme side by side with a premium theme, it will look basic. And your site will look less unique because, since it’s free, a lot of users are using it in their site also. It takes an artistic mind to combine the fonts, colors, and visual effects. And the free theme developer will not lay all his cards on a free theme.
Paid. Most of the paid themes look stunning and ultra-fine. And they should be because they come with a price. Premium themes will look unique because not all can afford to use theme. Plus, this theme has many pre-made templates you can use to transform the looks of your site. You can use these pre-made designs to give a fresh look to your site when it becomes dated overtime.
Free. Free themes have the core features of WordPress. If your focus is to write contents that follow the usual article formats, a free WordPress theme will be enough for you. But if you need to put more drama to your pages through transition and animation effects, you will be in want if you use a free theme.
Paid. A premium theme has a much better functionality than a free theme. And it gives you more control of your content by providing addon features that will let you produce a more compelling page. Paid themes will support your creative mind in delivering a more exciting content. This will make your page look unique. And your readers will react to it and will stay longer to explore your other pages.
Free. Coding is where the free theme will be equal to the premium theme (even better) if you choose a free theme in the official WordPress theme directory. A free theme in WordPress.org undergo a strict review process before being approved by the review team. So the free themes you see in the WordPress theme directory have top quality standard.
Paid. Using a paid theme in your site is not a guarantee that you are using a theme with clean codes. That is why you need to choose a premium theme among known WordPress builders because they follow the standard coding rule that is WordPress compliant.
Free. These themes come with little to no support. Free themes have basic functionality and should work very well for normal use. The support is paid per hour and no developer will hire a support for a free theme.
Paid. This is where paid themes shine over free themes. Paid themes have a 24-hour support that are always waiting for support tickets. Depending on the company where you buy your themes, some support systems answer within minutes from the time you open a ticket. And the support team is well-versed in WordPress codes.
Free. A warranty is a promise to repair or replace something within a specified period of time. Since these themes are free, they don’t have a warranty. Under normal use, the theme will be excellent. But if you go beyond its limit and something goes wrong, you will be on your own.
Paid. A paid theme comes with a vendor’s promise to give you support if you encounter issues with their product. The company earns from a premium theme and can afford to hire experts in WordPress to assist in case you need help.
Both free and paid themes have their advantages and disadvantages. If you will use WordPress within its basic features, you should choose a free theme because it has everything you need. The safest themes to choose are either from the official WordPress theme directory or free themes from known WordPress builders.
But if you need to do things that go beyond the basic features of WordPress, it will be a good idea to use premium themes. By doing that, you will save time and effort setting up your site. Premium themes are suitable for growing sites because they need an active support and warrantly if something goes wrong.