Should I look for a Free theme or Premium theme? This question comes in the mind of almost everyone starting WordPress blog or website for the first time. You want to save money using free WordPress theme but don’t want to compromise the quality. When it comes to free items, we always have a big doubt about the quality. Why wouldn’t we have? After all, we all have grown with the mindset that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Doesn’t it apply on the Free WordPress themes?
You will be surprised that Free WordPress themes are of superior quality. Yes, you got it right!
While saying this, I’m referring to the Free WordPress themes available in WordPress themes repository only. Free themes available in other unreliable sources can be dangerous.
Pros of Free themes
They are of best quality
The themes that you get in the WordPress themes repository have reached there through several tests and reviews by the brilliant theme review team of WordPress community. It takes at least a month for a theme to pass through all the process. Only the themes which can pass through the strict guidelines are listed in theme repository. So, you can be ensured that the free theme that you get are of best quality.
Brilliant plugin compatibility
The free themes of the WordPress themes repository are written on clean code with best practices of the industry. They follow all the coding guidelines of WordPress. This is what protects them from the compatibility issues with WordPress core. Besides, you can use almost any plugins available in WordPress plugin repository. WordPress even clearly shows if the version could have compatibility issue or not and whether they are updated or not.
Free themes are secure
Theme review team are very cautious about the security perspective of the theme. So, they check for all possible loopholes and malware that can be harmful. A theme is placed in the repository only when review team is satisfied. And, in case any security issues are found later on, such themes are immediately removed from the repository. This means that you can be assured that free themes are secure.
Cons of Free themes
Fewer customization options
Most of the Free themes available in the WordPress themes repository have their premium version as well. Developers would like to make money by providing more options including more customization options in the premium version in order to make free theme user buy the premium version. So, they provide fewer customization options in the free themes.
It is another big drawback of using free themes. If you get any problem in theme or need assistance from the developers, it hard to get that. Yes, there are dedicated forum for each theme. But, you cannot expect much to get better support from there.
Your website won’t be unique
Free themes are used by so many websites. And, due to fewer customization options, you cannot get the unique look for your website. Because of this reason, your website won’t be unique if you use Free themes.
Pros of Premium themes
Better support and updates
Since you’ve paid for the premium themes, developers have the obligation toward you. They provide better support whenever you need. You can do the live chat with the support team of most of the premium theme. And, you can expect to get a quicker reply with the better solution. Developers release the updates of premium themes regularly. This is why people prefer Premium themes to Free themes.
More features and customization options
Developers make premium themes feature-rich to attract the buyers. Several customization options are available for you in comparison to their free counterpart. This adds value to the money you’ve paid for the premium theme.
Your website is more unique
Due to the several features and customization options, you can make your website unique than others. Besides, premium themes are used by fewer websites in comparison to Free themes. In addition to them, premium themes often come with drag and drop page builder which helps you create pages with the unique layout on your website. These all factors make your website more unique.
Cons of Premium themes
Overloaded with unnecessary features
In the view of making premium themes more feature-rich than Free themes, developers add so many features in premium themes that you may never for your website. This often makes theme setup more confusing and complex. This is the major flaw of premium themes.
Website may become slow
As premium themes are loaded with so many features and plugins, this adds more burden to your web server. This can often make your website slow. I’ve heard complaints from many people about slow page load when they use premium themes.
Codes written for premium themes aren’t reviewed by experts (the way free themes are done). Because of this, there can occur compatibility issue with several plugins. Besides, this can also be the reason for the website getting hacked. Your website can become slow due to poor coding.
This way, free themes and premium themes have both pros and cons. You need to aware of all these issues when you go for any type of theme. If you need better support and customization options, you can go for Premium version. But, you need to be aware about the quality of the theme as well when you buy premium theme.