Starting with a WordPress website always comes with a question in mind – how my website should look like? And, themes are the only possible answer to this. Whether to choose free WordPress Themes or a premium one always leaves new users wondering, greatly confused to make the right choice based on their personal needs.
You might need a proper comparison between free vs paid WordPress themes. Without comparing them, you might be struggling to come to your final decision and choose what’s best for you.
There are thousands of free themes you can find in the WordPress themes directory. Alright!! we hear lots of questions coming – Then Why Should you pay for premium WordPress themes if you have free resources? Do you need a premium theme to run a beautiful and faster WordPress? Is there any disadvantage if you stick with a free theme?
To solve all these queries, this guide is for you.
You’ll know the pros and cons of both free and paid themes and how they differ in functionality and features to help your WordPress site boosts speed and performance.
Advantages of Using Free WordPress Themes
Free Themes means WordPress has approved a few creators to list their themes on the WordPress.org Themes directory and are allowed to successfully make their place. Each theme in the directory has gone through strict review by experts.
So, it is better not to download and install any free themes that are distributed by other unreliable sources. Now, let’s take a look at the pros of free WordPress themes.
1. Free Of Cost:
Of course, the biggest of free WordPress themes is that they are free of cost. Often new to WordPress can take advantage of the free themes as they lower down their budget.
So, if you’ve just started and do not have enough budget to focus on your web design, free templates will surely be helpful. From blogs to woo-commerce stores, you can leave your stress for web pages building.
But, why would someone sell a free version when others are working hard to create the paid premium themes? Are free WordPress themes worth the quality?
That’s leads us to the second advantage.
2. Well-Tested and Officially Approved:
All the free WordPress themes available in the repository are well tested and officially approved after the thorough review process.
This means they will not lack the quality in the limited features they come with.
A team of experts sets those apart which doesn’t meet the minimum requirements such as quality HTML/CSS, secured, standard WordPress features, filters, and libraries, and most importantly, privacy.
3. Minimalist Design:
Free themes are designed for beginners in mind, who have started their journey in the digital world. Developers behind them ensure minimalist design, limited features, and widgets. So, a creator with a non-technical background can easily understand.
From a site speed point of view, if you are using lots of plugins, the free theme can make your WordPress faster in loading, which will improve your SEO.
4. Fewer Features, Better Performance:
Free WordPress themes come with easy-to-understand configuration settings and are easy to use in one go.
While testing for approval, development experts of WordPress make sure each theme in the library can be used by a beginner. Whereas in the case of premium themes, companies put everything, ensuring all possible features that often take time to set up.
Few features in a free theme lack the “all-in-one” package offered by many premium themes. This can benefit you in better site performance since your theme always plays a huge role in how quickly your site loads. You can check out the fastest WooCoomerce themes optimized for speed.
5. Higher Compatibility:
Most free themes are compatible with most of the WordPress plugins. However, premium themes often show incompatibility with some of the plugins. If your WordPress has many plugins, free themes could be beneficial for you in terms of compatibility.
However, a free theme will not allow you to get advanced features that premium themes usually come with. Thus, several cons exist with WordPress’s free themes. Below are a few of them.
Disadvantages of Free WordPress Themes
Since there are no such high-quality pros of free WordPress themes, there are quite a few cons to them. Here are some common disadvantages of using free themes:
1. Limited Features and Functionality:
Even though free themes support most standard WordPress features, many of them lack more convincing features important to users such as creating buttons, using shortcodes, creating landing pages, etc.
2. Lack of Uniqueness:
Free themes are created by keeping in mind the beginners’ needs, most of the themes lack uniqueness and often use the same concept as before.
Since anyone can download them without any barriers to payment, many similar features repeat in the two different themes.
Free themes don’t support various customization options to give a better visual appearance to your website.
3. No Updates:
Content management systems keep on updating now and then. A new update comes with better versions from the previous ones to enhance performance. However, free WordPress themes barely show new versions or any updates.
This results in incompatibility between themes and WordPress CMS.
4. No Technical Support:
Many WordPress users often face technical issues with themes and plugins on a day-to-day basis. Premium themes come with 24/7 support team availability that helps when any problems occur.
Whereas, a free WordPress theme doesn’t provide any technical support that’s what makes them a disadvantage over premium options.
Free themes are poorly coded which makes them vulnerable to malicious attacks and other hacking practices. This furthermore, can make your site vulnerable to security issues.
So, if security and quality features are your major concerns, you should be looking on the other side of the coin. There comes premium themes for WordPress.
Pros of Premium WordPress Themes
Unlike free themes, premium WordPress themes can be purchased from third-party sellers and marketplaces. There is a reason why they are called premium as they come with a wide range of features and benefits. Here are the pros of using premium themes for your WordPress site:
1. Mobile Responsiveness:
As responsive sites are becoming an essential requirement for the users, premium WordPress themes ensure mobile responsiveness. Responsiveness can be a significant ranking factor for WordPress.
2. On-Time Customer Support:
Users often find themselves stuck in the difficult and look out for solutions to solve their issues occurs in free themes.
In premium WordPress themes, you can get completely relaxed since your experts’ team is available 24/7. One-time customer support is what makes premium themes worth the prices.
3. More Features and Customization Functionalities:
The biggest advantage of a premium WordPress theme is that you get more features and customization options.
Due to many competitors in the WordPress themes industry, every company ensures to stack all the features in one theme at competitive prices.
With a premium theme, you can get lots of built-in templates, drag and drop builders, shortcodes, multiple layouts, and unlimited color choices.
However, loaded features don’t always ensure good site performance and can even cause other issues further down the road. With the fastest WordPress themes, you can make your site load faster.
This takes us to the disadvantages that come with premium WordPress themes.
Cons of Premium WordPress Themes
Not all premium WordPress themes are perfectly designed and show a few disadvantages here and there. Here are a few cons:
1. Poor Code:
Unluckily, you can also end up buying a premium theme that looks pretty but crafted with poor coding practices.
Since premium themes don’t always go through a strict review process, they can result in incompatibility with your WordPress or some plugins.
2. Too many Features:
For selling and marketing purposes, theme developers add too many unnecessary features into one theme. Features that you will never make use of but will surely add extra loading time to your page.
Thus, often premium WordPress themes have so many complaints related to making websites slow. Choose the fastest themes that are not only loaded with quality features but are also optimized for high speed.
Whether it’s free or high-quality themes, there is no such thing as the best or perfect. You can use both versions of a WordPress page according to your business needs.
Make your choice mindfully by keeping the pros and cons in mind.