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Free vs. Premium WordPress Themes (Pros And Cons)

WordPress is by far the best platform to use for your website. If you aim to enhance your user experience, lower your bounce rate and have higher conversions, you’ll definitely benefit from WordPress. After all, WordPress themes are clean, well-designed, easy to use, and organize your website really well. Of course, now that you’ve decided this is the best platform for you, it’s time to check out the options it has.

The first thing you’ll notice when choosing your WordPress theme is that there is a distinction between premium and free. People automatically assume that premium themes are better just because you need to pay for them. That doesn’t always have to be true, though. Both premium and free themes have their own pros and cons. Which one you decide to use in the end will depend on your needs. Sometimes it’s enough to use a free theme, and sometimes you require something more. That’s why this article is here to help you decide.

1. Premium themes can have flaws

Just because you pay for something doesn’t mean that it will be perfect. One major con of the premium themes is that they can often have some flaws. One of the most common issues you can have with premium themes is poor code.

You may choose and pay for a theme that looks really pretty, but if the code isn’t up to standard, it will surely cause issues with your site. Namely, your website’s theme will be incompatible with most plugins you want to introduce. This will leave your site with a good design but a bad execution. You can’t do or achieve much with a website that can’t support anything worthwhile. The main reason themes just look the part but can’t do much for your website is that there is no strict review process they have to go through.

Another issue you can face is the abundance of features. You may think that more equals better when it comes to themes, especially since you’re already paying for it, but that’s not always true. Some developers put too many accessories and features that just end up being unnecessary. In other words, you’ll have a lot of options, you won’t use most of them, but they’ll still exist and slow your website down. As any professional will tell you, a fast website is a key to having more visits and more customers. Loading time is very important for good user experience, so too many features can even cost you, potential customers.

The last issue people face with premium themes is that they can sometimes cross into the Plugins domain. What this means is that themes basically create functionality that they shouldn’t. They can create shortcodes, custom post types, and similar things which just disappear as soon as you switch themes.

2. Free themes are a great start

If you’re just starting out in the digital world or want to create your first blog, you’ll benefit most from a free theme. The biggest advantage free themes have over premium themes is that they are free. When starting something serious online, you’ll need to invest. Of course, money is often an issue, causing many people to give up on some amazing ideas and dreams.

With WordPress, you don’t have to back-pocket your ambitions anymore. Free themes may be somewhat generic, but they’ll be great for getting your name out there. There is nothing more cost-effective than opting for a free theme.

The money you save with free themes can easily go into something else. You can invest in your content or your team or some other helpful software instead of the theme. This way, you’re putting the quality of your website before its looks. Don’t think that will go unnoticed. Today, quality wins over looks and quantity any time. Then, once you’re more established as a company or a blogger, you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds with both functionality and quality content.

You’ll also notice that free themes are very simple and easy to use, making them even more convenient for new users and beginners. It’s the perfect introduction to the digital world and to WordPress.

3. Premium themes are more unique

Because there is a price to pay to obtain a premium theme, it will be less frequently used than a free theme. This is crucial for setting your website aside from all others. Building uniqueness and trustworthiness online will help greatly improve your SEO, too. So, if you combine a premium WordPress theme with the services of a company like GWM Brisbane, you’re bound to get good results. The help of an SEO company will help put your name out there, while the premium theme will finish the job of converting site visitors to permanent customers.

After all, in today’s day and age, being original is much appreciated by customers. In fact, they practically demand it. In this spirit, having a premium theme and sharing the word may seem like you’re listening to what your audience wants.

Another reason premium themes are more unique is that you have more options to customize. This allows you to personalize your theme on a whole other level. If there’s something that speaks to your audience it’s the personal touch your firm can put on the website. This way you’re seen as even more authentic and worthwhile. As it was already mentioned, people want original and personal, so staying away from generic will help you a lot.

4. Free themes limit your options

Because they are free, these themes will generally have a lot fewer features than premium themes. Your website may suffer for it. For example, you won’t have as many options regarding the functionality of your website. You will have access to the basic functions, but you won’t be able to use shortcodes, create leads, or create buttons.

Another option that will be limited is personalization. Free themes are more commonly used than premium themes because of their cost-efficiency, meaning that you’ll be stuck with a more generic website. This may not be something to seek out if being unique is your goal. You will also have limited customization options, thus not leaving much of a personal trace on your website.

Finally, you can’t expect to always have support when it comes to using free themes. There may be some talented people designing these, but they’re not obliged to reply to your questions. The only type of support you’ll receive will be through forums. Though this can sometimes be more than enough, if the developer doesn’t reply, you’ll be stuck on your own. This may leave you without the perfect theme.

Conclusion

There are many things premium themes can offer you, but also many ways they fall short. Sometimes, free themes will prove to be a bigger advantage as they’ll get the job done well without the price premium themes ask for. If you’re new to WordPress, it’s always a good idea to explore what free themes have to offer first. This way, you’ll get acquainted with the platform and will easily make your decision of using a free or premium theme for the long run.

About Author

Experienced WordPress developer with over 9 years of full time developing WordPress themes and plugins.

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