One of the many perks of using a popular content management system such as WordPress is the enormous selection of themes both premium and free. A quick glance at a few of the better free themes may make you question whether there is any point to getting a premium theme. Why spend money when there are so many smart looking free themes available? The following comparison of both types of themes should help in deciding which to use for your website design:
Beyond the fact that they are free, their main benefit is that there is an abundance of them available that you can try out without commitment. Since installing them is a simple matter of clicking a few buttons, you can try out tens or even hundreds of them if you have the time. Free themes are great if you aren’t sure what you want in a theme. By trying lots of them out, you will quickly learn the pros and cons of their various features and will come to understand what types of limitations you can and can’t live with.
However, there are a number of problems with free themes. They generally have fewer features and are less flexible than premium themes. Most have no customer support to help you out if you experience problems.
Many free themes are created by individuals who have no desire to keep their code up to date. This is important because the WordPress content management system is constantly evolving and makes frequent updates. Sometimes a WordPress update may break a theme. If the developer has disappeared, then you are out of luck. In addition, you will have to exercise care in not using a theme that is infected with a virus or malware. This can usually be avoided by only using those with a good user rating.
There are some themes that don’t have the above problems but they are relatively few in number. They also tend to be very popular which means that your website will resemble the hundreds or thousands of sites using the same theme.
The benefits of premium themes are the reverse of the downsides of free themes. That is, premium themes are feature rich, very flexible, and have customer support. They are usually made by small companies who can be counted on to be around for a long time. Their code is also kept up to date so you won’t have to worry about your theme getting broken by a WordPress update. In addition, known bugs and security holes are quickly fixed.
Most premium themes are between 35 and 100 dollars. If you know what you want to do and find a premium theme that looks good and fits your needs, then you should buy it. It will save you a lot of time which means you can focus your efforts on the content of your site and getting more business.
One downside to premium themes other than having to pay for them is that their features and flexibility may require a bit more time in learning how to use them.