The DevTeam Alpha News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published on WP Arena:
One of the most crucial decisions you probably have to make before launching a new website is which theme you should go for. Though there are countless fantastic WordPress themes, the real confusion that builds up here is whether to choose a free or paid theme. Premium or paid WordPress themes tend to lure visitors with their rich features and sleek appearances. On the other hand, free WordPress themes are worthwhile as they allow you to experiment your new project without spending money on the theme. Though both options are associated with several pros and cons, without our guidance you’ll be left chasing your own tail all day.
In order to avoid getting confused while choosing between a free and a paid theme, it’s crucial to have complete knowledge about the pros and cons of both sides. Such information will assist you in taking the right decision. The question is pretty straightforward; free or paid WordPress themes? As you are about to find out, the answer to this question isn’t that challenging.
In this blog, we’ll point out the differences between paid and free WordPress themes, so that you can evaluate both options and make the right choice according to your requirements.
Difference between Paid and Free WordPress Themes?
Paid WordPress themes cost money for a pretty good reason. Such themes are responsive, feature-rich and well supported by the publisher’s support team. Though that’s not always the case, you should also be careful from which vendor you buy the theme. However, most of the time, you can expect to receive better quality through paid themes in comparison to free ones.
On the other hand, free themes are created by individuals with limited to no support at all some times. However, you’ll also witness quality vendors offer free themes to market their services and other high-end themes. Regardless of that, due to their lack of revenue, the customization options and quality may vary significantly. Such themes aren’t even close to the benchmark set for paid WordPress themes.
The purpose of launching your website has a strong influence on your decision. Are you merely planning on launching a blog to share your thoughts in the form of content? Or are you planning on establishing a new international B2B marketplace China that attracts leading global manufacturers and suppliers? Blogger can go for a free theme as their focus will mostly be on the content they have to offer. However, in order to launch a B2B marketplace, you’ll need a paid theme that can be customized and handle loads of data.
Having that said, here are a few pros and cons of free and paid themes to help you get a clearer picture of what you are about to invest on.
Pros of Using Free WordPress Themes
Free Free Free!
Probably the most vital benefit of using free WordPress themes is the fact that it won’t even cost you a penny. This benefit is perfect for those individuals who are simply itching for a change or experimenting with a new idea. Paid themes cost an average of over $55. On the other hand, there are many vendors that don’t approve money-back guarantees. Therefore, to reduce the risk, going for something free is always a smarter choice.
If you aren’t hunting for something complicated and high-end, then free themes can satisfy your demands at best. Premium themes are associated with many widgets and premium features that upgrade your site to make it look too professional.
The safe part about using free themes is that you can get them approved through a multi-step process on WordPress. So no need to worry about verification. Also, you can always buy the paid version of a free theme as well.
Cons of Using Free WordPress Themes
Majority of free themes have thousands, sometimes even millions of downloads. That means, there are many sites already surfing the net similar to yours.
A free theme usually has limited features. That means you can’t go for customized features to make your website look high-end or well customized.
If you ever get lost or end up in a dead-end, no one is coming to rescue you. Due to the theme’s zero cost nature, the provider won’t offer support to any user. That means you’re simply on your own if you opt for this option.
Pros of Using Paid WordPress Themes
Round the Clock Support
Paid themes are usually sold by leading and trusted developers. Therefore, you can expect them to offer after-sale support. You can get help in the form of email, phone and even Skype. You can utilize the support to discuss any problem that arises related to the theme you bought.
Most of the themes are designed by leading companies that have hired teams of qualified and experienced designers. Testing, designing and maintaining these themes is considered a crucial task that these developers have to work on. Therefore, you can expect to receive superb quality themes that are loaded with high-end features, plugins and widgets.
One of the vital benefits of working with a paid theme is that you can make changes according to your requirements. You can make changes in content layout, site navigation, image display or font styles. Also, some themes offer a responsive backend for mobile users as well.
Cons of Using Paid WordPress Themes
Too Many Features
In request to sell more themes, subject designers can include an excessive number of pointless features into their designs. You will most likely never utilize each one of those features, however, they are still there making your site slow down.
The cost is one thing that can never be ignored. Especially if you are a startup with a limited budget. Apart from that, if the vendor you buy from doesn’t offer a return, then you can’t get your money back even if you aren’t satisfied with the theme.
Crossing Over Plugins Domain
Some of the time, WP themes can traverse into the plugin domain, offering unessential features that vanish when you switch the theme. For example, making shortcodes and custom post types.
Now that I’ve highlighted the pros and cons of both options, it should make it easier for you to come to a final decision and launch your website with the best WordPress theme.
Learn more about WP Arena by visiting their website.