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WordPress offers many customization options for its users, from plug-ins to themes. Sometimes the dizzying array of WordPress themes available, both paid and free, can be overwhelming. This guide can help you decide whether a free or paid WordPress theme is better for your business.
What Are WordPress Themes?
Before deciding whether you should pay for one or not, you should know what a WordPress theme does for your site. A theme is a customization option that allows you to adjust the layout and design of your site with just one click. Instead of manually adjusting every single element on your site, themes allow you to change all visual aspects at once. They help maintain a cohesive visual language and are easy to use.
Themes are one of the features that have made WordPress such a popular web management service. They make it easy for anyone, not just experienced programmers, to create a beautiful website. Plus, between the built-in theme directory and other services, there are thousands of options available.
See how easy it is to customize a wordpress site using the customizer
Where to Get Themes
The easiest place to get themes is from the WordPress directory, which has free and paid options. Those themes are easy to install and are guaranteed to work with the WordPress system. There are also other sites and design services that build themes. These may offer more options, but some themes may not work with the latest WordPress system so you will have to be careful.
The Difference Between Free and Paid Themes
Besides the price, there are a few other differences between free and paid WordPress themes. One of the biggest is functionality. The old maxim that “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to themes as well since free themes tends to come with far fewer features and customization options than paid themes. This will not be a problem if you’re only looking for a basic site; however, if you want to build an advanced site, a free theme may be a barrier.
Paid WordPress themes tend to offer a unique appearance for your site. Free WordPress themes, especially those available in the directory, are used by thousands of other website hosts. If having a distinct visual brand is important to you, then you may want to consider paying for a premium theme.
Themeforest is the most popular and largest marketplace where you can buy premium WordPress themes.
What to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme
Several factors will affect your decision whether or not to pay for a premium theme. You should consider all of them, not just the cost, when making your decision.
Premium themes require some initial investment and can cost anywhere between $30 to $100. However, they are much more affordable than hiring a designer to make a custom theme. Think of it as an investment into your business that will repay itself with added traffic and sales conversions.
If you are just starting or are unsure that you want to commit to your website, then a free theme may be a good choice. You can always switch to a premium theme later on because WordPress allows for easy customization. However, if you are committed to your blog or business, then a premium theme will show your commitment to potential customers.
WordPress themes are not just about the visual elements of your website. Many offer additional features, such as contact forms or e-commerce stores, that improve your site’s functionality as well as its appearance. Of course, premium themes tend to have more features than free options.
If all you want to do is host a blog or run a website with your basic contact information, then a free theme may be enough. If you are looking to build a site with additional features, such as a shopping platform or easier photo management features, then a premium theme may be your best bet.
It is possible to add extra features to a free theme. However, that will take up your hard-earned time. Spending money on a premium theme when you want a website that goes above and beyond maybe your best bet.
After investing so much effort into your website, you want to know that it will look and function as it is supposed to, day in and day out. Premium themes may provide extra peace of mind on that front.
One of the advantages of purchasing a premium WordPress theme is not the theme itself but the access that you get to designers and developers. Usually, companies have support staff on hand to help if you encounter a problem during the setup process. There is an extra layer of security knowing that you will always have someone to turn to for help if there’s something wrong with your theme, and that is not available with free options.
Premium themes also have more reliable updates than free themes. A premium theme that updates regularly will ensure that you are always on top of best SEO practices and compatible with WordPress without lifting a finger.
Whether you are downloading a free theme or purchasing a premium one, it is always best to be careful, particularly if you use a third-party site and not the WordPress directory. Many sites that boast free WordPress themes may be trying to get you to download files with malicious code. Although the risks are lower with premium themes, there are still unscrupulous designers who try to sell themes that do not work. It pays to do your research.
Considering these factors will help you decide whether a free or premium WordPress theme is best for you. If you are serious about your business and want a website with many features, then a premium theme may be your best choice.