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Use free themes or premium themes?

May 1, 2018

Beginners often ask us which solution is the better, free themes or premium themes.

So what are the pros and cons? In this article we take a closer look at the free WordPress Themes vs Premium WordPress Themes.

Pros of free themes

We understand by free WordPress themes however only the themes listed in the theme directory of wordpress.org.

Other free theme sources are therefore strongly discouraged, as they are not subject to any control functions and can usually be infected with malware and other security holes.

So don't download any free themes from unreliable sources, because that's just not necessary.

The biggest and at the same time the most obvious advantage is of course the cost. These themes are all free.

In this way, the entry costs can be kept low and at the same time the entry hurdle for the start of a blog is lowered.

At the word "free", many people become cautious. Why should someone give you a free WordPress theme when others are selling premium themes?

So what's the catch? People often think that free themes are of low quality and are generally not recommended.

Strict review process

Free WordPress themes are actually maintained at a high quality standard.

All themes in the official WordPress theme directory go through a rigorous testing process.

Not every WordPress theme will be listed in the free theme directory. There are some recording criteria to consider which are also listed in a checklist.

Free WordPress themes are tested for standards-compliant codes such as HTML and CSS quality, security and privacy.

Why do developers provide themes for free?

  • The review process helps developers to improve their own skills by checking the theme code.
  • These themes are made available to a broad user group, so that quick feedback and suggestions for improvement can be gained.
  • Good springboard to establish a good reputation as an independent developer.
  • Also serves as new customer acquisition, if users want to have themes adapted according to their own wishes.

So while the free themes are definitely good, there are also some cons.

Cons of free WordPress Themes

Cons can be very subjective, which is cons for some, may be pros for others.

The most common cons of using free WordPress themes are:

  1. Few support options - With free themes, this is mostly done by other users or helped with support.
  2. Limited setting options and functions - Most standard functions are supported, but free themes are therefore far from being convenient.
  3. Bad or not at all customizable - Such websites can also be described as standard websites. The structure of these web pages is conspicuously the same and offers hardly possibilities to individualize the free Theme. With appropriate HTML and CSS knowledge this can perhaps be done right now, which is not the case with 90% of the users of these free themes.
  4. Usually only available in English - The whole theme is mostly only displayed in 1 language and cannot simply be displayed in another language. There is a lot of fumbling necessary to present certain theme-based contents in one's own language. Particularly annoying then with updates, there the manually rewritten contents can be overwritten fast and the translation starts from the beginning.
  5. Annoying Copyright Links - Even if the theme was free, you pay with a hard currency and very often with a backlink to the developer's page. These are usually located in the sidebar or in the footer and cannot be removed. Copyright Free is only available at Premium Themes.

Pros of Premium Themes

In contrast to free themes, Premium WordPress Themes can be purchased from numerous third-party vendors.

Advanced features and customization options

The most important advantage of Premium Themes is that they offer more comfort in setting options.

Just because the competition density is very high, the providers of such premium themes offer more and more functions at lower prices.

This is an optimal situation for the customer, because a Premium Theme already has its own administration interfaces integrated.

These allow the user a simpler administration and individualization possibilities are almost limitless.

For example, several layout templates are already included depending on the desired topic selection.

Support and updates

Premium WordPress themes are regularly updated and supported by a support team.

Since a provider of premium themes also earns money with it, these themes are becoming more and more professional, because customer wishes can also be better taken into account.

Multi-language in the premium sector on the rise

Beside the extensive Theme Admin now also strengthened is set to offer the Theme Backend and Frontend to the user in its national language.

Although English is widely spoken, some users find it difficult to manage their website in a "foreign language".

For example, we offer our customers all premium themes in 22 languages, covering 98% of global usage.

Cons of Premium WordPress Themes

Not every Premium Theme convinces by a good conversion, therefore there are naturally also here a few cons:

  1. Bad code, not optimized code.
  2. Too many functions that confuse the user or are too cumbersome to use.

Which variant is the better one for me?

Whether you choose a free theme or a premium theme, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you really need all the customization options?
  2. Can I resolve problems with a theme myself if necessary?
  3. Do I want to run a blog privately or professionally?
  4. Do I want the Theme Administration in my national language?

Free themes are therefore ideal for a private blog, a family blog or a leisure blog.

However, as soon as someone becomes professionally active, the use of a premium theme would be advisable.

Thanks to the additional customization options, you can quickly distinguish yourself from other websites and stay in your memory.

You want to start your own blog?

Getting started is very easy. Read our step-by-step instructions for starting your own WordPress blog.

This helps you to find your way around quickly and to avoid the most common mistakes when using WordPress.

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Andrew Phan
As well as Photoshop, he specializes in WordPress and Responsive Web Design. He also publishes articles, tips and tutorials on WordPress Themes.
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