Are themes or plugins the bread and butter of WordPress websites? A quick look through a variety of WordPress blogs will divulge the popular belief that plugins are the “what’s what” of WordPress business. Yet, new WordPress users are often pushed toward purchasing premium themes because they have greater compatibility with more plugins. This trend begs the question: can you use a free WordPress theme and win?
Free WordPress Theme-Premium vs. Free
Hands down, premium themes are outstanding. They’re loaded with useful features. They’re usually user-friendly. You can customize to your heart’s content and then some, which makes most free themes pale in comparison. They also offer greater reliability and better support directly from the developer. What’s not to love? The price.
If you’re just starting out with a WordPress blog, you may find the price tags attached to premium themes a bit of a heart stopper. The idea of shelling out $100 to $150 for a theme might make you question its value. Although premium themes generally offer better quality, free themes should not be ignored.
Many of the same developers creating premium themes have at least one if not two free themes. Why? It’s advertising. They can treat you to a free version of their work so you’re more willing to consider their premium themes when the need for more versatility and customization arises. As a result, free themes with features you will find useful are relatively easy to find and set up.
Free themes are available for almost every type of website, from gallery based to e-commerce. And while they might require a few extra steps to set up, or stop you from making this one little tweak, they are fully functional, responsive, and (best of all) free.
Free Themes Match Premium Themes
Several of the free themes currently available to WordPress users match premium themes. In fact, they’re the perfect playground from which to learn how to use a theme before upgrading to the god-like control of a premium one – futuristically, of course. For example:
- Twenty-Fifteen is the default WordPress theme. Totally free, it works beautifully as a simple design that puts your content on center stage. Fully responsive, the theme features easy to read text and straightforward navigation. It’s also translation-ready, capable of being customized to almost any style, and perfect if you want to keep things simple yet classy.
- Customizr is another free theme that lives up to its name in premium-like ways. Easy to install, it offers a wide range of customization options. You can design in a live preview mode so you know exactly what your website will look like when you hit publish. It comes with 135 different options, a colossal amount of flexibility for free.
Plugins and Free WordPress Themes
Free themes are sometimes limited when it comes to plugin compatibility. However, this is a minimal drawback. Content should be your ultimate focus, and you can definitely nail this focus by using a free WordPress theme.