WordPress Themes: Free or Paid?

By: | Updated: March 28, 2021

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Should WordPress themes be ‘free’ or ‘paid’? WordPress is clearly the global market leader in providing free and open source blogging tools and content management systems (CMS). Since its inception in 2003, it has grown to be the most popular blogging system used on the web. Statistically speaking, more than 24 % of the world top 10 million websites use WordPress CMS platform.

Choosing the theme for your blog makes a huge difference in the look and functionality. It will form the face of the blog and the wrong theme might not represent you in the right way. This is not only one of the first choices you need to make, but also one of the most important.

The theme sets the table for everything else you will do and you need to start by choosing between free themes or paid themes. WordPress Themes: Free or Paid? WordPress Themes is just around the corner, once you choose your template you can find your WordPress web hosting for your theme.

WordPressThemes Web Hosting – Free Theme Options

Usually, free WordPress themes are just a simple design and give a similar structure to the default theme WordPress includes with the installation. Those just looking to release content may do just fine with a free theme, but they do come with limits.

Most of the free WordPress themes found online don’t provide many customization’s and you can’t do much with the style or the colors.

Paid WordPress Themes

When you spend money for a premium theme, you gain many advantages. Paid themes come with many options built-in, making it easy to customize your blog. Usually, you can choose from a number of different styles, features and color schemes.

Paid vs. Free WordPress Themes

Looking at the most important parts of your theme, you can determine whether you need to pay for a premium WordPress theme or you can use a free theme. Let’s look at the quality, design, options, support and security.

#1 Quality of your Theme

As with most everything else, if you want higher quality, you must pay for it. Free themes give you basic quality, whereas a paid theme gives you a higher level of quality. What are the things that you get from a premium theme?

A bug-free theme because sellers don’t want to deal with refunds and complaints
Less issues because sellers don’t want to handle the many troubleshooting issues
High quality features because sellers need to build a good reputation

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules and it’s possible to pay for a low-quality theme. Make sure you spend a little time researching the seller and the actual theme before you pay for it.

#2 Design

Theme design is very important. You can choose one of the thousands of free WordPress themes or you can pay for a custom design to fit perfectly with your vision.

Typically, paid themes will give you a better overall design because the seller actually invests time and money into the theme. Most premium themes will look and function much better than most free themes.

#3 Options

Within WordPress, you get certain options regardless of the theme, but with the right theme, you will gain additional options. Most free themes don’t come with anything more than the basic options everybody gets with WordPress.

When you choose a paid WordPress theme, you may gain new options that work with the theme. These options can include things, such as color schemes, styles, menus and many other options.

#4 The Theme Support Team

It’s rare to find a free WordPress theme with good or any theme support. Typically, free themes might provide a webpage with a few tips, but you cannot actually contact a support team. With a premium theme, you gain access to a professional support team. This is part of what you pay for and it allows you to learn how to use the theme without needing to do it all on your own.

#5 Security

One of the major issues with some free themes is security. Some don’t include the necessary code or any of the other security features. If you do decide to use a free theme, make sure you pay attention to the updates provided.

Typically, updates are specific to security issues. With a premium theme, you often get automatic updates or at least a reminded within the actual theme.

Top Recommended WordPress Themes

Here they are:

1) Safarica

Available for $40, Safarica is a popular creative blogging theme. Very colourful and highly customizable, it is available with numerous layout templates suitable for any possible situation. You can choose the layout which suits the style and message you wish to convey.

For instance, the tile view allows you to set a background image and revolve your work around it in tiles so that the user experience is interactive and exciting.

For us bloggers, this theme certainly is one of the top WordPress themes.

2) Barberry

This one is priced at $55 and is specially designed to serve e-commerce purposes. Inspired by Swiss Design, it fully supports the WooCommerce plugin. It is built on the Bootstrap framework and is completely retina ready.

This means that it will automatically adjust to the size specifications when viewed over a tablet or a smartphone. This comes in very handy where the aim is to gain perpetual customer outreach. Using minimalistic amounts of colour in its design, the theme aims at providing full focus to the displayed products.

Thus, this makes it a hot favourite of e-commerce aspirants, making it one the top WordPress themes.

3) Million

As the name suggests, the theme is aimed at providing firms to create user-interactive websites so that they can get the information to more and more customers.

Priced at $45, the theme is responsive, retina-ready and serves many purposes at once. With a clean layout and uniquely smooth navigation design, the website provides your firm the class and richness it wishes to project through its website.

It has an advanced admin panel which lets you change things like logo, styling and most of the other things in the design whenever you want with very easy experience.

Helping many websites to go viral, Million is definitely one of the top WordPress themes.

4) Panic Station

Priced at $45, Panic Station emerges as one the most responsive themes for personal or business information websites. Providing you with beautiful whole backgrounds, the effects and page transitions are very slick and smooth which make the user-experience worthwhile.

It has been rated as one of the most unique and top WordPress theme this year and will be equally popular in 2015.

5) Chariot

This theme is meant for the flat-design aficionados. If you wondering what flat-design is let me give you a brief overview.

Look at your IPhone or your new Windows phone. Focus on the style of the user interface. They are based on flat-design. Contrary to earlier design where focus was balanced between looks and functionality, flat-design incorporates the concept of full scale functionality, involving slick moves, flat transitions and an intensely fast and friendly user interface.

Now that you have got the point let’s move back to our theme which becomes yours at $40. It has all the awesome features you want like responsiveness, retina-readiness and comes with wide-boxed layouts. It also provides you with a short-code generator, page builder and no clutter.

With its flawless designs and an amazing user experience, Chariot is one of the top WordPress themes we have.

The Final Debate

After looking at all the data, it’s clear, paying for a premium WordPress theme is far superior compared to using most free themes. However, free themes do help in some situations or if you cannot afford the pay for a theme.

Most premium themes are not very expensive and provide many extra options. If you spend time designing websites or you plan to own a number of websites, you may want to consider a more expensive theme allowing you to customize it and use it on a number of different sites.

Who are you using for hosting your WordPress themes? Share with us.

by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.

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