When you are about to start a WordPress website, most people often face the dilemma that whether they should buy a premium theme or should choose a free theme that can save a lot of money.
This is one of the biggest concerns, which is pretty much justified that when there are themes available for free, why should one spend money to buy a theme. A website can be made in the same way with a free theme, as with a premium WordPress theme, then why people spend money on it.
To understand that which theme should you choose and how spending money on a premium theme is justified, we first have to understand the difference between the two types of themes. Here are the underlying differences between the two types of WordPress themes.
The biggest benefit offered by Free Themes is that they don’t cost anything, and thus if you are hesitating from starting a blog or website only because of initial investment, you can easily do it with a free theme. Also, many people believe that free themes are low quality as compared to their paid counterparts, but, it’s not true at all.
On the flip side, the premium themes require you to pay an upfront amount in order to be able to use them. Also, sometimes, you might have to pay a monthly or annual licensing fee apart from the purchase cost to maintain your website with a premium theme.
So, if money is a concern for you, you must choose the free theme.
When downloaded from the official WordPress website, you can be sure about the quality of the theme. The reason behind this is, that, all the Free WordPress themes undergo an official review process and this ensures a certain level of compatibility and quality which you can depend on.
On the flip side, the Premium Themes don’t undergo any official review process and thus, you might end up paying for a premium theme which has a poor code. As many features and display elements are added to a premium theme to make it look good, so your theme might look appealing, but it may lack compatibility with some plug-ins and a few functionalities supported by the free themes.
So, if you get an appealing free theme which ideally matches your website’s requirements, you can choose a free theme over a premium one and enjoy better functionality as well as compatibility.
When it comes to design, all the elements of the theme design are often better in the premium plug-ins. Right from the web page templates, menus, backend admin pages, every design element stand out in a premium theme and is much better than its free counterparts.
When you are constructing a business website can go a long way towards impressing your visitors, improving your productivity and making your brand popular. A website is the online identity of a business which must be designed ethically and in an astounding manner.
If you are not developing your site just as a hobby and want to use it for your business, then it must be well-designed and should be aesthetically appealing. These features are offered by premium themes.
Theme Features and Functionality
The free WordPress themes often lack in compelling theme features, which their premium counterparts possess. The free themes do not offer the features which the website developers and owners usually require, and for extending the theme features and functionalities, the WordPress customization plugins and utilities are required.
On the other hand, the premium themes are equipped with a broad array of advanced theme features and functionalities which are required to execute the complex tasks in the back-end and to festoon the website with attractive elements. There are many additional color and design variations with which the website can be developed in a bespoke manner. Also, some useful premium plug-ins (paid) are already integrated with these themes.
If you are looking for advanced functionality, bundled plug-in suites, advanced admin panels offering a myriad of features to make customization easier, then go for an advanced premium plug-in.
The free WordPress themes don’t offer any support and the limited support which is provided with the theme is in the form of WordPress forums, but, its not mandatory for the WordPress team to reply to the support query. So, if anything goes wrong with your website or its code, you are on your own.
On the flip side, the Premium theme vendors provide robust support to their users. There is a dedicated customer support team that’s there to answer the queries and provide a solution to all the problems arising with the theme design, code or other elements. However, there have been certain instances, where vendors suddenly stopped continuing a product, but, this only happens when you purchase from unreliable and unknown vendors. When you purchase from the well-known brands, you will not face any such problem.
If you are not technically sound and cannot handle the problems related to the code or other elements of a website, then it’s recommended to go with a premium theme.
Privacy and Security
The free themes are more likely to be vulnerable from the security’s perspective. One of the reasons behind this is that the WordPress doesn’t update the free themes very often. The privacy and security are not guaranteed with the free themes.
The premium themes are completely opposite of the free themes in this aspect. The security and privacy is ensured to the fullest by the team because the theme developers are considered liable for any breach of the security. The premium themes provide regular updates and have a strong customer support team.
If the theme comparison is solely done from the security and privacy’s perspective, then premium themes come out as the clear winners.
So, before you decide what theme you want to implement, it is important that you consider the aforementioned points. These will help you decide easily that which type of theme will best suit your website.