There’s a vast range of WordPress themes to pick from, and that’s before you decide whether to go with free or commercial WordPress themes. Premium WordPress themes have a way of seducing us with their clean looks and extensive functionality, yet free alternatives are constantly enticing the bargain hunter in us all. You can find yourself chasing your tail when it comes down to it.
If you want to take your online business seriously, you’ll need a premium WordPress theme. Free WordPress themes are frequently simple in design and structure. If all you want to do is write content, a free theme will suffice.
To prevent confusion while deciding between free and premium WordPress themes, prepare yourself with the required knowledge and assess the benefits and drawbacks of each choice before making a decision.
The subject is straightforward: should you use free or premium WordPress themes? The answer doesn’t have to be difficult, as you’re about to find.
In this piece, we’ll go over some of the significant distinctions between free and premium WordPress themes so you can compare and contrast both alternatives before making a decision.
What’s the difference between free WordPress themes and paid WordPress themes? (In brief)
The most significant distinction between Free and Paid WP Themes is that Free WP Themes are free, and it also goes through a rigorous review procedure before being released.
This isn’t to say that free WordPress themes aren’t helpful, and paid WP Themes aren’t free, and you’ll have to pay for them, although there are a lot of them. Third-party themes can also be found in the paid WP section.
The 10 Most Significant Differences Between Free and Paid WordPress Themes
A free or premium WordPress theme has pros and cons, but which one to install ultimately relies on the needs of your website and the budget and aesthetic preferences of the website owner. It’s pretty safe to start with a free WordPress theme and upgrade later if necessary.
- Premium WordPress themes are often competitively priced, considering their vast benefits. Free WordPress themes are completely free, with no strings attached.
- Premium themes are not needed to go through an official review process before being released, but free themes acquired through the official WordPress.org theme directory will have gone through one.
- The support for free WP themes is highly restricted. It’s also missing an update. Paid WP Themes receive regular updates and team support 24 hours, seven days a week.
- Free WordPress themes will often have fewer features, making them leaner and thus faster to load – improving the speed of your website, whereas premium themes will have a far higher overall build quality. This might even negate the ‘light and airy’ aspect of free themes since a premium option could be built with speed in mind, despite its feature set.
- Free WordPress themes usually don’t come with many modification options, so you’ll probably need some coding skills to get the most out of them. On the other hand, Premium WP themes usually come with more features out of the box, such as more customization choices and third-party app integrations to enhance the functionality of your website.
- Although having more features is usually a positive thing, some premium themes have too many. This is known as ‘theme bloat.’ This is simply a theme with so many features that it slows down loading times and may include functionality that no one will ever use to its full potential.
- Updates for free WordPress themes can be scarce (or never). This could lead to security flaws in the future. When it comes to premium WordPress themes, you can usually count on a more frequent update cycle to secure your theme. However, there is always the risk that a theme seller would end support for a product, leaving you vulnerable to the same long-term security flaws as any free WordPress theme.
- With access to the theme directory from your WordPress dashboard, browsing and installing free WP themes is a breeze. Premium WordPress themes, however, can be found in a variety of independent theme shops and marketplaces.
- Free themes tend to be minimalist because they don’t contain many premium features and widgets. This could result in a WordPress site that loads rapidly if you don’t utilize a lot of plugins (which will improve your technical SEO). See our guide on best SEO optimised WordPress themes in 2022
- Free themes are typically designed with beginners in mind, and as a result, they are straightforward to use. Before approving themes in the theme library, WordPress developers guarantee that beginners may use them as part of their testing process. Most WordPress plugins are usually compatible with these free themes.
Which should you choose between a free and a paid WordPress theme?
When deciding between free and premium WordPress themes, the decision is ultimately yours – there is no universally “better” alternative. However, we believe that using a paid theme outweighs the disadvantages of using a free theme. As a result, if you can afford it, we recommend going with a premium choice.
You’re also directly helping the WordPress developer community by purchasing a premium WordPress theme. Spending your money in this way allows the community to expand, resulting in more fantastic themes and plugins in the future.
It’s worth noting that the premium theme’s developers believed their work spent designing the theme was valuable enough to be compensated.
Free and premium themes are fundamentally the same. They employ the same fundamental technology, the same system, and perform the same tasks. A developer for a free theme believes that their work spent producing the theme should not be reimbursed financially. That may be because it’s for an exhibition, or because they’re paid elsewhere, or because this is just a hobby, or because it’s a freemium theme with a paid upgrade for additional features.
For whatever reason, a free theme creator did not believe that their time spent on that theme was worth paying for, whereas a premium theme developer did.
If you can find one, there’s nothing wrong with using a free theme that does what you want it to do. Keep in mind that the themes’ creators put a lot of time and work into it. Because it’s free, it’s not less than a paid theme, it’s no worse than a paid theme, and it’s not inferior to a purchased theme. It’s free because the developers decided to make it that way, which should be respected.
In WordPress, you may find both free and paid WP themes. Users can select between various types of themes in both of them. A minimum of one theme, whether free or premium, is required for any WordPress website. The WP theme directory, often known as a repository, contains free WP themes. Paid WordPress themes can be purchased from both WordPress developers and retailers. Free WordPress themes have grown in popularity among users and developers since they have become the foundation for creating more new themes. On the other hand, Paid WP Themes are the best in terms of creativity and distinctiveness.