Before selecting a theme, first of all need to understand the Pros & Cons of Free and Premium WordPress themes, then decide which one is more appropriate for your project.
Free WordPress Theme
There are lots of FREE WordPress themes available. You can download it from official WordPress website https://wordpress.org/themes/. On the other hand, many developers and premium theme providers also release free themes. You can download it by searching in google “free WordPress themes”.
Advantages of Free WordPress Theme
The biggest advantages of free themes is, they are FREE! Just download and use it.
- Handy to use: You can install free theme from WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.
- If free theme downloaded from the official WordPress theme store, all themes are undergone an official review process. They check certain base level of quality and compatibility with WordPress environment and plugins. Once a theme passes all required checks, the theme is approved for official store.
- Free themes are more compatible with plugins than premium themes. Because of the official review process. If particular plugin does not work with a given theme, you can also report the issue to the official repository.
- Of course premium support not available in free theme but you can get support from WordPress and official forums and also get support from WP Codex.
Disadvantages of Free WordPress Theme
Free themes doesn’t have any warranty or also doesn’t update regularly. Some popular themes update frequently, but not regularly as Premium themes.
- Like premium theme, you can’t expect personalized premium support with free themes. Support depends on WordPress general support or theme forums.
- Most Free themes looks quite common or simple. You need to customize it to make it ‘Unique’.
- There are many Free theme providers who offer themes with spam or phishing links. I strongly recommend that if you are downloading Free themes, download it from WordPress official theme store (www.wordpress.org/themes/), instead of simply searching free themes in Google.
Premium WordPress Theme
Premium WordPress themes come with a single-use license for single site or a bundled package license, which is good for multiple sites. You can buy premium themes between $30-$100, some theme provider also offers annual membership fee to access all themes or selected themes package.
Advantages of Premium WordPress Theme
Premium support like forum, email, phone, etc. is a biggest advantage of premium themes.
- Premium themes updated on a regular basis.
- Large range of design templates. There are thousands of different premium themes available, you just need to choose which one suitable for you project and set your content.
- Almost all premium themes come with different ready to use page templet like home page, blog, portfolio, about, contact, etc.
- Come with great plugins and lots of inbuilt functionalities like different slider, portfolio, gallery, taber, accordion, etc.
Disadvantages of Premium WordPress Theme
Premium themes are not FREE so you need to spend money to buy it, which definitely effect on your project cost (not suitable for low budget projects).
- Premium themes do not go throw WordPress official review process. You can see in many themes that premium theme developer ignore WordPress development standard.
- You need to choose perfect theme which suitable for your project because theme customization much tougher then free theme.
- Premium themes come with preloaded plugins and many features which makes theme heavy. Also many of them not need in your project also sometime these finicalities conflict with other plugins.
- If premium theme provider remove their product from store, then you haven’t receive any update or support.
Free or Premium WordPress Theme: Which Better
Now the question is which theme best for you project Free of Premium? Keep following points in mind when settling a theme:
- Project Cost: If project budget is low then free theme is good option.
- Relevant to Project: Check functionalities and features of theme is relevant to your project requirement.
- Easy to Customize: Whatever theme you chose but important thing is it’s easy to use and customize.
- Compatibility: Theme is compatible with WordPress latest WordPress version and smoothly work with plugins.