When building a WordPress site, should you use a free or premium theme? What types of features do you need and how advanced do you want your website to be? These are all great questions that need some explanation before you spend money on a WordPress theme. So we want to go through all the pros and cons of theme selection and feature some of the best free and premium WordPress themes from different industries.
When you come across a WordPress site whose theme you like, you can use our handy WordPress Theme Detector tool to find out what theme it’s using!
Why is it so important for your business to find the right theme?
- portability – It’s not always easy to switch from one theme to another when you regret your purchase or want a new brand. Replacing a theme brings with it entirely new customization options and tools to configure.
- simplicity or complexity – Many WordPress themes have large amounts of settings for colors, animations and more. Others are plain white with a blogging section. There is no one-size-fits-all theme for businesses. Instead, you need to understand what you need and locate the theme that offers it.
- modernity – You will stumble across some themes with outdated or missing features. For example, responsive is now the standard. You don’t want to end up buying a theme that isn’t mobile friendly.
- Mobile – Just because a theme says it’s mobile-friendly doesn’t mean it looks good. Test your theme demos on different browsers and devices before you buy them.
- Do you need a developer – or not – Some themes have wonderful page builders. This is great for beginner developers. Other themes are packed with demos and thousands of settings. These are best suited for advanced designers. So you must understand if you need a developer or if you plan to design the website by yourself.
- support – Many free themes don’t offer much support. Even some premium providers have little support.
- SEO – Speed, optimization and ease of use all play a role in search engine optimization. A theme that’s clunky and slow won’t make Google happy.
The do’s and don’ts when choosing a WordPress theme
Choosing your WordPress theme can be daunting. There are so many to choose from, so what are some of the dos and don’ts when looking for a theme?
- Look for trusted developers with high ratings and excellent communication with customers.
- Avoid themes that haven’t been updated in a while or appear to have an invalid page online.
- Before you buy, list all the features you want on your website.
- Choose a theme that works on every device.
- Consider color options when deciding on the right theme. This will define your brand.
- Consider buying a premium theme. The support is usually better and the features are richer.
- Choosing a theme just because it looks pretty.
- Pay for a theme that is slow and bloated.
- Going for typography that either doesn’t match your audience’s style or is too difficult to read.
- Forget to test the theme several times before buying.
Pros and cons of premium and free themes
Many people go straight to the free themes to make money, but we are here to say that free and premium themes have their pros and cons. Yes, while it might be nice to save some money, enlisting the help of customer support could also save your business from downtime or disruptive features.
For the premium themes:
- You get far more features and customization tools.
- Most premium developers have excellent support and user forums.
- Updates are usually included in premium WordPress themes.
- Fewer people download premium themes, so you’re more likely to make it look unique.
- Some of the feature lists of premium themes can be overwhelming.
- Many themes have custom features or included plugins that may not be available if you were to switch themes.
- Premium Sellers are usually great, but you may encounter some bad ones because there is less oversight for Premium Sellers.
And the free ones:
- You don’t have to pay for anything except maybe hosting.
- The free themes in the WordPress library are actually managed according to strict quality guidelines.
- You can find great user support for some of the popular free themes.
- Many people use these themes, so you end up with less unique website.
- There is a huge lack of customer support for free themes.
- Many free themes lack basic functionality.
- The free theme developers are not obliged to help you. This also applies if your entire website goes down. You are not responsible for anything.
The best free and premium WordPress themes
Now that we’ve covered the hows and whys of finding the best free and high-quality WordPress themes, read on to find some of our favorite category-based themes.
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