In my third article in the series “WordPress basics for your perfect blog start” I will explain why you absolutely have to use a premium theme for your blog. Of course there is also the possibility to install a free theme, but I strongly advise against it. You can find out why here.
Your WordPress theme determines the basic design of your blog and (hopefully) already provides some functions such as an integrated gallery or shortcodes.
In the world of themes, there are two types to choose from: free themes and premium themes.
WordPress offers programmers the opportunity to offer self-programmed themes free of charge to all users. This has resulted in a huge collection of templates on WordPress.org, all of which can be used free of charge.
Excellent! I don’t have to pay anything!
Right, you don’t have to, but you should. I advise you – no – I ask you to purchase a premium theme, you will not regret it.
What are premium themes?
There are marketplaces on the Internet where professionally programmed WordPress themes are offered for sale. These paid themes are called premium themes. In most cases, there are professional web designers behind these themes, who not only keep an eye on the design, but in the best case also on user guidance and search engine optimization.
One of the most well-known marketplaces for WordPress themes is Themeforest*. There are more than 5,000 templates for every type of website (themes and templates are the same, by the way). You can even search for your perfect theme using the filters. Usually the themes cost around € 50, – and this one-time investment is worth it!
The advantages of premium themes
You’re probably wondering why you should spend €50 on a theme when you can also use a free one. Well then pay attention:
In most cases, when you buy a premium theme, you get a lot more than just the template. Most programmers will provide you with detailed documentation explaining the possible settings.
Speaking of settings, the setting options are gigantic with premium themes. With most themes, you can not only adjust the color scheme of individual elements, but also choose from different menu types, change the appearance of the blog page, insert your Google Analytics code and make many, many other important settings.
For example, you can not only insert a logo in almost every WordPress Premium Theme, but also a logo for high-resolution display on retina displays. Another example of the possible settings in premium themes are: text size and type, social media accounts, display of date, author and comments in the article overview, search function in the menu, page width in box mode, number and arrangement of widgets in the footer , and much more.
While most free themes offer some of these settings, I haven’t found one that offers as many options as a premium theme.
support and further development
Two other very important advantages of premium themes are the support and further development of the template. When you buy a theme from Themeforest*, you usually automatically get 6 months of support included. So you can confidently contact the programmer if you have any problem with the theme and the documentation doesn’t help you. Often you even get access to a forum where you can get help even faster and with more questions.
The further development of the theme is extremely important. There are always new technologies, new operating systems, new devices to which your blog has to be adapted. Not to mention the development of programming languages and related security gaps if you don’t use the latest versions.
With the exception of one case, I have never had any problems contacting the theme support and I do not own a single theme that is not constantly being developed.
Design and responsive web design
In most cases, the premium themes are created by professional designers. The advantage of this is that not only care is taken to provide a good-looking design. A real professional also pays attention to search engine-optimized programming and, in particular, responsive web design.
But one by one.
Yes, you heard right, you can and should pay attention to a clean code that is easy for search engines to read when programming. Faulty code can prevent your blog and its content from being properly read by search engines, which means your pages don’t get good rankings.
So, now to the responsive web design.
One of the biggest technical challenges for web designers and bloggers is that there are no longer just desktop PCs, but smartphones, tablets, etc. And of course a modern blog has to work on all end devices.
I haven’t found any WordPress premium theme that wasn’t responsive yet. With many themes I didn’t even have to intervene myself, they were programmed so well. From time to time, however, you have to adjust small things yourself with your own CSS, but that is limited and with the help of the support (if you don’t know CSS yourself) it’s also super easy to implement.
Plugins and features included
Premium themes do cost money, but if you pay attention and choose the right one, you not only get the theme, but also some plugins that are usually paid for. In my next article I will go into more detail about what you should pay attention to when buying a WordPress theme.
Plugins such as the Revolution Slider* or the Visual Composer* in particular are often supplied with WordPress Premium Themes and are perfectly integrated into the theme. You can save yourself a lot of money if you make sure that plugins are already integrated. I was able to save around 120 € because I didn’t have to buy extra plugins.
what more do you need
Here we go! Invest once in a high-quality WordPress Premium Theme and you will not regret it.
You save a lot of time searching for plugins that you will need for free themes. The most important functions are already included in premium themes. You will get support from the programmer in the future if you get stuck.
I really advise you – buy a premium theme!
Previous article in this series
How to take your first steps in WordPress correctly
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5 things to consider when buying a WordPress theme [/ecko_columns_right][/ecko_columns]