Since there is a multitude of WordPress themes that you can choose from, you can easily feel overwhelmed and turn to deciding on a poor-quality theme. When you have a wide range of options, it is good to know what you exactly need.
Free vs. Premium
In the past, the price of a theme said a lot about its quality. Usually, the free ones were poorly coded, and at the same time, used to acquire sensitive user data. However, there have been many changes lately, and WordPress community developers have come up with thousands of free themes that look great.
Essentially, there is no definite winner. Free and premium themes, alike, come with pros and cons, as detailed below:
The best reason to opt for a premium product is because these themes are updated from time to time. Considering the fast evolution of the WordPress CMS, it is crucial to have a theme that is updated more often in order to manage the latest security issues.
Less common design
Since free WordPress themes are very popular, it is common for thousands of websites to use the same design. On the other hand, these themes are not too common, making them stand out.
Many premium products come with a detailed PDF that explains how to maximize them. This documentation is not common with free themes.
Premium theme developers give the best support by means of combined live chat, public forum, plus an email ticketing system. Usually, free themes only offer public forum as support.
Does not require attribution links
Most free themes require websites to include a link in the footer to credit the theme’s author. Though this is starting to become less common among free themes, you can rest assured that links are not required in premium themes.
When you choose a premium theme, you have to spend from $50 to $200.
Many premium themes include a custom administration panel with different customization settings that take time to understand and set up.
Premium themes come with features you don’t really need, like a portfolio manager, multiple slider plugins, plus extra skins. Though they make a theme more versatile, these unwanted features tend to bloat the theme.
As a whole, the most important feature that a theme should have, whether it is free or premium, is the quality in making it. The code’s quality will influence all the things discussed in this article, including security and page speed.
The best way to assess the quality of a theme is to listen to what customers have to say. When a theme comes with a public support forum, read about the problems people are experiencing and the way developers respond to resolving them.