WordPress themes are pre-designed templates that determine the look and feel of a WordPress website. They are responsible for the overall layout, color scheme, font style, and other visual elements of a website.
WordPress themes can be easily customized to suit the specific needs and preferences of a website owner, without having to write any code.
Themes can be either free or premium, and there is a wide selection of both options available. Free themes are typically basic in design and functionality, while premium themes often offer more advanced features, better quality, and access to support.
The ability to choose from a wide selection of themes and customize them to suit specific needs and preferences is one of the many advantages of using WordPress as a content management system.
In this article, I will explain the difference between the two types of themes and which you should use for a specific need.
Free WordPress Themes
- No cost
- Wide selection
No Cost & Wide Selection
You should consider using a free theme is the fact that it is free and the other important factor is the possibility you have to choose from a huge library of free themes that are constantly produced by many authors around the web.
The big community that some of the most popular free themes had created can help with issues getting fixed and also major the compatibility with a lot of plugins.
- Limited features
- Poor quality
- Lack of support
Most of the free themes have limited features which sometimes makes them very difficult to work if you don’t have any kind of experience coding.
Also, a lot of free themes are not updated regularly and this can cause a lot of headaches with different bugs and problems.
Lack of Support
Lack of support is another important problem the is constantly comes with products that are given for free. On the themes market, you will notice the same issue. Except for the most downloadable themes that support comes for its community the others choices are very difficult to receive support.
Best practices to Choose a Free WordPress Theme
1. Research before installation
Before installing a free WordPress theme, it's important to do your research to ensure that it's a good fit for your website. You should consider the features you need, the design style you prefer, and any other requirements you may have. Additionally, you should check to see if the theme is regularly updated and if it's compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
2. Check user reviews
User reviews can provide valuable insight into the quality and functionality of a free WordPress theme. Look for reviews that address the features you need, any issues or bugs that have been reported, and the level of customer support provided by the theme developer.
3. Use a reliable source for downloading
When downloading a free WordPress theme, it's important to use a reliable source, such as the official WordPress repository or a trusted theme marketplace like Themeforest. On Themeforest you can download a free theme once a month.
This will help to ensure that you are downloading a theme that is safe, secure, and compatible with the latest version of WordPress. It's also important to avoid downloading themes from untrusted sources, as these may contain malicious code that can compromise the security of your website.
Warning: Don't try to download for free a premium theme from the warez sites! A lot of time these themes come with malware also.
Here you can find a full list of some of the best free theme WordPress Themes by categories:
- Best Free WordPress Themes
- Free eCommerce WordPress Themes
- Free Elementor WordPress Themes
- Free GPL WordPress Themes
- Free Blog WordPress Themes
- Free Minimalist WordPress Themes
- Free Hotel WordPress Themes
- More features
- Better Quality
- Access to support
Premium WordPress themes often come with a wider range of features than free themes, including advanced customization options, built-in plugins, and additional widgets. These added features can help to improve the functionality and user experience of your website.
Premium WordPress themes are typical of higher quality than free themes, both in terms of design and code. This means that premium themes are more reliable, faster, and less prone to bugs and compatibility issues.
Access to support
When you purchase a premium WordPress theme, you typically have access to support from the theme developer. This can be incredibly valuable if you need help setting up your theme, fixing an issue, or simply have a question about its features.
Premium theme developers often provide quick and knowledgeable support, which can help to ensure that your website runs smoothly and effectively.
Overall, the pros of premium WordPress themes include a wider range of features, better quality, and access to support. If you are looking to create a professional-looking and functional website, a premium theme may be the right choice for you.
- Limited selection
The main disadvantage of premium WordPress themes is their cost. While free themes are available at no charge, premium themes often require a one-time purchase or a recurring subscription fee. This cost can be a barrier for some website owners, especially those who are just starting out or on a tight budget.
Compared to free themes, the selection of premium themes can be more limited. While there are many premium themes to choose from, they may not offer the same level of customization or variety as free themes.
Here you can find our collection of premium themes:
- Codeless WordPress Themes
- 20+ Fastest WordPress Themes with High Performance
- 10+ Best UI & UX WordPress Themes for Designers (2023)
- Best WordPress Themes for Business
- Best Portfolio WordPress Themes
Best practices to choose a Premium WordPress Themes
Research before purchasing
Just like with free themes, it's important to do your research before purchasing a premium WordPress theme. You should consider the features you need, the design style you prefer, and any other requirements you may have. Additionally, you should check to see if the theme is regularly updated and if it's compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
Check user reviews
User reviews can provide valuable insight into the quality and functionality of a premium WordPress theme. Look for reviews that address the features you need, any issues or bugs that have been reported, and the level of customer support provided by the theme developer.
Consider the price
When purchasing a premium WordPress theme, it's important to consider the price. Some premium themes are more expensive than others, and it's important to determine whether the cost is justified by the features and support you will receive. Additionally, you should compare the cost of different themes to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
For example, premium theme sold like Divi, Astra or Neve comes with yearly fee price that starts from $49-$99/ yearly. Themes like Specular sold on the ThemeForest marketplace cost about $39 – $69 one-time fee and come with 6 months of free support.
Overall, the cons of premium WordPress themes include cost and a more limited selection. To make the most of a premium theme, it's important to do your research, check user reviews, and consider the price before making a purchase.
List of the
|Feature||Free WordPress Themes||Premium WordPress Themes|
|Features||Limited features||Wide range of features|
|User experience||Less reliable, slower, more prone to bugs||Higher quality, more reliable, seamless user experience|
|Customization||Limited customization options||Advanced customization options|
|Support||Limited or no support||Access to support from the theme developer|
|Value for money||No upfront cost, limitations in features, customization, and support||Higher cost, wider range of features, better quality, and support|
As you can see, the choice between a free and premium WordPress theme will depend on your specific needs and requirements.
If you are looking for a basic website with limited features, a free theme may be the right choice.
However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive and customizable website with access to support, a premium theme may be the better option.
Based on your needs and budget
When choosing between a free and premium WordPress theme, it's important to consider your specific needs and budget.
If you have a limited budget and only require a basic website, a free theme may be the right choice.
However, if you need a more comprehensive and customizable website, a premium theme may be a better option.
As a Beginner
Start with a Free Theme and familiarize yourself with WordPress. If the free theme will not fulfill your needs you can purchase the premium version of the same theme or choose another one.
As a Web Designer without coding knowledge
For sure, I will recommend using a premium theme that comes with ready templates, fewer bugs, and support. Also, these themes come with a better overall design.
As an Experienced Developer
I’m going to choose a free theme if I have already a design ready. In case I do not have a design I will go for a premium theme that comes with ready templates.
Consider the trade-off between cost and quality
When choosing between a free and premium WordPress theme, it's important to consider the trade-off between cost and quality.
Free themes may come with limitations in terms of features, customization, and support, but they offer no upfront cost.
Premium themes may provide a wider range of features, better quality, and access to support, but at a higher cost. When considering the trade-off between cost and quality, it's important to determine what's most important for your website.
Use a reliable source for downloading or purchasing themes
When downloading or purchasing a WordPress theme, it's important to use a reliable source. Downloading themes from unreliable sources can expose your website to security risks and compatibility issues.
When choosing a premium theme, it's important to choose a reputable and trustworthy source, such as the official WordPress theme repository or a well-known theme marketplace.
In this article, we compared the pros and cons of free and premium WordPress themes.
Free themes offer no upfront cost but may come with limitations in terms of features, customization, and support.
Premium themes offer a wider range of features, better quality, and access to support, but at a higher cost.
Choosing between a free and premium WordPress theme is a decision that should be based on your specific needs and budget. In most cases, the choice of the theme is based also on the layout and style of the website you will going to build.
The best way to find the right theme for your website is to try different options. Whether you choose a free or premium theme, it's important to experiment and find the best fit for your website. Try different themes, customize them to your liking, and test them to see how they work for you and your visitors. With a little patience and persistence, you'll be able to find the perfect theme for your website.
As one of the co-founders of Codeless, I bring to the table expertise in developing WordPress and web applications, as well as a track record of effectively managing hosting and servers. My passion for acquiring knowledge and my enthusiasm for constructing and testing novel technologies drive me to constantly innovate and improve.
Linux System Administration,
15 years of experience in Web Development by developing and designing some of the most popular WordPress Themes like Specular, Tower, and Folie.
I have a degree in Engineering Physics and MSC in Material Science and Opto Electronics.