WordPress Theme Showdown: Premium vs. Free

There is no doubt one of the reasons WordPress is so popular is the sheer number of themes available. No one wants to build a site that looks like a million others. While there is a vast repository of free themes available, you may be wondering whether or not a free theme can serve your purposes or if you need to go with a paid, or premium, theme.
Choosing to use a free theme has some advantages, not the least of which is price. Many free themes are provided by developers who also offer premium themes, which means they are well-built and some support may be offered in forums on the developer’s website.

Free Theme Pros

  • Price – it’s free.
  • Some Support.
  • Work with most plugins.

Free Theme Cons

  • Updates can be slow.
  • Widespread use of free themes hamper your ability to design a unique site.
  • No warranty or personalized support.
  • There may be hidden links or advertisements in the code.
  • Possibility of security concerns if not updated frequently to be compatible to new WordPress releases.

To get a truly unique site design that suits your particular needs, you may want to go with a premium theme for your WordPress site.
Premium Theme Pros

  1. More customizability for a truly unique look.
  2. More likely to be frequently updated to new WordPress releases.
  3. Support is included in the price, you will often have access to support from the developers directly.
  4. Security is enhanced as premium themes will be free of bugs and vulnerabilities in the code.
  5. Themes may be chosen specifically for your site genre.

Premium Theme Cons

  • Price.
  • Depending on the purpose of your website, you may not need all the features that come with a premium theme.
  • Premium themes that are not added to the WordPress repository have not undergone the review process as others have.

There are some theme designers who offer both free and premium themes. Before you decide whether or not you need a premium theme, consider what your goals are and the purpose of your website. If you are simply blogging, a free theme may be well-suited to your needs. If you are running on a business web hosting plan with ecommerce, you may need the unique design and all the bells and whistles as well as the support that comes with the price of a premium theme.