WordPress stands out as an excellent choice for creating websites swiftly and cost-effectively. One of the key factors contributing to the speed and affordability of WordPress development is the wide array of available themes. These themes govern the aesthetics and style of your WordPress site, making it vital to select the ideal one. You’ll find both free and paid WordPress themes at your disposal for your developer to craft your website. However, most web developers lean towards opting for premium WordPress themes over free ones. Wondering why?
In this blog post, we have shared a few key differences between a free WordPress theme and a premium theme that will help you to make an informed decision.
It’s pretty straightforward: free WordPress themes don’t cost you a dime, while premium themes do come with a price tag. Usually, the price of a premium theme falls within the range of $50 to $100, making it an affordable investment.
2. Design Quality
Premium themes are often designed by professional WordPress designers and tend to have higher-quality design elements compared to free themes, which may be created by hobbyists or less experienced web developers.
3. Customization Options
Premium themes generally offer more customization options, including extensive control over layouts, colors, fonts, demo import, and other design elements. Free themes may have limited customization options.
When you purchase a premium theme, you usually get access to customer support, including documentation and assistance with technical issues. Free themes usually have limited or no support options.
5. Updates and Compatibility
Premium themes often get regular updates from their developers to make sure they play nice with the latest WordPress version and stay secure. On the other hand, free theme users might not see updates as often since their developers may not always be on top of keeping them up to date.
Most premium WordPress themes come with a fully responsive design that makes it easier for your device users to browse the website easily on their phones or tablets. On the other hand, free WordPress themes usually don’t have a mobile-friendly design. So, you may have to pay your web developer to fix the responsiveness of your free theme.
7. Features and Functionality
Premium themes often come with a wider range of features and functionality, such as advanced sliders, eCommerce compatibility, and integration with popular plugins. Free themes may lack these advanced features.
Premium themes are generally considered to be more secure because they undergo rigorous testing and updates. Free themes may be more susceptible to vulnerabilities if not regularly maintained. This is one of the reasons why most WordPress developers prefer to use premium themes.
Premium themes typically include comprehensive documentation, guiding users through setup and customization. Free themes usually lack detailed documentation.
10. Code Quality
Premium themes are more likely to have well-structured, clean code, which can improve website performance and compatibility with plugins. It makes it easier for your WordPress developer to make the required customizations. Free themes may have messy or inefficient code.
11. Regular Updates
Premium themes are generally updated more frequently by their developers, ensuring that your website stays current and functional. Free themes may not receive updates as regularly.
12. Theme Options Panel
Premium themes often come with a user-friendly theme options panel that makes customization easier. Free themes may lack this feature or have limited options.
13. Page Builders Compatibility
Many premium themes are designed to work seamlessly with popular page builders like Elementor or Divi, offering greater flexibility in designing your website. Free themes usually do not offer such compatibility.
14. Demos and Starter Content
Premium themes often include demo content that you can import to kickstart your website. Most free themes don’t come with a demo import feature, requiring more manual setup.
15. Performance Optimization
Premium themes are usually optimized for performance, ensuring faster loading times and a better user experience. Free themes may not prioritize performance optimization.
16. Branding and Copyright
Premium themes typically allow you to remove or customize branding elements and copyright notices. Free themes may require you to keep such attribution intact.
17. WooCommerce Integration
If you plan to create an online store, premium themes often have better integration with WooCommerce, the popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Free themes may have limited eCommerce support.
18. Third-Party Plugin Compatibility
Premium themes are more likely to be compatible with a wide range of third-party plugins, expanding your site’s functionality. Free themes may not offer as much compatibility.
19. Community and Resources
Premium theme users often have access to exclusive forums and communities, where they can share experiences and get help. Free themes may have less of a community aspect.
20. Performance Tracking and Analytics
Premium themes may include built-in performance tracking and analytics tools, while free themes may require third-party plugins for such functionality.
Premium themes are often better suited for large and complex websites with scalability in mind. Free themes may be less suitable for extensive growth.