Free WordPress Themes: Advantages & Disadvantages You Should Know
Over the past few years, WordPress themes have always been pretty much in talks. Those who have recently jumped in the bandwagon; might find it new and hard to grasp. And that’s why I am here to the rescue! The following post sums up a little bit in the details of what these WordPress themes are, its benefits/ disadvantages, and how can you speed up your web store in no time.
I personally feel that themes play a significant role to cast a spell on the visitors. Techniques that include offering a website that is pleasing to the eye are still very much up for grabs. And if you build it with the right theme, they will surely come! One of the best CMS that has succeeded in overcoming the misconception that traditionally belies it is WordPress. With N number of downloads and a very good rating, the platform has nothing to prove- it just works efficiently. I am pretty sure you are here to know if it’s worth investing in WordPress themes or not? But before that let’s take a detour and start somewhere else (which will eventually lead us to the answer).
Introduction to WordPress Theme
Technically speaking, a theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website. Much similar to our lives nothing remains constant here, you can change, manage or add from the WordPress admin area. Appearance » Themes. There is a plethora of themes available. Although most of them are free, a lot of great themes cost a pretty penny! We assure you to get the right value for your pennies, by showcasing the best ones prevailing in this tech-gear. Each comes with a different design, layout, and features. Thus it becomes extremely important to choose the right one that suits their taste and requirements for their website.
- Overall design or style of your site
- font styling
- widget locations
- page layouts (or templates)
- styles for blog posts and blog archives
- additional stylistic details
While choosing a WordPress Theme
- Do make a list of the features required in prior- Before selecting any theme make sure you are well aware regarding what features must be included or the aspects your website cannot live without. Fortunately, we have WordPress Feature Filter that makes it super easy to customize your search, especially for the free ones. For instance, if you want your theme to be translation ready or something that includes a flexible header. Make sure you have a design in mind before making a selection. For instance, you should be prepared to know if you want your site to have one column or multiple columns. Also, keep this in mind less is always more.
- Choosing a bloated theme has become a little passé- Can you live in a thoroughly cluttered space? Probably not! Your end visitor would never like to stumble upon a site that is cluttered with features; sooner or later things might get worse. A feature-rich theme might be nice but do not compromise with the site’s performance. Restrain yourself from every feature you find cool.
- Go for responsive- making your site ultra-easy to use is what we call a responsive design among technical heads. Irrespective of the device, laptop, smartphones, your website must be compatible enough and easy to navigate. Also, you must think for several features like a fluid site grid and flexible images that can translate to non-desktop devices. One of the best examples of a responsive theme would be that can easily translate on a mobile device without any hiccups.
- Never compromise with a theme’s font- Font says a lot about your site personality; be precise. Capturing your visitor’s attention also includes having an appropriate font. So that they won’t abandon your site. Make your fonts simple, sophisticated, and readable, come up with something like Open Sans, Josefin Slab, Arvo, Lato, and Vollkorn.
- Test the theme thoroughly- Many non-techies consider testing as an afterthought. What you can do is try using the Theme Check plugin to test out a theme’s efficiency. The plugin checks if your theme is up to all current WordPress standards. After you are completed with all the tweaks/ tests and have uploaded all of your content, before announcing is to the world make sure you review it. Reread all of your content, check out your site on mobile, and make sure all of your images load properly. You should also consider investing in a hosting solution that provides staging environments, and install a child theme plugin.
Free v/s Premium
Selecting a WordPress theme can be insanely tricky at times. Further below I would like to shed some light on when you should go for free themes and when for premium ones. For instance, free ones don’t have a lot of premium features and widgets so if your website does not use a lot of plugins it might get enhanced in terms of speed (that counts in technical SEO)
Why Choose Free Themes?
One of the greatest advantages of a WordPress theme is it’s available for free of cost. The barrier of entering the field automatically gets lowered. In fact, it may quite interest you to know that all these themes are held to a higher quality standard as they go through a strict theme review process. Also, it supports standard WordPress features, quality HTML, CSS, security, and privacy. All you have to do is download the theme and start using it. Many have this misconception; users won’t be able to find good support about their queries. In the real scenario, several WordPress developers are seen responding to a wide array of queries and the comments in forums. With the help of WP Codex and official forums, you can receive great support.
Apart from not burning a hole in your pocket, you can switch it with another one within a span of minutes.
Free themes are amazing just because they have the word “free” associated with them. But there are many disadvantages associated with them. Let’s find out!
- No support and no updates
- Not SEO optimized
- Encrypted links
- Less features
- Limited options available
Why choose a premium theme?
Premium WordPress themes are the ones that are professionally designed and coded with a specific aim of catering to a market who is willing to pay more for a better product. These themes incorporate more advanced features, functionality, and services than free counterpart, and of course are usually sold for a fixed price.
Its benefits include
- Best possible support
- Extensive documentation
- Premium quality
- Frequent updates
- Amazing bunch of features
- Customize according to your needs
In addition to this, your website will no longer be vulnerable to the security problems & affect compatibility with plugins. There is no chance of sole intention of spreading malicious software via themes to other computers. In short, everything can be appealing/ valuable and can have a couple of tradeoffs.
Locate Your Perfect High-Functioning WordPress Theme
We churn out thousands of websites on a day to day basis. And this has gained us expertise over it. Down below I would like to mention certain parameters on which a theme must be evaluated (free or premium).
- Core functionality and features
- Presentation and functionality
- Options and Settings
- Selling, credits, and links
- Stylesheets and scripts
Apart from these, you can also perform a google search where you can see if there are any negative twittering’s regarding the WordPress theme of your choice. Besides, it is always advisable to scan the theme for viruses
Go for free theme when-
- Starting a personal blog
- Looking for something with basic functionality
- Simple blogging platform
Go for premium version when
- Creating a business website
- Wish to create a unique website
- Make website capable of supporting many different features
- Unknown to how to fix issues and need a dedicated support team
In a nutshell
There are a sheer number of possible theme and plugin combinations out there; not everything is going to work perfectly from day one. As the time marches on, make sure all the hiccups regarding WordPress themes are improving slowly and steadily.