Choosing A WordPress Theme: Premium or Free?

WordPress is currently one of the most popular blogging services available. Bloggers have the ability to choose from many different types of themes to personalize their site.

Some of these WordPress themes are free, but others, often called premium themes, are only available for a fee. You should consider several different factors before choosing to pay for a premium theme instead of using a free one.

Some bloggers would be better off sticking with a free theme, at least initially, while others would benefit from paying for a premium theme. Of course, the final choice is up to you.

How often you plan to update your blog, and what your goals are for it?

If you are creating a daily blog designed to attract significant readership, then paying for a premium theme may make sense — at least after you become established. However, if you plan to create a blog primarily for friends and family that you only update occasionally, then spending money on a premium theme likely is not necessary.

Even if you are serious about developing your blog and its content, the specific type of blog impacts the type of theme it needs.

For example, professional, news or political bloggers may want to stick to a basic theme. They tend to be more neutral, a very important trait when you want to portray yourself as an impartial authority.

However, a more casual blog, such as one on crafting or gardening, can afford to present a more creative and less neutral image.

Do you plan to try to earn an income from your blog?

If the aim of your blog is to generate profit, the old saying “you get out of your business what you put into it” applies to choosing a theme. Bloggers wishing to attract income from their blog will want to have an attractive, high-quality page design.

For these bloggers, it may make sense to pay for a theme. Those who blog simply for the fun of it, those not looking to make money from their blog, are likely better off sticking to a free theme. Investing in a paid WordPress theme can be worthwhile if it creates a more attractive page that helps draw traffic, and therefore, generates business. Ideally, it will pay for itself over time.

Of course, personal preference is the main determining factor. If the theme that you feel fits your blog the best happens to be a premium one, and you can afford the investment, then you should get it. However, you should take the time to look through the many high-quality free themes available first — you may well find a perfect option among them.

Quality WordPress themes can significantly improve the first impression your blog presents. They can make your page more beautiful, artistic, expressive and creative. They allow you additional ways to express yourself besides the words, photos and other content you post. Essentially, they give your readers more insight into your personality.

Whether or not you should use a paid theme or a free one simply comes down to your goals, your style and your personal preference.

14 thoughts on “Choosing A WordPress Theme: Premium or Free?”

  1. Premium Themes are better to begin with. But of course, free themes are not that bad at all. The advantage of a premium theme is that it has a good support and update from the theme creator whenever WordPress do some upgrade. Premium Themes also have more advantage in SEO over free themes. Free Themes have encrypted links in the footer section which is spammy in the eyes of Google because of the Penguin Update. And lastly, Premium Themes have more features than free themes.

    1. Charles Dearing

      You are right Clyde, Premium Themes usually have added features and customizable designs which could tailor-fit your specific needs. Choose a theme depends where you really wanna use your blog for.

  2. I have seen some nice looking free WordPress themes, and really basic and simple premium themes. Both of which can be nice. A lot of free ones are old and out of date though. It seems like generally premium themes are maintained and updated for security issues and things like that more so than many free themes. I guess it depends on the budget and what one happens to be after.

  3. WordPress free themes are not bad at all. But premium themes are better than free themes as these themes has update on regular basis. A lot of free themes are old. Premium themes are maintained and updated and have more features than free themes.

  4. There are really beautiful free WP themes out there that could pass as premium themes. They are perfect for newbies who for the most part should be concentrating on creating quality content anyway. Premium themes are great for those who already know the ins and outs of IM, and are sure to profit from their blogs.

  5. This is really good information on WordPress free and premium themes. I really liked this differentiation of free and premium wordpress themes. I think now i should change my perception of free one and move to premium one. Besides search engine friendliness, premium wordpress themes always stand ahead in support, updates and upgrades, customization and many more…Thanks for such amazing share.

  6. I think it is better to select a unique design with a premium template rather than selecting a free template for your business.

  7. Hi guys, I’m thinking of a great free wordpress theme can you suggest one? I’m building a new blog and I can’t decide. Buying a premium theme is out because I don’t have budget for it. Any suggestions?

  8. I think anyone whose been in the blogging business for long will tell yuo that premium themes are better, and they are not too expensive too. Free themes may be appealing when you first start out, but bring with it so many disadvantages that soon you start looking for a more powerful theme and that comes only with premium themes.

  9. For someone new to blogging, it is best to try a few free themes initially and see how it works out. With time, if the blog starts generating revenue, one can consider getting a premium paid theme with more features. Premium themes also come with better professional support from developers.

  10. The post kind of assumes that free themes don’t look good. If you have a free theme that perfectly fits your blogs content, I think one should happily stick with it. Free themes are also usually more light weight and this faster.

  11. choosing a free theme is always better but incase you are going to sell your blog then you have to show your buyer something attracting. In that case graphene theme is the best premium theme i have ever seen. My own blog also has graphene theme.

  12. I have to agree with you if blogging is just for personal use then its better to have the free WP themes though designs are limited but there are still a few that has beautiful designs on it. Important is the quality of the blogs you put into it.

  13. I agree the best option is getting a custom/exclusive design and site @Ramona, If a company or blogger doesn’t want to make that step yet, a cheaper and efficient option is buying a premium theme that best fits your needs.

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