Should You Pay For Your WordPress Theme?

There are so many awesome WordPress themes. So many that it can make your head spin. But should you pay for your WordPress theme? Awesome comes in both categories; free and paid. There are pros and cons to both.

Free themes don’t always mean less quality and paid themes don’t always mean better quality.

In the free WordPress theme camp:

So obviously one big benefit of a free theme is just that — it’s free. However, I’m still a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and free themes can come with their own set of frustrations. For me, that’s usually in the area of customization. I normally go into a site with a very specific look in mind and I can’t always achieve that with a free theme. And since it’s free, you don’t have the support to help you through any difficulties.

When I do use a free theme I only use those in the WordPress repository. WordPress reviews the free themes that are added there and if you find one you love that will work for you, you can be assured that WordPress has reviewed it and it meets their guidelines.

In the official repository you can filter your search so you can usually find something that is very close to what you need. If a unique look is what you want, you need to dig deep for a free theme that let’s you make the site your own. There are a few I’ve mentioned below.

In the paid WordPress themes camp:

When you purchase a theme from a developer you are buying a product. The themes they produce are usually a source of income which makes customer service a priority for them. That customer service includes support and updates. The support usually comes through a forum or email and is more than enough to get your site done.

Paid themes offer more customization than a free theme usually does. While it isn’t always the case, you can find some with custom colors, fonts, sidebar locations, etc. I normally look for those that give me the most flexibility in styling.

When I’m sure a paid theme is the best option for my project, I head over to the Envato Market and start the search there..

A kick-ass third option:

I love this third option so much! When you start searching for a theme, you may find free themes like Circumference Lite or Pure and Simple from Styled Themes. I personally love these free themes because they offer both a free version (lite) through the WordPress repository and a pro version (paid). I can install them, spend time working in the theme, and then if it’s working well but I need the premium features, I have the option to purchase a more robust version of the exact same theme.

Is there a right or wrong choice? I don’t think there is. Like everything else in your business, you need to make the decision based on your current project and future needs. How do you want your site to look? How do you want your site to function? Are premium features important to you now? Will they be in the future? Are you set on a certain color combination? What is your budget? Start your list of “must-haves” and then do your research on your top choices and the developers behind them.

If you get stuck or start to feel overwhelmed, comment here or find me on social media, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.