WordPress Theme: Free Vs. Paid Theme Dilema

There are hundreds of WordPress themes to choose from, some free and some paid. This may be causing you to wonder, which is the best WordPress theme to select.  It may be tempting to find a free theme, since there are hundreds of them available online. There are a few things, however, that you should take into consideration before making your decision on whether to choose a free or paid theme.

Firstly let’s go over the free WordPress theme option.  There are different types of free themes available and free doesn’t always mean you can do whatever you want with it, it depends on the rights that come with the theme.

When trying to present a professional image to your website visitors, your chosen theme should reflect this.  Many free themes come with links that appear at the bottom of the theme. This is required since the terms of use stipulate that if you want to use the theme you must keep these links intact.  Some of those links may point back to the web designers website. On the other hand, many of the links often point to spam websites. It’s always best to check the terms of use and links before installing the theme on your website.

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Another thing to be aware of when using a free them, many more people will be using it on their websites too.  If you do choose to use a free theme then it is wise to edit it in some way, whether that is changing the color scheme or editing the graphics and adding your own logo.

You may also find that many of the older themes are not compatible with newer versions of WordPress.  They may not get updated frequently enough to be compatible with the latest WordPress version. When this happens, you may receive more error messages within your WordPress dashboard. It’s always good to check compatibility before installing a free theme on your blog.

The best paid WordPress themes should not only have better graphics, but they should also have other extras installed into the theme, as well. These premium features often include better navigation, easy in accessing the WordPress dashboard and special pre-installed widgets or plug-ins to increase the functionality of your theme.  It may also be easier to edit the graphics and customize the theme to project your own vision or message.

When purchasing a paid theme, many of these websites display a showcase section allowing users to view how other people have customized their themes. This will give you an idea of how you can customize the theme and that a unique look for your blog. Never, ever copy the design of any of the example themes.

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The most expensive theme to buy is one where you hire a designer and coder to create one for you.  The designer can either create a theme from scratch, using your chosen color scheme, branding and theme layout or they can customize an existing theme to match your requirements.

Hopefully this article has given you an idea on what to look for when deciding which WordPress theme to choose.

Author: Daniel Brown

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