WordPress Themes: Free Vs Paid

A lot of rookies get pretty indecisive over the themes of WordPress. They are often confused about whether to choose the free or the paid version. Both themes have their own peaks and shortcomings. You can continue reading this article to decide which theme will benefit you the most. In this blog, our own web design Chester company will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using free and paid WordPress themes for your website.

The Advantages of Free Themes

Free themes of WordPress are the ones that are available in the official directory of WordPress.org. We often advise our users to refrain from downloading and installing these free themes from unreliable sources that distribute it.

Just like its name tag, this version is completely free of charge. The barrier of entry is lowered for starting a blog. It is perfectly ideal for new website owners and for those who are constantly experimenting. All of the free themes present in the directory are approved officially via a process of multi-step on WordPress.

The designs in free themes are quite minimalistic as they don’t possess a lot of premium widgets and features. If a lot of plugins aren’t employed on your website, then the free version would be excellent for you. It will be a speedy WordPress website and will eventually increase your technical SEO.

Free themes are best-suited for beginners. It is very easy and simple to use. Before approving any theme, the WordPress team always makes sure to create themes that are usable. They act as a testing process for the rookies. These free themes available today are fully compatible with most plugins of WordPress.

The Disadvantages of Free Themes

Yes! Free WordPress is a treat, but it does come with some disadvantages that you have to know of.

The Free version carries limited features with no additional functionality. This might be a problem for website owners that own bigger and advanced websites. Some of the free themes carry over a million downloads. They are not unique in comparison to the premium ones.

Since they are downloadable without any barrier for payment entry, you can expect multiple websites to utilize the same themes. The outcome will be negligible as the free themes don’t possess many options for customization in comparison to the premium version. The users will easily be able to make out the repetitive use of these themes.

A certain portion of the free themes present on the repository site of WordPress is updated only on rare occasions. This will be incompatible with version updates that are frequent for the WordPress CMS. There is no support for issues related to free themes. You have to rely on the help of a third-party called ‘WordPress Forum.

Free themes that are missing within the official theme depository are often poorly coded, which causes it to be buggy. This could increase the vulnerability of your site’s security issues. Not all of the free themes are created in an equal manner as there are varying licenses of WordPress. We advise you to always check if the theme can be legally downloaded.

The Advantages of Paid Themes

The Premium version of WordPress themes is readily present for purchase from a plethora of third-party marketplaces and shops of WordPress themes. Its biggest advantage would be the availability of customization options and features in plenty.

The theme shops tend to offer numerous features at a lower price tag, as there is a lot of competition happening in the industry of premium themes. You can score themes that offer options such as shortcodes, multiple layouts, templates, unlimited color choices, drag and drop, and builders as well.

A major advantage of premium themes would be its support and regular updates. They offer such assistance as they are making money versus doing it. Paid themes are quite unique in comparison to the free ones as they are rarely used. Most of the users use free themes, so having a premium theme is a major advantage.

Premium themes don’t have any costs associated with them. They are rarely used on websites and are not seen as repetitive, unlike the free ones. You can also personalize your own themes with the use of the wide customization options. It puts your website under the spotlight.

The Disadvantages of Paid Themes

Sometimes users can end up purchasing a premium theme that possesses a beautiful outer appearance but comes with a coding standard that is quite poor. This issue could lead to incompatibility with some of the plugins. It mainly occurs as these themes avoid going through a strict process of review.

Some of the theme developers tend to add unnecessary features for selling more themes. Most of these additional features are left unused by almost all the users. These extra features of the theme tend to slow down your website a lot.

At times themes of WordPress tend to cross over into plugin domains that offer functionality, which they shouldn’t be offering—for instance, creating shortcodes, custom post types, and other stuff that tends to disappear whenever you switch the theme.


Both the free and paid versions of WordPress themes have their pros and cons. Choosing one between them would depend ultimately on the needs of the website as well as the budget of the website owner. It also depends on the aesthetic preference of the website owner.

We advise you to begin with a free WordPress theme for starters and switch to upgrades down the line if you have to. You also have to be careful of the malicious coding that comes with a great risk when you utilize themes that are outside the repository of WordPress.

Free WordPress is all about personal blogs, and if you care less about the appearance of your webpage. If you are okay with limited functionality and support, then you can install it now. But if you are creating a business website and you want your site to look authentic, then the premium version is for you.

If you want a support of multiple features on your site and you want a dedicated team of developers to help you out with issues, then you can purchase the paid version.