Do you need a premium WordPress theme or will a free theme work just as well? In this post I will look at the differences between free and premium WordPress themes and the pros and cons of each. I will also give details of the theme I use and recommend.
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Check out the theme I use and recommend by clicking the button below
What Is A Premium WordPress Theme?
A premium theme is a WordPress theme that you have to pay for. The prices of a premium theme can vary from around $20 to hundreds of dollars.
Most decent premium themes will be around $50 but the features can differ between them so you need to understand what the theme offers before you invest your money.
These themes will usually have more features and be more customizable than a free one.
How To Choose A Premium Theme
Choosing a premium theme can be difficult as there are so many to choose from. The best place to start is to look for reviews and recommendations from trusted sources.
By doing this you will find out about any special features of a particular theme and any issues that have been encountered by other people.
Some premium themes have free versions that are more limited. These can be useful to test out the basic functionality of a theme and to see if it has the look that you want.
You can then look at the extra features that the premium version has and decide whether you need them and if they are worth the extra expense.
Do You Need A Premium WordPress Theme?
Now you know what a premium WordPress theme is and how to choose one for your website, lets take a look at whether you actually need one.
As I mentioned earlier most premium themes will cost around $50. Do you really need this extra expense? Could this money be better spent elsewhere on your site? The answer to these questions are as individual as your website.
All websites are different, they are about different subjects, they perform different tasks or provide different information.
For this reason there is no definitive answer.
To find an answer for yourself you will need to look at YOUR website. Look at what you want the website to do.
- How do you want your website to look?
- What features does it need?
- What support do you need?
Lets look at the first question:
How do you want your website to look?
A WordPress theme can have many different styles and colours. Some of these will be pre-set by the theme (especially if it is a free theme).
This is one of the main differences between a free and a premium WordPress theme. You are paying a premium to make changing the look of your site easier.
Sometimes the choices on a free theme might suit you and your site, but if it doesn’t and you need your site to have a particular colour scheme or feature then the price may be worth paying.
What features does it need?
WordPress themes have lots of different features for making changes to content or menus or anything else you might need on your website.
Similar to the answer to the last question, if you need a certain feature that is not available on the free theme then it is worth the extra investment.
Some free themes can be very limited and hard to make unique, where a premium theme can make it much easier to add these features.
One of the features I find difficult on a lot of free themes is menu placement. Most don’t have any option to change the location and limit you to one or (if you are lucky) two.
A good premium theme will give you options to place menus in different locations on your site. With this it allows you to place your menus to suit your requirements.
What support do you need?
Support is another factor to consider as the level of support can vary with each theme. Usually a premium theme will have better support and be updated more often. This also increases the security of your website.
By looking at all your website requirements you will be able to narrow down which themes are suitable and decide whether or not a premium theme is needed.
Why I Use GeneratePress
I first used the free version of this theme to see if the basic features met my needs for the site. It also allowed me to get the basic look of the site in place before I paid out any money.
Once I had decided that GeneratePress allowed me to get the look that I wanted I then looked at the premium features that were available.
I soon decided that the small investment was worth it.
This was due to the time it would save me as I could get a lot of the features I needed without have to use CSS or any extra coding and keep plugins to a minimum.
The premium version gave me total control over the colour scheme and typography as well as great layout options.
GeneratePress is also a very lightweight theme. This means faster loading times. It is also compatible with all the popular page builders and plugins.
There are also importable demo sites that can give you a head start in your site build. This is especially useful if you are new to WordPress.
You can use the premium version on as many sites as you like without having to buy extra licences for each site. This is not the case with most premium WordPress themes.
Support is another thing GeneratePress do well. Whenever I have had to ask a question it has been answered very quickly and any problem sorted efficiently.
There are also lots of questions and answers on their website which will solve most the issues you might come up against.
So there are some of my reasons for choosing GeneratePress and why I feel the premium version is suited to my websites.
If you are still deciding whether you need a free or premium theme I strongly advise you to take a look at GeneratePress on their website to see all the details of their free and premium theme.
What To Do Next
Now you know what to look out for when choosing a theme it is time to start looking at whats available.
You can view a great number of themes from your WordPress dashboard by going to APPEARANCE > THEMES > ADD NEW.
Don’t forget to check out GeneratePress
See my recommended theme by clicking on the button below
I hope you have found this post useful. Please check out the rest of this blog for more WordPress related posts.
You will also find WordPress videos on the Youtube channel here.
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