It is very tempting to use something that is free. There are an overwhelming amount of free WordPress themes out there. However, what might be free for you now, you will pay for later in frustration, time and money. A lot of websites offering free WordPress themes try to attract users with their “free” offer, only to try to get them to buy their premium themes.

When deciding between a free WordPress theme and a premium WordPress theme you have to pay for, it is important to figure out what you want to achieve with your website. Smaller personal blogs or portfolio websites may be perfect with a free theme because it is quick and inexpensive. However, businesses (especially the ones that require e-commerce tools) should be using a premium theme.

Most importantly when making that decision, you need to think about what kind of appearance you want to give off to your website visitors, customers and users. Most of the free WordPress themes have a footer that displays the name of the website where you downloaded it from. This looks like you didn’t put a lot of effort and money into your professional website.

Here are some pros of using free WordPress themes

  • They are good to use with personal blogs.
  • They are free! If you do buy a premium theme and it is not what you were looking for, then it could be hard to get a refund.
  • No money is spent on hiring a website builder.
  • There is a lot of online community support through different forums and websites.
  • You can experiment and figure out the different things you like before buying something that you have to commit to using.

And now here are the cons of using free WordPress Themes

  • They are very basic and simple with no control over design and a lack of interesting features and widgets. There is little to no customization options.
  • Most free WordPress themes are not unique or professional. Visitors will not want to stay on a website that has a poor menu or navigation and doesn’t look professional.
  • There is usually no control over the style of the header.
  • The background option for each page is very boring.
  • They don’t come with subscription buttons, forms or email sign ups.
  • Most free WordPress themes are not mobile responsive or cross browser compatible.
  • Choosing a free WordPress theme makes your website look like other websites that use the same or similar theme.
  • They are often poorly coded because they are put together by website builders who are just starting out and are trying to build their portfolio.
  • Most free WordPress themes have some sort of security vulnerability. They are dangerous to you and your users because they can contain hidden spam links and malicious codes.
  • You are on your own when a problem arises. Free WordPress themes offer little to no technical and customer support. And if they do offer any kind of support, do not rely on them because it won’t be very reliable.
  • They cause compatibility problems with widgets and plugins. Because the websites are rarely updated, they can break the website or makes it inaccessible.
  • Since they are rarely updated, hackers and bugs can easily access your website and destroy it.
  • Free WordPress themes lack the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They are not optimized for Google searches and other search engines.

As you can see the cons outweigh the pros. Hopefully you make the right choice when it comes to your WordPress theme for your website.

To make this decision easier for you, Web Design Farm includes one premium theme for free for each client.