This is a guest post written by Elena. I didn’t receive any compensation for it. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and might not reflect my own. You can find out more about Elena in the ‘About the Author’ section at the end.
There’s an overwhelming number of free WordPress themes available out there.
Why are they free? You may wonder.
Well, some developers build free themes for their portfolios, some to learn, and others purely for… fun.
Some WordPress developers, such as MyThemeShop and GeneratePress (affiliate link) also give away free themes to attract new customers.
So, should you just find and install free themes since they’re free? Well, it depends.
Often, it’s best to look for premium WordPress themes, but sometimes, it’s fine to use free ones, and here are 6 reasons why!
1. You’re Blogging Just for Fun
You think blogging is cool and that it’s a great way of self-expression.
But you don’t want to go any further. You don’t want to add values nor offer your unique point of view and knowledge to your readers.
Instead, you only want to talk about yourself – mostly on the negative side: how frustrated you are with your job, how bad your relationship is going, how unlucky you are with your… life (!?), and so on.
You only blog once in a while when you have nothing else to do, or when you’re too excited to share your experience and pictures (mostly selfies) after an amazing once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Maldives.
You treat blogging as a hobby at best.
You probably don’t want to blog for money either. You consider it “just not right” or “unethical”, while the voice deep down always tells you that “you can’t do it; it’s impossible!”.
You have 0 experience with WordPress and websites in general.
And so, using free themes is absolutely a no-brainer for you. There is no reason for you to do otherwise.
2. You Love Free Stuff
Who doesn’t love free stuff?
I have to admit that the best thing about free WordPress themes is that they are… free. They cost nothing.
What’s more, there are thousands of free themes out there for you to choose from.
Best of all, it’s super easy to find and install them as well.
With a few searches and clicks inside your WordPress dashboard, you should be able to get a brand new look for your website.
So, going for free themes should be an easy choice, right?
A “Free” price tag can come with a cost, too, which could be quite pricey in the long run.
Many, if not most of the free WordPress themes, are rarely updated and do not offer support.
So, if you run into trouble with your free theme, you either deactivate it and try your luck again or look through your contacts for some old primary school nerdy friends.
Furthermore, if you choose a WordPress theme that’s not from the official WordPress repository, you might end up with one that’s poorly coded or contains malicious code, leading to all sorts of security issues.
Design-wise, free WordPress themes simply make your website look dull and cheap!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some awesome free themes out there, too.
They’re well-coded by experienced developers, they make your website look good on mobiles, and so forth.
Unfortunately, these themes are rare, and they usually lack advanced features that you’d like to have for your website.
Also, it’s difficult for non-technical people to differentiate between good and bad themes.
As a result, it will be challenging and time-consuming for them to find a decent theme, let alone an awesome one.
3. You’re Dead Broke
If you don’t have 47 bucks to buy a premium WordPress theme to make your website 10 times more beautiful, then you’re dead broke!
4. You’re Clueless
You’ve just started out. You have no technical knowledge. You don’t know what to do with your website nor how to improve it. You follow some online expert’s instructions blindly; download and install a free theme to get your website up and running.
I did that, too. I didn’t even know there are better options. I’d never heard of the so-called “premium” WordPress themes.
There is an old saying that you’re not to blame if you don’t really know about something.
I find it relevant here.
Life is a challenging journey full of trials and errors, successes and failures.
If I put myself in your shoes, I would say installing a free theme first to see how badly it can suck is quite a good way to begin your online marketing journey.
Sometimes, we just don’t appreciate good things in our life until we experience terrible ones.
5. You Want to Do It Yourself
Contrary to the “clueless” people above, in this case, you probably have considerable knowledge about WordPress.
You’re able to differentiate good and bad WordPress themes. You know what you should do to improve your website’s look and feel.
But instead of going for premium themes, you just feel that “it’s better if I do it myself”.
You think you would have more freedom customizing your WordPress website’s design, rather than depending on the available options provided by the developers.
You just hate restrictions no matter how small they are.
But since it takes too much time to develop a theme from scratch, the more feasible option is to find and install a robust free theme and then develop a “child theme” from that.
It looks a bit like I’m writing about myself.
Well, I’ve been doing that for quite long for all my websites, and I still did it just a few months ago.
Everything was fine until I had a chance to stop and wonder:
“How much does it cost me?”
My immediate response was “time”. Lots of time!
Since time is money, it made me ponder. Then, I changed.
Since then, I’m more willing to buy premium themes and plugins.
Just plug it in and run. Fast, quick, and easy. No more coding, no more valuable time wasted.
6. You’re Skeptical
You don’t need to be a born skeptic to be skeptical.
Have you ever been in a situation where no matter how useful a product is, no matter how many testimonials there are, you’re still doubtful of it?
What if it doesn’t work that well? What if it doesn’t fit my needs? What if… Lots of “what if” questions would go around your head.
Apparently, you want some sort of certainty. Almost all of us do.
That’s why many premium theme and plugin developers offer a demo and 30-day money back guarantee whenever possible. It helps reduce their prospects’ feeling of doubt and uncertainty.
That’s also why you need someone like me who have already been there and done that to guide you.
All the advice I give is a result of my hands-on experiences.
Sometimes, you install a free theme for your website not because you’re broke or you don’t know about premium themes, but because you want certainty.
But don’t let your fear and doubt stop you!
You can have an elegant and attractive WordPress website that impresses your visitors within seconds.
You can build a strong brand that sells right away!
That’s a Wrap
I hope you liked Elena’s post!
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to drop a comment.
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