Yep, WordPress is free. With all the free WordPress themes available, why pay for something that you can get for free? Read on…
It is not uncommon that new clients seeking help with their sites are on free public domain bare-bones themes. In most cases, the tweaks or features they want their theme to do, are not baked into the mix. Most are also unaware of the benefits of investing in a premium WordPress theme both from a performance and support point of view.
We've all heard the saying, “you get what you pay for.” The fact is that there is no motivation for the free theme creators to support that theme for the long term. So what's in it for them? Unless they also offer premium themes with more features and functionality that they want to expose you to — nothing.
Premium WordPress Themes = Support
We all need support at one point or another. When you purchase a premium WordPress theme, you are supporting talented and conscientious developers. Developers who are committed to creating a quality product. A product that they are willing to back with the service they know their users require.
If you think about it, service is a huge differentiator. Without the support your users require, you can have the best product out there, and it is for naught. No matter the business, without reliable customer service, you will not succeed.
Moving away from free themes was something I did many, many years ago. But, because I learned the hard way, that's when I decided to seek out those developers and companies that are positioned to offer their products for the foreseeable future.
Back when WordPress was just getting rolling, I was burned by a premium theme. Unfortunately, it can happen to the best of us. (Is it a coincidence that the company is no more?)
Paying for something in of itself is not a guarantee, right? Here is where doing your due diligence is essential when spending any of your hard-earned dollars.
These experiences taught me not to go too far off the beaten path. Instead, I stick with established time-tested and proven companies for the products I use for my business.
One less thing to worry about…
This approach allows me to run my websites without worrying about my theme not working correctly or not keeping up. I don't have to be concerned about bugs or theme developers who respond to updates or security concerns. I can then keep tabs on all the other issues that require my attention.
The fact is that having a WordPress website can be overwhelming. There is a whole slew of mandatory tasks that site owners must keep up with and process. While DIY'ing your website is still something you can do on your own, most are not up to the challenge.
You have to track a bunch of details. Off-site backups *, security, performance metrics, updates, SEO, site health status… That is if you want to keep your site running smoothly and error-free.
Free Can End Up Costing Even More
What happens if your site gets hacked due to crummy code? Or when it is no longer compatible with the latest version of WordPress and PHP? Clunky code and can impact your performance metrics which then can ding your SEO. Here's where the $$$ starts adding up.
Still not ready to open your wallet? Here are a few more benefits for your consideration:
- Premium Themes are well supported. Most have support forums, groups or ticket systems where you can receive answers to your questions. In some cases there are experienced and knowledgeable moderators on call to promptly address your concerns when you are in a pickle. Add to that a hive of enthusiastic members that are willing to help out others who run into dilemmas they have already solved because they've been there done that.
- When WordPress updates, you can count on the developer of your Premium Theme to offer an update, if necessary, to keep up with any changes that WordPress requires. This includes unexpected updating when bugs are detected that need addressing.
- Nicely laid-out clean CSS files that are structured and organized so you can easily find the elements you may want to modify.
- You don't have to worry about those encrypted links in the theme footer (that you cannot change without knowing which PHP file to modify) to questionable, political, controversial or affiliate links that serve to only benefit the creator of the theme.
Make the Wise Business Decision
Again, there are some excellent free themes out there. Most of the quality free themes coincidentally are offered by premium WordPress theme developers. This approach is the developer's way of giving you a taste of their work and helping get the word out about their premium theme offerings.
Unless you know what to look for, you may end up working diligently to integrate that new free theme into your site only to find that it breaks with the next update. Or worse, it has bugs or doesn't keep up with technology. And try to get questions answered or any support when you need it. Good luck with that!
Yes, there are exceptions, but they are not the norm. For these reasons, this is why I only recommend and have partnered with those Premium WordPress Theme Developers whose themes I've worked with, whose support I've had the pleasure to experience, and I can trust to send you their way.
$100-150 for a quality cutting-edge supported WordPress site design — priceless.
At your service,