Yep, WordPress is free. With all the free WordPress themes available, why pay for something 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? Most also offer premium themes with more features and functionality that they want to expose you to. Others think that an unprofessional link to their website in the footer of your website will help with SEO.
Premium WordPress Themes = Support
We all need support at one point or another. You support talented and conscientious developers when you purchase a premium WordPress theme. 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 from the start. 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. Yes, even a theme I paid for turned out to be junk. Unfortunately, it can happen to the best of us. (Is it a coincidence that the company is no more?)
That’s why I never recommend, refer or write about products and services I don’t use for my own websites. If it is not good enough for me — it isn’t good enough for you!
Paying for something in itself is not a guarantee. That’s why doing your due diligence is essential when spending any of your hard-earned dollars.
These experiences also 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. If a theme doesn’t keep up with WordPress, eventually you’ll have to make a switch. The longer you wait, the further behind you’ll be.
I don’t have to be concerned about bugs or theme developers who do not respond to updates or security concerns. This allows me to 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 slew of mandatory tasks that site owners must keep up with and process — consistently. While DIY’ing your website is still something you can do on your own, truth be told 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. More importantly to produce the results you desire.
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 can impact your performance metrics, which 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 and 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
There are some decent 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 discover 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/year for a quality cutting-edge supported WordPress site design — priceless.
At your service,