Selecting a WordPress theme for your blog is quite a tough decision because of the huge number and variety of free WordPress themes and premium themes available in the market.
So, as a newbie blogger, are you thinking to start your first blog with a free theme and then changing to a Premium theme at a later stage?
You’d be wrong and definitely curse yourself later if you do that. I’m not telling you this to make a sale but this is the truth.
I’m not saying free WordPress themes are bad but they come with many disadvantages. If you are really on a budget, you can download themes from the WordPress theme directory but downloading them from other sources will put you at risk.
As I say, free themes are amazing just because they have the word “free” associated with them. But there are many disadvantages associated with them. Why would anyone give away something for free?
There is nothing called free lunch in this world. So, there are some reasons why these theme developers are giving away stuff for free. Reading the list below, you will understand the disadvantages of using free WordPress themes and why these developers give away themes for free.
Disadvantages of Using Free WordPress Themes
1. No Support and No Updates
For most of the free WordPress themes, you won’t get any support from the company if you’re facing issues in installing the theme. If the developer updates the theme in the future for bugs and advanced coding, you won’t get any updates and your site will be at risk.
Theme developers create a free theme as a side project and make the updates available in their pro version.
However, some developers do make a difference. For example, the evolve theme and a few others too offer free updates. But the updated versions take more time to release than the Premium versions, so you need to wait for a longer time to get those updates.
2. Not SEO-optimized
In free WordPress themes, there will be hardly any in-built SEO options and the coding will be unclear. A clean code, faster loading time, SEO compatibility makes a theme SEO-optimized. On the other hand, theme developers take care of all these aspects in their Premium version.
3. Has Encrypted Links
The most hated thing about free WordPress themes is that they often have encrypted links in the footer. This has a bad impact on Search Engine Optimization and there is bound to be a fall in your rankings if you have such encrypted code. Besides, why encrypt the footer when you can use it for adding more features?
4. Lesser number of features
Free themes have a lesser number of features integrated into the theme. For example, a Premium theme has Premium slider plugins, contact forms, ticket support plugins, etc integrated into the theme. This way, you can make your website the trendiest and offer many features to your potential customers. However, free WordPress themes do not come with these features and you need to integrate these features separately.
5. No theme options panel
Many bloggers who are starting a blog may not have technical knowledge. Most of the free WordPress themes do not come with a theme options panel so you need to play with the codes to create any custom design whereas Premium themes come with an options panel where you don’t have to play with the codes. You can change everything with a click.
However, there is again the evolve theme, which is free and does have a theme options panel. So, if you are a new blogger and have no money to spend at all now, you can start with the evolve theme and upgrade to the premium version once your blog starts growing to get the maximum effect.