Before we begin with free WordPress Themes, let us get a brief idea about WordPress. WordPress is a popular CMS that is available for free. Yes, it is free in terms of cost as well as modification. It doesn’t lock you into a confined space where you don’t have the liberty to dig in and do just about anything you want. Also, it is extremely easy to use. All these things add to the popularity of WordPress.
A WordPress theme is an assemblage of stylesheets and template pages that will define the overall look of your WordPress powered website. When you change your theme, the overall appearance of your website changes. In the following post, we will discuss the free themes, their advantages, and disadvantages.
What are free WordPress Themes?
The answer is pretty simple. Those WordPress themes for which you do not need to pay even a single penny for using them are called free. There are many good quality free themes available in the market. You need to look for the best suitable one. Free themes are always the first choice for those who are very new to WordPress. Even if someone starts a blog, he or she will first look for a free theme to get started. So, it is important to understand the benefits and stuff that a free theme brings for you.
Benefits Of Using Free WordPress Themes
- Available For Free
The best thing about free WP themes is that they do not dig a hole in your pocket. That simply means you don’t pay for them. Just download them and start using without much ado. On the contrary, when you go for the premium themes, the whole thing becomes very expensive. At times, it may be the case that you purchased a particular theme but later you realize that the features aren’t exactly the same that you were looking for. There is a possibility that you may not get your money back. All such things can be avoided when you choose a free theme.
- Easy To Download And Use
Best free WordPress themes are packed with some of the most useful features and functionalities that are essential for framing the desired website. They are devoid of unnecessary things that bring complexity. This makes them clean, simple and easy to work with. Anyone can easily download and use it without the need for any technical assistance. The theme documentation is also there to help you to understand its features, installation and setup procedure in detail.
- Plugin Compatibility
Free WordPress themes are made compatible with plugins. Just as there are many free themes available, there are free plugins and configuration settings that they support. Let’s suppose, if a free theme that you have chosen doesn’t work satisfactorily with some plugin, then you have the benefit of choosing the other theme. See, you can do this as you are using a free theme. Had it been the case with premium themes, you needed to be stuck with the same theme irrespective of its performance with plugins.
- You Are Free To Experiment
You can download as many free WordPress themes as you want. If you don’t like the one that you have downloaded, get the other one. Still, if you don’t like it, go for some other free theme. Likewise, you can keep on switching themes if you are not satisfied with the look or got bored with the previous one. You cannot do the same if you are using a premium theme.
- Undergo Strict Review Process
You may not know this, but the fact is all these free themes are held to a high-quality standard and need to go through a strict review process. These themes also support standard WordPress features.
These were the positives regarding free themes. But every coin has two sides. So far we have seen the better side. Now let us look into the negatives of free themes.
Why You Should Avoid Using Free WordPress Themes?
- No Support And No Updates
It is, unfortunately, true that you will not get any sort of technical support from the developer for most of the free themes. If you are using a free theme and facing any issues, then you are on your own. You can only depend on the issues discussed on WordPress forums or ask someone and wait for that person to tell you the correct solution (that too if he or she is kind enough to answer your query).
Apart from this, most popular free WordPress themes are not regularly updated (in most cases). This puts your site’s security at stake. If the developer updates it regularly, you don’t have to worry about the security of your website. However, there are exceptions. Some developers do release the updated version of their free theme but you need to wait for a longer period of time to get those updates.
- Include Encrypted Links
Free WordPress themes often have encrypted links in the footer. This puts a really bad impact on the SEO and your rankings in the search engine results fall, thus resulting in a lesser number of people visiting your site. This ultimately leads to the loss of clients and loss in business as well.
- Lesser Features
Free WordPress themes offer fewer features compared to the premium ones. Premium themes generally include slider settings, contact forms, multiple shortcodes, and demo data integrated into the theme. This helps to make your website look trendy and full of features that will attract potential customers. But, in case of free themes you need to add these features externally by using plugins or add-ons.
- Absence of Theme Options Panel
The absence of theme options panel in free themes makes it difficult for novices to change the elements of the theme and make it suitable for their requirements. While in the case of premium themes, a theme options panel is there so that the user doesn’t need to play with the code to get the desired look. As a user of the theme, you can change everything in a few clicks.
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