Free WordPress Themes VS Paid

If you use WordPress, then you have been faced with the decision to purchase a theme or download a free one. This article covers the pros and cons for each route. In the end, you will have a full understanding of the options to consider when shopping for a new WordPress Theme

We actually see the options as a choice between, start themes, base themes, and premium themes. We have outlined them below with their popular search terms

FREE Starter Theme

There are popular themes that no one expects you to run a website on as is. The whole goal of these themes is for a developer to customize them to fit your needs. Popular options include:


Ultimately, all themes have the same basic features, especially when found on, because the company sets these requirements to be posted on their website

The goal of using one of these themes is that you have a popular and well designed platform on which to build your website. Many of the popular paid themes you will purchase are built on these starter themes

Free Themes

Most free themes are base themes for paid versions. We have spoke about this in other articles, no one is going to support anything forever for free. With that said, there are lots of free themes that you can find online. Popular locations for finding free themes include

The perk of free themes is that they allow you to test a product before buying. Its also a great way to get up and running with your idea to see if its really viable. The hope of theme developers here is that you build you website on their platform and are hence stuck with upgrading to their paid version in order to fully utilize the platform you are using. Its not an issue once you understand what you are signing up for.

Paid Themes

Here the developer and or designer have the incentive to product the best they can. You can typically expect

  • Multiple templates
  • Custom icons
  • Many Fonts
  • Customization options
  • Premium plugin integration
  • Various levels of support
  • Demo data is sometimes provided

You typically purchase a theme to get a head start on development. They are usually not enough on their own, you need additional plugins and possibly even some custom development time to get them the rest of the way to your goal. However, customers typically choose these themes because they are close enough to their needs and allows them to get started with creating their website.


Luckily with WordPress there are multiple options to consider. You can build a theme from scratch, use a starter theme, and other approaches. Whichever approach you use, make sure to pick a solution which helps you to realize your goals. Sometimes that can be done with a little tweaking, sometimes you simply need to choose a different theme

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