WordPress is a one of the internet’s most popular web publishing platforms. One of the biggest reasons for this are the themes. With WordPress themes you can instantly change the style and look of your website, with literally a click of a button. Another great feature is that many of these themes can be found for free. If you have been using WordPress you have probably done many Google searches for free themes. They are out there and in some cases they are fabulous. What about paid themes though? Have you ever thought of paying for a theme? Would you? I think in the right case, a paid theme makes a lot of sense. What are the benefits? Well here are just a couple…
1. Support: When you are paying for a good WordPress theme you are also paying for support. Any reputable dealer of WP themes will offer support, and most likely in the form of a forum. If you have any issues with your paid theme you can check out the forum and by either searching or asking you will get an answer. The support team will be able to troubleshoot any problems you have with the theme. They will be able to diagnose any plugin conflicts. They may even help you with some custom coding. On a premium theme forum I belonged to, the mods would even give me the exact code I needed to customize my site. You will not get any or much support with a free theme. Certainly not at the level described earlier. For the most part you are on your own. The time saved on troubleshooting alone will be worth the added price in no time.
2. Under The Hood Features: A lot of free themes look great, but they lack the under the hood features of paid themes. Most paid themes will add a settings panel in your WordPress back office that is unique to that theme. These control panels can make tasks like logo upload, favicon upload and other design features a snap. These admin areas will also help you control what is shown on your home page and in any featured posts areas. Sometimes you will even be able to change the color scheme of your premium theme from this area.
3. Removing Attribution: This might not be a huge deal for you, but if you are working for a client it might be to them. Almost all free WordPress themes require you to keep a credit or attribution to them in your footer. It isn’t a huge deal but it might mean your footer says something like; “Powered By Apple Green Designs” which is a link to the free theme home page. If you are designing a site for a client, they might not want that. In fact, even if it is your own site you might not want that. Paid themes will usually offer you the chance to get rid of the attribution. In fact some will have an option in their control panel so you can just click it off or replace it simply.
4. Subscription Opportunities: One last bonus I will mention is that many times theme developers will let you pay a cost to access all their premium themes. This way you have access to a lot of really well designed themes. These themes are often geared towards a different use too. There are themes for photographers, tube themes, eShops, real estate etc… Their will be a theme for just about any use you can think of, as well as a wide variety of style choices. These kind of packages are great for the home based web designer.
These four reasons alone might be enough for you to make the change to a paid theme. Free themes have come a long way and they offer some great features and design, but to really kick your site up a notch you might need to make the switch to a premium theme. When you want to take your WordPress site to the next level – think premium.