Are paid wordpress themes better than free themes?

Zack

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I was wondering if paid wordpress themes are better that free themes in any way other than maybe having some more functions or features.

Is the coding better for SEO or load speed, or is that just basically depending on the developer?

I just didn't know if maybe the paid wordpress themes had any kind of advantage that does not pertain to features and such. I was just thinking that maybe the developers don't put too much effort into the free themes because they are free.
 

Chancer

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It depends on the developer. Basically you are paying for the features and customer support (if advertised).
I find free themes to be sufficient especially as you can do most things with pluggins or by inserting a few lines of code yourself.
 

Ron Killian

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ulterios

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If you need support then the paid route might be the better option but if you don't and you can find a good free theme that does what you need it to do then use that.

Based on personal experience if a developer has a free and paid version of a theme the main code is mostly the same with the exceptions of any changes made to accommodate other features or functionalities.
 

Zack

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It depends on the developer. Basically you are paying for the features and customer support (if advertised).
I find free themes to be sufficient especially as you can do most things with pluggins or by inserting a few lines of code yourself.
I'm not worried so much with support as much as the potential code quality for SEO and things like that.

This has been asked on the forum several times. Here's just a couple:

https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/10409-Should-I-use-free-wordpress-themes?highlight=paid+themes

https://www.webmastersun.com/thread...hemes-for-your-websites?highlight=paid+themes

Frankly, It's been done to death already.

Bottom line though, paid theme's "can" be better because you usually get support, or much better support.
I saw those and some of the others but they really were not looking for the same exact information. I was more interested in if the coding is better for SEO, load speed or some other reason.

If you need support then the paid route might be the better option but if you don't and you can find a good free theme that does what you need it to do then use that.

Based on personal experience if a developer has a free and paid version of a theme the main code is mostly the same with the exceptions of any changes made to accommodate other features or functionalities.
So the main benefit would just usually be the support then huh? I am not really worried to much about support.
 

ulterios

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ulterios
Well that's usually the main one or at least it's the main one that people seem to preach. The best theme support that I have received was for a free theme. Used the support for several different things on a free theme and the support is awesome.

Also, just because you pay for a theme that doesn't mean that the support is going to be good. Just that there should be some level of support. ;)
 

Ron Killian

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So the developers will update their paid themes more often?
Depends on the author. Some theme's are updated all the time, others are abandoned. Depends. I like to go with theme's that have a track record, been around a while, lots of updates, good reviews, ect. Not a guarantee, but a start. Sadly many theme developers are not long term. So many theme's go RIP.

yes also you have 6 months free support for any edit on themes
How can you make a blanket statement like that? Depends on the author.
 

Sam

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The main advantage of buying paid template is you save more time. You don't need a long time to design your website, but just some simple modification. If you decide to use a free template, I think there are so many modifications and improvements you should do is to improve your WordPress design. Some paid templates have been provided wich features. Read the descriptions related to specifications, function, and the benefits if you buy a template. Make sure they are what you really need on your website or blog.
 

Claire_Anderson

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Both paid and free plugins are available in the market but developers should always avoid using the outdated plugins because they cause security vulnerabilities. Recently, there was a survey report launched that 5,769 WordPress websites were hacked in 2016. One of the reason for majority of the websites vulnerability was that most of these websites were using outdated plugins. Most of the paid plugins are frequently updated. I think that the paid plugins are more secure. Developers provide basic functionality in the free plugins and advanced features in the paid version. Free versions miss some of the features which might cause a security gap.
 

AMBTL

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Authors of paid themes have more motivation to keep their themes up-to-date.
It would really suck if a developer abandoned their theme and your site depended on it.
I tried a few free themes and didn't really like any of them. I think I'll keep using paid themes.
 

kim16

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The thing I've encountered with free themes is that it wont let me dl certain plugins. Not sure if it's user-end problem or it's some sort of WP restriction. But my loyalty's with Wordpress, still. :)
 

Riviera

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It's up to what your website purpose, what you want for your website.
If you're running a personal simple blog, not so much compilcated. Free theme is great!
If you're running a business website, commercial,... with much requires, -> paid theme is recommended, that makes your website more professional.
 

Zack

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I like to go with theme's that have a track record, been around a while, lots of updates, good reviews, ect. Not a guarantee, but a start.
Ok. If I find a theme that has been here a while and has regular updates then that would be a better choice over a theme that is a new popular one?

The main advantage of buying paid template is you save more time. You don't need a long time to design your website, but just some simple modification. If you decide to use a free template, I think there are so many modifications and improvements you should do is to improve your WordPress design.
So a paid theme can help save you time since you will not have so many modifications to do?

Both paid and free plugins are available in the market but developers should always avoid using the outdated plugins because they cause security vulnerabilities. Recently, there was a survey report launched that 5,769 WordPress websites were hacked in 2016. One of the reason for majority of the websites vulnerability was that most of these websites were using outdated plugins. Most of the paid plugins are frequently updated. I think that the paid plugins are more secure. Developers provide basic functionality in the free plugins and advanced features in the paid version. Free versions miss some of the features which might cause a security gap.
I was interested in Themes for the most part but thanks for the information. How do you know if there are security issues with a plugin?

It would really suck if a developer abandoned their theme and your site depended on it.
That's one thing that I am afraid of. So I would have a better chance of longevity with a paid theme then?

I'd say free themes have the edge on speed because they don't have as many features (generally).
I wasn't thinking along those lines but now that you mention it that does sound interesting. Do you think that free themes with less features would have an SEO advantage over paid themes with more features?

The thing I've encountered with free themes is that it wont let me dl certain plugins.
You mean they won't let you download them through the Wordpress site in your websites control panel or it won't let you install them on your site externally?

If you're running a personal simple blog, not so much compilcated. Free theme is great!
If you're running a business website, commercial,... with much requires, -> paid theme is recommended, that makes your website more professional.
At first I am going to be doing it for the learning and to do some affiliate marketing but I might develop it into some kind of business model later.

Would it be best to start with a good paid theme from the beginning or maybe use a free first and then upgrade when the time comes?
 

Sam

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Sam
Yes, exactly. Besides that, you may also a theme that has installed premium plugins within it to adjust your blog needs. For example, an installed premium forum plugin theme, an installed social plugin theme, an installed PPL/PPS optimization plugin theme, etc.

Based on my experience, It takes almost a half year for me to create a blog based on the features I want. However, by searching a theme on the market, such as Evanto Market (the largest WordPress extensions market) there are many themes that are exactly fit the features I want.

Instead, If you would like to install the theme on many sites for saving money (instead of buying for those sites, because one license of theme per site), I recommend to create a theme. The license will be your own, and you may also share it on most populated theme market. I observed that there are many developers who earned tens of thousands of dollars by just selling a theme. You decide.
 

Ron Killian

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Ron Killian
It should be a better choice. Give all things equal, I would go with one that has been around, that has many updates. It should be an indication that they work on improving their theme and they should be in it for the long haul. Just so many theme authors, many plugin authors as well, that stop working on it, supporting it, or just seem to give up on it.

And I don't understand why every one keeps saying paid is better because it's less modifications than a free one. That it will save you time. That is just nonsense, post count boosting crap. Granted many paid theme's do come with extra plugins and extra features at times. But that has little to do with modifications. Often you will spend the same amount of time modifying a paid theme as you would a free one. To get it how you want, work how you want and look how you want.

It also should not take you months to set up a blog. Few days maybe a week. Sure you will likely tweak your blog over time, but you can't get caught in the trap of trying to make it perfect before you launch it. Setting up or modifying a blog makes you NO money, same as spending too much time talking about if free is better than paid.

Getting it done so it is good enough to take visitors and driving visitors to it, is what makes you money. :)
 

Zack

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Based on my experience, It takes almost a half year for me to create a blog based on the features I want.
I was figuring on a month myself. I was going to be working on it as I had the time while at the same time doing some informational research.

I observed that there are many developers who earned tens of thousands of dollars by just selling a theme.
That much, really?

That seems like quite a bit just for a theme but I guess if you can get enough people to buy it then you can do quite well.

I would go with one that has been around, that has many updates. It should be an indication that they work on improving their theme and they should be in it for the long haul.
Do you think that many updates can also mean many coding mistakes or errors that need fixing also? Just wondering...

It also should not take you months to set up a blog. Few days maybe a week. Sure you will likely tweak your blog over time, but you can't get caught in the trap of trying to make it perfect before you launch it.
Then is it ok to launch even if it isn't completed but at least the visual parts are done?
 

Sam

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Sam
Yes, really! I can show you the evidence, but no need. You can see it too on popular WordPress theme market. :beernow:
 
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