If you want to develop a website and especially a blog then WordPress is a fantastic platform to rely upon. To improvise the functionality of a site it offers an extensive range of themes and plugins to choose from. In most cases, there is an option to choose from the paid and the free ones. And most people opt for the latter. Before your website picks up you will not feel the importance of investing in paid themes.
But mark our words this may not prove to be the best move for you. And this particularly applies to individuals that download the plugins from various sources. We are not recommending you to neglect or stop using free themes. But because the other one has a higher value, you should be aware that free themes come with certain disadvantages. Just like everything in life here also you receive what you pay for.
Initially, it might seem a smart move but years down the line it can cost you a lot. We have closely explored some key reasons to stay away from free WordPress themes. Explore them in this article below.
Checkout Some of the Important Points
Absence of Updates
You must remember that downloading a free theme or plugin will serve your purpose only momentarily. It will not take very long for you to feel its adverse effects due to the absence of updates. And despite any problems that you face the developers or the company is not liable to provide you update or fix.
Basically you are on your own if you run into any challenges. In this way, you expose your site to extreme vulnerabilities. This could be easily avoided with the right bug fixes, patch, and advanced coding that comes to you in the form of an update.
At some point in time, you will have no other option but to switch to a paid platform for your requirements. After this, you will be entitled to proper support and update.
Professionals stay away from free WordPress themes because each one of them comes with unique challenges. It is tough to imagine the frequency of queries a single non-profit developer can attend on a daily basis. It is not a liability or responsibility to provide support. Hence, most developers spend time on their upcoming projects, jobs, and regular maintenance.
Therefore your problem still remains pending and you are stuck with a challenge that you cannot resolve. Even if the developer intends to help you it will take considerable time and will not be immediate.
Public security is of prime importance in the digital space. Any professional and expert will vouch for it. In case you are providing or collecting information from your customers then it must be preserved from unauthorized access.
If there is a slight vulnerability the hackers will use it to their advantage. This puts your site and its data to a huge risk of a security breach. Due to such loopholes in the free elements offered for WordPress, it is one of the prime targets for hackers. Downloading of plugin and themes from unauthorized websites and using nulled or malicious themes can also result in it.
Some free elements come with malicious code that diverts your audience to another webpage. There is a range of issues that you have to deal with like backdoors, malware, cross-site scripting, and others. Ultimately this will result in you spending a considerable amount for resolving vulnerabilities that would divert attention from your blog. Obviously it also comes with a risk of spending money and losing data.
Stay away from free WordPress themes and buy a paid one instead. All such incidents will be out of the scene for you. Downtime and hacking will result in a significant loss of revenue for your firm. Checkout Some of our most secure best free WordPress themes for creating a website for beginners.
Plagiarism and replication of ideas for making quick money are amongst the common methods in the digital space. You would come across individuals selling versions that are illegal copies of an original design. This is an unethical and completely non-trustable method of using programs. You are also exposed to a high risk of hidden malicious links with such programs.
This can also lead you to face legal issues with companies and developers who discover that you have stolen their code. Do not keep yourself, clients, or employers in such situations. Use your intelligence and stay away from free WordPress themes.
Poor and unmanaged SEO
In free themes, you will find limited or no options to optimize for SEO. With this, you not only lose on SEO but also lose things like faster loading time, SEO compatibility, and clean code, among others. Your rankings are directly affected when you choose such themes.
A site that faces challenges with navigations and has slower loading time is considered as poor designing. You can even be penalized for it when the search engines take note of it. The CSS resources are blocked by a few free sites and therefore rendering of website pages will be difficult.
The encrypted links in the footer section of the free themes are amongst the challenges faced by developers. Your search engine rankings will have a severe effect due to such encryption. And this directly affects the amount of traffic flow on your site. The ultimate result will be in terrible loss of revenue.
Sometimes the developers smartly insert a hyperlink in the footer which directs your audience to their site. Deleting that link will be impossible because it is inaccessible and it also violates the terms and conditions of use. Hence, you are actually diluting your page ranking and giving free advertisements. Better stay away from free WordPress themes rather than depleting your own traffic and providing free advertisements.
Domain authority is an essential thing for a website. But you fail to achieve this in an impactful manner because your audience is redirected to another site with hyperlinks.
As discussed in the beginning, just like everything else, here also you get what you pay for. Free themes come with very limited and basic features. This makes you miss out on core features like advanced contact form and ticket support plugins. You will build a below-average and okayish site which will adversely affect the traffic. In some days you will realize that you are adjusting with basic functionality, limited features, shallow documentation, and rudimentary code.
There will be certain features which will be absolutely necessary and you will spend to integrate them. This will promote inconvenience at an additional cost. The most inconvenient part would be that such integrations could and could not work and you end up with lower loading speed.
If you intend to establish an online store or an eCommerce platform then you will miss out on essential features. For example, you will face grave difficulties in integration with third-party payment processors. And before you actually run an online store you will have to hire a professional to write a code for you.
Responsiveness and Compatibility with Mobile Phones
Mobiles have become the first choice of accessing the internet. Hence, no one can afford to remain absent on the mobile platform. This makes it extremely essential that users of the mobile platform have the same experience as that of the desktop users. This is the reason that trusted companies and professional developers ensure that their themes are mobile responsive.
Experts suggest users to stay away from free WordPress themes as many of them are not mobile-friendly. And until the time you know about it, it will be too late. You lose significant traffic with such themes and can also get penalized by search engines. Premium themes offer this facility but they come at a cost. For users to easily navigate, explore, read, and order from your website’s mobile platform you will have to bear the cost.
Missing Theme Options Panel
To make changes with a simple click it requires few option panels that allow you to do so. In most of the unpaid themes, this faculty is lacking but it is offered inevitably by premium themes. If you are a non-technical person then lack of such options can create difficulties for you in setting up the blog. With zero support you will be practically stuck with nowhere to go.
The latest plugins are launched frequently due to advancement and an increase in demand. It becomes tough for a basic theme with mediocre coding to adjust with such plugins. You will end up discovering that the coding language is difficult even if it is compatible. Hence, this will result in hiring experts to resolve the issue for you. Cross-browser and cross-device compatibility are also essential for a website to excel but are not always present in unpaid themes.
Generic Design and Niche
For drawing in the right kind of traffic a website requires critical factors of attraction. When you use themes for free you do not have much wiggle room about what you get. With limited options, all you can grab is a generic design and then try to mold it as per your requirements. This disturbs your online campaigns, marketing and sales efforts, and investment of time & money.
If you are a pro coder you will not have any options to modify its structure or code. You will face restrictions with templates and plugins which will hinder your creativity. You do not get designs with your specific niche. But in paid themes, you can easily find one and ensure that it works out the way you want it to.
It is a good choice to stay away from free WordPress themes and invest in elements that can bring you long term results.