WordPress is now one of the most popular platforms for bloggers. There are many reasons for this, but a lot of it comes down to ease of use and simplicity.
With WordPress, you can quickly set up a blog for free and add just about any features you could possibly want. There are thousands of free themes that you can use for your blog. So why should anyone pay for a premium WordPress theme? There are actually several good reasons why you should choose a premium theme for your WordPress blog and in this article we’ll be looking at five of the top reasons.
1. Set Yourself Apart
If you’re a new blogger or just setting up a casual blog to share with your friends, a free theme is probably all you need. However, if you are serious about your blog or you want to make money with it, that’s another story.
Blogging is now hugely popular, which means there are millions of bloggers from all over the world. Many of them use WordPress for their blogs, as we have already mentioned. This means that when you choose a free theme, chances are there will be hundreds if not thousands of other blogs using the same/identical theme.
If your goal is to create a professional looking blog, you want it to be unique. Premium themes give you the chance to give your site a look that’s truly distinctive. No matter what the topic of your blog, you can find the perfect theme. It may be one that’s already for sale or you may need to pay a designer to create it. Either way, when you use a premium WordPress theme, you’re making a statement to the world that you’re not just putting up another, run-of-the-mill blog but one that’s original.
2. A Design That Looks Professional
Not only does a premium theme set you apart from the competition, but you will be able to impress your visitors with the quality of the design. This isn’t to say that every single theme for sale on the internet looks great. Far from it. If you shop around, however, you can find many great themes. Or you can find a skilled designer to make one for you.
Even if you are the only person using a free WordPress theme (very unlikely), chances are it will have a very basic and generic look. Is this the impression you want to make when people visit your site for the first time (or the hundredth)? Probably not, especially if you have an online business or any kind of site where you want to attract lots of traffic.
Free themes limit your choices, but when you are willing to invest a little into a premium theme your choices are almost endless. This will help make your blog successful, whatever that means for you.
3. The Ability to Update Your Theme
If you have any experience with WordPress, you know that it is frequently updated. This is done largely for security reasons. Because so many people use WordPress, it’s a prime target for hackers. That’s why there are so many updates, sometimes as often as one per month.
Another reason for updates is that new features are frequently added. If you choose a free theme, there’s a good chance that it will be incompatible with a future WordPress update. This could mean that people can’t view your site properly and you may have to completely overhaul it.
A premium WordPress theme will give you free updates. This means that you can be sure your theme will remain compatible with WordPress in the future. Sometimes the theme may give you updates for other reasons as well, such as to give you more features or options. Either way, you can feel secure with a premium WordPress theme that you can stay up to date.
4. Premium Themes Give You Support
WordPress isn’t hard to use, but when you start getting into advanced features it can be complicated. If you want to customize your theme, you may have questions on how to do this. With a free theme, if you run into a problem or glitch, you may have a hard time getting any kind of support. Free themes sometimes offer support, but it’s not very reliable.
With a premium theme, you can get support from the developer if you have any questions or issues. As you build your site and hopefully expand your influence, this can become more important. It’s best to choose a theme that will allow you to grow and customize your site the way you want. Without support, it can be difficult to do this.
5. More Features and Customization
A premium theme doesn’t only look better, it usually gives you many more options and features to choose from. You can make the site look any way you want in terms of fonts, layout, colors, background, headers and so forth. With free themes, you usually have some ability to customize it, but not nearly as much as with a premium theme.
Just because you think a theme is perfect as it is right now doesn’t mean you’ll always feel that way. You may want to add features or change the look at some point. That’s why you should plan ahead and use a theme that will give you the maximum options for customization.
Conclusion: Choose Your Theme Carefully
Your WordPress theme says a lot about you and your site. If you’re using your blog for business, or for any purpose that means a lot to you, don’t you want to be able to make it look and work as perfectly as possible? This goes beyond the cosmetics of how the blog looks (which is very important too, of course) and also involves any features you might need, whether it be AdSense, a shopping cart, a forum or a membership site.
It’s easy to pick a free theme and think it’s good enough, but if you have real ambitions for your site you should think again. As we’ve seen, there are some compelling reasons to find the perfect premium theme for your WordPress blog.
Are you using a free WordPress theme or a premium or paid theme? Share with us in the comments area below. Once you have done that, you can take a couple of minutes and check out some great premium themes on my website.
About the Author
Alicia is a web designer and blogger who loves WordPress and WordPress themes. She reviews WordPress themes and shares them on her blog – 100 WordPress Themes. Her blog also features E-commerce tips and tricks and other interesting articles, which are great for WordPress users. Check out her blog – 100wpthemes.com.