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  • Pros and Cons of Free WordPress Themes a Developer Should Know

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    Free WordPress themes are a great way of giving your website a great look at no cost, but they also have some drawbacks. With the growing popularity of WordPress as both a CMS and a blogging platform, an increasing amount of developers are releasing free WordPress themes for the world to enjoy. Many of those themes can give premium WordPress themes a run for their money in terms of beauty and features, and are worthy of consideration even for professional websites. However, along with plenty of benefits, free WordPress templates also have some drawbacks.

     

    Pros of free WordPress themes


    The major benefit of a free WordPress theme over their commercial counterparts is, without a doubt, the fact that it is free. While a bespoke WordPress template can cost up to several thousand dollars, a free WordPress template will not cost you anything. If you do not plan to make serious money from your website purchasing a premium WordPress template may not even be an option, but even small businesses and professionals hesitate before investing so much on a website, especially if unsure of the benefits or if it would even work out to be profitable.

     

    The fact that the price-tag is zero also comes with other benefits, such as the fact that you are able to test the theme throughly on your own server with your own data at no risk. If you are a frequent visitor of the plugin marketplaces you may hesitate about paying for a template before seeing if it works with your collection of add-ons. Free WordPress themes also have the advantage of being easy to change, without feeling remorse at wasting money. If you are a slave to blog fashion, free WordPress templates will give your blog an endless collection of looks at the click of a button.

     

    Free WordPress themes do not necessarily mean bad quality either. Many professional web designers release premium quality WordPress themes to build links to their websites or promote their brand and services. If you do not mind giving credit and linking to their websites, a free WordPress template is a great way of getting high quality web design at no cost, and you will be supporting the work of a designer you like.

     

    Potential issues of free WordPress themes


    The main issue with using a free WordPress theme for a professional website is the fact that the theme comes with no guarantees whatsoever. If it breaks with the next upgrade of WordPress, has a bug or produces invalid HTML code, you are on your own, and that may not be good enough for a business website. However, many providers of open source WordPress templates take pride on their support levels and are extremely helpful through forums and updates.

     

    Another drawback of free WordPress themes is that they are not unique, and customising one to your specific requirements may take hours of paid work by a developer. Having a small business website that looks the same as any other may confuse your users, and could allow other blogs to steal some of your brand reputation. If you are worried about having a unique look or have very specific requirements for your blog you may be better off buying a paid WordPress theme built to your specifications from a reputable web developer.

     

    It is also important to note that for some people a website that uses afree theme may look unprofessional or put together in a hurry, especially if it has the default template look and feel. For example, if you are a web developer selling your services using a third party, a free theme may not be the best option. However, most of your users will pay more attention to your content than to your template, and this is generally just a minor point.

     

    Free WordPress templates have pros and cons, but should not be disregarded as an option for a professional looking website right out from the start, though finding a free Wordpress theme for your business website can be difficult. Free premium WordPress templates can be a great alternative for those testing the waters of blogging or doing it just for fun. It offers a quick way of having a good looking website without having to wait for a developer to build a bespoke theme, though that website will not be as unique or personalised to your brand. A good middle point within reach of many online professionals is using a free WordPress template only as a starting point, and changing the images, styles and HTML code to personalise it.
     

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