So you want a new look for your blog or website powered by WordPress? Then you have set yourself a big task. There are so many themes for WordPress out there. This is because of the open-source nature of WordPress. Anyone can work with the code because it is freely accessible to anyone. And the good thing is, you can do pretty much whatever you want with the final product you create – you can give away your theme, for example, for free on your own website or you submit it to the WordPress theme repository where it will be accessible to all WordPress.org and WordPress.com users.
Most of the themes in the repository are really great because they have passed the Theme Review and are only then included for the bigger audience of WordPress. Free themes offered on people’s own websites are, of course, not bound by these requirements. This is why you maybe just have to download a theme and compare it with the requirements set forth in the Theme Review. There is a multitude of reasons why some people might not offer their themes on the theme repository.
The one big problem, I think, with free themes is that anyone and everyone can access and use them. Most of the time, you will not stand out with your website because there are hundreds of other people using the same exact theme that you’re using. That is the downside of using something that is free. When you’re just starting out, this might, of course, be a viable option for you and your blog or website.
However, if you really want to start growing your blog or website, it might be a good idea to get a premium theme instead. You pay a one-time fee and you have a theme that is still not just your own, but it is less likely that you’re finding hundreds or even thousands of other websites using the same theme. It’s all about sticking out of the crowd and, with most premium themes, you already do.
You want your readers to remember your blog or website. Good design will help you with that. A premium theme is the little sister of the custom design. Your blogging or creative business might not bring in the money yet that you can spend on a complete custom website (which can go into the thousands), but a premium theme is bring you in the right direction.
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Another perk of buying a premium theme is that you usually get offered support and updates for any themes you might purchase. This is something that is not a given with free themes (remember those notes in the theme repository: “This theme has not been updated in 2 years.”?) but something that you definitely want.
You might also establish a great relationship with the author of your premium theme which might lead to a custom website designed by this author just for you some time down the line. Shouldn’t that be reason enough to buy a premium theme? You can get a feel for the overall skill of the web designer/developer and figure out if you’d be a good fit for a larger project.