Should I Use a Free WordPress Theme or Premium WordPress Theme?

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SUMMARY

You just bought your domain and are ready to take on the world of self-hosted WordPress. One of the first things you must decide is whether you’ll use a free theme or decide to invest in a paid theme. As a bootstrapper, it may be easy to choose a free theme from WordPress’s dashboard and theme directory. The advantages of having a professional paid theme are worth considering, however. These themes often look better out of the box than free themes which is worth considering.

In this video, you’ll discover:

• Why you should invest on a paid WordPress theme from the start.
• The three deadly pitfalls to using a free WordPress theme.
• The thing that could get in the way of search engines accessing your content.

TRANSCRIPT

00:00: Hi, I am Lorna Li, host of Entrepreneurs for a Change, and this video series is about how to build a kick-ass website. So for those of you who have chosen to build your business website on self-hosted wordpress.org, one of the questions that comes up is, whether or not you should go with a free WordPress theme or whether you should invest in a professional WordPress theme. Now I know it might be tempting to bootstrap as much as possible in the beginning of your business, but I highly recommend purchasing a professional WordPress theme, and that’s because they are three deadly pitfalls to using a free WordPress theme.

00:42: Danger number one: Malware. A lot of free WordPress themes are released into the world with a specific intention to distribute malware. So if you want to avoid having your website turned into something that is filled with hidden links to some kind of porn, or Viagra or diet pill website, then I would avoid getting a free theme off the internet. You can go with free themes that are available in the wordpress.org theme directory, but a lot of those themes, well, they might be vetted for certain things like malware or viruses. They have other issues too.

01:31: So danger number two is, the theme might be really poorly-coded. Now how this matters to you is that, a theme that is poorly coded might have issues every time there is a WordPress upgrade. So for example, the theme might break or it might just not be coded in an efficient way so that, there is a lot of extra code that could get in the way of search engine spiders crawling your website and accessing your content. So poor coding is something to be avoided and usually professional theme developers do make an effort to release themes that are coded in a clean and efficient way. However, not all of them. I have in the past purchased a pro theme, that was poorly-coded and had all the common issues of a free theme. So just because you’re paying for a theme doesn’t mean you’re getting a well-built WordPress theme for your website.

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02:35: A third danger that you have to be aware of is, that these free themes, because they’re free, they are not necessarily maintained by the WordPress developer that created it. So that means that every time WordPress updates, which is about three to four times a year that they have a major upgrade, the theme could possibly break. Now themes tend to break a lot less frequently than plug-ins do. But if you’re dealing with a theme that no longer works, every time you have a WordPress update, and then you have to go out and try to fix the theme or hire someone to fix the theme for you, then that’s a lot of time, energy and money that you are spending trying to fix your website and not focused on your business.

03:20: So that’s it for today. Thank you so much for joining us for another episode of how to build a kick-ass website. And if you would like to find out more information, feel free to go to entrepreneursforachange.com. Thanks a lot and have a great day. Bye bye.

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Lorna Li
Internet Marketing for Changemakers

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