Using a free theme means that you get what you pay for. Free web site templates are usually free for various reasons.
- The theme or template developer wants to offer a giveaway for promotional reasons for their site.
- A web designer is in training and needs a good feedback mechanism to test their design and code skills.
- Giving away free resources like web templates helps bring traffic to your site and rewards those for coming. People love getting things for free, and they will keep coming back.
- The developer is a spammer who inserts dangerous hidden malware eval codes secretly into the files that basically piggybacks off of your site’s performance.
- Some developers just like to share free files they have made for anyone who can use it and isn’t looking for anything in return.
I never use free themes for any blog or web site I create. Even if a free blog theme or web template looks fantastic , the chances of you running into another blogger or small business owner using that same free theme is greatly increased. If it’s a great looking free web layout , you can imagine that everyone is thinking the same thing you are, which is , “I want this template”.
Jen a blog designer from idesignblogs.com says,
Many popular free layouts have had thousands of downloads per year, there is little chance that you can find the perfect free theme and bet that no one else in your industry is going to be using it. If your running a professional small business , you don’t want to run the risk of some savvy readers figuring out your using some free overly used template for your site. Pay the extra $30 – $ 60 for a premium theme or template is the best solution for any serious minded person whose site design and functionality matters.
Besides the bad impression a free web template gives to an informed viewer of your site, there are several more negatives that make it an illogical idea.
Here are the cons of using a free template
- Free layouts don’t usually offer any reliable theme support – if you get stuck, there is a good chance your own your own. If you do not know how to code and customize a style sheet you will not be able to make any style changes to your site without the help of a professional web developer.
- The risk of downloading a free web template comes with the greater increased probability that malicious malware eval codes are hidden deep within the core files of your theme. Even if you manage to find the codes and remove them, sometimes the site is then “broken” because the developer cleverly embedded crucial php scripts that is needed to control the site’s layout in those eval codes and once you remove the code, the site then breaks. It’s a lose, lose situation and not worth the effort.
- CMS platforms like WordPress offers consistent updates to their CMS, sometimes there is a new update every few months. If your using a premium theme, the developers of that theme will have a private support forum for members to access any updates for the theme to make it compatible with the most recent WordPress update. Free WordPress themes do not usually have this option. You get what you get, and if your lucky you can track down the developer of the free theme and ask for support. Most likely the answer will be no.
The best reasons to use a premium template are simple.
- You get what you pay for: Since you paid money ($30 -$60 per template) for the layout you will have a rock solid line of communication with the developer and their support staff. Before you purchase the template you can review the developers service package and see what kind of support comes with your theme. Some premium web template developers also offer free demos to try out a trial period for the theme (with limitations of course).
- Many top level premium blog themes comes with sophisticated framework theme design options. These clever , easy to use options are embedded within the dashboard and allows you to easily control your website without ever touching a line of code. Additional features allow you to toggle on and off features, adjust your layout, manage advertisements, control colors, optimize for search engines and more. You can virtually have total control and will never have to learn code and design to change important style and seo segments of your site.
- Premium themes and layouts are not unique like a custom blog design job would be. So yes, there is always a chance you will run across someone else using the same theme. The beauty of this is that with a properly chosen , high end theme, you can customize and tweak your theme to look original, and unlike the out of the box design it started out with. The flexible and easy to style options makes it possible to have dozens of possible layouts for your blog , you won’t be stuck with the default layout and color scheme from your installation of the theme.
It’s always good to research reviews and read any comments made on forums about the premium theme your considering purchasing. You will get a good feel for what will work best for you.
Please feel free to comment or submit any questions you may have for us regarding this topic.