We all love things for free, but as we all know, there is often a catch. Below are our top 5 reasons to avoid free WordPress themes.
If you’re using free WordPress themes, it is highly likely that you aren’t the only one using it, and that your business’ website is identical in appearance to many others on the web.
If you’re looking to build a successful business, this lack of originality in how your business and brand is presented, could be detrimental when it comes to beating your competition and winning those key clients you need to make that next leap.
Most people don’t expect much when they get something for free, and it tends to be followed by questions like “what’s the catch?”, “what’s wrong with it?” or “what’s in it for you?”.
This scepticism is also warranted when downloading free WordPress themes, as it’ll be clear for all to see, your clients included, that you have chosen the cheapest possible option when it comes to your website.
When your business is presented in this way, questions will inevitably be raised regarding professionalism and quality when it comes to your own products and services.
Free WordPress themes include the bare bones when it comes to page layouts. Homepage, blog feed, individual blog post, generic page, search results and archive pages tend to be the only ones included.
What this means is, unless your HTML, CSS and PHP knowledge is up to scratch, which is unlikely if you’re thinking of going down the free WordPress themes route, you’re very limited as to what your website can look like.
WordPress Gutenberg helps this somewhat, as it helps create more layout variations, however this also requires a higher competence-level in WordPress than most users typically do not have, and it may just cause you a bigger headache than you had to begin with.
Playing into point 2, when your website looks cheap and unprofessional, it does nothing but weaken your overall brand, regardless of your business development strategy and route to market.
Your website is your online shop window and should only serve to strengthen the brand you’re working so hard to build. If it doesn’t, then it’s not worth having it at all.
Treat your brand like your baby, and nurture it to the best of your ability. If you do that whilst offering a great product or service at the right price, you cannot help but succeed.
One of the main benefits of WordPress is its extensive plugin library, however many free WordPress themes do not come with these add-ons in mind.
Whether you’re looking to sell products through your website, create landing pages, capture leads, offer downloads etc, you’ll more than likely find that the free WordPress themes do not cater for all of your needs out-the-box, and will therefore require additional customisation from a web developer.
If this happens, it’s often easier to just start again, rather than trying to hash a free WordPress theme and make it your own.
Our view is that free WordPress themes should be reserved solely for personal projects, hobbies and interests where people aren’t looking to spend any money or make a return. Businesses who are serious about their brand and growth should stay well away from free WordPress themes, as it may hinder their ability to generate business, particularly online.