When I started my blog the first thing I needed after getting my hosting and domain name was a theme. Like most of you I started out with a free theme.
I did not know the difference between a free and a paid theme at the time.
I am sure you probably started out the same way. Maybe you are still using a free theme.
I eventually moved to a paid theme and am now getting ready to buy another premium theme.
Reasons to Upgrade to a Premium Theme
Free themes do not have the support available that premium themes have.
When you pay for a product, the developer has incentive to provide support for that product no matter what the product is.
I have recently purchased a couple of plugins and they did not work right. I sent a message to the developer and the problem was fixed immediately. I saved hours of trying to figure out how the plug in worked, diagnose where the problem was and then try to fix the problem. In the end if it had been a free plugin with no support, I would of just given up and looked for something else. I am sure I would of never have fixed the problem.
Support is well worth the price of any product.
Hidden Code Embedded
Free Themes can have unwanted code embedded in the theme and you would not even know it.
This code that is embedded into the theme contains spam.
Some of the more elaborate coding in free themes contains spam that if removed disables the entire theme.
Having spam embedded in your theme is not something that makes your blog very desirable.
With a premium theme that you pay for there will be regular updates.
Many times a developer will start out creating free themes. When they have become proficient at developing themes the developer will start creating premium themes that they can charge for.
The developer will then stop providing any updates for the free themes and start only providing updates for the premium themes.
SEO is an important part of any blog. You will find SEO built into very few Free Themes.
Most Premium Themes have SEO built in to the theme. This makes your blog much more search engine friendly and greatly reduces the number of plugins required to run a blog.
Many plugins cause a blog to load slowly and the more plugins the slower a blog will load. Reducing the number of plugins needed to operate a blog is a huge benefit.
Creating themes is a very competitive market so developers will add the latest features and web integration to make their theme more attractive than another one. This is something that does not exist in Free Themes.
In Free Themes you will find encrypted links in the footer of the theme. These links are selling something for the developer. These encrypted links is one reason the theme will be free. You get to use the theme if you advertise for the developer. Many times these links can not be removed.
When you purchase a theme there are no encrypted links and hence you are not advertising for someone else on your blog.
Which Is Better?
Using a Free Theme is a great way to get started. It gets your blog up and running with very little expense.
Many times when someone starts out blogging they are not sure if blogging is something they want to do for an extended period of time. It does not make sense to spend a lot of money figuring out if it is something that you want to continue doing.
After deciding that blogging is something you want to continue and especially if you want to start to make money off of your blog in one way or another, it is time to purchase a Premium Theme.
What About You?
Do you use a Premium Theme? Would you recommend using a Premium Theme to other bloggers?
Do you use a Free Theme? Do you feel that the Free Theme is adequate for your blog?
Let me know what you think!