So have decided to create a website. You have researched on a hosting provider and most likely already spent a couple of hours browsing WordPress free themes repository. Yes, free themes. Why should you pay for a WP theme when there are plenty of free options? Rather invest those bucks to other paid marketing tools and promote it. At least, until you reach some audience and create a regular community of readers or visitors.
Let’s stop right here before you finally install a free one and let us talk more about costs you may not see now but eventually they start to chase you when first problem occurs. Whether you agree or not, these few bucks are worth investment because you get what you pay for. Viktor from WebCreate.Me shared with us some valuable thoughts you should consider.
What are the hidden expenses behind the freebies?
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS mainly because of user-friendly administration which can handle anybody with basic knowledge of computer skills. Even without a proficiency in programming you can create stunning websites using pre-designed themes. With no initial capital it sounds tempting to grasp a free theme but keep in mind that nothing is free eventually unless everything runs smoothly all the time which is highly not possible.
Freebies lack a lot of important features that come within premium themes. In combination with missing programming background of average user it creates requisite to spend money and solve the issues. Way more money than initial cost of premium theme.
Here is the list of most common problems that will likely happen upon time and cost money.
1. Compatibility with WordPress Updates
WordPress regularly comes with updates fixing security vulnerabilities or technical bugs.
Imagine the time you spend customizing the website so you are finally proud of your project and then new update of WordPress is released. Developers of free themes don’t update them very often hence the threat of malicious attacks is growing.
This situation basically leaves you two options:
keep going with the current version of WordPress without update which is tricky and risky as hackers or spammers can easily find out what version you’re using (unless you’ve hidden it)
upgrade WordPress version which will most likely mess up the entire layout so you have to start all over again
Changing themes over and over again and sucking your time which can be invested in more profitable way don’t sound as a smart business solution.
2. Limited features and customization options
Firstly, you choose a free theme serving your needs. As time passes by and you’re creating more content the requirements may change because you want to improve the user experience and offer your audience the best.
So you open the customization tab and surprisingly find out that your theme misses social media sharing buttons or different image gallery. These holes can be easily filled with plugins. Remember that every plugin you use causes a risk.
Some plugins are poorly coded, some are not compatible or may not work together with other plugins, not to forget that they higher the loading time which affects user experience. In case you’re not a coder you’d have to reach out for paid help.
3. Ordinary design getting lost in crowd
Every owner of websites wants to be somehow unique and recognizable. Missing customization options of free themes result in thousands of alike-looking websites hence put your hard work into the ocean full of mere fishes. If you wish to make even a minor changes in design the only solution is self-help or paid professional.
Premium themes come with different layouts of homepage, pages and posts and look a way more professional. Thanks to the money you spend by purchasing premium template company can afford to pay expert designers who create more attractive design.
4. No support included
There are only dozens of free themes that comes with very limited support. If any issue occurs and your skills are not enough to handle it by yourself you won’t avoid paid support.
Especially for starting bloggers, the technical support is a very important. Who can advise you better than the developer of theme himself. With premium theme you can get the technical support whenever. The best companies also use live chat and help you to solve issues instantly.
5. Security risks and threats
Hackers and spammers aren’t on holiday and new website with only few visitors doesn’t stop them from attacking it with malicious code.
As we mentioned above, it’s very important to keep your WordPress version up-to-date and the same applies to theme. Free themes aren’t updated regularly therefore the bugs and vulnerabilities, not to be forgotten that many of them already have malicious code inside. To clean all the mess you need to perform deep scan and certain steps which may be too challenging for new bloggers.
Save your future money for outsourced support and rather invest now in a premium theme that already comes with strengthen security against potential hacks.
Think now and don’t pay later
Definitely is more worth investment in prevention that later cure major problems that affect the potential growth of your business.