Last Updated on August 11, 2019 by Timothy Ephraim
When you want to make a website, you will probably think about WordPress and in most cases, you will need a theme if you want more features than your current bundled theme offers. In such a scenario, you will probably think about a free theme. Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a free theme but there are some problems with the free themes in many cases. Here in this article, we are discussing the problems with free WordPress themes and free WordPress plugins.
So why being cautious about free themes?
Making a website theme is a hefty job which includes hours of coding and other hard works. Theme(or plugin) developers invest a lot of efforts in developing and good theme and these high-quality themes are usually paid and the price is usually between $30 and $70. But you can see some themes are available free. Here are some of our reasons why a free theme is not always good for you.
Comes with limited features and options
Free themes come with limited features and options. Some theme developers provide a free version of their premium themes and it comes with basic features. If you want to use more features, you might need to purchase the premium version. There is nothing wrong with this as it is a common practice in the industry and most theme developers follow this. Despite, free themes come with most basic options and if you have a personal blog or a simple website, the free version will be enough for you.
Comes with poor or no support
Free themes come with poor or no support. Many free themes will not have a support option. Or they will have limited support available through forum only. In such a scenario, you will struggle much if you run into problems.
Poor code quality and no or fewer upgrades
In many cases, free themes come with poor code quality. These codes may cause a problem with websites functionality because they are not optimized to perform well. Another problem is that free themes get an update very rarely or no update at all. If there is a vulnerability in the code, there are chances that some hackers will hack into your website. This will not happen with a premium theme as they fix vulnerabilities fast and release an update.
Comes with malware
Some theme or plugin authors may inject malware in their code and it will ruin your website and your visitor’s computer. (Read this article about an investigation done by Wordfrence team). If your theme contains a malware, Google may show that the website is not safe to visit and it will take users away from you. There are some websites which offer premium themes for free. These themes most probably contain malware in it and will ruin your entire business so stay away from them. The worse part is, you may not even understand that and your users will see a malware warning in Google search page and you will check that only if you have a significant drop in search traffic.
Are all free themes bad?
No, not all free themes are bad. Like we said, if you don’t need more features than the free version offers, you probably will not need a free theme. You only have to use a theme from a reputable theme author.
If you are doing something serious and you can afford, I will surely suggest you get a premium theme that will give you extra functionalities and features that you want and assures frequent and timely updates and one on one support if you run into a problem.
Nulled Themes and plugins
Nulled themes and plugins are different stories when it comes to security. We all know that no one will give anything for free. So those premium themes available for download for free might contain something in it such as malware.
These themes will have a backdoor in them which makes your blog or website vulnerable. Stay Use a premium theme, if you can not spend money on it, use a free theme or plugin from a reputable theme or developer.
So where to get some good themes?
As I said, free themes are not bad all you have to do is to be extra cautious while choosing them. We have an awesome collection of free WordPress themes which lists only safe themes which is created by reputed theme creators.
To buy premium themes, Themeforest is a fantastic marketplace.