Difference Between Free and Paid WP Themes (With Table)

WordPress is open-source. It is a content management system that means it helps in the creation and modification of digital content. It is written in PHP, a scripting language used for web development. WordPress runs on operating systems like Linux, Windows, Unix etc. It has captured 41.4% market, and almost 10 million websites globally use it. Two types of Themes are available on WordPress, i.e., Free and Paid themes.

Free vs Paid WP Themes

The difference between Free and Paid WP Themes is that Free WP Themes are completely free of cost. It also goes through a strict review process until it is launched. So it doesn’t mean that free WP themes are not good. Paid WP Themes are not free, and you have to purchase them, but many themes are available under it. Even third-party themes are also available in Paid WP section.

Free WP Themes are thousands in number. Sometimes free themes are so good that it is very difficult to find the best themes for your blogs or website. Free themes are very easily customizable. They are also very reliable. Astra, Ocean WP, Hestia are some of the most popular free WP themes because they are fully customizable. It even includes starter sites, which are highly responsive and flexible. It comes with tons of colour options, plugins etc.

Paid WP Themes are numerous, and they have more features and more options for customization than Free themes. Paid WP also has third party themes available in the marketplace and stores. Because of the competition between companies, they always try to offer better themes at low prices. It also has regular updates and support. Some of the popular Paid WP Themes are Divi, Newspaper, Kalium etc.

Comparison Table Between Free and Paid WP Themes

Parameters of ComparisonFree WP ThemesPaid WP Themes
SupportHas limited supportRegularity in support
FeaturesIt offers most of the featuresOffers extra features and options
UniqueNot UniqueMore Unique
ObligationHas no obligationHas obligation
Popular themesAstra, Ocean WP, Hestia etc.Divi, Newspaper, Kalium etc.

What is Free WP Themes?

Free WP Themes are very handy for bloggers who are trying to start their blogs. Because it lowers the barrier. As it is available for free, it is very much easier for amateurs to start their websites or blogs. Free Themes doesn’t mean that the quality of the themes is very low. Instead, free WP provides high-quality standards. All the free themes which are available in the WordPress directory undergo the process of strict review.

Free WP themes are tested for WordPress features, quality HTML, standard-compliant code, support for standard and CSS, security, privacy etc. Talented developers and theme makers are there in the review team to examine, test and get it approved by the WordPress directory. Free themes are given for free because it helps theme developers to sharpen and hone their skills, audit code and suggest improvisations. It also reaches large numbers of users so they can get feedback.

Free themes offer support through forums, but it is very limited. They are also not obliged to reply to it. It has very basic features and doesn’t include extra features. It also doesn’t have any warranty, so you are at your own risk if anything goes wrong. Astra is one of the free WP themes which can be easily customised fully and includes starter sites that are suitable for portfolios, business blogs, personal blogs, and even eCommerce websites etc. OceanWP, Hestia, Bento, Go, Blocks, Hemingway etc.

What is Paid WP Themes?

Paid/Premium WP Themes are not free because they are available for purchase. Lakhs of wallpaper of premium quality are available. Even third party themes are also available in the WordPress marketplace and store. Paid Themes include some extra features like Blog, post Navigation, Search, shop, Pricing Table, Portfolio, Contact Form, Button etc. 

Paid themes offer more features because there is always a competition going on to provide better themes and features at a lower price among companies. In Paid themes, users get a lot of options in themes like drag & drop builders, templates, shortcodes, multiple layouts, unlimited colour choices, and templates. They also have regular updates in themes and 24*7 support because it is purchased one.

Paid themes are also very unique. They are not perfect, but they are not bad also. Paid themes are much better than free themes. But Paid WP themes also have some disadvantages like poor code i.e. themes may not be compatible with all the plugins. Unlike free WP themes, it doesn’t undergo a strict review process. Because of having so many features, you may not use all of them, and it would make your website slow.

Main Differences Between Free and Paid WP Themes

  1. Free WP Themes has very limited support. It also doesn’t have an update. Paid WP Themes have regular updates and 24*7 support from the team.
  2. Free WP Themes offers most of the features. Paid WP themes offer extra features like Search, shop, Pricing Table, Portfolio etc.
  3. Free WP Theme is not very unique because it is free, and everyone can use it. Paid WP themes are unique because they are purchased, and a lot of companies releases different types of themes.
  4. In Free WP Themes, theme developers have no obligation as they are not bounded to help users, and they are at their own risk. In Paid WP Themes, theme developers must solve the problems of users as they purchased them.
  5. Popular Free WP Themes include Astra, Hestia, Bento, Neve, Hemingway etc. Popular Paid WP Themes include Newspaper, Kalium, Uncode, TheGem etc.

Conclusion

Both Free and Paid WP Themes are available in WordPress. Users can use different types of themes and switch them in both of them. For each WordPress website, it is mandatory to have at least one theme, whether it be free or paid. Free WP themes are available in the WP theme directory, also called a repository. Paid WP Themes are available for purchase from both WordPress developers and in stores. Free WP themes are more popular among the users and developers because it has now become the basis for creating more new such themes. But in uniqueness and originality, Paid Wp Themes are the best.

References

  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/RSR-10-2016-0059/full/html
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8354434/
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