So you installed your 1st blog and now you are not sure what kind of theme to go with. The more options you have the harder it is to choose. With thousands of free themes out there it can be challenging to find the one that speaks to your charachter. Then, you come across some websites that offer premium themes for your wordpress blog that actually look appealing and now you begin thinking "why should I pay for a theme when I can get others for free, even though they may be slightly less appealing?". Most people go through this and I certainly thought like that too when I 1st started blogging. What I want to do here is break down the cons and pros of Free Themes and Premium Themes. Also, I will give you some links where you can get both.
The largest collection of Free WordPress Themes can be found at WordPress.org. Looking for a theme that's right for you at worpress.org can take a really long time. SO brace yourself.
Free Themes Pros:
1. They are free
2. Easy to install/manage (most of them)
3. Updates are easily available
4. Updates are free
5. Can change easily to a different theme once you're bored
Free Themes Cons:
1. They are free (you usually get what you paid for)
2. Your blog is not unique. 100s if not thousands of other bloggers may be using the same Theme. The whole notion of "branding yourself" kind of goes out the window.
3. Tasks like inserting a logo and changing the look can be difficult if you are not familiar with web coding
4. Limitations to customize
5. Limited to no support
These are just a few main points I wanted to share with you. I actually used a free theme for almost 2 years because I was afraid that a paid theme would need more skill to operate and customize. Now lets take a look at pros and cons of a Paid Theme.
Paid Themes Pros:
1. More customized options
2. Less people with the same theme. (could be unique only to you depending how and where you purchase the theme)
3. Branding at it's best
Paid Themes Cons:
1. They cost money
2. Can look like every one else blog that bought that theme if you don't customize it.
Like I mentioned earlier that the largest collection of free WordPress themes are at WordPress.org So if you're on a very tight budget and branding is not all that important to you then I recommend choosing a free theme.
When looking for a premium paid theme all you have to do is google "premium wordpress theme" and you will pages upon pages of results with resource where you can purchase a premium theme. So how do you pick the best one for you? You may find the answer in these top TWO most popular sites for premium themes.
Both of them offer great support, lots of options and different packages. As someone who owns several WooThemes myself I can honestly say they are easy to use, customize and maintain. Recently I came across a platform that I've been searching for 7 months already and found out that besides all the features that I was looking for it also had a Blog theme for WordPress. For me it was a no brainer simply because I ended up "killing two birds with one stone". I wrote a full review on it Here, it's called Optimize Press. It is very rich with custom options, you're absolutely sure that your blog WILL stand out as no one else will have the logo's and headers like you, you're able to create landing pages (squeez pages) with the same theme, sales pages, even membership sites (pages).
So if you're interested in reading the review on Optimize Press go ahead and do so before making your final decision. If Optimize Press is not for you but you still want a premium theme then take a look at WooThemes.com and Thesis.com and you will not be disapointed with the selection provided there.
Happy blogging !