When starting out with a new WordPress website or blog, it is tempting to spend big money on premium WordPress themes. We all associate the word “premium” with a certain level of quality. When you visit the WordPress marketplace and browse through the thousands of available themes for the first time, it can be tempting to head straight for the premium ones. At the beginning of the website life cycle, independent site owners are without fail drawn to the premium section because they equate the word with quality and uniqueness. To disregard the list of free themes on the WordPress marketplace would be folly though. There are some fantastic free themes available which are perfect to use when starting out your site. You don’t know how well your website will perform in the early stages and if your budget is limited then there is no need to go out and splash the cash on one of the many free themes available.
The conversation about whether to use a free theme or a premium theme has existed since WordPress arrived onto our computers in 2003. It has since become by far the most used and loved content management system by internet entrepreneurs and other website administrators. Its founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were always cited in the developers world as ambitious individuals. But even they never could’ve imagined the incredible success story that WordPress went on to be.
The free and premium sides of this everlasting debate both have their own merits. The fact that the free ones are well, er, free clearly gives them a distinct initial advantage. Add to this that free WordPress themes tend to be way more compatible to a wider variety of plug-ins and you can see why some people sway to this side of the argument. Why not just get a solid free theme for your website and take advantage of it with some fantastic plug-ins.
The flip side is that premium themes offer a lot more in terms of support. This might be fine for some users but when starting a website we are bound to hit minor bumps along the way. There might be an issue with your free theme that you need to solve, but because you have got it for free you do not have access to any support. Also, free themes are more vulnerable to security flaws. Some people design free themes with the sole intention of infecting a website with malicious code to steal user details or for some other devious purpose.
When weighing up both sides of the argument you need to take into account your budget, but our consensus is that free themes are a perfect alternative to free ones and should not do any harm to your website, if you choose well. That is what this article is concerned about – our pick of the best themes along with links to demonstrations of them. There are some great choices to get you started here and if you learn a small bit of CSS and add some good plug-ins to these themes, your site should look and respond very well indeed.
- Leaf Theme. We have mentioned this theme elsewhere on the website but this is because we are such big fans of it. This is a wonderful foundation theme to begin with for your blog or website, be it a personal or business project. The Leaf theme possesses timeless and stylish design that gives a modern and accomplished look to it. The responsiveness is top of the range with a smooth experience across every kind of device, Loading times on the Leaf theme are lighting fast meaning less chance of people visiting your website only to leave within moments. There is also the advantage that it is compatible with the majority of WordPress plug-ins. This means that Leaf theme is ideal for starting a website with a solid code foundation and combining it with some of the best plug-ins on the marketplace to result in a website that stands out as remarkable and beautiful. The Leaf theme can be downloaded from the following link. It is free of charge https://wordpress.org/themes/leaf/ .
There is also a handy demo or preview feature that allows you to see a working version of this theme in full effect. The minimalist design draws you in without being overbearing and allows any good content to shine through in sparkling fashion.
- Sparkling Theme. We rounded up our discussion of the previous theme with the word sparkling, and that is the title of this free WordPress theme. We didn’t mean that at all by the way! Anyway, the Sparkling theme is a wonderful flat design theme that features a fluid and chic layout. The flat design themes are inspired from the likes of Windows Phones, so it is no surprise that this theme looks wonderful on mobile devices. A lot of criticism is aimed towards free themes is their lack of responsiveness, with websites on phones often looking cluttered. This provides a frustrating experience for end-users. The creators of the sparkling theme are going along the right track though with this one. This theme also supports a lot of powerful plug-ins. Like the Leaf theme, Sparkling is a classy fusion of a theme that both looks and runs well. Its modern design and impressive performance lend credence to the statement that free themes can be just as good as premium WordPress themes. A demo of the Sparkling theme can be seen at https://colorlib.com/sparkling/ . Upon viewing this demonstration you will notice the potential of the theme. The flat layout gives the chance for content to shine through. The impressive header is customizable to your own specified size.
- Zerif Lite. This is a pristine contemporary free WordPress theme that is perfect for creative types like photographers. It is flexible in that it supports a wide range of WordPress plug-ins. This means that it can be used as a solid foundational theme that performs flexibility and impressive design to make for a great theme for web agencies, photographers and many more creative-oriented websites. See it for yourself here http://themeisle.com/demo/?theme=Zerif+Lite .