WordPress is an easy-to-use content management system that lets you update your website as easily as you’d edit a document in a word processor. One of its best features is the ability to apply different themes to your site, giving it a fresh new look without changing your content. If you’re thinking of using WordPress for your new website, or switching your current site to a new design, it may be time to start thinking about what type of theme is right for you.
Free WordPress Themes
This year, all WordPress installations come with the free starter theme Twenty-Fifteen — a clean, minimal theme that’s perfect for blogging. In addition to this, the WordPress Directory is full of free themes that can be quickly downloaded and previewed from your WordPress backend. Free themes are perfect for simple sites that don’t need a lot of complex functionality.
- They’re free! You can always upgrade to a premium or custom theme later.
- You can shop around — they’re easy to install, preview, and switch out on your own.
- If you need the advanced features that premium themes offer, you can always install plugins.
- Free themes usually look more like a blog, not a full-fledged professional website.
- They sometimes have an outdated or amateurish design and very few customization options.
- They may use sloppy code that doesn’t look good on all browsers or devices.
Of course, a developer can also help you tweak a free theme to include better styling or a few advanced features. If this simple approach sounds right for you, try browsing through some of these free themes:
Premium WordPress Themes
Premium WordPress themes are the quickest way to a beautiful, impressive website. Usually within the $30 – $80 price range, these themes follow the latest design trends, include premium plugins, and are extensively tested to make sure they work well in all browsers.
- They offer powerful page-builder tools that give you more control over your content.
- Some niche themes have special features suited to different types of businesses.
- They can be extensively customized to fit your branding and style without needing to edit any code.
- Buying a premium theme gives you access to developer support forums and free theme updates.
- The corporate look of these themes may not fit the style of a warmer, down-to-earth company.
- The special features that benefit some websites may just be clutter for if you don’t plan to use them.
- Changing theme structure in a major way will still require a developer’s help.
- Not all premium themes are the same quality. Make sure to check the comments and star rating of a theme before choosing it.
Premium themes are perfect if you want a sleek, modern website at an affordable price. Here are a few of our favorite sites for buying premium themes:
Custom WordPress Themes
If none of these themes offer the exact style and functionality you’re searching for, a custom WordPress theme may be right for you. A professional WordPress developer will work with you to design a theme that looks fantastic and has the exact features you need. This option is also ideal if you want to convert your site to WordPress while keeping your current design.
- It’s designed specifically with your company’s style, goals, and clientele in mind.
- You’ll be able to give feedback during the design process to ensure that the site looks right to you.
- Your site will be easy to update with all the different types of content you want to add, without any unnecessary clutter.
- It costs more than a premium theme and takes time to develop.
- There may already be a premium theme that offers the same functionality you’re looking for.
- The theme won’t automatically update, so it may need an occasional tune-up to incorporate the most up-to-date coding standards.
If you want to see some of the possibilities, check out our portfolio of custom WordPress themes.
If you’re still not sure which type of theme is right for you, try browsing through some of the links in this article and see how you feel about the themes. You might find a few free or premium themes that you like right away. But if none of those themes appeal to you, or you can think of many different things you want to change about each one, then a custom theme might be more your style.
What do you look for in a WordPress theme? Do you have any questions about free, premium, or custom themes? Leave a comment!