Why You Shouldn’t Use Free WordPress Themes

By Purplebox Digital

If you Google “free WordPress themes” then you’ll be met with over 9 million results. With each website crammed full of free WordPress themes, you are literally spoilt for choice.

However, these free themes are not all that they seem and many are full of hidden secrets the developers don’t want you to know about.

If someone offered you free food on the street then you would have every reason to be cautious or wary. You’ve probably heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” and this is most definitely true.

WordPress themes are no different.

Although they might be listed and given away as free themes, they all contain hidden catches. Whether it’s the developer including advertising and links back to their website, or forcing you to use a widget that contains popups; if you didn’t pay for the theme, then the developer has to make it worth their while somehow.

If you’re planning on using a free WordPress theme for your website, then hopefully we can make you reconsider. With so many problems and catches involved, you’ll want to avoid them at all cost. To show you why free themes are so bad, let’s take a closer look.

The Hidden (Nasty) Secrets of Free WordPress Themes

Hidden Malware

wordpress malware

The first thing to look out for with free WordPress themes is any hidden malware or malicious code. Malware can be found on a lot of free themes as they are usually hidden in JavaScript and iFrame codes. This hidden code can affect anyone who visits your website and install unwanted toolbars, trackers or malware onto their computer.

If Google notices your website is doing this then it will actually block and remove your website from its search results! Do you really want to risk your entire website being delisted from Google over a WordPress theme?

But that’s not the only way malicious developers can hide viruses and malware in their themes. Since you need to download the theme before you can install it, many will include unnecessary additional files or programs which contain the malware.

As you can see, placing your trust in the developer is a big part when downloading a WordPress theme. If you want to avoid the risk of your website and PC being comprised, then you’ll want to give free WordPress themes a pass.

No Technical Support

wp help

If you’re not very PC literate and don’t know how to manage a website, then you’re probably going to struggle using a free theme. Free WordPress themes are notoriously bad for technical support and a lot of them actually have no support at all. A few will include a simple installation or starter guide, but when it comes to enabling and customising the theme, you’ll be left on your own.

With WordPress themes being hard to configure and get right even with technical support, without support you are just asking for trouble.

Some Kind of Catch

wp free themes

As we mentioned before “there is no such thing as free lunch” and the same applies to WordPress themes. If you got a nice theme for free then the chances are there is a hidden catch. This can be anything from forcing you to use certain widgets or plugins, covering your website in links back to their website or hiding some malicious code that causes popups.

Whatever it is, the developer will always benefit from you using it in some way, why else would they release it for free? If you’re using a free WordPress theme for your business website that is covered in adverts and links to other websites, then it won’t look very professional. Many developers will allow you to “upgrade” to the paid premium version to remove the ads, which brings us nicely onto our next point.

Most Themes Are Just Cut Down Versions

cut down wp themes

The next time you see a free WordPress theme, think of them as free trials. These themes might be free for the user to try but almost every time the developer will be trying to upsell you the paid version. By limiting and locking certain features on the theme, free users can try out the theme to see if they like the style before committing to the paid version.

Many free versions will come with the basic widgets and features, but will lack complete customisability. It’s also a try before you buy tactic that many developers have taken on recently to boost their sales. Why show off pictures of the theme when you can give them a free version to try!

Stops You From Standing Out

cheap website

With the lack of customisability on these free themes, you’ll soon start to notice that your website looks very similar to other websites out there.

If you think about it, if everyone is downloading and using the same free WordPress theme that has limited customisability then how will everyone’s websites look? Pretty much identical.

As a business, brand recognition is important, and if you can’t change your website’s colours, style, or logo then you’ll struggle to stand out from your competitors. If you truly want to stand out and have an amazing website, then you’ll need to get a custom-made theme. Not only does this mean you have complete control over how the theme looks but you’ll also end up owning the theme so no one else can use it!

Makes Your Website Look Cheap

When you combine all of the above factors together, you’re left with one terrible website. Not only does your website look like everyone else’s and is full of malware, but without the ability to customise your website how can you expect it to do what you want?

Free WordPress themes are free for a reason, there is always a catch. These catches might not be so obvious to the average user but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll soon see the problems. Why settle for a free WordPress theme that could damage your website, reputation and profit.

When it comes to WordPress themes you want to make sure you invest money into a custom made, high-quality responsive website. With over 6 years in the web development industry, Purplebox Digital has plenty of experience having worked with over 100 clients to make their website dreams come true.

To see how we can help make a professional premium WordPress theme for your business, contact us for a free consultation.

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