Update: This blog post was written before I started using Elementor. However, not all bloggers need or must use a page builder. There are nice themes that can help you in your blogging journey, straight away, without you needing to worry about page builders and any sort of web development.
I might appear controversial on this one but my honest opinion is that if you are starting now as a blogger I highly recommend you get a free theme from the official WordPress theme selection.
If you are a business one can argue that you should invest in a premium theme, for various valid reasons. But even so, there are plenty of good looking free themes that would suit perfectly a small business website.
Pros of free WordPress themes
Well, for one, they are free. And in the beginning, if you are starting as a blogger, you probably have a tight budget so there is no reason in buying a premium theme just yet. Right now, you need to focus on the actual blogging in order to learn what it takes to blog effectively, to get familiar with the process, to find your niche, to find topics for your blog and these are things that you can do with most of the free themes. Once you get more experienced you can invest in something premium.
Also, I need to point out that when I say free WordPress themes I mean the ones that can be found in the official WordPress gallery. Sure some of them have a premium version as well, but you will be just fine with their free version, especially if you are just starting into blogging. I would even suggest to start blogging with WordPress own themes just is twenty twenty, or twenty twenty-one, two and so on 🙂
I wouldn’t recommend getting themes from 3rd party developers or websites. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are fantastic free themes but it’s not always easy (or guaranteed) that you will get support if you have a problem or a bug. Additionally, free themes might be slow to load due to not well-structured files. I mean there might be many different style files (CSS) or big chunks of code from add-ons that can compromise the speed. If you are a beginner there is no need to search elsewhere. Go to the WordPress theme bank and I’m sure you will find a good looking theme to suit your style 🙂 that’s what I did when I started 🙂
Where do you find free WordPress themes?
You can find them through your Dashboard. Log in and go to Dashboard/Appearance/ Themes and Add new.
The advantage of using themes from here is that you can be certain that you will be receiving the latest updates so that your site will be safe and up-to-date.
Of course, there are some disadvantages so let’s talk about them as well.
What are the cons of Free WordPress themes
I guess the number one disadvantage is that you have the risk of sharing the same layout as millions of other WordPress users. But of course, you can upload your own custom graphics and images and transform it so that you give it its own personality 🙂
Another thing is that there is a limit to available features and customization that a free theme has to offer. If you know how to code then you might be able to do many things but if you don’t, and honestly you don’t have to in order to be a blogger, you can only use what you get from the theme. But there are millions of free add-ons that can help to further customize your theme.
To buy or not to buy a WordPress theme? The conclusion:
Well, I stand by my original statement that you don’t need to purchase a premium theme if you want to enter the magical world of blogging.
However, if you want to start an online business then I would highly recommend buying a premium theme, or invest in a theme builder, like Elementor, Divi or even the newest Bricks. Because for online businesses, there is a need for flexibility and scalability so you will most definitely need something advanced and probably the help of a developer, or someone experienced in WordPress websites.
If you are just starting to blog now and you have questions about choosing a theme, let me know in the comments 🙂
Thank you for reading my article and I hope you found it useful. Feel free to share it with your friends.