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Things are looking a little different around here! Over the weekend, my husband and I updated our WordPress theme from a free version to a premium version. Faithfully Committed has been around for almost a year now (although there was an extended break in there after the birth of our daughter) so, after much discussion, we decided that it was time to invest in a premium WordPress Theme.

After many hours spent examining theme after theme, we settled on Cheer Up from Themeforest. We love it, and I really hope you do too! I’d really appreciate it if you’d let me know in the comments or send me an email if you notice anything that isn’t working correctly!

Since we just went through the process of deciding to update to a premium WordPress theme, I thought this would be a great time to write my first post for our new section: Blogging Tips!

Free Vs. Premium WordPress Themes: Which Should You Choose?

Choosing a WordPress Theme: Free vs. Premium

Here are some great reasons to choose a free WordPress theme:

  1. You’re a new blogger and just want to get a feel for this whole blogging thing without too much of an investment.
  2. You can’t afford a premium theme right now or you simply don’t want to make the investment at this point.
  3. You’re tech savvy and are able to write code for any changes/updates you need to make to a free theme.

Some downsides to free themes:

  1. You usually don’t get ongoing support with free themes so if something goes wrong, you have to be able to fix it yourself.
  2. You don’t get any updates, so security can be an issue if you’re not tech savvy enough to take care of this on your own.
  3. There are fewer features and options with free themes so customization is limited.

There are some absolutely gorgeous free themes out there (we loved ours, which was Mary Kate by Angie Makes). We were able to make the free theme work for us for the first year of Faithfully Committed because my husband is a computer guy who took care of all the necessary coding/customization/security (which was an extensive investment of time and energy on his part). If it weren’t for him, I honestly would have started off with a premium theme just to make life easier.

Here are some great reasons to choose a premium theme:

  1. You’ve been blogging for a while, and you’re ready to take your blog to the next level. Premium themes come with so many easy options for customization that the possibilities are really endless.
  2. You aren’t tech savvy and would prefer to have a support team to help you with customization/security/updates, etc. This is much more important than I would have imagined when I was first starting out. My husband spent endless hours working to keep Faithfully Committed up and running. I was also a bit of a nightmare client in that I constantly wanted to make changes in the aesthetics department. 😀  I thank the Lord for giving me such a patient husband!
  3. You know you want to grow your blog into a business. Many premium themes are compatible with online commerce sites, such as WooCommerce, so setting up your business is super easy.

Some downsides to premium themes:

  1. There is an upfront investment to purchase a premium theme, usually anywhere from $40-$120, depending on what you choose.
  2. If you currently have a free theme, switching over to a premium one can be a bit of a hassle (as my husband and I discovered this weekend). However, because premium themes come with support from the theme developers, you can ask questions and get help, which makes the process run much more smoothly.

So to summarize:

Choose a free WordPress theme if you’re a tech-savvy, new blogger who isn’t quite ready to invest money in your blog. Again, there are so many awesome free themes, if you’re just starting out, this isn’t a bad option.

Choose a premium WordPress theme if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ve been blogging for a while now and are ready to start investing in your blog’s success, and/or you want to turn your blog into a business.

I hope you found this helpful in choosing the perfect WordPress theme for your blog! Thanks for reading today and happy blogging!Choosing a WordPress Theme: Free vs. Premium

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