Why You Need A Paid WordPress Theme

My name is Ivin Viljoen and I have been blogging since 2006. I blogged on a specific news sites’ free blogging platform and was frustrated with the rules, clicky-ness, blogotism (like nepotism…) etc. There were many other quirks I had to deal with. The one thing that was great was they had an internal fellowship/system that promoted your blog to others within the network.

I wrote pretty controversial material so I did well with traffic. However, living in that bubble exonerates you from the real meaning of what it is to blog. Then I started a blog on WordPress called Authopublisher. I first used a free theme called Newsport with which I literally pulled my hair out from frustration. From my experiences with both free and paid themes I share with you the following tips and guidelines:

What is wrong with free themes?

  • Free means your theme isn’t original or exclusive.
  • Free means tacky and unpractical.
  • Most free themes are available for no money because they link to someone else’s blog/website.
  • You get what you paid for.
  • No support is offered.
  • Every time WP is updated, you change something or plugins are added you can mess your blog up.
  • Usability is very complicated, most ‘designers’ of themes don’t know anything about it so their themes don’t do things correctly – like SEO and navigation.
  • Owners of blogs using free themes don’t have access to its source files.

Why paid themes rock.

  • Design and layouts are more advanced.
  • Your chances to exclusivity are better.
  • Wider selection of professional themes.
  • Customization.
  • Developers engage with customers in the user forums.
  • You can update your theme for free.
  • Get your paid themes at
    Through outsourcing.

Disadvantages of a paid theme.

  • You’ll spend at least $50 or more.
  • Because of its technicality and complex design, it poses great challenges to normal users from a coding perspective (which you’ll need to do – but searching on Google and some patience will help a lot).

Advantages of a paid theme.

  • No tweaking for hours on end, leaving more time to tweak ads.
  • There are options where you get themes free with your paid theme (That’s a paid theme or two free with your paid theme).
  • There are also developer prices where you pay a size-able fee for a developer package where you have access to all the designers themes to use for your own sites or for your customers.
  • It increases your professionalism and serves as a gauge for your blog clout.
  • Advertising on your blog in controlled by you.
  • The customization options are far greater.
  • You have greater freedom and functionality with plugins. Paid themes have plugins designed especially for it which makes it easier.

Let me end off with saying that I launched one or two blogs between my newsblog and current blog and never got to blogging because they were so bad in looks and function. Once I closed my eyes, reached into my pocket and bought the theme my happiness couldn’t be contained. I am flourishing.

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Stop dreaming and make it happen!

Ivin Viljoen

Sources: Thanks to Gail at GrowMap for a quote or two used in this post.

Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.


  • Hi Ivin,

    I totally agree, I have the Thesis theme on my main blog. It was a challenge at first to understand how to actually change some things with the theme but everyone in their forum is very helpful. I still have a free theme for one of my other blogs but have found it to be pretty user friendly and I don’t need to do as much to that one as my main one. But am thrilled with my theme and wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Great points you presented and I will have to agree with you. It’s definitely worth the money to purchase a custom theme because you can do so much more with it.

    Great post and thanks again for this helpful information.


    • Great stuff Adreienne.

      I don’t have patience with free themes. I got held back because of it until I got connected to woothemes through Zak Johnson’s free blogging report.

      You’re lucky. It’s rare to find a theme that works fine.

  • Yes, you can sell it provided you keep it under the GPL license. You can charge whatever you want, but you can’t keep anyone who buys it from giving copies to their friends or posting them on a web site.

  • I agree that having a paid WordPress theme is very important, well a unique, high standard theme is important if you are serious about bogging, you could make this yourself, buy it or edit the hell out of a free one to make it good enough.

    I think having a free theme may give an impression which you don’t want to give.

    • I’ve heard some pros say ‘don’t spend too much time on your them/tweaking’ etc. But I disagree with those. As it may seem wise to start blogging straight away and focus on writing pillar content, I think making your theme look it;s best and installing all the necessary plug ins should be first on your checklist.

      You want to make a good first impression right? And that’s what worried me about those lame free themes or even blogging on a free platform (not being self-hosted).

  • The above is making the assumption that money is the main motivation behind creating a good theme.

    Money will motivate a person to put more widgets together, but is not the motivator when it comes using ones brain.

    This is why the is a range of quality products that are Open Source, WordPress for one. Apache, Linux, are all good examples of people giving their time freely to make a great product that is in my opinion is far superior to Microsoft’s server product.

  • Just the other day, I came across a copy of Thesis as I just wanted to test it out and possibly offer thesis customization as a service on my blog. Boy was I in for a lot of work.

    I quit 40 minutes later ’cause I was exhausted at not having achieved anything tangible @ all.

    Maybe I wasn’t too patient with it or I’m too used to customizing conventional wordpress themes. I love me my free themes 😉

  • My theory is that blogs should be customize and tailored to what kind of blog you want. I do get paid themes to save time and luckily for me i have a webmaster friend who does it for me for a good price.

  • Hey,

    Could you list me a way or two about how to get premium themes for free.

    I don’t wanna pay that much !

  • The good thing is that the theme is unique.

    • That really depends on how much you pay, if you pay $40-$100 then you will find maybe 100 or so other blogs with that same design. If you want a truly unique design then you will need to pay over $2000.

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