March 16, 2017

Why Use a Quality WordPress Theme? And What Themes I Trust Most

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Choosing a WordPress theme for your website involves more than picking a design that looks good. The theme you select has a direct impact on the performance of your website. Pick the wrong one and you might end up with slow load times and poor functionality.

It’s possible to tweak many of the available free themes to be EXACTLY what you need, but if you aren’t familiar with HTML, CSS, and Javascript then it is VERY important for you to use a quality WordPress theme.

Simply put, a quality WordPress theme will ensure that your site loads quickly, functions properly, and delivers the top-notch user experience that your site need.

Reason #1: Speed

Free themes usually don’t include many extras. They’re bare bones options and you need to add plugins to boost your site’s function.

Many top quality themes come with extras like social media icons, call to action capabilities, Twitter card function, and image optimization, thus reducing the need for plugins. Using too many plugins can slow the loading time of your website substantially, thus hurting your site’s search rank.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine that you use a free theme with seven plugins added. Each plugin comes with its own cascade style sheet (CSS) and javascript (js) file. All told, that means 14 HTTP requests are used to load your website with these plugins. The more code there is within these files for a browser to execute, the longer it will take to load your site.

According to Jerod Morris at copyblogger.com, by using a quality WordPress theme, you could easily speed up your site’s loading time by as much as 72.7% faster.

Reason #2: Support

The next reason that you should buy a quality theme for WordPress is because premium themes come with built-in support for technical issues.

One of the reasons that free themes are free ishelp button by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay because WordPress (and other sites that offer free themes) don’t have to back them up with support. They’re simply plug-and-play themes. Any technical problems that arise from using them are your responsibility to resolve. Though, for the most part, WordPress.org does try their best to supply quality answers for those seeking help, not everyone gets the help they need.

Using a free theme might seem like a smart decision if it saves you on up-front expenses, but keep in mind that you could end up paying many times more than you would have paid for a quality theme if you end up with a problem. Hiring someone to resolve an issue – or doing it yourself and spending hours of your valuable time in the process – is ultimately far more expensive than just choosing a quality theme in the first place.

Reason #3: Security

The next reason to spring for a quality security icon by typographyimages on pixabayWordPress theme is security. You might not know this, but there’s evidence to suggest that hackers scan the web looking for sites that use free WordPress themes. Why? Because they know they’ll be easy to hack.

Web security is important for any website, but it’s particularly important if you’re collecting any kind of secure information such as email addresses or credit card information. You want to be able to reassure visitors to your site that you take security seriously.

Free WordPress themes could end up with malicious code due to the fact that they are not so readily updated and that is what can make them easier for people to hack. Quality WordPress themes are less likely to be hacked as they are update as soon as a vulnerability is discovered in their code. This means they offer more peace of mind than free themes do. It’s worth paying a bit of money up front to ensure that your users’ privacy – and yours – is protected.

Reason #4: Updates

Free themes tend not to be updated very often if at all, whereas WordPress is updated all of the time. The company is always trying to improve its product and keep up with new security requirements. Sometimes, if a theme doesn’t get updated, it’updates on a sticky-note by OpenClipartVectors on Pixabays no longer compatible with the new version of WordPress. And when that happens, you have to choose between not updating (never a good option) or starting over with a new theme.

When you buy a quality theme, you get the benefit of frequent updates. When WordPress changes or new technology becomes available, you can count on getting a notice that your quality theme has been updated. That’s a real benefit because it ensures that you’ll always have the most up-to-date options.

Reason #5: Uniqueness

If you spend a lot of time on the web, you have probably noticed that there are a lot of websites out there that look similar to one another. Why? Because they’re using low-quality, free WordPress themes.

There’s no point in spending money bright yellow umbrella among grey umbrellas by geralt at Pixabayon your website and marketing if your site isn’t going to stand out in a crowd. Paying for a quality WordPress theme ensures that your site won’t look like others. You can give it a unique look, one that people will appreciate and remember.

On a related note, quality WordPress themes can often be customized to your specifications in ways that free themes can’t, without installing a child-theme that is. If you need to tweak the code or change something up, you can do it – or call support and get their help doing it.

You don’t have to settle for a cookie cutter site. Online competition is fierce, and having a quality WordPress theme can give you a leg up on your competitors.

Reason #6: Quality

Let’s face it: most people don’tscreen print of a twitter card do their best work when they’re not getting paid for it. Free themes can be fine, but when somebody charges for a theme they know they have to make it worth paying for.

Quality WordPress themes often have the kinds of bells and whistles that free themes do not. They tend to work more efficiently than free themes, and they offer specialized features and options that you just don’t get for free. A great example of this would be the inclusion of special coding to allow Twitter cards.

In the end, you want to deliver a great user experience to the people who visit your site. A quality WordPress theme will let you do that.

Reason #7: Adaptability

How does your site look on mobilepicture of different devices to view website on by Brioche on Pixabay devices like smartphones and tablets? If it’s not looking its best, choosing a quality WordPress theme can help.

While there are some free WordPress themes that are mobile responsive, many are not. As of 2015, more people search online using mobile devices than desktop computers, and that means that your site has to deliver a great mobile experience.

Not only is a responsive theme necessary, but also browser-compatibility. In today’s world, some free themes STILL suffer with THIS issue. Don’t believe me, check this out: https://useyourpassion.com/browser-compatibility-issue

All WordPress premium themes are now device-friendly (mobile responsive) AND browser compatible. This alone makes them worth the price.

Reason #8: Support the WordPress Community

WordPress is more than just a hosting platform – it’s an online community. Many of the developers who list premium themes on the site are the same people who create free themes, plugins, and other WordPress features.

When you spring for a premium theme, you’re also giving a financial stamp of approval to the WordPress community as a whole. You’re reaping the benefits of the work done by the community, and it’s only fair to give something back in return for it. It’s also a great way to make sure your favourite quality themes remain available by supporting them financially.

Reason #9: improved SEO

This last reason is a particularlySEO under a magnifying glass good one. Free WordPress themes have no built-in SEO features. As a result, many of the sites that use them have a very hard time getting any juice from Google.

By contrast, quality WordPress themes include many built-in options to boost SEO and improve your search rank. The developers of premium themes can afford to have coders spend time and energy maximizing the SEO impact of their themes. When you pay for them, you reap the benefits.

Conclusion

Whether you have decided to purchase a quality WordPress theme or tweak one of the many free themes is entirely up to you. However, once you’ve setup your website you should test your site by using the Pingdom Website Speed Tester to see how well your site is set up and how quickly it loads. If any modifications are necessary to improve your website, this great free online tool will provide you with the necessary information needed to fix whatever might be failing.

If you want my recommendation for a quality theme (using my affiliate link), well … I’m using one right here on the site you are reading this from.

Credit for Header: image by © Scyther5 | Dreamstime.com – Responsive Web Design Photo

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Claudio - March 24, 2017 Reply

Hi Trish,

I´m Claudio from WA, your site is excellent, congratulations! Could you recommend me a theme for my new site. Many thanks!!

    Trish - March 24, 2017 Reply

    The very last paragraph in my posts tells you exactly what theme I recommend Claudio.
    Should you try one of their themes, you will be very impressed, I’m sure of it. 🙂

Marley Dawkins - April 4, 2017 Reply

Yeah this is so true, I mean its an easy thing for people to forget when they are making a website, especially their first one, because its so easy to get all caught up in the content that you can miss getting yourself the best looking theme with WordPress for your site.

I actually didn’t realize that certain themes will slow down the general performance of my site, because i really thought that it was just a visual thing.

Thanks so much for informing about this!

    Trish - April 4, 2017 Reply

    You are most welcome Marley and Thank YOU for confirming my post. Guess we all tend to assume websites are mostly visual … and they are … to the untrained eye. With proper training, we’re not long ‘catching on’.

Leo - April 6, 2017 Reply

To me speed and uniqueness must be the top 2 ranked factor for a WordPress Theme. As we all know speed affects if your user wants to read the website or not. If it’s loading too slow, you have a 99% chance of losing the viewer/traffic! For uniqueness, it is always helpful to have something useful so that your viewers and readers will remember your website!

    Trish - April 6, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for commenting Leo. If you were to follow more than those two of the nine steps, you will be less likely to have an issue with bounce rate … and providing you are offering quality and unique content, your site WILL be remembered, and shared!

Frank - April 7, 2017 Reply

Great post very informational. I like the theme on my site, but I have been thinking of changing it. Your post has given me very important things to consider before I make a decision on which theme to pick for my site. Thank you for your post. I see you also have other articles that I need to read, and I’m sure they will be every bit as informative.

    Trish - April 7, 2017 Reply

    Thank YOU Frank for taking the time to let me know that you found this information of value to you, as that is my goal. Should you have ANY questions regarding website issues, I hope you will feel comfortable enough to reach out and contact me at any time. Questions help me to offer information others may need too.

Caleb - April 8, 2017 Reply

You know I never really considered all these factors when choosing a theme for my website. I actually went to the testing site that you provided in your article. It was really cool. So, I actually did use a free theme for my site. However, I did do a little bit of tweaking within my site’s coding. I also installed plugins for SEO and securing my website. Is this going to be ok for my site still?

    Trish - April 9, 2017 Reply

    Hey Caleb, premium WordPress themes save you from all those extra plugins, and some themes are even fully optimized, making your site load faster. However, you are free to choose whichever theme you want.

    Personally, I want as high a ranking for my website as I can possibly get in search engines. Choosing a fully optimized, premium theme now allows me to focus on providing quality content, which in turn enhancing my chances of ranking very high in search results.

    You said you tweaked your “site’s coding” … I hope you installed a child theme so that your changes won’t become overwritten the next time you update your theme.

Monique Hrebeniuk - April 10, 2017 Reply

Thanks for the great article on quality WordPress themes. I found your article to be clear and informative, and I especially liked the free link to the Pingdom website tester. It worked great, and it gave me some great insight about my blog. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

    Trish - April 10, 2017 Reply

    You’re very welcome Monique and Thank YOU for letting me know you found my post to be very helpful to you. That is my goal.

Princila - April 11, 2017 Reply

Hi Trish,

I landed on this page just when I’m struggling with my theme. I use a premium theme, but I’m really having difficulties with slow load times and even received a Google Webmaster warning that some urls had a high response time. My site’s got about 13 plugins, but I thought with a high quality WordPress theme, you could have up to 14 plugins. I’ve seen some savvy internet marketers use this many plugins on their websites.

As for security, I agree with you 100% on that. I can’t count the number of failed login attempts and blocked ips that I get every day with Wordfence security!

    Trish - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Oh no Princila, you misunderstood. Using a premium theme SHOULD make it possible for you to use LESS plugins

    Thirteen plugins are well beyond the number of plugins you should be using. Many premium themes have built-ins (Reason #1) that eliminate the need for several plugins … social media icons being one of the most common plugins you should NO longer need.

    Please do contact your premium theme developer and see which plugins you can stop using by using the theme’s extras instead. If there are no extras or built-ins, then perhaps it’s time you consider purchasing a fully optimized theme, as I suggested. If you wish my advice on a theme, I have included a link to my favourite theme developer at the very end of my article, above.

Simon - April 13, 2017 Reply

Presently I am using the most basic of WordPress themes called Omega however it loads very quick, is mobile friendly and secure thanks to my recent updates which is ideal as mobile is by far more popular than desktop searches nowadays.

I thinking of updating my theme to one with more eye appeal and one that needs fewer plugins. Have you transferred from one theme to another before? If so, was it a seamless process or were you presented with a load of adjustments to make on every page?

Transferring themes does put me off due to the amount of extra work I may receive updating every page as my website is increasing in size weekly.

Looking forward to your response,

Simon.

    Trish - April 13, 2017 Reply

    Hey Simon, I am not familiar with Omega but using a fully optimized premium theme definitely reduces your need for those extra plugins. And, yes you may have “extra work” upgrading to such a theme (I certainly did), however, one site went from about 1800 (TOPS!) visitors monthly to over 22,000 (yes TWENTY TWO THOUSAND!) monthly visitors in a very short time after upgrading.

    Was it worth my extra work? You BET it was! All of the extras noted here are ALL of the extras my site gained advantage from … including those Twitter cards that many website owners are still trying to figure out how to get them for their sites.

Rania Masaeed - September 2, 2017 Reply

Hi Trish
Very useful article. I really didn’t know before the benefit of choosing a theme. This Thrive theme you recommend is amazing.
I liked the idea you mentioned in one of your comments that Using a premium theme SHOULD make it possible for you to use LESS plugins
I am still new at creating my website so in the future I will try to focus upon choosing a premium theme
Wishing you all the best
Rania

    Trish - September 2, 2017 Reply

    You are very welcome Rania, I was awhile finding and adjusting to all of the goodies within Thrive’s themes, and I did keep all my plugins active until I learned to replace each one of them, one at a time. In this way, my website still worked as I had set it up to function … and I was able to adapt to the new theme in a relaxed manner. Glad this helped you. Hope you’ll share this post with your friends. Thank YOU for dropping by and commenting. Much appreciated!

Françoise - October 27, 2017 Reply

Dear Trish,

Thank you so much for all your informations. Everything in your Website is the example of your content.

As a beginner choosing a theme is not a conscious choice, because without Knowledge you have no possibility to evaluate Features you don’t even understand.

Concentrating on content is my dream, so I am going to study those Quality themes.

You are a star in my sky, thank you.

Françoise

    Trish - October 27, 2017 Reply

    Wow Françoise, thank YOU for your compliment!
    You have brightened my day and made sharing what I have learned that much more rewarding.
    Wishing you much success in all that you do.

Allen Blankenship - October 29, 2017 Reply

Hey Trish, This is good stuff for us wp beginners. I was about to become overwhelmed as I had to move Fast getting my local bread and butter site off of Google’s free site platform and on to WP.

So many theme choices and not really understanding the importance of matching theme with the most Built-In plugins we will be needing to use. So, I decided to keep it simple and chose a free local business theme that had a blue color theme that I could live with.

I already know I will be searching for a better one one day but for now the site growth is priority…because no traffic means 1/3 of my organic traffic Gone and that is never good.

    Trish - October 29, 2017 Reply

    Amen to that Allen, and that is EXACTLY what I did. Building your site one step at a time will also prove to Google that 1.) you’re staying in business and 2.) you are continuing to improve your website.

    Also, be sure to create a Google MyBusiness account AND verify your geographical address with Google. Your site will gain credibility and possibly even more attention from Google.

    Thank YOU for dropping by and chatting. I truly appreciate input from all visitors.

Garen - January 1, 2018 Reply

Hey Trish,

I have learned how big of a mistake it can actually be to choose a low-quality WordPress theme. However, I wouldn’t completely disregard using a free WordPress theme, though. There are good ones; I like the ones by Colorlib. Sparking is a theme by Colorlib and it is pretty good.

You can always check your WordPress built site with Google Insights to make sure it loads quickly. However, another mistake I see people making is installing way too many WordPress plugins that cause the website to load very slowly.

But, I have been using Elegant Themes for years and do like Divi. True, the support that comes with them is certainly a plus. Lastly, if you are going to go the free route make sure the owners actually update it regularly, though. Nothing is more of a hassle than a theme that isn’t updated that often.

Which paid WordPress themes do you prefer to use?

    Trish - January 2, 2018 Reply

    Hey Garen, you are so right about too many plugins which, I’m sure you noticed, is a point that is covered in detail in my post here. As for my choice of theme, I mentioned that near the end, above. Thank you for dropping by and adding to the conversation.

David - June 1, 2018 Reply

Thanks Trish, you have given me much to think about as regards these Thrive Themes, thanks for all the input here.

David W

    Trish - June 1, 2018 Reply

    You’re very welcome David, glad this has helped you. Your letting me know helps me know what type of information to offer my website visitors in the future.

Maryann Breece - June 21, 2018 Reply

Trish, As someone just starting out, the idea of paying money I haven’t made yet for a fancier version of a webpage always seemed frivolous. However after reading your article it makes the most sense. If I am going to treat my website like a business I have to invest in the proper tools. As soon as I can find the money I am going to follow your recommendation, going through your page so you get credit of course.
Maryann

    Trish - June 21, 2018 Reply

    Wow Maryann, much appreciate your kindness. I know you won’t be sorry. They have a really great support team to help those who are new to their themes out. And, I’ve noticed I never need to only do minor tweaks that are EASILY added with tiny CSS scripts (which their support provided for me) in textboxes their themes supplied so I have not ever needed to install a child theme. Yipeeee!

Darren - August 6, 2018 Reply

This is a really thorough post on why we should choose a quality WordPress theme, Trish. I certainly learnt a lot about the benefits and how it can help with both SEO and the user experience. I’ll bookmark this one for future reference. Cheers.

    Trish - August 6, 2018 Reply

    Thank YOU Darren, for letting me know that my post helped to inform you of the many advantages of selecting the right, fully-optimized WordPress theme. My websites sure are gaining a lot of SEO advantage since I switched!

David - September 1, 2018 Reply

Hi Trish, I have a question I wonder if You can answer. If I decide to purchase a thrive theme and If I cannot find one with the display design that I want, can it be changed?

I recently purchased a premium WordPress theme to replace the free version, it was the same theme but the premium version. After downloading it, I tried to install but it would not install. So, anyway here I am still considering thrive theme, so just needed to find out an answer to the question about the display design.

Sincerely
David W.

    Trish - September 1, 2018 Reply

    Hey David, before you go spending more money, let’s see if I can help you load that premium theme you have already paid for. Many theme developers will package EVERYTHING into a zip file and inside the zip file you would find yet another zip file of the actual theme itself. If that is the case with the theme you purchased, then that is why you cannot upload it. You would need to unzip the first file and upload the zip file that is contained within the first zip.

    Yes, it does sound confusing but try that first to see if that is the case with the theme you purchased recently. And, please DO let me know if this worked for you? Would sincerely appreciate knowing.

David Webster - September 2, 2018 Reply

david1638@att.net

Hi Trish, thank You so much, it worked very well. I found another file inside and installed without a hitch!!!

I had actually spent hours and headaches and much frustration trying to get it installed before.

Sincerely
David W

    Trish - September 2, 2018 Reply

    Yeeeeeah… and Thank YOU David for letting me know that this worked. I enjoy helping other solve issues as doing so has helped me to learn more too. Ever sooo glad this worked out for you. 🙂

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