What is a WordPress theme and should I buy one?

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Building a website for your business is overwhelming. Often, people take the first few steps and then get stuck on something like trying to decide what WordPress theme to use. Don’t let that happen to you! Yes, there are tons of decisions to make when setting up your website, and yes, choosing a WordPress theme is one of them. But I’m here to simplify that choice and help you decide and keep moving forward. No analysis paralysis here!!

So, what is a WordPress theme, and should I buy one?

A WordPress theme is basically a skincoat that you add to your out of the box WordPress installation. You have to choose a theme to apply the design and some basic functionality to your site right away.

You basically have 3 choices when it comes to choosing a category of theme for your WordPress site. Usually, I pick the middle option in everything. However, in this case, I’d suggest doing the opposite. I’d recommend going with either a free or premium theme.

There are tons of free themes out there. These are great if you just want to pick something, throw it up on your site, and keep moving. You might have to swap it out for a better theme down the road, but at least you can keep moving now.

For paid themes, there are also tons available. I’d recommend staying away from these unless you’re willing to invest in a premium theme. The price difference between a regular paid theme an and a premium theme is usually not enough to justify going with the cheaper theme, especially when you consider that you’ll likely have to swap out a cheaper paid theme down the line anyway.

Free WordPress Themes:

There are SOOOO many free themes out there. This could honestly be a whole project in and of itself. If you’re going to pick a free theme, I’d go with the WordPress created ones. They release a new theme every year, and give it the title of the year. (So there’s Twenty Twenty Three, Twenty Twenty Four, etc.) You can trust that these themes are well built, will be updated regularly, and will be compatible with most plugins. If you use a free theme from another developer, you’re really just taking chances with your website.

Paid WordPress Themes:

There are some really good paid themes out there, for sure. However, unless you find the EXACT theme you want that does everything exactly how you want it in the exact colors and fonts and everything, I wouldn’t recommend going with a paid theme. It’s going to be difficult enough to customize that it would just make sense to pay a little more and go with a premium theme that is much easier to use.

Premium WordPress Themes:

If you’re ready to commit and want to customize your WordPress site, I’d recommend just going directly for a premium theme. Most of them have a trial period, so you can test it out and see if you like it. The two main premium themes for WordPress are Divi and Elementor. I’ve used both and I very much prefer Divi. It’s just much more intuitive and easy to use. And my clients are able to easily use it as well, which is really important to me. I want my clients to be able to make as many edits to their site as possible without having to contact (and pay!) a web developer again.

So, what is a WordPress theme, and should I buy one?

The answer depends, of course, but if you’re ready to commit to a custom website for your business, I highly recommend investing in a premium WordPress theme like Divi right from the start. It’s also a great way to give your older website an update or refresh!

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