Yeah you must be thinking that whats wrong with having a free theme. Many of the new bloggers thinks the same way, they think that they are getting a lot of goodies and that too for free.
That sounds like a deal right,
well for some this can be, but the real thing is that most of the time this is not so true as there are some hidden things that makes these themes not so free after all.
Lately we have been researching a lot of free themes to find out that what is the catch why the creators launch the free themes, if they are not getting anything then why are they spending so much time in creating one.
We found out that there are some catch which varies from theme to theme, like hidden backlinks or affiliate links. When we found out these drawbacks then we thought that free theme is not a great deal after all.
There are many more reasons why you should keep away from free themes. You must have noticed that most of the pro bloggers use a professional theme.
Why you should keep away from free themes?
1. Affiliate links
Many of the free theme provider make this a habit to place an affiliate link either on the sidebar of footer area to make money from your website.
When people visit the website using their affiliate link, they will get the money for that customer even though they came from your website, you will not get a single penny out of it.
This is one of the most usual way to make money from your work.
They do it with an agreement which most of the new bloggers fail to read and accept it. There it’s written that you agree to put their affiliate links of your website as long as you use their theme.
This way unknowingly you are working for them and giving them a source of income from your work.
2. No support
There are times when things gets bad and your website layout you worked so hard to make it the way you want goes blank or not displaying the way you want. Then you have to go to the theme creator to solve it for you.
But for a free them you are on your own, Yes, they mostly don’t provide any support and you have to struggle yourself to fix it.
If you can’t fix it, which most of the new one can’t then ultimately have to ditch it. And till the time your website layout is not working properly the viewers of your website suffers and can even leave your website.
It’s been observed that people leaving with bad experience are less likely to return. So you are loosing viewers as well as revenue from them.
3. Unwanted links
While our research we found that there are many themes who place unwanted links to the footer of the design, this mostly links back to their website.
How this effects you that you will be providing a free dofollow backlinks to their website and these links will be on each and every page you publish.
They put it there to boost their Domain Authority, so every time you publish a post, you also transfer some of the valuable link juice to the website linked at the bottom.
And there are times when people try to remove these links but fail as these are coded into the theme and removing these links can make the theme unusable.
Some times these links are blended in to theme color so that you won’t notice that they are even there.
4. Rarely update.
In this continuous changing world many websites gets hacked just due to flaws in code.
The free themes are not bound to give you updates and as a matter of fact they rarely do. This means that they are more vulnerable to website getting hacked then website using professional theme.
When a hacker finds a specific loop-hole in the code the they target websites using same theme and when the creator does not update the theme then this means that the security flaw will be there for a lot of time and the change to get your website hacked increases in folds.
5. Clumsy code
You can’t complaint about the code if you have a free theme, You must be knowing that bad coded website can have a really bad page loading time and this have a direct effect on SEO of the website.
If you have think that how this all happen, bad coded theme have JS and CSS which are heavy to load so it takes time, so the time taken by page to completely load increases. Page loading time is an important factor for Google to rank your website content.
If you are using a free theme then you should check your website loading time using these free tools to check website speed online.
If the loading time is more, then you should consider changing the theme of your website.
6. Plugin Compatibility
If you think that you can install any free theme and it will be compatible with all the plugins you have then you must be lucky that every plugin is working. Many plugins fail to work with these free themes.
This is due to the code of the theme, if some code clashes with the code of the plugin then some things stop working, and in worst case you get a blank screen. This is can be nightmare for the one using the theme as he have no support for the theme either.
Many time people using free themes have this issue that the plugin they want is not compatible with the theme they are using and till the time they find out what is wrong the website suffers a defaced look.
7. Limited features
This is one thing that most of the free themes lack, with free themes you will get a limited features.
Most of the professional themes comes with a lot of features so that you don’t need some of the plugins for some specific tasks. And we always prefer to use as less plugin as we can.
More plugins make more load and are placed with some of the non relevant code so if the code is in the theme it will take less time to load and so good for SEO too.
And you don’t have to buy some of the plugins as the theme will have features built-in.
But with the free theme you have to get plugins for the features you want to add.
Even though free themes are not so good, but for the people on a tight budget can still use them. Before jumping on the first free theme, you should research about it a little. Many professional theme creators also gives some themes for free, try to get them as they are more reliable.
You should also check that support is available or not sometimes theme creator have an active support or a forum for error submitting. Then the creator can reply to the problem that he finds most people face.
Make it a point to check the speed of the theme before installing it on your website.
All these things will take time but it’s worth it, after all it’s all for your website.
- find free images using Google
- Expected Mistakes new bloggers make
- 17 must have Firefox extensions for web developers
- What to do when you don’t feel like creating content
If you liked the post then please share it, and to ask a question or for starting a conversation use the comment section below.