WordPress Theme Guide: Free, Freemium, and Premium WordPress Themes. Which to Choose?September 14, 2022

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) worldwide, powering more than 25% of all websites. New WordPress sites are being created every day; this means there are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes to choose from. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect theme for your website. Are you looking for a free or premium WordPress theme? Do you prefer a modern, minimalistic design or something more traditional? These are some important questions you need to answer before choosing a WordPress theme for your site. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between free, freemium, and premium WordPress themes, give examples of each option, and highlight some of our favorite themes available today.

What’s the difference between free, freemium, and premium WordPress themes?

Free WordPress Themes

Free WordPress themes are 100% free to download and install. There are no hidden costs or monthly subscriptions associated with these themes. Many free WordPress themes are simple and easy to use but don’t offer many customization options. Some free WordPress themes are great starter themes, but they fall short in terms of functionality and design compared to premium WordPress themes.

Freemium WordPress Themes

Freemium WordPress themes are free to download and use, but offer premium features that are paid. These types of themes are often created by design agencies and distributed through WordPress theme marketplaces. For example, you might download a free WordPress theme and find out the header image doesn’t look quite like you’d like it to. If you decide you want a custom header image, you might need to pay a designer to create that image for you.

Premium WordPress Themes

Premium WordPress themes cost money upfront. Typically, they’re distributed through online marketplaces or through the website of the designer who created the theme. WordPress themes are licensed to you either on a one-time payment or a monthly subscription. The theme license includes access to the theme’s documentation and support via email.

Free WordPress Themes

Free WordPress themes are the most popular type of WordPress theme. You can find free themes on WordPress.org, as well as on premium theme marketplaces that sell WordPress themes like ThemeForest, Creative Market, and others. When choosing a free WordPress theme, there are several things to consider: functionality, design, ease of use, and support/documentation.


First and foremost, you want to make sure the theme has the functionality you need on your website. What types of pages will your site have? Do you need a blog? What about contact forms and social media integration? Make sure any free WordPress theme you choose meets your specific needs.


A good design complements your brand and makes your content look professional. But do you prefer a modern, minimalistic design or something more traditional? Make sure the free WordPress themes you’re considering meet your design expectations.

Ease of use

You don’t want to spend hours trying to set up your WordPress site. Make sure the free WordPress themes you’re considering are easy to install, navigate, and edit.


The best way to learn how to use a WordPress theme is by reading the documentation and support forums. If you can’t find what you need there, you can always reach out to the developers via email. What’s the support like for the free WordPress themes you’re considering?

Freemium WordPress Themes

Freemium WordPress themes tend to be easy to use and beginner-friendly. They often have clean and modern designs, integrate with all the major social media channels, and offer multiple blog layouts. Freemium WordPress themes come with a free version and a premium version. You usually get the free version first and can upgrade to the premium version when you’re ready. Some examples of popular freemium WordPress themes include: –

  • OceanWP – Probably the most customizable free theme currently available.
  • Astra – Another great free theme, although not as customizable as OceanWP.
  • Hello Elementor – If you are using Elementor Pro, Hello will be the lightest theme you can use.

Premium WordPress Themes

Premium WordPress themes are a great option if you want an advanced design and a high level of customization. Premium WordPress themes typically offer thousands of design options, easy installation, and great customer support. Premium WordPress themes are created by independent designers. They often sell their themes directly online, on marketplaces like Creative Market, or through online WordPress theme shops. If you choose to purchase a premium WordPress theme, be sure to read the terms of use and FAQs. Many premium themes include an end-user license that prohibits you from reselling the theme. Another important thing to keep in mind when choosing a premium WordPress theme is your skill level. Generally, the more advanced the design, the more challenging it will be to set up and customize. If you’re not very tech savvy, a simple and easy-to-use theme is the best option for you.

Which type of WordPress theme should you choose?

If you’re just getting started with blogging, a freemium WordPress theme might be a good choice for you. Most freemium WordPress themes come with a free version as well as a paid version. If you’re just getting started, you might want to choose the free version and upgrade when you’re ready. You can also consider purchasing a premium WordPress theme that offers a freemium version.

If you want a highly customizable and advanced design, a premium WordPress theme might be a good fit for you. Some premium WordPress themes come with a one-time payment, while others are monthly subscriptions. The best way to find the right WordPress theme for your website is to do your research. Browse online theme shops, read online reviews, and try out some WordPress themes for yourself.

Bottom line

Choosing the right WordPress theme is an important decision. Free WordPress themes are great for beginners but lack many of the advanced features and design options that premium themes offer. If you have the budget, we recommend choosing a premium WordPress theme. You’ll get access to a trove of design options, easy installation, and excellent customer support.

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