Support » Themes and Templates » Premium themes versus free themes?

  • Hello everyone!
    I am hoping some of you can help me make a decision.

    I browsed the free themes and have found my match in the Matala theme. I quite like it and am starting to figure out how to customize the wrapper to hopefully give it the look I want.

    Today I read an article by a seasoned WP user and she mentions that free themes often do not stay compatible as WP upgrades and then your theme will return to the current standard and all your site customizations and extra html/css work will be gone, the only thing that’ll survive is your content.
    Of course I desperately want to avoid that. Do I need to purchase a theme? And if so, any tips on how that works?
    Thank you!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Negative. All you need to do is create a child theme. By creating a child theme, your edits and extra HTML/CSS will always stick around, unless you remove the child theme yourself. The theme the child theme is based off of may update, but your changes will remain.

    I don’t think you can make generalizations in something like this – there are free themes that are meticulously coded, constantly updated and very well supported by the developer. And there are commercial themes that are the opposite and create unfortunate problems for the user/customer. I’d advise you to search around and see what kind of issues a theme or developer has had on the forums here or elsewhere — of course, take them with some grains of salt, because some users will be unhappy with everything or have completely unrealistic expectations, etc. See if you can find out the history of the theme – has it been maintained over a period of time and/or how many downloads has it had. Again, these are not absolute measures or definitive, but can be useful as a point of comparison.

    If you want to look at commercial themes, ask questions before purchasing and make sure support is provided, as these forums won’t support commercial themes at all. I’d for sure, stick with commercial vendors that are listed here:

    @john, I think you misunderstood her question – if a theme is not updated by the developer and as a result becomes incompatible with WP core, she’s correctly guessing she would then be forced to find another theme. And changing themes would, in most cases, require some extra work – perhaps a lot.

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    Front-end developer

    Today I read an article by a seasoned WP user and she mentions that free themes often do not stay compatible as WP upgrades

    Which free themes?

    I believe it was a site on blogging on
    She did not mention which free themes, I think she was implying that none of them come with a guarantee.
    Of course I realize she can make a few bucks if she succeeds in selling her theme, but I didn’t want to disregard the information.

    Thank you all so much for your answers so far!
    WPyogi- Thanks for your help. I will look at the link you provided and re-visit the free themes.

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    Front-end developer

    She also mentions no support is given to free themes.

    This is false information and for someone with an agenda to sell themes, you should keep cautious. I don’t see any citations or references neither, so it seems she’s writing out of opinion.

    I looked at her site and while she makes some valid points and has some good information, she’s obviously making money off some of her “recommendations.” Certainly, Genesis, IS a great theme and very well supported by the developers. But my earlier comments still stand – basically, do your own due diligence before paying any money or using a free theme. It’s really no different from, say, buying a car…most people don’t just pick one without doing at least a little research into safety, reliability, functionality, etc.

    I would really disagree with her recommendation about hosting — that looks like she is making money off referrals. I’d suggest looking at this page re hosting:

    Thank you both very much!

    I did pick a host a while ago,
    I wish I had seen the wordpress recommendations earlier, but out of the options I was able to find (hostgator seems to have a lot of controversy going on and others seemed flakier) it seemed like the best option. Obviously this is my first time around, and it seems that no matter how many reviews I read and how many tutorials I watch I always find something better a week later…
    Anyway. Thanks again!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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