Until I started WordPress freelancing, I never thought of using premium WordPress themes. But now I can’t imagine using a free theme for myself and clients. Here are the reasons why I prefer premium WordPress themes:
1. Variety of designs – Premium theme designers offer CMS themes for various purposes like E-Commerce, Portals, Magazines, Business sites, Photo blogs, Video blogs etc., Free themes mostly have a blog look.
2. Theme support – Good premium theme sites like StudioPress have very active support forums that have already documented answers for frequently asked questions. This saves precious time spent in understanding and modifying the theme.
3. Theme options – This is a saviour for technically less inclined people. Makes it easy to do the usual customization work easily.
4. Theme updates – Sometimes, I couldn’t update sites to latest WordPress versions just because the free theme wasn’t compatible. This is a serious security and usability issue. With good premium themes, the theme upgrades are assured and available at once
5. No bad links – There are many good looking free themes but with encrypted footer links. Having them is very risky for SEO and removing them is against the theme license. With premium themes, I will never have to worry about bad links.
6. More unique look – Most popular free themes are used in the web. So, having a premium theme increases the chance of having a more unique look.
Of course, there are always few very good free WordPress themes and some very badly done premium themes.