The world of WordPress Themes can feel so vast that it seems impossible to locate the best places to find the really good ones. After all, the theme you choose will be the first impression your business makes on potential customers, so it’s important to make sure it’s not only user-friendly but also professional.
If you’re still wondering whether or not you should be running your small business website on WordPress, check out this article we wrote just for you!
The big question you have to ask yourself at this stage is, do you want a free WordPress theme or a paid, premium WordPress theme? If you don’t know how to answer that question, no worries, we’ve outlined the differences below, along with some of our theme repository recommendations.
Is a Free WordPress Theme Right For You?
Seeing as how 26% of websites are run on WordPress, it makes sense that the industry is filled to the brim with free themes and templates. As for the quality of all those free themes, you get a mix of good, bad and ugly.
What should you expect from a quality free theme? Free themes are generally best for bloggers, portfolio websites and small business sites. Can you start an eCommerce shop on a free theme? Sure, but it’s not going to be as flexible and as robust as you may require.
You’ll notice two main differences between free and premium themes: Feature-sets and customization options.
Free themes typically have fewer features than premium themes. That’s not to say that you can’t find hidden gems, but you might end up missing items like social media buttons, parallax effects, premium plugins, contact forms and more. The good news is that many businesses and bloggers don’t need the whole kitchen sink.
The second difference is with customization. Most free themes are more “cookie cutter,” meaning that what you download is what you get. We recommend selecting a theme that goes well with your brand right out of the box. This way, you won’t need to customize it much.
Where to Find Beautiful Free WordPress Themes
Free WordPress themes can be found all over the Internet. In fact, many premium developers like to create free themes and give them away for fun, or to convince you to buy a premium version of a free theme.
We actually like the idea of free themes that can be eventually upgraded, because you may want to initially test a free theme, then upgrade when you need more features.
Here are some spots you can find free themes for your small business:
The WordPress Theme directory – Here’s the largest selection you’ll be able to find. But I wouldn’t rely on this for helping you make the decision (so many options).
Or, Maybe You Should Get a Premium WordPress Theme
With premium themes, the sky’s the limit. You can find a robust array of features, along with elegant designs, mobile responsiveness, specialized functionalities (ie. hotel booking, charity donation etc…) and more.
The main reason you would go with a premium theme is for the design, but something else you want is good support. Free theme developers don’t typically provide tech or customer support for their themes since they aren’t making any money from them.
However, premium theme developers have forums, chat boxes, support ticketing systems, FAQs, tutorials, documentation, knowledge bases and some even come installed with demo content so your theme looks great as soon as you install it.
There are a few other things to expect with premium themes. You have a better chance of getting a cleanly-coded theme, meaning your site will be fast, free of bugs and already optimized for search engine optimization.
Where to Find Beautiful Premium WordPress Themes
The premium theme market is currently booming, so you can perform a simple Google search to find hundreds of design companies that provide incredible theme options. If you have a certain niche, definitely include that in your Google search.
What’s nice is that many of the premium theme developers below have filterable portfolios so you can see which specific industries (hospitality, photography, real estate, blogging) they cater to.
Here are some spots you can find premium themes for your small business:
ThemeForest – Huge selection. The filtering is great, but it’s hard to sift through so many options.
If you’re on the lookout for a stunning WordPress theme for your new business, start by looking at the recommendations above. After that, try to make a list of your favorites to test out. Make sure to look for elements that may be important to you (like newsletter subscription forms, sticky menu bars, user reviews, banner advertisement locations etc…) because these things will not be so easily fixed by a plugin or widget.
And once you’re up and running with your great looking WordPress theme, don’t forget to secure it so that hackers and malware don’t spoil all your hard work.