One of the first choices you need to make when you start building a website is deciding how you want it to look. Your customization might look bad and need to be redone if you do them before you choose which theme to use.
Bespoke is always best
A bespoke theme is always the best option if you are able to build one or can afford the hire someone to build one for you. A bespoke theme provide a number of benefits compared to all free and premium themes that you can choose to use.
The main benefit of a bespoke theme is that is will give a professional impression. To use a theme that your visitors might have seen on other websites does not inspire the same confidence. Whenever I see a commercial website that use a theme I have seen before I feel that they do not really believe in their business since they are not willing to invest in a custom theme. This sentiment is shared by thousand of potential customers. Using a bespoke theme will increase your chances of turning a visitor into a customer.
A bespoke theme allow you to use a theme that is perfectly suited for your website. Themes that are provided for free or sold are designed to suit a lot of websites. Ie they will work well on a lot of website but is not perfectly suited for any of them.
A bespoke theme makes it easier to reach the top of the search engines since it will seem unique and professional. This is both due to the fact that Google appreciates uniqueness and because it will be easier to attracts links to your website. You can read more about the important of links on our article about links.
If you are unable to afford a bespoke theme
You can build a successful website and business using a free of premium theme. You do not have to use a bespoke theme. A bespoke theme will however give you an edge.
If you are unable to afford a bespoke theme and if you don’t have the time to build on yourself then you can chose a free theme. A free theme will allow you to start your business. Once it has started to grow you can update your website to use a bespoke theme.
The WordPress repository give you access to hundreds of free theme. The WordPress repository is curated to make sure that all themes are well coded and that they do not contain malicious code. This is the safest source to use if you want to use a free theme. I do not recommend that you download themes from other sources. Many external sources distributes themes infested with malware that are designed to give them access to your site to allow them to add malicious links to your website. Malicious links can hurt your rankings. Never download pirated versions of premium theme. They almost always contain malware.
A lot of free themes allow you to pay to unlock additional features.
Premium themes can be a good option if you prefer a theme that is less common than the free themes available in the repository but lack the resources to use a bespoke theme. Premium themes are also a good option if you are unable to find a free theme you like. There are a number of different marketplaces where you can buy premium themes. I prefer the website Themeforest.net. They offer a very large selection of themes for WordPress and other platforms.
The price of premium themes can vary a lot but most themes cost between USD 20 – 50.
Chose a premium theme that provides you with the look and feel you want for your website. Remember that more features are not always better. Choose the one that suits your plans the best. Not the one that gives you the most features.