By Princess Jones
If you’ve consider WordPress as the foundation for your business website, you may have noticed that the original installation is pretty basic. WordPress websites rely heavily on theme installations for customizations. Finding a theme that fits your business’ brand and your personal esthetic can be a process. Many business owners resort to searching online for free WordPress themes to add to their websites. But that’s often a mistake.
Free Isn’t Really Free
With WordPress being one of the biggest and most diverse content management systems out there, free theme searches get a lot of traction. Some sites are set up just to capture incoming search traffic by exploiting those search terms. You’re more likely to find broken links, stolen themes, and junk sites than anything useful.
You might also find some free WordPress themes. But they are often poorly designed, poorly coded, and very limited in what they can do. Not only that, you may notice that the same five or six free themes keep showing up. That’s because hundreds of website owners before you downloaded and installed that free theme. Now you’re just another poorly designed, poorly coded face in the crowd.
Some free themes are actually trojan horses with malicious intent. They contain spam keywords and links hidden in the code. In the worst case, you may even pick up a malicious virus downloading files from unknown sites. It can affect your computer or your WordPress installation. It might even be set up to take over your website once installed and lock you out.
If you’re looking for free WordPress themes, a better place to start is the WordPress theme directory. Before WordPress will allow a developer to upload a theme to the directory, they check it against current standards. You’ll also see reviews from other users and how many other installations are using it. This isn’t to say that you won’t ever experience a security flaw or bad apple from those themes. But the odds that you will are much less than if you upload something you found in the wilds of the Internet.
Please keep in mind that most of the themes in the directory are simple and in heavy rotation. Your business will likely need something more customized and unique very soon. You can choose to use a theme from a theme club like WooThemes or Elegant Themes for well made themes at reasonable pricing with technical support built in.
If you’re willing to spend a little more money, you can find a designer to build you a customized child theme based on a theme already available. Or you can have something built from the ground up with varying degrees of complexity and cost. The point is that you have some good options and none of them start with Googling “free WordPress themes.”