How Many Of You use A Free Blog Theme in WordPress? At first using a free blog theme seems great, but one thing I learned is that the price may sound good at first but it can cost you later on. What do I mean by this? In the post I will go into detail about “The Cost” of having a free blog theme and what would be a better route to take.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
When you don’t have a big marketing budget then you want to take advantage of anything that’s free that will help you make some progress.
When I first started blogging, I thought people didn’t invest any money in blogging. In my mind you just shared information and make money.
I tell you I was pretty naive when it came to this.
In a lot of cases I still am, but I’m growing, especially with the blogging friends I met.
It does take some effort and in different cases some money in order to get your blog to where you want it to be. Especially if you want to get quicker results in a shorter period of time.
But you know the word “free” use to be my favorite word. If there was anything that would fulfill something inside of me for free, then I was all for it.
Then I found out that “Free” still has a price on it and can cost you in the long run as well!
I tell you why…
For two years starting at the end 2011 and ending towards the end of 2013 I had problems with Viruses and Malware.
Have you ever freaked out when you couldn’t access your blog?
At first you may think that it’s a problem with the host company. But when you call and they give you limited support (meaning you have to help yourself), then that’s when the frustration, hatred towards your host company, bewilderment, and stress tend to kick in!
You’re thinking “What do I do now?”
A few things pop into your mind as you’re going through the motions:
- F@#$! my host company
- Dam, I may have to start all over
- There’s gotta be a way to fix this
- Dam, I should’ve went ahead and payed for that plugin/service!
- Maybe updating will help
- The updates didn’t help!!@#$%
- Maybe one of my blogging friends can help
Well this is the cost of only using “free” stuff. You go through all of these emotions and you feel pretty stuck.
Getting Rid Of Malware and Viruses was an emotional experience for me. As a result, I got help from a blogging friend of mind and was able to find a way to get rid of them.
And it wasn’t a big hassle either!
In this post I described the steps I took in order to get rid of the viruses and malware that had my blog hostage!
But what’s one way to help prevent any of this happening?
If you’re using WordPress, one way to lessen the chance of you getting really bad viruses and malware is to install a paid WordPress Theme! If you don’t know what a theme is, it’s basically the layout or appearance of your blog and each blog post that visitors see.
Now lets talk about the disadvantages of having a free blog theme…
Disadvantages of a Free Blog Theme
Either you really love blogging from the start, or you were told that it’s a great way to brand yourself and you grown to love blogging. Either way, you have became a serious blogger and you want to make the best out of your blog.
But as I mentioned before, for some people having a really tight budget will keep you from investing in your blog and your home business. So you have to make do before with what’s free in the meantime before you can invest in anything!
But like I said before… in the long run the word “free” has it’s price and can cost you in the near future.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some things that are free that won’t give you the stress that you don’t want. But besides that, as far as free blog themes are concerned, I like to tell you my experiences for just installing these on my blog:
Little To No Tech Support
I’ve read some blogs about how free blog themes have no tech support. This isn’t actually true. From my experience I’ve have found different forms regarding specific themes.
The only problem was that the tech support was very limited. And in some cases I had to copy and paste code as well as manipulate it. If you’re not a coder, then this is one reason why you should avoid installing free blog themes.
But besides that, many of the other free blog themes I have installed didn’t have the tech support I wanted. Especially when I dealt with viruses and malware!
A Free Blog Theme Can Bring Compatibility Problems
Some themes have compatibility issues with plugins I’ve installed. If wasn’t one thing it was another. Either I couldn’t put all the widgets I wanted on the sidebar, or one of the plugins just stop working.
In any case, the problem points back to the themes I installed. With that said, this brings us to the next point…
A Free Blog Theme Is Updated Either Rarely or Never
The major reason why there are compatibility issues with free blog themes is that they are rarely updated.
If this is the case, then these non-updated themes just opened up a can of worms for hackers to get into. Hackers are finding ways to get into systems on a weekly basis, if not daily!
If you haven’t updated your theme, lets say since 2011, don’t you think it’ll be a lot easier for hackers to get into? This is why there are security updates as you would see with a computer using Windows.
Not SEO Compliant
Right now in 2014, we’re in the age of social media, and social networking. SEO isn’t as big of a deal as it was some 5 years ago.
But on the contrary to that, it’s still important even in this age and the problem with free blog themes is that most aren’t SEO ready! Now many of you may say, “Big Deal, I’ll just focus on being social and share my content on social media”, which is fine, but sometimes an extra “ummphh” can carry your blog post over the hill all together.
In This Post I talk about how SEO still affects your blog in this day and time even though it’s not on the level it was 5 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still use plugins like the All In One SEO Pack, Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, or even SEOpressor that gives you an SEO checklist to make sure your blog posts are compliant.
At the same time you still going to have to deal with all the deficiencies that come with a free blog theme. So why not have the advantages of a paid blog theme which takes care of these issues all rolled up in one.
Advantage of Using Genesis Framework
Around March of this year I installed the Genesis framework after reading a couple of reviews of it. In summary, this is the engine that provides many of the features that is lacking with free blog themes.
You can use the default theme that comes with the Genesis framework, or install what is called a “Child Theme” on top of it, just in case you don’t like the look and feel of the default theme. I will go into more detail on the Genesis Framework in another post, but I like to share what you would get with this engine!
The Genesis Framework has search engine optimization already built inside of it. It focuses on the more important Meta Tags and Google Authorship that makes it easier for search engines to search and index each post that you write.
Great Customer Support
I saw the customer support and shouted a loud “Yesssss!” It also has it’s own community support in the form of forums where you can ask questions and get the answers in a very decent timely matter.
StudioPress is the one that houses the Genesis Framework. So if anything I really appreciate what they have provided me so far!
Consistent Updates that Coincides With WordPress Updates
This is one thing I like about the Genesis Framework. It is constantly being updated. As a matter of fact, I just updated the Genesis Framework as I was writing this post.
As you know I had big problem with viruses and malware, and this is definitely a big plus for me to limit those virus attacks and coding from hackers to have my blog compromised!
Can Install on Many WordPress Blogs with Just One License
I just found out that you get more for your money. You can set up the Genesis Framework on multiple blogs without buying it over and over again to install on each blog that you may have.
A lot of the Child Themes that you can install on top of Genesis are mobile ready. Have you ever tried to read a blog post from your mobile phone that just looks really disorganized and hard to read?
Well no problem, the Child Themes that StudioPress offers takes care of this. I tested it out myself with my own phone and plus I’m getting more traffic to my blog because of this fix! I love the developers of StudioPress for this!
How Do You Feel About Themes Now?
As I mentioned before, if your budget is tight at the moment, then I can understand that you want to go for the free blog theme. You have to make do until you get yourself going.
But if money isn’t the case, then I highly suggest that you look into the Genesis Framework to help avoid any future problems that may occur.
As far as pricing, the Genesis Framework is $60 dollars and the basic Child Themes will be between $30 and $40 dollars. I like to keep you in mind that this is what I paid when I installed them in March 2014.
As far as I’ve seen, this is the most popular framework out there right now, and so far I haven’t had any of the previous problems, which is definitely a Great Sign!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Have you had a lot of problems with Viruses and Malware? Was it because of your theme? Do you already have a theme that you already paid for? How is it working for you? Have you considered using the Genesis Framework?
Please share your comments below and share this post with your friends. I look forward to read them!