WordPress is a powerful CMS (content management system) that by most measures powers about 1/4 of the entire Internet. Let that set in for a moment. With this, there is a gigantic community of supporters and programmers that create free and paid themes, plugins and services. When you need to build your own site, what is best? Besides hosting, it is possible to create a WordPress site totally free using a free theme. Is it worth the money to use a premium theme or a web builder? Our article today will walk you through each of these and advise on which is best.
Many hosting companies (including ours!) include free themes that are a part of their installations and hosting services. It is possible to purchase hosting and with one-click, install WordPress + free themes. It is very empowering to the end user to be able to do all of this without hiring the pros. Many of these themes although functional, require a lot of time and effort to personalize it and make it look professional. Many of these themes also lack features that make your self-published webpage easier to build, and sometimes require the need for finding coding to make changes. If you are looking to build a site on a minimal budget, this is the way to go, but be cautious of how long it will take to finish the project.
Premium themes can be purchased on sites like Template Monster or CodeCanyon, some as inexpensive as eight dollars and some costing more than one hundred. The more expensive themes include builders such as Cherry Builder or Visual Composer to drastically cut the amount of time it takes to build a site from start to finish. Many premium themes have their own…theme base on the type of webpage, business, organization, etc. you are trying to build. Even without a web builder included in the theme, buying a theme in your industry or interest will help speed up your build. I find that the value add for buying a premium theme is worth it in timesavings.
The last category we have already briefly talked about – web builders. These tools use drag and drop or similar tools to make beautiful webpages without any need for coding. Think of them like a Wix or Squarespace builder, but for WordPress (which is far superior, we will dig more into this in a future blog). The most popular builders we see on client sites are usually bundled with a premium theme, and others can be purchased separately and installed as a plugin. There are a few companies that make themes and builders installed together – namely Avada and Divi. These two companies, and others, include a builder as a part of the theme install. Because of the fusion between the plugin builder and the theme, we find that this is by far the best method of building a WordPress site. The amount of customizations that are possible without any need for coding is powerful.
When purchasing themes or builders, we recommend investigating the following:
- Some themes and builders only include six months or one year of updates. Keeping your theme, plugins and WordPress core always updated is essential for site security.
- Builders matched with themes. We recommend using themes that include web builders or fused theme/builder combos (like Divi.)
- Use a reputable host. Please consider using us! See below.
It is no secret that we are major advocates and supporters of Divi by Elegant Themes. If you are looking for the easiest, fastest, most stable and customizable way to build your own WordPress site, click here to see their page.