My name is Ivin Viljoen and I have been blogging since 2006. I blogged on a specific news sites’ free blogging platform and was frustrated with the rules, clicky-ness, blogotism (like nepotism…) etc. There were many other quirks I had to deal with. The one thing that was great was they had an internal fellowship/system that promoted your blog to others within the network.
I wrote pretty controversial material so I did well with traffic. However, living in that bubble exonerates you from the real meaning of what it is to blog. Then I started a blog on WordPress called Authopublisher. I first used a free theme called Newsport with which I literally pulled my hair out from frustration. From my experiences with both free and paid themes I share with you the following tips and guidelines:
What is wrong with free themes?
- Free means your theme isn’t original or exclusive.
- Free means tacky and unpractical.
- Most free themes are available for no money because they link to someone else’s blog/website.
- You get what you paid for.
- No support is offered.
- Every time WP is updated, you change something or plugins are added you can mess your blog up.
- Usability is very complicated, most ‘designers’ of themes don’t know anything about it so their themes don’t do things correctly – like SEO and navigation.
- Owners of blogs using free themes don’t have access to its source files.
Why paid themes rock.
- Design and layouts are more advanced.
- Your chances to exclusivity are better.
- Wider selection of professional themes.
- Developers engage with customers in the user forums.
- You can update your theme for free.
- Get your paid themes at
- Through outsourcing.
Disadvantages of a paid theme.
- You’ll spend at least $50 or more.
- Because of its technicality and complex design, it poses great challenges to normal users from a coding perspective (which you’ll need to do – but searching on Google and some patience will help a lot).
Advantages of a paid theme.
- No tweaking for hours on end, leaving more time to tweak ads.
- There are options where you get themes free with your paid theme (That’s a paid theme or two free with your paid theme).
- There are also developer prices where you pay a size-able fee for a developer package where you have access to all the designers themes to use for your own sites or for your customers.
- It increases your professionalism and serves as a gauge for your blog clout.
- Advertising on your blog in controlled by you.
- The customization options are far greater.
- You have greater freedom and functionality with plugins. Paid themes have plugins designed especially for it which makes it easier.
Let me end off with saying that I launched one or two blogs between my newsblog and current blog and never got to blogging because they were so bad in looks and function. Once I closed my eyes, reached into my pocket and bought the theme my happiness couldn’t be contained. I am flourishing.
Stop dreaming and make it happen!
Ivin Viljoen is a self publishing expert having written his first book in 3 days and publishing it in 2 weeks. He has been blogging since 2006 and launched his self publishing blog in August 2010. Get your free copy of his ‘How to self-publish’ book. He also freelances helping internet marketers compile and publish their free reports.