There are so many decisions that brand owners and bloggers have to make when building the right website. One such decision is whether to use a premium or free template builder for WordPress.
While a paid version will provide an advantage for an apparent reason, this does not make a free template any less worth it. It does come with a fair share of shortcomings, but you can still get basic functionality.
What is a WordPress Free Template Builder?
A WordPress free template builder allows you to build your website on WordPress fast using free ready-made functionality and features. It eliminates the need to develop your site manually, which requires knowledge of coding or hiring a costly web developer.
You are probably wondering why a web developer would provide a page builder for free when there is so much work involved in building one.
Here are a few reasons
- The free template builders act as a work portfolio, where the developer can showcase their expertise to potential customers.
- To increase brand exposure to a broader audience and build traffic to their website. The free template builders come with footer links back to the developer’s site.
- They use free versions to up-sell their products. By providing a well working free version with limited functionality, the developer persuades website owners to buy the premium version for the extra features.
There is nothing fishy about WordPress free template builders. It is a win-win situation for both the user and developer.
Are WordPress Free Template Builders Worth It?
It’s normal to associate free with low-quality, but WordPress free template builders are a great option, especially for beginners.
The fact that they do not cost a cent means makes it possible to build your website on a tight budget. They come in a minimalist design, unlike premium builders that are bloated with unnecessary features. This makes them easy to use and gives your website fairly good loading speed.
The template builders found in the WordPress directory are vetted for high standards. They undergo a strict assessment process, and you can be assured of high quality.
WordPress free template builders are great when you are starting a personal blog and don’t need much functionality. They are also great for beginners seeking to learn first before proceeding to the more complex and paid template builders.
7 Things WordPress Free Template Builders Commonly Miss
As much as WordPress free template builders are convenient, they lack in a few vital aspects.
1. A Dedicated Support System
When it comes to most free template builders, you cannot expect the same customer support you would get from a premium template builder. Their resources are limited, and providing a support system that will respond to each customer’s query is not viable. But you can always get answers through third parties such as WordPress forums and social media groups.
2. Variety of Features
A WordPress free template builder will not have the same comprehensive features a premium template builder provides. You only get the standard functionality, which is insufficient for professional and large websites. It limits your ability to add features that fully optimize your website’s design for the best user experience.
Like any other free item in the market, by using a free WordPress template builder, your website will be one of many in the market. Some free templates have millions of downloads and limited ways to customize your site. It makes it hard for your customers to differentiate your brand.
4. Responsive Design
You are unlikely to get a responsive design from most free template builders. A good website or blog should be fully responsive on mobile devices and desktops. When your website lacks a responsive design, you cannot optimize the visitors’ browsing experience. This, in turn, negatively affects your traffic, conversion rate, and SEO.
Unlike paid template builders, most free versions are hardly updated. WordPress, on the other hand, updates its CMS regularly. It could lead to an incompatibility that could slow down your website, negatively affect user experience, and increase your bounce rate. Lack of updates also means that your website cannot evolve with changes in design trends.
Unless you are getting your theme from the WordPress repository, you are likely to face security problems. Most developers do not update or test their free template builders as frequently as premium versions. For this reason, they could attract malware without the developer’s knowledge.
Most free WordPress template builders come with footer links back to the developer’s website. Depending on your niche, your website visitors may find it unprofessional to lead them back to sites that do not relate to the purpose of your website. Premium templates, however, provide the option to remove credit links.
WordPress free template builders are great, especially for beginners and personal blogs. But be warned, most are inflexible and come with a weak support system. Your website will lack in uniqueness and have a link back to the developer’s website.
Make your choice carefully. Ensure that you are getting a template from a legitimate developer by choosing one from the WordPress directory. Read reviews about it from previous users for clues on its shortcomings.