There are many sources for WordPress themes, but basically they fall into one of three categories: Free WP Themes, Custom WP Themes from a software tool, and Premium WP Themes. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each.
Free WordPress Themes
While there are many sources of free WP themes out there, I recommend you stick to the ones on WordPress.org (i.e. the themes available from within WordPress itself). As these themes have been tested and “approved” by WP, they tend to be much safer.
- Free—No extra cost
- Easy access, directly from the WP interface
- Easy to update
- Can be hard to find a theme that meets all your needs
- Not always easy to customize
Custom WordPress Themes Generated from a Software Tool
If you need or would like a bit more customization of your WP themes, you can purchase a software tool such as Artisteer that allows you to build themes via a point and click, drag and drop interface. I’ve used Artisteer in the past and for some websites (though not all) the themes you can generate are very well suited.
- Easy to build without having to code
- Can be customized easier than free themes
- Cost of software package and future updates to the software
- When software tool is updated, you also need to update your theme
- Still may not provide enough customization needed
Premium WordPress Themes
Lastly, if you can’t find a suitable theme for your site from the free themes, and tools like Artisteer still don’t meet your needs, you can purchase a premium WP theme that includes automated updates and support. With premium themes, you can pretty much get the exact look you want, however the cost may be higher. Currently, the Genesis Framework is one of the most popular sources for WordPress theme designs.
- Offer the most customization possible
- Automated updates
- Includes support
- Usually the most expensive option
For many WordPress photo blog owners, one of the free themes available in WP will be more than adequate. But, if you’re looking for a special type of design, remember there are other sources available that can get the job done.