September 2013 Update: I did indeed buy a premium WP theme. I went with Genesis Framework. I found that the free themes did not provide sufficient flexibility to tweak the theme.
Early last year, I decided to buy a premium theme for my blog. I did my homework which resulted in my purchase of Standard Theme by 8Bit. Along with the theme, I bought the support license which would allow my to upgrade as they added improvements and fixed bugs in the theme. I was a happy camper.
Then, earlier this month, 8Bit announced that the partners are parting ways and that Standard Theme will no longer be supported. So much for my support license! I will continue running Standard until it breaks or another, better option presents itself. But, based on my experience with 8Bit, I’m unlikely to plunk down cash for another premium theme. Here are the main reasons why:
- My blog is mostly about the text, so while I want it to be attractive, I’m not relying on eye candy to attract visitors. There are many free themes that are attractive and user friendly.
- The main reason I purchased a premium theme is that I wanted my site to be responsive so that it would be attractive and readable on any device. There are now several good free themes that provide a responsive format.
- While it is nice to be able to upgrade with the same theme, WordPress makes it easy to change themes without reconfiguring the whole blog. Therefore if the theme I’m currently using does not provide a feature that I need, I can switch to another very easily. I don’t need to be locked into the same theme.
- While the offer of support seems like a valuable thing and I did sometimes read the support forums for Standard Theme, I find that since I really don’t have a desire to learn CSS or do any coding, I don’t get much value out of the support forums and can live without them.
- Did I mention that there are many really good FREE themes available?
I’m not drawing a line in the sand about buying a premium WordPress theme. But, the ease with which 8Bit abandoned its userbase will certainly make me wary of plunking down cash for something that I can get for free from another supplier. I remember Scotty on Star Trek saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Besides, free is my favorite price.