Everyone loves things that comes free, likewise for Free WordPress Themes that are given away by many Theme designers. People offers free WordPress Themes to users for many reasons and intentions. Some are noble, some for fame, some, for downright evil intentions. No matter what their intentions are, we, as the person wanting these free themes, or whatever that is free for that matter, must always bear in mind that, in this realistic and materialistic world, nothing really come free. One way or another, everything comes with a price. Even Free WordPress Themes
Are Free WordPress Themes Really Free?
If money is taken into context, yes, Free WordPress Themes is really free. In terms of price, it is zero. You do not need to pay a single cent to use these free themes. However, there is still a price to be paid, not in terms of money, but rather in terms of what you are willing to go through when you want to use these Free Themes.
Credit Links In Free WordPress Themes
The mildest form of payment you have to fork out when using a Free WordPress Theme is tolerating a credit link to the Author of the Theme. It is in fact good Net ethics to give credit when credit due. The Theme creator have put in many hours creating the Free Theme for you so paying him back with a link is a fair deal.
Sponsored Links In Free WordPress Themes
The more subtle way of making you pay is by inserting a couple of sponsored links into the Free Theme. Sponsored links are links sold to people or businesses looking to build backlinks to their sites. Many theme builders makes a good side income using this method, churning out Free WordPress Themes, then offering the Themes to sponsors in popular Forums like Digital Point and so on. Prices may range anything from $5 to sometimes $50 per link.
The downside is, they can only insert that many links in one theme before it gets too obvious and once the quota has been filled and the Theme has been put up for download, income stops. Thus, many theme designers takes down the Theme after a set number of downloads, make some alterations , then put it up again for re-sponsoring. Doing it this way they can build up an inventory of Free WordPress Themes that can make money for them over and over again. In the meantime, they keep building new themes.
Malicious Links In Free WordPress Themes
Clean sponsored links in Free WordPress Themes is in a way quite acceptable. Most of the time, the links are inserted in the footer as credits to the designer. As long as the links goes to a legitimate site, harm done to the users will be minimum. Problem starts when unscroupolus Theme Builders starts to sell links in their Themes to sites that are not kindly looked upon by Search Engines like Google.
They do this by inserting a long bunch of cryptic codes into the Theme files. These codes not only goes into the footer of the Theme, but most of the time, is also inserted into the Functions php file. Ignorant or non tech savvy users will almost never open their functions php file and most of the time, these malicious codes in these Free WordPress Themes goes unnoticed.
Newbies will never know what hit them or why their blogs never gets indexed by Google.
Free WordPress Themes From Torrent Sites
Many who has been in the WordPress Theme scene long enough will know that they can get free Premium WordPress Themes that cost nearly a hundred bucks from torrent sites. Even though they know that these are illegal, there is no stopping for them and many do not mind going through the hassle of getting these premium WordPress Themes for free.
Methods Used By Black Hatters To Lure Those Looking For Free WordPress Themes
The fact is, there is money to be made by uploading torrent files for download. It is a practice favored by many black hatters to make easy and fast money or to build up a email list in the shortest time. Methods includes password protecting the downloaded torrent files then re-directing the down-loader to a squeeze page or a sales page where they have to opt in or buy a small item to claim their password for opening the file that contains the Free WordPress Theme.
Another method is to let them download a broken file for the free WordPress Theme and when they open the file midway, a message pops up telling them the file is corrupted and cannot be fully opened. It is then followed by a message that sends them to the original download page using their affiliate link. By this time, the guy seeking for the Free WordPress Theme will be so frustrated that they will be willing to pay for the Theme.
Black Hat marketers claims that they can get thousands of targeted hits daily using torrent uploads reason being, there are tens of thousands who are scavenging these torrent sites for free products daily. A conversion rate of 1% will mean many sales for them in a day.
Where To Download Free WordPress Themes
Needless to say, the best place to download Free WordPress Themes is the WordPress Theme Directory. There practically thousands of Free WordPress Themes available there and all of them have been screened for any dirty codes or links.
Another site is Weblogtools. Though this is not a dedicated free WordPress Theme site, they do recommend good and clean WordPress Themes that are free. All themes that are submitted for recommendation there are also checked for sponsored links and malicious codes before being published.
Of course then there are those Premium WordPress Theme sites that sells premium themes but will also give away some of their Themes for free as a form of incentive or free publicity.
Should You Keep On Using Free WordPress Themes?
When someone is serious about their blogs and when they reach a certain point or status in their blogging career, they should stop using Free WordPress Themes. It will be time for them to get a theme is is done by a professional, or at least get a Premium Theme that befits their status. To keep using A Free WordPress Theme at this point will only stagnate their growth and prestige.
There is nothing arrogant or obnoxious about wanting a Premium Theme. Themes created by professionals have much better code architecture than Free WordPress Themes. They have to justify the price they charge for their Themes. Anyone who has been using Free WordPress Themes before switching to Premium WordPress Themes will tell you that they will see a spike in Search Traffic after a few weeks of using the Theme. The clarity of the codes, the loading speed and the SEO structure of Premium Themes surpasses those that are free.
Of course then to be fair, there are indeed very well coded Premium Themes that one can still get for free. The Thematic Theme is a prime example of a Free Premium WordPress Theme. Another free Premium Theme is the Hybrid Theme which is being used by many professionals. Both these are good alternatives for those who want to move away gradually from using Free WordPress Themes.
Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.