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Shopify vs WordPress (2024 Comparison) – Forbes Advisor

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Shopify vs WordPress (2024 Comparison) – Forbes Advisor

To really compare Shopify vs. WordPress, it helps to take a look at their stats. See how they stack up in some of the most important categories for small business owners.

Transaction Fees

Both Shopify and WordPress have a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents for online credit card transactions. To put that in perspective, if a customer made a $100 purchase, you’d pay $3.20 in fees.

Where these two companies differ is in-person fees. Shopify’s is 2.7%, while WordPress’ is 2.6% plus 10 cents. For purchases under $100, Shopify will be cheaper. But, if you sell high-priced goods, WordPress’ fees might help you come out ahead.

Unlimited Products

Both Shopify and WordPress let you upload unlimited products to your website. On Shopify, you can also turn off inventory tracking for certain products, which is helpful if you’re selling non-physical products, such as a digital file.

While you’re not limited by the number of products on WordPress, keep in mind you only have up to 50GB of storage. If you have a lot of product files and documentation, you might max out your space quickly.

Storage

Shopify offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, which is great if you want to load up your product listings with large image files. Keep in mind, it does limit the max file size to 20MB.

WordPress only offers up to 50GB of storage. You can add on more storage in 50GB and 100GB allotments, but even then, you can only have a total of 200GB of storage per account.

Integrations

You can choose from over 8,000 apps in the Shopify store. These include marketplace integrations, social media connections, subscription management, design customizations and more.

WordPress with WooCommerce offers 820 specific e-commerce extensions. However, there are nearly 60,000 free plugins available from WordPress itself, though many of these won’t be relevant for online shops.

Customer Support

Both companies have no phone support, which isn’t great if you need a quick answer. However, they both offer 24/7 live chat and email support. With WordPress, you get email support starting with the Starter plan and live chat support starting with the Explorer plan and up. Shopify includes live chat and email support on all plans.

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WordPress Themes 101: Free vs. Premium and Everything in Between

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WordPress Themes 101: Free vs. Premium and Everything in Between

Do you want to learn about WordPress themes and how they can take your website to the next level? If so, you’re in the right place! 

There’s no question that choosing the right WordPress theme is vital for building a website that not only looks great but also offers your customers the best experience possible. 

But as a beginner or someone looking for a change, this process can be overwhelming, after all, there are thousands of themes to choose from!

We believe that by understanding themes and the important factors around them, you’ll be better prepared to choose one that aligns with your goals. Today, we will give you the full rundown on WordPress themes. Keep reading, and you’ll learn everything you need to know about finding the perfect theme for your site.

Let’s begin!  

Understanding WordPress themes

At its core, WordPress themes are a collection of files that define the appearance and functionality of a WordPress website. Themes control everything from the layout and color scheme to the typography and navigation menus. They are the visual and structural foundation that dictates how content is presented to visitors.

Not only do themes determine the look of your site, but they have a direct impact on performance and your overall user experience (UX).

Choosing the best WordPress themes can enhance the overall branding, improve readability, and provide a seamless browsing experience across different devices. But a quick look at the ecosystem will show you that the possibilities are quite endless. You can find sleek and minimalist themes as well as incredibly in-depth, feature-rich options and everything in between. 

One way to start exploring your options is to see what themes your favorite websites use. There are various tools and resources available that can help you with your research. A popular option is “What WordPress Theme Is That?,” which allows users to enter a website URL and quickly discover the active theme. Additionally, “WordPress Theme Detector” can automatically detect and display the theme information for any WordPress site you visit.

WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between
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Choosing the right theme

Now that you know a bit more about themes, let’s talk about some of the major factors you need to know when choosing one for your website. 

  1. Responsive Design: Did you know there are over 5.48 billion mobile users? This statistic highlights why it’s essential to choose a theme that offers a responsive design that looks great and works perfectly across all devices and screen sizes.
  2. SEO Optimized: You’ll want to find a WordPress theme that can help with search engine optimization (SEO). For example, some themes come with a schema markup alongside the theme.  This feature can give your website a competitive edge in search engine rankings and lead to more traffic.
  3. Customizable Design: Depending on your needs, you may want to choose a theme that allows for easy and flexible customization, whether through theme options, page builders, or the ability to modify the code directly. This feature can help you add some personal flair and style to your site. 
  4. Compatibility with WordPress plugins: WordPress plugins can add powerful functionality to your website, so it’s crucial to choose a theme that is compatible with the plugins you plan to use or might need in the future. Trust us, you don’t want to buy a theme that isn’t compatible with what you’re currently using. 
  5. Loading Times: Research shows that 53% of people will leave a website if it takes too long to load. So, this means a fast-loading website is crucial for boosting engagement, sales, and your search visibility. When looking for a theme that can help, choose one with optimized code and a lightweight design.

Free vs. premium themes

When it comes to choosing the best WordPress themes for your site, you’ll need to balance the factors above with the decision to use a free or premium option. Both have their advantages and drawbacks that you should know.

Here’s a quick overview of each, as well as when you should use them on your site: 

Free WordPress Themes:

  • Cost-effective solution, which can be helpful for people on a tight budget.
  • A wide range of free themes are available in the official WordPress directory and third-party repositories. This means you’ll have options, even if you decide to take the free route.
  • Ideal for basic websites or those with limited customization needs.
  • Free themes are usually not updated as often, which can pose security risks if not maintained properly.
  • There are limited support options, so you’ll need to check out forums if you get stuck. 

When to choose a free theme:

  • You’re on a tight budget and have basic website design needs
  • You’re comfortable with limited customization options, or don’t need advanced customization
  • You’re willing to take precautions to keep your site safe and maintained due to the lack of support and updates

Premium WordPress themes:

  • Typically come with more advanced features, which means you can tweak your site in a way that perfectly matches your needs. 
  • Outside of standard page building, these themes are often highly customizable with various built-in options and integrations.
  • Provide access to dedicated support and step-by-step guides when you have a specific problem. 
  • It can be more expensive, ranging from one-time fees to recurring subscriptions.

When to choose a premium theme:

  • You require advanced features and functionality.
  • You value regular updates, support, and maintenance.
  • You need a highly customizable and unique design.
  • Your website handles a lot of sensitive information or traffic. 

Ultimately, the decision between a free or premium WordPress theme will depend on your specific needs, budget, and the level of customization and support you require for your website. Both have a place in the community. 

Now that you know a little more about themes and how they work, let’s have a look at some of the best themes and how they can help you take your website to the next level.

Astra

WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in BetweenWordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between

Price: Free + $59 per year

Astra theme is a multipurpose and lightweight theme that has become extremely popular among WordPress users due to its performance, customizability and compatibility with popular page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder etc. 

The free version of the theme offers basic yet important features such as responsive layout, typography controls, different layouts etc. The premium version of Astra, Astra Pro, offers advanced features such as custom layouts, header builder, footer builder, typography options etc. Weighing less than 100KB, this theme is one of the fastest WordPress themes and is suitable for any type of website.

GeneratePress

1718603778 829 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between1718603778 829 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between

Price: Free + $59 per year

Another modern and popular theme, GeneratePress, is known for its speed and ease of use. The free version already has an integrated layout builder, typography options, and basic pages such as services, portfolio, and contact.

GeneratePress is also an ideal WordPress theme for website layout because of its visual page builder in the premium version. Some of the premium features of this theme include a site library, custom layouts, sections, headers, typography, pricing tables, WooCommerce support, and advanced theme settings. If you’re looking for WordPress eCommerce themes, this is an excellent option.

OceanWP

1718603778 139 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between1718603778 139 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between

Price: Free + $44 per year, $176 for life

A multipurpose theme with strong eCommerce and online store capabilities, OceanWP offers a range of pre-built website demos in the free version, as well as WooCommerce integration and all the customization options you’d expect from a popular WordPress theme. 

Further premium features include a pop-up builder, sticky headers, content slider, icon box, feature grid, table of contents and more. The theme also includes premium add-ons for integrating with some of the most popular plugins such as MonsterInsights, WP Rocket, and AIOSEO. Overall, OceanWP is a powerful theme suitable for business websites and online stores.

Avada 

1718603778 287 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between1718603778 287 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between

Price: Premium $69 per year

Avada is a top-selling theme on ThemeForest. It is a fully packed, highly functional, responsive, and versatile premium WordPress theme with a visual page builder, dozens of pre-built website layouts, tons of custom options, header builder, footer builder, and e-commerce shopping cart options. 

Out of the box, Avada comes with lots of layout possibilities and you can create any type of website from business and corporate sites to e-commerce stores, restaurants, cafes, product showcases, portfolio sites, travel and wedding sites, medical and law firms, SEO and marketing agencies, and any type of responsive website.

We like the Visual Pagebuilder, which allows users complete creative freedom to build stunning and highly effective web pages. In addition to that, it offers Header Builder and Footer Builder as well. Avada is a complete theme which will fulfill all your requirements.

Divi

1718603778 164 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between1718603778 164 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between
Price: 30-day free trial, $89 per year

Divi is a bestselling premium WordPress theme by ElegantThemes which comes with a great drag-and-drop page builder. This enables complete control over your website’s design along with remarkable layout choices. 

The user-friendly visual builder helps create personalized layouts, incorporate animations, and take advantage of the pre-designed layouts and modules. Other advanced options that Divi offers are split testing, custom CSS controls, and robust theme options. All these make Divi a versatile choice for agency websites, designers, and for everyone looking for a totally customizable web solution.

Thrive Themes

1718603779 146 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between1718603779 146 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between

Price: $149 per year

Thrive Themes offers a great theme builder that can help you create stunning, high-performing websites. It comes with a list of designer-made and tested themes that can be installed with a click. Set global website branding effortlessly, including smart brand colors, global font sets and pairings, and dark/light brand logos.

With Thrive Themes, you can visually edit all your theme template files, including blog posts, headers, footers, sidebars, 404 pages, and more. The theme builder allows you to edit and style blog lists with ease and make sweeping changes across your entire website or fine-tune each pixel.

Ideal for marketers and eCommerce business owners, Thrive Themes provides the flexibility and power to create engaging, conversion-optimized websites. It integrates seamlessly with other popular WordPress plugins, making it a great choice for both new and established businesses.

Kadance

1718603779 394 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between1718603779 394 WordPress Themes 101 Free vs Premium and Everything in Between

Price: Free + $149 per year

Specialized WordPress themes

WordPress themes are very versatile, but sometimes you need something more targeted – a specialized WordPress theme just for your site and its unique purpose.

With that thought in mind, let’s look at some of the top theme choices for some of the most common website types, including blog, e-commerce, and business themes.

WordPress blog templates

Perhaps your #1 priority is to create a successful blog. In that case, you need a WordPress theme that’s optimized for writing and blogging. Here are some of the top WordPress blog themes featuring user-friendly elements that bloggers will love:

  • Design elements that encourage readability and content discovery
  • Built-in featured posts, related posts, and popular posts widgets
  • Integration with social networks for sharing
  • Easy customization of author boxes
  • Integrated email/newsletter signup forms

Some of the most popular WordPress blog templates include Editorial, Novelty, and Poseidon. Many of the best blog themes emphasize clean design and minimal distractions for readers while still offering plenty of customization and tools.

WordPress Ecommerce templates

If you’re ready to create an online store, you’ll need an eCommerce WordPress theme. All of the best WordPress eCommerce templates are optimized for shopping and include integration with the popular WooCommerce plugin and other shopping cart systems.

Other features include:

  • Product catalogs and shopping carts
  • Secure checkouts
  • Advanced product filters and search
  • Cross- and upselling
  • Customer reviews and ratings

Astra Pro, OceanWP, and Divi all offer strong eCommerce support, while dedicated eCommerce templates like Shoptimizer and GrooveKart are specifically designed for this.

When choosing an eCommerce WordPress theme, consider the size of your product catalog, the payment options you need, and any other functionality like memberships or subscriptions.

WordPress business and corporate templates

Whether you’re a business, agency, or professional, your WordPress theme can make or break your credibility and trust with clients and customers.

Many of the best WordPress themes for business and corporate sites feature professional designs and useful business tools, including:

  • Clean, corporate layouts
  • Staff profile pages
  • Team portfolio and case studies
  • Testimonials and client logo sliders
  • Advanced contact forms and map integrations

Neve, Customizr, and the Divi theme are all popular choices for business templates. The latter offers a whole suite of professional layouts and designs for many types of industries.

When selecting a business WordPress theme, consider your industry niche, whether you need eCommerce, and your branding and design style. All of this information will help you determine the right theme for your site. 

Ultimately, picking the right template can help you start your website strong, whatever it may be. We suggest doing some additional research and looking for themes targeting your specific niche – it will be worth your time, and your visitors will appreciate the fact that your site is optimized for them. 

Theme selection based on content needs

Apart from special use cases like blogs or e-commerce websites, you can also consider the type of content you’ll publish and choose the theme that best fits your needs.

Let’s consider some good themes for posts/comments and visual content like portfolios and galleries.

Best themes for posts and comments

Do you think user comments and community engagement will be a major part of your workflow? If so, you should pick a theme that prioritizes posts and comments.

The best themes for posts and comments WordPress provides customizations like blog layouts, commenting, social sharing, related feature tabs, and customizable user profiles.

Some well-known themes in this category include Editorial, Zine, and Suffice. These themes will give you a blank slate for long-form content to go alongside engagement via comments, sharing buttons, and related posts.

Best themes for visual content

On the other hand, if your website is going to contain a lot of visual elements like photography, designs, or graphics, you need a theme that helps in showcasing this type of content.

The themes that are best for websites with lots of visual content usually come with the following features: gallery and portfolio project system, lightbox, grid options, distraction-free modes, and slider integrations.

Some of the well-known themes for websites with lots of visual content include Divi, Neve, Astra, and specialized portfolio themes like Accountor and Imprint. Many of them make use of WordPress’ native media handling while adding better visual layouts and display features.

When selecting a theme that focuses on visual content, consider the type of media you’ll be displaying (images, videos, 3D models, etc.), whether you need proofing areas for clients, and whether print/download options will be needed.

Regardless of the type of content you’ll be publishing, investing time in identifying a theme well-suited to managing how you organize and present that content can lead to a much better user experience for your target audience.

Affordable options

Creating a website needn’t be expensive. There are high-quality, cheap WordPress themes available that ensure your website looks professionally crafted without compromising on performance or usability.

Startups, small enterprises, and people with limited budgets need cost-effective solutions when it comes to choosing WordPress themes. Here are some guidelines on how to find cheap, responsive WordPress themes:

Visit free theme repositories

The official WordPress.org theme repository is the first place you should consider. There are thousands of free themes available there. Free doesn’t necessarily mean the theme is of low quality. There are well-coded, responsive, and regularly maintained themes in the repository if you’re willing to look and be aware of ones that haven’t been updated in a while.

Check for developer/student discounts

Most premium theme providers give attractive discounts to developers, agencies, students, and beginners. Ask if there are special discounts available even if you don’t see any listed.

Freemium themes

There are WordPress theme companies which provide themes based on a freemium model. Kandance from our list above is one such option. You can start with the free version and upgrade to premium features as and when your resources permit.

Watch out for sales and bundles

If you have a flexible deadline, you can wait for the next sale or bundle offer from prominent theme providers. Many of them offer attractive discounts (as much as 30-70%) around various festive seasons like Black Friday and so on.

Wrapping it up

Choosing the very best WordPress theme for your website is a key part of the design process. Not only does your theme determine the appearance of your site but it also determines the experience you build with visitors.

Whether you are creating a blog, an online store, a business website, or a portfolio that is heavy on images, choosing the right WordPress theme from the start will make all the difference to the success of your site.

In this article, we’ve covered the different types of WordPress themes available, some of the popular choices, specialist themes, and even some free alternatives.

So, take the time to research, experiment, and use the advice and resources we shared today. With the right WordPress theme in hand, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving website that resonates with your audience.

Additional resources

Theme libraries

  1. WordPress.org Theme Directory: The official WordPress theme repository with thousands of free themes.
  2. ThemeForest: A vast marketplace for premium WordPress themes across various categories.
  3. Elegant Themes: Home to the popular Divi theme and other premium themes and plugins.

Tools for detecting themes

  1. What WordPress Theme Is That?: A free online tool to detect the theme and plugins used by a WordPress site.
  2. WPThemeDetector: Another tool for identifying the theme and plugins on a WordPress site.

Theme comparison and review sites

  1. WPBeginner: Offers reviews and comparisons of various WordPress themes and plugins.
  2. SeedProd: Provides curated lists and reviews of free and premium WordPress themes.
  3. IsItWP: Helps you find the best WordPress themes and provides in-depth reviews.

FAQs

What is a WordPress theme?

A: A WordPress theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress-powered website.

How do I install a WordPress theme?

A: To install a theme, go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes, click “Add New,” search for a theme, and click “Install.” Once installed, click “Activate” to apply the theme to your site.

What is the difference between free and premium WordPress themes?

A: Free themes are available at no cost and offer basic features and customization options. Premium themes come with advanced features, dedicated support, and regular updates but require a purchase.

Can I customize my WordPress theme?

A: Yes, most WordPress themes offer customization options through the WordPress Customizer or theme-specific settings. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, and more.

What should I consider when choosing a WordPress theme?

A: Consider factors like design, responsiveness, customization options, compatibility with plugins, SEO friendliness, speed, and support.

How can I find out which theme a website is using?

A: You can use online tools like “What WordPress Theme Is That?” or “WPThemeDetector” to identify the theme and plugins used by a WordPress site.

Can I use multiple themes on my WordPress site?

A: Typically, you can only activate one theme at a time for your entire WordPress site. However, you can use different themes for different sections of your site with plugins or custom coding.

Guest AuthorSyed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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Host Your WordPress Meetup Site for Free on WordPress.com – WordPress.com News

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Host Your WordPress Meetup Site for Free on WordPress.com – WordPress.com News

Connect with your local WordPress community for free with WordPress.com.

WordPress has always been built around its community, and local meetups are a huge part of it.

To encourage even more in-person connection, we’re happy to let you know that you can now host your WordPress meetup for free on WordPress.com and access all of the benefits of our popular Creator plan. You’ll get a free domain name, unlimited bandwidth, and the web’s best spam and security protection so you can focus on the real magic of WordPress: the community. 

At WordCamp Europe 2024 yesterday, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of the WordPress project, gave a keynote where he talked about 11 important opinions to keep in mind while working on WordPress. Unsurprisingly, most of these opinions revolve around the craving for human connection. So when Matteo Spirandelli, co-organizer of WordPress Meetup Milano, asked in the Q&A whether their meetup could have a complimentary WordPress.com site, my answer was an emphatic “yes!”

Connecting with your local WordPress community is a great way to foster those connections, and WordPress.com wants to help by offering free websites on our Creator plan for local WordPress meetups.

If you are an organizer of an existing WordPress meetup, here’s how you can redeem your complimentary website:

  1. Create a free account and site on WordPress.com (if you don’t have one already).
  2. Send an email to [email protected] and mention that you’d like a free Creator plan for your WordPress meetup. Please include the following information:
    1. The email address for your WordPress.com account.
    2. The city and state where you hold your local meetup.
    3. The link to your current meetup website (if you already have one).
    4. Whether you’d like help migrating your existing site (if you have one).

Ready to get involved with your local WordPress meetup?

Ready to join your local WordPress community? Find a WordPress meetup in your area to connect with other writers, business owners, developers, and folks from all walks of life. Here are a few of the upcoming events around the globe:

The WordPress project also has a great guide to starting your own WordPress meetup.

It was truly a pleasure to connect with so many of you at WordCamp Europe 2024. We’ll see you at WordCamp US in Portland, Oregon in September!

The WordPress.com booth at the 2024 WordCamp Europe with staff speaking to attendees

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Do the Woo 4.0 – WordPress.com News

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Do the Woo 4.0 – WordPress.com News

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Bob Dunn, founder of Do the Woo, a podcast channel elevating voices of the WooCommerce and WordPress community.

It was early 2023, and I’d been searching for the perfect direction for Do the Woo, the podcast and site we first launched in 2016. I’d made some small steps, but I hadn’t yet found the grand recipe. I just knew that with the shows changing format, the site needed to as well.

Finally, it came to me, as clear as day. 

If I was going to do a major site redesign, I wanted it to be built on blocks. I wanted a full-site editor. And I wanted a hosting platform that would take care of things so I could focus on the content. That meant WordPress.com. 

So that fall, around the time of WordCamp US, I sent Matt Mullenweg a message. Just as I’d shared ideas with Matt in the past, I did so now—except now was my vision for the next Do the Woo, and the platform I thought it should be built upon. Incredibly, he saw what I saw, and not long after a dream partnership formed: I began working with WordPress.com’s special projects team on the next version of Do the Woo. 

Between then and now, a lot has happened. A lot of wireframes, a lot of discussion, a lot of iteration. The WordPress.com team has done incredible work throughout. During my visit to CloudFest in Germany, we even soft-launched the new site. But now it’s official. Today, on the first day of WordCamp Europe, I’m excited to announce Do the Woo 4.0: the podcast by WordPress and WooCommerce builder and business community, for the community. 

There are so many things I could tell you about the new site, but it’s all right there on DotheWoo.io, so head over there to learn about our launch. And stay tuned—there’s lots of exciting stuff in the works. 

This wouldn’t have happened without the folks from WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack. I’m thrilled with what they’ve done with the site, and even more thrilled that my new home is on WordPress.com. I can’t wait for you to join our journey. Let’s do the Woo! 


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