Connect with us


Why I Choose Shopify for Dropshipping! (I Tried Alternatives)



Why I Choose Shopify for Dropshipping! (I Tried Alternatives)

When it comes to recommended platforms to start a dropshipping business, I typically only hear one recommendation in 2024, Shopify. Every website and every YouTube video talking about dropshipping will tell you to open a Shopify store.

Does that mean Shopify is without a doubt the best choice for dropshipping? Not necessarily!

The problem is that it can be hard for a beginner to know if Shopify is the best option or is it being recommended because they offer generous affiliate commissions or is Shopify being recommended simply because people haven’t tried the alternatives.

In this article, I’ll provide you with my own previous experiences with using and testing several platforms for dropshipping which will help you decide on the best decision for you.

Rating the Top Dropshipping Platforms

My Experiences Dropshipping with Shopify and Alternatives

When I first started dropshipping back in 2016, I initially used Weebly based on an online review I had read. This turned out to be a big mistake, as I was dropshipping in Australia and setting up real-time shipping options was not possible with Weebly.

Eventually, I moved my operations over to WooCommerce, which is a WordPress plugin for running an e-commerce store.

At the time, I was still fairly inexperienced with WordPress, and I found the WooCommerce plugin to be confusing, clunky, and prone to crashes – which ended up costing me money and providing a poor customer experience.

As Shopify was gaining more traction and was becoming a leader in the e-commerce space, I eventually shifted my stores over to their platform, and have continued using Shopify to this day.

Over the years while utilizing Shopify, I have regularly tried and tested many other e-commerce platforms to compare how their services have improved and where they may outperform Shopify in certain areas which I’ll discuss in this article.

Does Shopify Have the Best Themes for Dropshipping?

When it comes to themes, Shopify has a vast selection to choose from, though only 12 of them are offered for free. Given the high failure rate with dropshipping stores, most entrepreneurs in this space tend to opt for a free theme, as it reduces their initial risk.

While I’m not a huge advocate of using Shopify’s free themes for the long-term, I do believe they can be great for short-term testing and validating the potential of your store. These free themes may be minimal on features, but I’ve found them to be clean, cohesive, and well-suited for selling most products across various niches.

The downside is that Shopify only provides 12 free themes to choose from. If none of these align with your desired vision, you’ll be forced to invest in a paid theme.

Speaking of paid Shopify themes, options like Prestige and Impulse are professional and high-end, making them ideal for increasing the perceived value of your products and building trust with customers.

Paid Shopify themes for dropshipping

If a large selection of free themes and templates is important for you, Shopify may not be your best choice.

Wix has hundreds of free templates to choose from that would suit just about any niche. Not only do you get a huge selection, they’re modern and professional.

Wix themes
Wix Shopify themes for dropshipping

However, if your top priority is finding truly unique and luxurious themes, I believe Squarespace holds the edge in this department. They offer hundreds of highly customizable, mobile-responsive, high-end themes.

Overall, while Shopify themes are generally sleek and modern, if you’re aiming to build a dropshipping store that can stand out from the crowd, you’ll likely need to upgrade to a paid theme at some point.

Squarespace themes
Squarespace themes for dropshipping

Best eCommerce Platform for Dropshipping Apps

This is a key reason why Shopify has come to dominate the dropshipping industry – its platform is packed with hundreds of dropshipping-focused apps within the Shopify App Store.

Third-party tools, suppliers, and services recognize that they need to integrate with Shopify in order to succeed and remain relevant. If you’re looking for unique features or lesser-known suppliers and print-on-demand services, you’re far more likely to find them available on the Shopify platform compared to other e-commerce options.

For example, when I searched for dropshipping-related apps in the Shopify App Store, it returned a staggering 537 results. In contrast, when I looked for similar apps on BigCommerce, one of Shopify’s biggest competitors, the search only yielded 16 dropshipping-focused applications.

This breadth of integration and app availability is a major factor that has solidified Shopify’s position as the go-to platform for dropshippers. The depth of dropshipping-specific tools and services accessible through their app ecosystem is unmatched by rival platforms.

eCommerce Platform Number of Dropshipping Apps
Shopify 537
Squarespace 14
WooCommerce 17
BigCommerce 16
Wix 25
Ecwid 12
Dropshipping apps on eCommerce platforms

If you’re planning to integrate your dropshipping store with third-party apps for suppliers, shipping services, dropshipping fulfillment, Print-on-Demand and much more, Shopify will be the easy and necessary choice.

Dropshipping apps on the Shopify app store
Dropshipping apps on the Shopify app store

Is Shopify the Easiest to Use for Dropshipping?

If you’re not a particularly tech-savvy individual (like myself) and your goal is to build a dropshipping store without having to waste time trying to understand how everything works, this is an important consideration.

Firstly, if you want to avoid more complicated setups for your dropshipping store, I would steer clear of WooCommerce and BigCommerce. In my opinion, BigCommerce has a steeper learning curve, while WooCommerce can be quite complicated if you’re inexperienced with WordPress.

Personally, I’ve found Shopify, Squarespace, Hostinger, and Wix to be the easiest platforms to use for building a professional dropshipping store. Each of these options utilizes a drag-and-drop interface, making it simple to build and customize a store to your liking.

That said, Shopify and Wix are slightly less customizable compared to Squarespace and Hostinger. The former two platforms tend to be more section-based, with each section following a template structure with limited customization options.

In contrast, Squarespace and Hostinger offer users more freedom to design their dropshipping store exactly as they envision it. However, I wouldn’t let this be the deciding factor, as each platform excels in this department and has its own strengths.

Which is the Best Value Platform for Dropshipping?

When it comes to overall value for starting a dropshipping business, you have several viable options. While the WooCommerce plugin is free, you’ll still need to factor in the cost of a domain name, hosting, and any additional plugins you require.

Hostinger is another option worth considering if you want to start a dropshipping business with as little upfront investment as possible. I was pleasantly surprised by how capable Hostinger is, given its affordable pricing.

However, it’s important to note that the $2.99/month plan is only available on a 48-month plan, and for a single month, the cost increases to $11.99/month.

Squarespace is also a great value proposition for those seeking a premium e-commerce platform at an affordable price point. Given the beautiful, free themes and the ability to build a unique, professional store in just a few hours, this is a tempting option to consider.

As for Shopify dropshipping, the base plan starts at $29/month, with any additional apps or themes incurring extra costs.

While this may be a higher monthly investment, in my opinion, it’s the best option if it fits your budget. Considering the abundance of dropshipping-focused features on the platform, the extra monthly cost can often be easily offset as you start scaling your dropshipping business.

Platform Basic Plan Starting Price Standard/Mid-tier Plan Advanced/High-tier Plan
Shopify $29/month $79/month $299/month
Wix $23/month $27/month $49/month
WooCommerce Free* N/A N/A
Squarespace $18/month** $26/month $40/month
Magento Free (Open Source) Varies*** Varies***
BigCommerce $29.95/month $79.95/month $299.95/month
Hostinger $2.99/month $3.99/month N/A
Pricing plans comparisons for eCommerce platforms

Which is the Best Platform for Marketing Your Dropshipping Store?

When it comes to marketing features, I’ve always found Shopify to have everything I needed. It provides a built-in blog section, a wide array of SEO tools, social media integrations, and much more.

However, I will say that Wix does rival Shopify in terms of marketing capabilities, offering several marketing automation tools, booking functionalities, lead capture forms, and more. The downside with Wix is that many of the best marketing features are only available in their higher-tier plans, which may not be a necessary expense for new dropshipping businesses.

While all the platforms have similar marketing features, I’ve found that Shopify has slightly more options and capabilities compared to the alternatives.

This is particularly evident when it comes to SEO. Shopify has all the core SEO functions that most dropshippers will need, and if you require more advanced SEO features, they have a wide selection of apps that can help make ranking in Google a little easier.

That said, the disparity between e-commerce platforms isn’t massive when it comes to marketing features. While Shopify does have the edge in this department, I wouldn’t necessarily let this be the deciding factor in your final platform selection.

Shopify Marketing Features Marketing Features Description & Utilization for Dropshipping Stores
Email Marketing Create and send emails directly from Shopify. Use to engage customers with personalized offers and updates.
Facebook Ads Integrate with Facebook to manage ads. Utilize to target specific demographics and increase sales through social media.
Google Smart Shopping Automatically optimize your Google Ads. Use to place products in front of potential buyers searching online.
SEO Tools Improve your store’s visibility on search engines. Utilize to drive organic traffic and reduce customer acquisition costs.
Social Media Integration Link your store with various social media platforms. Use to promote products and engage with customers where they spend time online.
Shopify Blog Publish content related to your niche. Utilize to establish authority, improve SEO, and attract organic traffic.
Discount Codes and Coupons Generate discount codes. Use to incentivize purchases, reward loyal customers, and drive sales during promotional periods.
Abandoned Cart Recovery Send automated emails to customers who left without purchasing. Utilize to recover lost sales and understand why carts are abandoned.
Product Reviews Collect and display customer reviews. Use to build trust, provide social proof, and influence buying decisions.
Gift Cards Offer gift cards for your store. Utilize to increase customer loyalty, attract new customers, and boost sales during holiday seasons.
Analytics and Reports Track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Use this data to refine strategies and allocate resources more effectively.
Affiliate Programs Set up an affiliate program. Utilize to expand your marketing reach with minimal upfront costs through partnerships with influencers and affiliates.
Shopify’s Marketing Tools for Dropshipping Businesses

What Makes Shopify the Best for Dropshipping?

Maybe I’m a bit biased because I’ve used Shopify more extensively than the other platforms and have built several successful dropshipping stores on their platform. However, while I don’t believe Shopify necessarily stands out from the competition in terms of pricing, theme quality, ease of use, or support, I do think it excels where it matters most for a dropshipping business.

The abundance of apps and third-party integrations that Shopify offers to dropshippers is simply unmatched. As a dropshipper, you don’t want to start making sales on your store only to realize you need a 3PL or a specific supplier down the line, and your e-commerce platform doesn’t integrate with the service you require.

This alone is enough to sway me towards Shopify. I don’t want to be limited in the functionality or resources available to my dropshipping stores.

Another key factor is that Shopify is set up and powerful enough to scale your dropshipping business with ease. The platform is designed with tools and sales features that enable you to manage a large product inventory and scale your advertising efforts efficiently.

Platforms like Hostinger or Wix may be better suited for smaller dropshipping stores, but as your business grows, you’d likely need to transition to Shopify in the long run.

An important consideration is also the abundance of backend analytics that Shopify provides, especially when integrating with Google Analytics. I found these analytics invaluable for monitoring store statistics, customer behavior, and optimizing my operations accordingly.

Analytics Analytics Description and Utilization for Dropshipping Stores
Analytics page Provides an overview of your store’s performance. Utilize it to gauge overall business health and to make quick decisions.
Finances reports Tracks financial transactions including sales, returns, taxes, and payments. Use to manage your store’s financial health.
Fraud reports Identifies potentially fraudulent orders. Utilize to mitigate risk and prevent financial loss by spotting suspicious activity.
Order reports Details on orders made over time. Use to analyze sales trends and customer demand.
Live View Real-time visualization of store activity. Utilize for instant insights into customer behavior and sales performance.
Acquisition reports Tracks how customers find your store. Use to refine marketing strategies and focus on the most effective channels.
Inventory reports Provides insights on stock levels and sell-through rates. Utilize for efficient inventory management.
Behavior reports Analyzes how customers interact with your store. Use to optimize site layout and product placement for better engagement.
Marketing reports Measures the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Utilize to adjust strategies and allocate budget wisely.
Sales reports Comprehensive analysis of sales data. Use to identify best-selling products and peak sales periods.
Retail sales reports For businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, tracks in-person sales. Use to compare online and offline sales performance.
Profit reports Breaks down revenue vs. costs to reveal true profitability. Utilize for detailed financial planning and analysis.
Customer reports Segments customer data to reveal patterns in behavior. Use to tailor marketing efforts and improve customer retention.
Customs reports Allows creation of tailored reports specific to your business needs. Utilize for deep dives into unique aspects of your store.
How Shopify’s analytics can help dropshipping businesses

With Dropshipping being so competitive and typically thin profit margins, optimizing allows you to split-test many variables and improve your conversion rate.

For my own dropshipping stores, I would split test multiple offers, promotions, advertising headlines or product page layouts. I would then monitor results using analytics and behaviour reports and optimize based on the results.

Don’t underestimate how powerful Shopify’s backend analytics can be for your dropshipping store.


If I was starting a dropshipping business today, Shopify would be my platform of choice. It provides all the necessary tools, apps, and features, and has some of the best support in the industry.

Another factor to consider, especially for beginners with limited technical skills, is the abundance of up-to-date tutorials on YouTube for Shopify. The vast majority of dropshipping content creators on YouTube recommend Shopify, and their guidance and courses will primarily be based on the platform.

However, there are two instances where I would not recommend Shopify. The first is if you’re working with a very tight budget. For many, the $29/month base plan can be a significant cost.

In this situation, Hostinger could be a good alternative for brand new dropshipping stores, allowing you to design a modern, high-end store for minimal upfront investment. Just be aware that you’ll be more limited in terms of features, especially as you scale your business.

The other scenario where you may want to consider a Shopify alternative is if e-commerce is not the central focus of your store. For example, if you want to create a blog and have a dropshipping business as part of your overall offering, there may be better platforms than Shopify.

In this case, using WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin for your dropshipping operations could be a superior choice.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Five Takeaways from WordCamp Europe 2024 (From a First-Time WordCamp Attendee) – News




Five Takeaways from WordCamp Europe 2024 (From a First-Time WordCamp Attendee) – News

This year’s WordCamp Europe was held in Torino, Italy, the capital city of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. Torino is known for its rich automotive history, beautiful architecture, and, of course, incredible food.

From June 13-15, 2024, over 2,500 folks from the WordPress community, including many of us from the team, came together to learn, connect, and give back to the WordPress project that powers over 43% of the entire internet.

I joined the team back in January of this year, so WordCamp Europe 2024 was my first WordCamp experience. In today’s post, I thought it might be interesting to hear about the conference from a first-timer, especially if you’re considering attending a WordCamp or WordPress meetup in the future. 

Here are my top five takeaways from my very first WordCamp:

1. In-person connection is powerful.

If your typical workday looks similar to mine––sitting at a desk at your house all day by yourself––going to a conference as large as WordCamp Europe may be a wee bit out of your comfort zone. It certainly was out of mine.

That said, I’ve recently found myself craving in-person connection after the pandemic and working almost exclusively from home for over eight years. Not only did attending this conference just get me out of my normal routine, it allowed me to connect with folks who love the tool I’ve used personally and professionally for over a decade: WordPress.

I staffed the booth, so I had a ton of opportunities to chat with other business owners, developers, creators, and makers over the course of the conference. I actually talked with a few fellow self-taught women developers like me, and I walked away feeling inspired, motivated, and just really thankful to be a part of this community.

But the best conversations happened in places I wouldn’t have expected: over spritzes, grabbing a cafe at the venue, or just walking around the city.

Embracing connection was a big focus of Matt’s final keynote speech during the event, and I couldn’t agree more. Events like WordCamps allow for swapping ideas, collaborating and troubleshooting, and experiencing a sense of community that you just don’t get while sitting behind a computer. 

That said, if large-scale conferences like a flagship WordCamp just aren’t for you, try checking out a local WordPress meetup to connect with other like-minded folks in your community.

2. It takes a ton of people to make WordCamps great.

One of the most moving parts of WordCamp Europe was at the very end when all of the volunteers and organizers were called to the stage; it’s truly amazing just how many people need to be involved to make an event like WordCamp actually happen.

People in black tshirts on a stage with a blue background and other people sitting in chairs facing the stage
Screenshot from the WordCamp Europe 2024 livestream on YouTube

Everything was smooth and well-organized, and the volunteers and organizers could not have been more helpful. Their enthusiasm about the event, WordPress, and community in general throughout the conference was infectious.

WordCamps and local WordPress meetups are always looking for volunteers; donating your time and expertise for events and meetups like this are a great way to give back to the WordPress project and community.

And if you’re an organizer of your local WordPress meetup, check out this post for information on how you can get a free website for your local meetup.

3. Contributor Day isn’t intimidating for a first-timer.

I’ve never contributed to WordPress core, but it was one of my goals for this year. That’s why I was so excited to participate in Contributor Day at WordCamp Europe.

If you’re unfamiliar with Contributor Day, it’s an event that usually kicks off a WordCamp. Teams focus on contributing to the WordPress open source project, with groups focused on code, support, translations, sustainability, inclusion, and more.

After listening to all of the team presentations, I decided to join the Accessibility team. Accessibility is something that has always interested me, but it’s also something I don’t have a ton of experience with.

That said, my inexperience wasn’t just accepted, it was actively welcomed.

people sitting around circular tables and #wceu on a wall

Once I got to the Accessibility team table, I was immediately greeted and welcomed. Then I paired with a fellow contributor, Marco Acato from Acato Digital Agency, to test the accessibility of a new theme for the WordPress theme repository.

I learned so much, asked a ton of questions, and felt surprisingly accomplished after just a few hours of testing this theme. We were actually able to publish feedback for the theme developer at the end of the day as well. 

Contributor Day gave me an even deeper appreciation for the entire community that supports the WordPress project every single day. So much work and effort goes into maintaining and improving this tool that millions of websites across the world rely on to run their businesses, amplify their messages, and stay in touch with others. I felt so grateful to have been a part of it during Contributor Day and would encourage any other first-timers to attend a Contributor Day in the future as well.

Luckily, WordPress core is always looking for volunteers and contributors; check out this guide or the new Contributor Mentorship Program if you’re interested in becoming a contributor yourself.

4. Torino was a great host city, and the WordCamp team made navigating a new city easy.

Between attending Contributor Day and sessions, to checking out sponsor booths and attending side events, I didn’t think we’d have a ton of time to actually see the city or Torino.

I actually had plenty of time to explore with my coworkers, eat pizza every single day, and scope out the best gelato spots outside of conference hours. 

a gelato cup filled with two different colors of gelato with a spoon sticking out of it

The WordCamp Europe team did a great job preparing attendees to make the most of our time in the city as well; their travel guides helped me feel confident navigating the city and finding some of the foods that come from this area in Italy.

As a first-timer in Torino, I really appreciated the extra work that the WordCamp team did to ensure everyone had a chance to explore and experience the city.

5. Pizza really is poetry.

I would be remiss to not mention the food that we ate during our time in our host city! While we like to say that “Code is poetry” around here, so is pizza. 

One of my very favorite memories from the event was the branding. The design team for WordCamp Europe 2024 added subtle nods to our host country throughout the venue, which was incredibly clever and well-done.

a sign that says 'Code is Poetry (...but so is pizza)' and #wceu

And while pizza is indeed poetry, it’s even better when shared amongst coworkers, friends, and people who get excited about the same things that excite you.

five people sitting at a table with three large pizzas on top

Wrapping up

I loved my time at WordCamp Europe, and I’m already looking forward to the next time I can connect face-to-face with the WordPress community. 

Were you at WordCamp Europe this year? Leave a comment with your favorite memory from the event below.

Join 111.4M other subscribers

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Inside’s World-Class Security Features – News




Inside’s World-Class Security Features – News

You can rest easy knowing that you have the web’s best security guards working on your behalf.

It’s never been easier to create a website—especially with—but keeping that site secure can be challenging. When you host with, though, we do the heavy lifting for you and let you focus on the fun of creating your dream website. Whether you’re a blogger, entrepreneur, or hobbyist, our top-notch security features safeguard your site day and night so that you don’t need to stress. 

Whether you’ve known about it or not, we’ve long been scanning and monitoring your site’s files to catch and remove threats. Let’s dig in just a bit more. 

Built-in protection at your fingertips

Scan history is available on higher-tier plans

Using Automattic’s homegrown Jetpack software, every site is scanned on a daily basis for dangerous plugins, themes, malware, and other vulnerabilities. Once weaknesses are spotted, our security team swiftly resolves the issues, updating or reverting files as needed depending on the problem. 

Perhaps the best part is that we offer this peace of mind for free, on every plan. This certainly isn’t the case everywhere. Many WordPress hosts charge for the type of protection that offers on all of our website plans.  

Plus, you don’t have to do a thing to activate or maintain these security features. Our scanning tools are up and running as soon as your site is created. You can rest easy knowing that you have the web’s best security guards working on your behalf.

Why does website security even matter? 

It’s possible you’ve never before thought of the importance of website security. The reality of the modern web, however, is that bad actors are out there looking to take advantage of you and your site’s visitors. 

If your site is hacked, it’s liable to cause serious damage to your reputation and your livelihood (not to mention your emotional well-being). Hackers can manipulate your website’s data, steal information from you or your users (including passwords), install and execute malicious code, and even distribute the malicious code to your visitors, infecting their sites and machines. It’s not an insignificant problem or threat, that’s for sure. 

Jetpack’s web application firewall (WAF) monitors every request to your site and blocks requests from anything malicious. Our team of security experts continually updates the web application firewall’s rules to ensure you are protected against the most up‑to‑date threats. You don’t have time for downtime. 

Even more robust security tools are available 

1718839563 143 Inside WordPresscoms World Class Security Features – WordPresscom News

On our higher-tier plans you also have access to the scan history, which shows a record of all previous threats on your site. Additionally, you’ll have access to real-time backups, real-time security scans, malware removal, spam protection, and vulnerability notifications for core code and plugins.

Set it and forget it 

At, we want you dreaming big rather than spending your energy worrying about your website’s security. This is why we provide automatically-installed best-in-class monitoring with no extra charge, on every single plan. 

And our security features will grow right alongside you; whether your dream is to blog about your adorable cats, highlight your stunning landscape photography, or build a home base for your budding technology startup, we have your back. Learn more about all our security features or get started building right now:

Join 111.4M other subscribers

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


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




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
Adobe Stock

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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. 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.


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.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading