If you are are serious about creating a WordPress website, you’ve likely run across the dilemma of whether or not to stick with free themes or go with a full-fledged premium solution such as a single-purpose theme or framework.

In order to understand whether or not you should make the jump to a premium framework, you must first understand what a framework is and what the biggest benefits of using one are.

Are you ready to get a grip on the key benefits of a premium framework? In this post, you’ll learn what aspects make a premium framework valuable, and whether or not you feel it’s the right choice for you.

What Is a Premium WordPress Framework?

There are two definitions of a WordPress framework, depending on who the framework is designed for:

  • A developer’s framework is designed as a platform upon which WordPress developers can build their own child themes.

  • A non-developer’s framework enables users to build deeply functional and diverse websites without having to touch a line of code. They consolidate incredible power into a flexible central theme and plugin combination.

In this post, we will explore the latter, compared to what you might receive for a free, ‘freemium’, or more limited ‘single purpose’ premium WordPress themes.

Benefit #1: Full Support With Better Staffing

Popular premium frameworks typically offer full support administered by an appropriately sized staff to make sure your problems get solved as quickly as possible.

Being able to access better support and a staff whose job it is to make sure your products work the way you expect them to will save you endless hours of frustration and wasted time trying to fix problems by yourself.

Benefit #2: Features You’ll Never See (But Still Benefit From)

There’s a lot that goes into building a fully featured WordPress framework!

WordPress itself sets certain standards and is always implementing new features. A premium framework stays on top of these standards while taking advantage of what behind-the-scenes features are available to make your website work quickly and efficiently.

A few features you may not notice include:

  • Flawless compatibility with a wide range of plugins

  • Optimization for speed and SEO
  • ‘True’ responsiveness (i.e. flawlessly implemented across the gamut of devices)

Benefit #3: Regular and Reliable Updates to the Framework

Due to better staffing, your framework will have more regular and reliable updates; not only to keep the engine running as smoothly as possible, but to introduce new features and implement important changes to improve your experience.

This will keep your site more secure, stable, and powerful while also ensuring that your ongoing and ever-changing needs are being addressed by the framework for the long term.

Benefit #4: All of Your Functionality Is in One Place

When using a framework, the core functionality you need is already included. In other words, you can easily mold your website into whatever it needs to be without needing to install a number of plugins to handle SEO best practices, drag-and-drop page building, shortcodes, sliders, optimized media embeds, and the like.

This means spending less time researching, installing and managing additional plugins just to cover the needs of your website. A framework is built to flexibly handle any situation while reducing the amount of work you’ll need to put in. Not to mention, all of this built-in functionality receives the same support, care, and updates that you’re used to.

Compared to single-purpose premium themes, this is where frameworks really count for the money.

Single-purpose themes may come with theme-level features, but a framework will come with everything you need to build a complete website right out of the box. This includes being able to drastically change the look and feel of the final product!

The Pros and Cons of Free and Single-Purpose Premium Themes

Even when you understand all the benefits of a premium framework, it’s always good to evaluate your options. In this case, the alternatives are free themes and single-purpose premium themes. We’ve broken down some of the important pros and cons of these alternatives for your own analyzation.

Free Themes: Pros

  • Cost no money (up front)

  • Some free support from the WordPress community
  • May offer one or two strengths
  • Work well with a plethora of plugins

Free Themes: Cons

  • Can cost time and money in bug-fixing and customization

  • Lack of solid support framework
  • The back end code is sometimes (often?) not maintained in the long term
  • Does not offer as wide a range of features and customizability as premium frameworks
  • Requires the extensive use of alternative plugins for any of your desired features

Single-Purpose Premium Themes: Pros

  • Better theme functionality than free themes

  • More reliable support
  • Regular and reliable updates

Single-Purpose Premium Themes: Cons

  • Does not include plugin functionality

  • Often costs the same as a premium framework, without all of the same features
  • Is only designed for one type of user

Conclusion

When building a WordPress website, you are faced with a choice: Sticking with free themes because of the low-cost entry, or deciding whether to step it up a notch and go with a premium framework. However, this can be a difficult choice when you don’t know whether a premium framework is going to benefit you in the right ways.

If you are looking to save money over the lifespan of your website, you may find that a premium framework is for you. This is due to the fact that premium frameworks:

  • Better support than free themes.

  • More regular and reliable updates to a variety of important features.

  • Includes all the functionality you need in one place.

Not all premium frameworks offer these features, so you should inspect the product and company before buying. Of course, we have based these standards on our own premium framework, Avada.

Are you ready to take the plunge? Are you already on a premium framework such as Avada? Let us know how you feel about premium frameworks in the comments!