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Cashing In and Checking Out: Weighing The Pros and Cons of Free vs. Paid Shopify Themes

Businesses looking to make the choice between free and paid Shopify themes often want a clear-cut answer as to which option will offer more value.In reality, making the right selection depends entirely upon the specific needs of your business, so it’s important to consider all of the pros and cons before you take the plunge with either a paid or free Shopify theme.Pros of Free Shopify ThemesThe most prevalent positive aspect of free Shopify themes is also the most obvious: they’re free. Businesses, especially startups, will go to great lengths to stretch their investment, so saving $140 - $300 early on in your business is a major benefit of free themes.Additionally, because they are so simple, free Shopify themes are incredibly easy to use. This allows for a more user-friendly experience overall.Cons of Free Shopify ThemesThere isn’t a great deal of flexibility when it comes to free Shopify themes; the old phrase “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to some of the extra features that businesses expect from Shopify which simply aren’t available with free themes.If you’re expecting a dynamic and detailed theme that’s custom curated to your business, then a free Shopify theme may not be the most satisfactory option.Pros of Paid Shopify ThemesFor businesses looking for highly functional applications, there’s simply no substitute for a paid Shopify theme. Paying for a theme allows a high degree of customization and flexibility, so business owners can feel assured that their Shopify themes are serving all of their needs.If there are specific features you’re looking for from a theme, there’s a chance that it simply won’t be available with a free theme, and a paid Shopify theme will be the only viable option in that instance.Cons of Paid Shopify ThemesJust as the price is the largest merit of free themes, it’s the biggest detriment of paid ones. Particularly thrifty businesses are likely to have a hard time swallowing the price of paid Shopify themes, even with the added features.If money is already tight, then investing in a paid Shopify theme is a gamble for your business that you can only hope will pay off without any concrete assurance; if that sort of volatility makes you uncomfortable, a paid theme is likely not the right move.While choosing between free and paid Shopify themes is a major decision, it’s not the only aspect of implementing a store that bears consideration. Store set up and management are vital to the overall success of a business, regardless of which type of Shopify theme they select, so these points should be attended to from the start as well.It might feel simpler to merely ask whether free or paid Shopify themes are better, but the truth is that it depends upon the individual situation; in the end, if neither selection feels quite right, remember there’s always a third option: having a Shopify expert or an agency like Designpax build a custom theme for you. As you attempt to make your choice between the available Shopify choices, weigh the pros and cons carefully so you select the one that best serves your operation.