Why WordPress Themes and Plugins Are Free? (The Real Reason)

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Ever wondered why WordPress Themes and Plugins are free?

If yes, here’s the answer…

WordPress Themes and Plugins are free because of the spirit of open-source. They are free because the developers who create these Themes and Plugins genuinely want to help people in building their WordPress website.

This gesture of providing Themes and Plugins for free builds up goodwill for WordPress which in turn creates a healthy ecosystem around it.

Confused? Didn’t understand what I mean by this?

Here’s what I mean…

How Free Themes and Plugins Build A Healthy Ecosystem Around WordPress?

Majority of the free WordPress Themes and Plugins are created to help people achieve something specific on their WordPress website without expecting anything in return.

There are no expectations from you to pay for these Themes and Plugins.

There are no obligations on you to use these free Themes and Plugins either.

Developers create these free Themes and Plugins because they really care about other people and want to help them in making a WordPress website.

Such people get immense satisfaction from helping others.

There is no ulterior motive behind this.

However, using free Themes and Plugins is not a good thing always!

There is a big problem…

The Big Problem With Free WordPress Themes and Plugins!

The biggest problem with free WordPress Themes and Plugins is that they are FREE!

They do not earn any money for the developers who create these free Themes and Plugins.

This means that the developers have to work somewhere to earn their livelihood.

This means that their attention gets divided between the two.

This means that their priorities are likely to change.

This means that the developers might eventually stop developing free Themes and Plugins because they are no longer able to devote enough time to keep supporting them.

Or they might just end up updating the Themes and Plugins less frequently because of lack of time.

All of this means that you will end up with Themes and Plugins that are no longer being supported and thus become a security vulnerability for your website.

But we cannot blame the developers either.

After all, these developers are humans at the end of the day.

So they have to earn money in some way to support themselves and their families.

But how do they earn money from free Themes and Plugins?

By making the free Themes and Plugins – Freemium!

The Freemium Model Of WordPress Themes and Plugins…

Freemium just means that some features of a particular Theme or Plugin are free to use while other advanced features are only available in the paid version of the Theme or Plugin.

Does this sound unfair to you?

I don’t think it is unfair.

Think about it for a second.

Developing a Theme or Plugin takes time. It does not matter whether it is free or paid. It still takes time to develop it.

And if someone is taking the time to create a Theme or a Plugin, then obviously they should expect something in return.

After all, they have to eat. Their families have to eat too.

And free Themes and Plugins do not put food on the table.

So charging for the time and effort put into building a Theme and Plugin does make sense.

As much as you and I would want all Themes and Plugins to be free, it is just not possible for someone else to keep creating free Themes and Plugins for us.

And the Freemium model ensures that those of us who want free Themes and Plugins can still get them while others wanting more advanced features and well-supported Themes and Plugins, can get them too.

This way the developers can earn money as well as become more interested in supporting the development of these Themes and Plugins in the future.


So the next question is…

Should You Use Free Or Freemium Themes and Plugins?

That is entirely your decision.

I prefer using freemium Themes and Plugins or the ones that are entirely premium without any free versions.


Because my business runs through my websites.

I cannot afford my business getting stalled just because I did not invest money in buying Themes and Plugins which are critical for my websites to run.

Besides that, I know I can earn back the money that I have invested in the Themes and Plugins.

So there is no reason for me to not invest money in WordPress Themes and Plugins.

Don’t get me wrong.

I do like free.

But free means that there is no obligation on the developers to keep developing the Themes and Plugins for years to come.

This makes my websites and my business vulnerable.

And I cannot afford that to happen.

I am sure; you can’t either.

So why hold back from investing money in Themes and Plugins?

Besides that, there are benefits too in paying for Themes and Plugins…

Benefits Of Paying For Themes and Plugins…

Besides the fact that paying for Themes and Plugins will help you to grow your business, there are some more benefits of buying Themes and Plugins too, like:

  1. You get regular updates to the Themes and Plugins,
  2. You get proper support from the developers in case something goes wrong with the Theme or the Plugin,
  3. You get advanced features,
  4. You get a chance to ask for new features,
  5. You get a stable and secure WordPress Theme and Plugin, etc.

I can keep going on and on, but I guess you got the point.

Paying for WordPress Themes and Plugins is a better thing to do in the long run.

Now, the million dollar question…

Should You Never Use Free Themes and Plugins?

No, that is not true.

There are some high-quality Themes and Plugins that are entirely free. Take a look at the WordPress Themes Repository and Plugins Repository to find some of them.

You can use such free Themes and Plugins.

The developers of such Themes and Plugins have been supporting them for a very long time now and will most probably continue to do so.

So there is no harm in using such free Themes and Plugins.

But just keep this in mind…

Unless there is a financial incentive to do something, many times other priorities in life take over our desire to work for free.

So even if using high-quality free Themes and Plugins sounds like a great idea for now, it might not remain so in the future.

That’s all that I want to say.

So use your best judgment and choose Themes and Plugins accordingly.

Free has a cost too…


With that said…

Interesting Further Reading: How To Make Columns In WordPress Without A Plugin? (Easy Method)

Let’s Wrap Up!

I hope you have got a good idea of why WordPress Themes and Plugins are free and why it is better to pay for Themes and Plugins than use the free ones.

If you liked this small little guide, then please share it with your friends on social media. I would really appreciate that.

And if you have any questions, then just ask them in the Comments section below. I would love to answer them.

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