Choosing a WordPress theme is not an easy matter. There are way too many to choose from! But one of the most basic decisions you need to make is paid or free.
There are literally thousands and thousands of free themes available for WordPress – and you might indeed wonder why anyone would pay for a Theme? One simple answer – support. Some free themes do have reasonable support but they tend to be the exception not the rule. The other risk with free themes is that they may be some undesirable links and other “malware” in the code – check it out before using it on your site – look for “odd” code in particularly the footer.php.
If you don’t know what to look for in the code stick with well known and popular themes.
If you are in the market for a paid theme then you again have a ton of different options to look at. One big decision is – do you want just one specific theme for single site and how customized do you want the look and design of the site to be? If so there are plenty of themes which you can buy for less than $50 or $70 which will give you some limited customization options.
If however you need something more sophisticated – for example the ability to make a blog which doesn’t look like a blog at all but more like a normal website. Or you have a lot of different websites all of which you want to look a little different from each other – then you will be better off with what has become known as a framework theme.
With a framework theme out of the box the site will look very dull and boring. The concept behind a framework is very powerful though – basically it allows you to customize everything about the site: how many sidebars, where they are, the header, the footer, style of pages, fonts, colors absolutely everything. The trick is to find a framework that is relatively easy to use and suits your level of expertise. I’ve used a couple and at the moment I am really excited about what the Frugal Theme can do.