Q: What are the best FREE (or low- cost) wordpress themes. What do you use?
A: Hi Shawna–
Actually, I don't use WordPress at all — I use Typepad for my blogs. I think WordPress is a a viable option for a blog or a blogsite. However, because it's open source software and is free of charge, that means you have to provide your own tech support, or hire someone to do that for you. For example, I read last week about a worm that was impacting WP blogs that had not been upgraded to the latest version. If you did not know how to do this, you could lose use of your blog until you figured out how to resolve this issue.
I use Typepad because the tech support is built into the fee that I pay. Generally, I've seen that WP is easier to customize and more people seem to know how to do this than they do with the customization of a Typepad blog. However, I love being able to email tech support with any problem I have, rather than having to dig out the answer in the support forums. And, with the purchase of a custom header for my Typepad blog for around $50 and then going in to change the colors to correspond, I can have a fairly customized blog (with tech support) pretty quickly.
The WordPress themes I see regularly and think highly of are the ones purchased from ithemes.com, , WooThemes, Thesis Theme, and StudioPress.com. While these aren't free, they encompass the type of layout that I recommend to clients who are using WP as a blogsite.
Here's a great article by Jill Chongva on the topic of free vs premium WordPress themes.
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