There are thousands of website templates available online for HTML websites, Joomla, WordPress, Magento and Oscommerce. As well as vcard and PowerPoint templates.

A template is a great tool to save money and help someone who has no design capabilities to create a professional looking website or document. This industry has expanded considerably since the early 2000’s.

I have seen people use free templates and others buy premium templates.

So which is better and should you simply download a free template or pay for a premium template?

As with many other things in life it really depends on your goals.

For this article we will focus on website templates and whether you should use a free or premium template to build a professional website for your company/organization or your professional career.

Free Templates

PROS – It’s free! That’s an obvious one. You can easily search on Google for “free templates” and you will find many websites where you can preview and download many templates in HTML format or for CMS’s like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento. If you download one an don’t like it you can easily find another.

CONS – I really believe in the adage “you get what you pay for”. So if you don’t pay anything, you won’t get much. There are many good free templates out there but the most beautiful and most professional looking ones always cost. This is only logic. No one wants to produce something for nothing. That’s not how the world works. Don’t expect any support for free templates if ever you need assistance or debugging.

Premium Templates

PROS – There is a much wider choice of premium templates than free templates. Which is only logical as designers can earn a living designing templates. So there is an incentive to produce a wide range of great templates. Many companies have risen who offer premium templates which range between $35-225. They hire many designers who specializing in creating beautiful designs. If ever you have an issue with your template you can request help from the developer/company and they will either help you or fix the issue for you. Premium templates are much more comprehensive and have many more features than free templates. The quality of the coding and design is also superior.

CONS – Not many in my opinion. The only downside I see is if you purchase a template and decide you don’t like it or want to change designs, you cannot request a refund as templates are electronic products and cannot be returned. So you need to make sure you are picking the right template before you purchase it.

As a web developer, I always use premium templates. I think they are worth the cost for a professional design and good quality. When investing in a new project or business I believe in investing in quality. If you are skimping on the important things your business will suffer. I have seen people who want to start a new online business decide that buying a $85 template is too expensive. If $85 is too expensive for a new venture then maybe you need to rethink your entire idea.