Free vs Premium Joomla Template Comparison (Cost, Functionalities, Similarities)

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2020)

If you are new to Joomla, you would probably want to find out what a Joomla template is, free Joomla templates vs premium Joomla templates – what are their differences, etc. The reason for this JovialGuide is to show you everything you need to know about Joomla templates.

Free Joomla templates happen to be widely used because they have no cost associated with them. While premium Joomla templates are less popular because of the cost associated with them.

Joomla templates are particularly for the beautification of your Joomla website. They come in different categories. Each of the categories of Joomla templates are created for specific purposes, based upon the different niche of websites.

Free vs premium Joomla templates are completely two different types of Joomla templates when it comes to cost, functionalities, etc. However, they share some similarities which we also covered in this comparison.

Above these, both free and premium Joomla templates have pros as well as cons. As you read, you will learn more about them!

In this JovialGuide, we will show you what free and premium Joomla templates are, comparison between free vs premium Joomla templates, etc.

What is a Joomla Template?

A Joomla template is a collection of styles, colour schemes, etc., called template, used for designing Joomla websites.

Joomla templates are available in different categories for different niche of website. These categories of Joomla templates, let you build a Joomla website depending upon the niche or type of website you run.

To be more comprehensive, we have listed out some of the categories of Joomla templates.

Here are some of the categories of Joomla templates:

  • Construction Joomla templates – for construction websites.
  • Religious Joomla templates – for religious websites.
  • Portfolio Joomla templates – for portfolio websites.
  • Etc.

You would want to learn more about Joomla templates in our glossary of terms page.

What is a Free Joomla Template?

A free Joomla template is one that is available in free version. When a Joomla template is available in free version, it means that it is available for anyone to download and use without paying for it.

Most free Joomla templates come with responsive, professional, etc., designs. Free Joomla templates are absolutely available for use at no cost. This has made it very popular in the design/beautification of Joomla websites.

Note – Avoid using free Joomla templates from unknown sources, as it could be harmful to the health of your Joomla website!

Pros of Free Joomla Templates

Free Joomla templates let you design and customize the appearance of your Joomla website for free. They are free to use and customize.

Below, we will show you the pros of free Joomla templates with deep explanations.

Here are the pros of free Joomla template:

  • It is free
  • Can be used to build portfolio

It is Free

When something is said to be free, it means that thing is cost-free; you will not pay before having permission to use it!

A free Joomla template is available to anyone/the public for use without any cost! It basically saves cost.

It is costless in the sense that you are not required to purchase, or pay for anything before being able to download and use a free Joomla template.

Free Joomla templates are more useful if you are on a low budget.

Can be used to Build Portfolio

If you are a developer, freelancer, company, etc., who would like your Joomla template(s) to be available to large users, then you can consider giving it out for free. Most times, developers of free Joomla templates, do give their templates out for free. The reason behind this is to build their portfolio as a Joomla template developer, and to show their skills to the world. This way, they can get job offers.

If you are desiring to build your portfolio, reputation, let the world know about your skills in Joomla template development, etc., you can give your template(s) out at no cost. This is a tested and trusted way of boosting portfolios. So, it works!

Cons of Free Joomla Templates

Free Joomla templates let you design/customize the appearance of your Joomla website for free. However, as they are free, they are accompanied with several issues (that will be discussed shortly).

While free Joomla templates require no cost to use, they have issues that are the downsides of the free versions of Joomla templates.

Below, we will show you the cons of free Joomla templates with detailed explanation of each of them.

Here are the cons of free Joomla templates:

  • May contain advertisements
  • Limited functionalities
  • Limited support/update
  • Little or no uniqueness

May Contain Advertisements

If you have ever used a free Joomla template, you would notice that it comes usually with pop up advertisements, adverts asking you to upgrade to the pro or premium version of that particular Joomla template. Most times, these adverts could be annoying!

Limited Functionalities

Limited functionalities are a part of a free Joomla template. Free Joomla templates are known to always come with limited functionalities compare to premium Joomla templates.

In the case of premium Joomla templates, you would regard the fact that it comes with cost, while the free versions of Joomla templates are bound to limited functionalities because they are free.

Limited Support/Updates

When you use a free Joomla template, (especially one that has a pro/premium version), you will notice that it comes usually with limited supports while some may not at all offer any support.

It will become more necessary when you run into a problem in template customization, etc. And When you contact them via Email, you may never get any response from them.

Little or no Uniqueness

Owning a website that has a unique design is the dream of businesses. However, when you use a free Joomla template, you are not sure of a unique design. The design that is used for this Joomla template may also be used for another Joomla template, making it have a little bit of uniqueness or none at all!

What is a Premium Joomla Template?

A premium Joomla template is one that is available in paid version. A Joomla template being in paid version means that you will have to pay a certain amount of money before having access to download and use it. They are available for purchase on the official website of the vendors!

Premium Joomla templates were usually used by large business websites. However, now, premium Joomla templates are being used by large, medium and even small sized businesses, who are looking for uniqueness, professionalism, responsiveness, etc.

And of course, if you are looking for professionalism, uniqueness, etc., you can go for premium Joomla templates.

Pros of Premium Joomla Templates

Free Joomla templates have advantages so do premium Joomla templates!

If you are desiring to use premium Joomla templates, then you are longing to have a professional, beautiful, responsive, etc., website design.

Purchasing a premium Joomla template, you are sure of responsiveness, professional design, etc. However, you will get to know that premium Joomla templates also come with issues like free Joomla templates do.

Here are the pros of premium Joomla templates:

  • Unique design
  • Professional look
  • Beautiful design
  • More functionalities

Unique Design

Having the design of your business website different from others, is what business owners hope for. Premium Joomla templates come with uniqueness that is capable of making your business website stand out. The developers of premium Joomla templates spend their time in creating a unique design for your website because it is something you will pay for!

Professional Look

When you say you want to purchase a (premium) Joomla template, have in mind that it comes with a professional design. Premium Joomla templates always come with an attractive and professional design that can be used on your well established business website.

You will feel more confident of your business website if it has a professional design!

Beautiful Design

When you think of using a beautiful Joomla template, you are actually talking about premium Joomla templates. Premium Joomla templates always come with beautiful and attractive designs!

Just like when you pay for something, you would expect to get the best version of that thing because it’s something you are paying for! Premium Joomla templates are paid add-ons, so, they always come in their best versions!

More Functionalities

Premium Joomla templates are associated with cost, that is; before having a copy of it, you have to pay a certain amount of money for it!

When premium Joomla templates are compared to free Joomla templates, there’s always a clear difference between them. One of the differences is the availability of advanced functionalities present in premium Joomla templates than in free Joomla templates.

Above these, when you use a premium Joomla template, you are not only sure of responsiveness, attractive design, uniqueness, etc., but advanced functionalities too.

Cons of Premium Joomla Templates

If you are to use a premium Joomla template, you are certain of responsiveness, uniqueness, etc. However, you would also, on the other hand, find out that they have issues like free Joomla templates.

Below, we will show you the con of premium Joomla templates with detailed explanations.

Here is the con of premium Joomla templates:

  • They could be expensive

They Could be Expensive

The most beautiful, professional and responsive Joomla templates are usually available in premium versions. However, if you are to buy, you will find out that its cost is not always budget friendly. Professional and responsive Joomla templates could be sold at $40, $60, etc., for just one. This price is not budget friendly at all.

Moreover, purchasing a Joomla template at the cost of $70 is not cost friendly for small budgets.

Free vs Premium Joomla Templates: Pricing/Cost

Cost is a very important factor to be considered when choosing a Joomla template. How expensive or cheap this template is, compare to the other!

As you read, you will learn about the cost of both versions of Joomla templates; how cheap or expensive they are.

Free Joomla Templates

When cost is being compared, free Joomla templates appear different!

Free Joomla templates are costless Joomla templates. They are all free and not associated with any cost. You can easily get and use any free Joomla template of your choice without needing to pay because it is free.

As its name, free, means that it has nothing to do with cost or money. You do not have to pay to be able to use it. It is completely free!

Free Joomla templates are most helpful when you are on a low budget, running out of money, etc.

Premium Joomla Templates

When it comes to cost, premium Joomla templates are not cost-free. They are associated with cost/money!

One would have to pay a certain amount of money to be able to download and use a premium Joomla template of his choice.

Moreover, most premium Joomla templates are fairly expensive and not cost friendly to low budgets.

The final comparison between free vs premium Joomla temples in relation to cost, is that; free Joomla templates are completely free, while, premium Joomla templates are not (they are associated with cost).

Free vs Premium Joomla Templates: Functionalities

When the functionalities of both free vs premium Joomla templates are being compared, there are always differences between them. One is loaded with more functionalities than the other!

Below, we will show you a functionality comparison between free vs premium Joomla templates.

Free Joomla Templates

There’s no doubt that free Joomla templates always come with functionalities. The functionalities it comes with cannot be in comparison with that of premium Joomla templates.

Free Joomla templates always come with functionalities. However, these functionalities are not advanced enough to let you customize the appearance of your Joomla website without having to write any line of code.

Moreover, free Joomla templates are free so they come with less functionalities than premium Joomla templates.

Premium Joomla Templates

Premium Joomla templates are associated with cost. Because of this, they are always loaded with the basic and advanced functionalities which free Joomla templates do not have.

There are other premium Joomla templates with loads of functionalities. Moreover, they are available at a higher price than others.

The final comparison between free vs premium Joomla templates in relation to functionalities, is that; both free and premium Joomla templates come with functionalities. However, premium Joomla templates come with loads of functionalities than free Joomla templates because they are associated with cost.

Free vs Premium Joomla Templates: Support

Offering supports for your products is very important as users would get trapped while using your product!

For a more detailed comparison, there’s need to compare the support level of both free and premium Joomla templates.

Below, we will show you the support level of both free and premium Joomla templates and which has the highest support level.

Free Joomla Templates

Some free Joomla templates have no documentations and no supports are offered from their developers.

Moreover, the support level of (some) free Joomla templates could be poor and could offer unhelpful support to users.

Free Joomla templates offer a lower level of support compare to premium Joomla templates.

Premium Joomla Templates

Premium Joomla templates have documentations and support from their developers. They offer a higher level of support than free Joomla templates. Their support team are always ready to help you each time you contact them, following the fact that it is a paid product.

They offer a more superior level of support than free Joomla templates.

The final comparison between free vs premium Joomla templates in relation to support, is that; both free Joomla templates and premium Joomla templates offer supports, but the support level of premium Joomla templates are higher and incomparable to that of free Joomla templates.

Free vs Premium Joomla Templates: Similarities

Free and premium Joomla templates are different when it comes to cost, functionalities, etc. However, they share some resemblances that make them look alike.

Detailedly in this section, we will show you the similarities between free vs premium Joomla templates.

Here are the similarities between free and premium Joomla templates:

  • Both are add-ons for Joomla websites.
  • They are a collection of CSS styles.
  • Both are used for the beautification of Joomla websites.
  • They require installation first.
  • Etc.

Free vs Premium Joomla Templates: Differences

When it comes to differences, both free and premium Joomla templates are different from each other.

Below, we will show you the differences between free vs premium Joomla templates.

Here are the differences between free vs premium Joomla templates:

  • Free Joomla templates – are free of charge (costless) compare to premium Joomla templates that requires you to buy.
  • Premium Joomla templates – are loaded with advanced functionalities than free Joomla templates.
  • Premium Joomla templates – come with professional designs than free Joomla templates.
  • Premium Joomla templates – come with more unique designs than free Joomla templates.
  • Premium Joomla templates – offer superior support/updates compare to free Joomla templates.
  • Etc.

Free Joomla Template vs Premium Joomla Template Comparison Table

Both free and premium Joomla templates come with functionalities that are different and also similar to each other. However, for a more detailed comparison table, there is need to compare the functionalities, similarities, etc., of free Joomla templates and premium Joomla templates.

The data below is a comparison between free Joomla templates vs premium Joomla templates.

Functionalities
Free Joomla Templates
Premium Joomla Templates

Associated with Cost
No (free)
Yes

Could be Expensive in Price
No (free)
Yes

Unique
Little or no uniqueness
Yes

Can be Nulled
Since they are free, no.
Yes

Advanced Functionalities
No
Yes

Beautiful Design
Some (but incomparable)
Yes

Professional Design
Some (but incomparable)
Yes

Things to Avoid in Free and Premium Joomla Templates

The security aspect of your Joomla website is very essential. This is the reason you should be mindful of, most especially, the add-ons you use on your Joomla website.

Doing things that are harmful to the health of your Joomla website can make your website vulnerable to attacks.

As a Joomla website administrator, there are certain things you should avoid when it has to do with the Joomla templates you are about to use (whether free or premium). These things are the wrong Joomla practices when it comes to using Joomla templates.

Here are the things you should avoid when it comes to free or premium Joomla templates:

  • Do not use premium Joomla templates purchased from third party sources other than the original vendors.
  • Avoid using Joomla templates (especially free Joomla templates) from unknown sources.
  • Avoid using nulled Joomla templates (see the reasons).
  • Etc.

The listings above are for the sake of the health of your Joomla website. For a more detailed JovialGuide, see our ultimate guide on how to secure your Joomla website.

Security Tip: When you notice any unusual activities after installing any Joomla template (free or premium Joomla template), quickly uninstall it. That could be a sign that a malicious code snippet was injected to that Joomla template (one that could leave your website vulnerable to hacking attacks), or that your Joomla template is not compatible with the version of your Joomla website.

How to Choose Between Free Joomla Templates vs Premium Joomla Templates

One of the best times to use free Joomla template is when you are on a low budget or running out of money when creating a Joomla website.

Premium Joomla templates are always expensive. They could be sold at $60 for just one template.

Above these, having to choose between free vs premium Joomla template could be an intimidating decision. However, to be more detailed, we will show you how to choose between free vs premium Joomla templates.

Here is how to choose between free vs premium Joomla templates:

  • Is your business large with a high budget? – Go for premium Joomla templates.
  • Are you a startup with a high budget? – Go for premium Joomla templates if you would like.
  • Are you a startup with low budget? – Then go for free Joomla templates.
  • Looking for professional Joomla templates? – Go for premium Joomla templates.

The above questions and answers are to guide you choose between free vs premium Joomla templates.

Best Joomla Template Providers

If you are desiring to purchase a Joomla template, you would want to see some of the best Joomla template providers for you to check out some of their Joomla templates.

Apart from checking out which Joomla template provider has the best, professional, responsive and most beautiful templates, you may also want to compare the functionalities and prices of templates from different Joomla template providers.

Here are the best Joomla template providers:

Things to Consider When Choosing a Joomla Template (How to Choose the Best Joomla Template)

The Joomla template you use can either beautify or uglify your website! There are hundreds of Joomla templates today. However, it may be difficult to choose the best Joomla template for your website.

To be able to choose the best Joomla template for your website, we have highlighted the things you should consider when buying a Joomla template. These things will help you choose the best Joomla template.

Here are some of the things you should consider when buying a Joomla template:

  • Consider budget
  • SEO friendliness
  • Consider simplicity
  • Consider responsiveness
  • Etc.

Detailedly, see things to consider when choosing a Joomla template for more.

Last Words

In this JovialGuide, we showed you what free and premium Joomla templates are, pros and cons, comparison between free vs premium Joomla templates, etc.

You have seen that free Joomla templates have issues as well as premium Joomla templates. This is a true conception of “everything with advantage have disadvantage”.

When free vs premium Joomla templates are compared in relation to cost, loaded functionalities, etc., there are always several differences between them. For example; premium Joomla templates come with loaded functionalities than free Joomla templates.

Having your Joomla frontend template design from an expert adds professionalism to your website! Moreover, if you are looking for reliable Joomla template providers, you can get started with JoomDev or JoomShaper.

Get started with other of our Joomla tutorials.

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