Free Drupal themes explained

It’s worth to note that while there are indeed free Drupal themes available online, whether they are actually worth the time investment is another story. The amount of development work you are sacrificing may prove counter-intuitive in both the short and long term.

When working with Drupal, either as a beginner or a seasoned developer, you may find yourself scouring the web for a free Drupal theme that fits your needs.

Free website themes and templates are a difficult territory to comment on.

On one hand, there is a broad selection of free themes available for any CMS. But conversely, there are often massive differences between a theme that is free and one which is commercial.

And for Drupal, it’s no different.

Before embarking on a search for a free Drupal theme, consider whether this is really what you want.

Do you really want a non-commercial theme to skin your Drupal site, and if so, what is the real motivation behind this?

After all, nothing else in business is free, so what makes a theme so different? Other aspects of web design and development often come with a hefty price tag, and by using a commercial Drupal theme you’re actually reducing your overall web development costs, by an insane amount.

Having a website designed and built using any of the popular alternative methods does not come void of cost, so examine what your rationale is for wanting to obtain a premium-level of design and development minus the charge.

There are some instances where this is a great way to proceed — for example, if you are just beginning to learn Drupal, and want to experiment in a development or testing environment.

But, usually, for production sites, there isn’t much advantage of forfeiting the (minimal) cost of a premium Drupal theme.

When you purchase a theme, it’s not solely the design that you are paying for. The sale of a premium theme often comes packaged with an abundance of resources.

When you buy a premium Drupal theme, you’re getting a lot more than just a good looking website.

Besides the aesthetics of the theme’s design, you’re getting access to the (often extensive) amount of research behind the theme’s creation and development.

In order for Drupal themes to be developed in a way that makes them innovative and functional, they’re often built with SEO in mind and support enhanced website optimization and much-improved loading times. Typically, beyond what the CMS is able to offer on its own, and far beyond the normal development techniques used in free Drupal themes.

The theme’s code quality and backward/forward compatibility have also been considered during its development.

With the majority of premium Drupal themes, you’re also gaining access to long-term support by the theme vendor, future updates, security patches and the like.

It’s worth to note that while there are indeed free Drupal themes available online, whether they are actually worth the time investment is another story. The amount of development work you are sacrificing may prove counter-intuitive in both the short and long term.

The total cost involved with acquiring a premium Drupal theme is really not very high, considering the alternative routes to web development. It’s definitely much more cost effective than paying for a website to be developed from scratch.

Contrary to popular belief, most premium themes are very easy to customize to meet your project’s requirements and can be a great investment for businesses of any size.

Options are limited regarding free themes. And this is because great theme developers are in short supply — often engaged with demanding custom projects for a number of eager clients. If you’re seeking quality, it might be time to consider using a premium Drupal theme.