When I started my first blog I have chosen a free WordPress theme because I had no budget to invest in my site and the free one worked ok.
7 years later I use both free and Premium WordPress Themes because I like diversity and I like to split test (see how a site performs when it is compared with a similar one).
Both the themes have their pro’s and con’s:
- the free themes require no money investment and there are plenty of good ones to choose from. On the downside you will need to invest time to see how they work because most of them come with little or no support and on your site you will host 2-3 links in the footer going to the theme’s creator advertisers.
- the paid ones usually come with good support and tutorials, look better because they are developed by a designer or a team of designers and include SEO modules. But you will have to pay to use them.
What you choose it is up to you. I now prefer the premium WordPress themes because I value my time and I like a good support. However if you can’t afford a premium theme use a free one. I do have a tip if you use a free theme: test a few and spend time learning to use the theme before choosing one.