Free Tumblr Themes vs Premium Tumblr Themes

No doubt that the design is one of the essentials of your blog that will either help you increase your revenue or decrease your earning potential. Every blogger including me gets confused when choosing a template or theme for the blog. Tumblr is undoubtedly the best micro-blogging website in the world. There are many reasons why you should have a Tumblr blog for your business either local or online.

One of the main questions in many mature Tumblr users’ mind is what Tumblr theme I should use. Should it be a free Tumblr theme or a premium Tumblr theme? So here in this post, I will explain to you the differences between free Tumblr themes and Premium Tumblr themes.


First, do let me explain to you some information about Tumblr themes. There are many customizable Tumblr themes on the web that you can choose and instantly install on your current blog. Don’t need any technical skills to install an HTML Tumblr theme. Though, the problem is not really about installing the theme. It’s all about the comparison of Free Tumblr Themes vs Premium Tumblr Themes.

I still remember that the days that I started my blogging career. I was confused seeing attractive themes on the web. Many of them were free. So, I installed many templates on my blog. And change it on the next day. I thought why many bloggers use paid templates for their blog, when there are many free templates to use. But, actually, I was wrong. The reason for that could be the experience and the knowledge that I had in those days.

If you are just starting your blogging career on Tumblr or thinking to create a blog on Tumblr, I recommend you to start with a premium theme if you have a steer-clear plan to build an online business or engage your fans (if you’re a musician or photographer). If you just want to spend time on the internet with sharing stuff on the web, it’s okay to go with a free Tumblr theme. No one will stop you using a free theme. But if you want to be professional in blogging or in your field and ensure your hard work is paying off, you should think thrice, NOT once or twice in choosing custom Tumblr themes.

If you’re just starting out, you can actually use free Tumblr themes for blogging. But don’t expect much features, updates, and supports. Once you get the momentum of blogging, you can move to a professional premium Tumblr theme. There are good free Tumblr themes in Tumblr theme directly. Also, you can find more resources on free Tumblr themes using Google.

Here I will list some reasons why you should always go with a premium Tumblr theme rather than a free Tumblr theme.

Differences between Free Tumblr Themes vs Premium Tumblr Themes

#1. Support

Admit it, No one knows what happen in web design or SEO field in the future. New web design metrics such as retina and subsequent algorithm updates handle by Google will directly cause in blogging and online marketing. Because of these new changes, we need the help of someone. Usually your web developer or theme designer. The biggest advantage of having a premium Tumblr theme is that you don’t need to hire any web designer on freelancer to edit your Tumblr blog HTML codes. You can directly contact the original Tumblr theme designer and ask them their help is required. They’ll help you happily.

Let’s assume that you choose one of these attractive paid themes for your blog. You want to put Adsense code on your blog. Let’s think you need ads to be displayed bottom of every post. You don’t need even contact someone to help you out for installing Google AdSense script. Many premium Tumblr themes are AdSense ready. If yours is not optimized for Google AdSense, you can read your theme documentation to find how to set up Google AdSense on Tumblr or contact him via email or from social media.

Some major theme developers have forums to help you out. You can enter your query in the search box and get instant answers. It’s another advantage you’ll receive if you buy premium Tumblr themes from a popular theme store.

#2. Updates

Web design needs updates and it does. When there are new updates and trends, your web design also should be adapted to new trends. If you used a free Theme for your Tumblr portfolio, you may probably not see a newer version.  Some web designers giveaway Tumblr themes free of cost. One reason to allow people to get premium themes for free is to experiment with new things and/or intrigue them to upgrade for receiving updates. Some free themes look very beautiful at first. But with time, it’s just another Tumblr theme in “Old themes” category.

If you want to go with new trends and make your website design work well on all devices with each time periods, you have no choice than purchasing a premium Tumblr theme which supports for ongoing updates. Tumblr theme designers in the Themeforet give you ongoing updates. The amazing thing is that these all things are for one-time $10 or plus. Is it NOT cool?

Actually, there are some Tumblr designers who will give you Tumblr themes free and updates. But, NO guarantee and No promise. They might provide their service if they have free time to do that.

#3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO drives traffic. Good SEO strategies drive quality traffic from search engines. And great SEO practices help in driving a high amount of traffic to your website. If you’re blogging on Tumblr sake of making money online, then traffic is absolutely required. No conflict with that. You can answer “Yes” for these questions if your Tumblr theme is a well SEO optimized Theme.

  • Does your blog theme have Meta tags properly installed? 
  • Can search engine bots crawl your website and index the content? 
  • Does your blog have rich snippets for ranking your video, images and audio posts on search engines? 
  • Does your Tumblr theme NOT use JavaScript or Iframes to prevent search engine bots from crawling your website?
  • Does your Tumblr theme support for verifying your website in webmaster tools such as Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Baidu Webmaster tools and Yandex webmaster tools?
  • Does your Tumblr theme have tools to analyze your website traffic? Ex: setting up Google Analytics
  • Does your website comply with rules and adhere with proper tags?

SEO is a complicated field. It changes its pattern every single day. What worked before 10 years ago don’t work now. So you should use a good SEO optimized theme for your blog. And it should be updated.

If you want to grow your Tumblr by using search engines, make sure to follow these Tumblr SEO tips. It contains over 13 proven basic to advanced SEO metrics that will help take your organic traffic from bottom to top.

I don’t think free Tumblr themes have these all features because there is no chance to interact with the template designer who will update the blog template with new changes and trends.

#4. Elegant Theme Design that gets the attention

I know there are thousands of attractive free Tumblr themes on the Internet. But the attractiveness is transitory. Even you see and use a stunning Tumblr theme for your blog, one day it will be another “up-to-date” theme. Because of time changes everything, including mindset. But if you decided to use a Tumblr premium theme, there are thousands of design-hacks that you can choose to maintain the uniqueness that other amazing free themes don’t have. Because Uniqueness doesn’t come with free designs.

Many Tumblr premium themes have a lot of tools to change the design such as font styles, colors, homepage design (infinite scrolling or pagination) and social widgets. If you want to something special that your competitors don’t have, go with a premium theme that could stand out from the crowd.

There are hundreds of beautiful Tumblr themes on Themeforest. You can preview each theme and decide on what theme you should go to.

#5. Features

One of the main reasons why people buy Tumblr premium themes is that they have more feature than a Tumblr free theme. There are competitions between free Tumblr themes vs premium themes and Tumblr theme makers. As the competitions, Each Tumblr theme makers try to add a unique feature to their themes.

Ex: If there is not a Tumblr theme with Aweber email marketing sign-up forms enable, One can design a custom Tumblr theme which supports for Aweber email marketing service. The Tumblr theme designer can name it: “Aweber Optimized Responsive Premium Tumblr theme”, “Premium Tumblr Theme (Integrated with Aweber)” or “Aweber Ready Responsive Tumblr theme (First on the web)”.

Will that theme buy someone? Why not, of course. Bloggers and Online marketers are willing to buy this Tumblr theme. Because of it’s the first Tumblr theme which supports for Aweber email marketing service.

With time, you can clearly see the gap between a free Tumblr theme and a premium Tumblr theme. Because of new features are added to premium themes first rather than free themes. That’s why your competitor dominates the niche easily without doing hard works than you. (Certainly, you do the hardest works). They receive free updates of Theme with new features while you’re still at the beginning of the game.

So no doubt that when comparing the features of free Tumblr themes and premium Tumblr themes, Premium themes win the game.

Related: How to Make Your Secondary Blog the Main Blog Tumblr

#6. Search Engine Friendly Design

Sorry, there is nothing to do, if you want to receive free organic traffic from Google, you have to adhere to their webmaster guidelines. Unless you’re the owner of Facebook, you have to stay up-to-date with new SEO trends and updates. The newest change in search engine algorithm is the search engine friendly design or in other words, responsive design (for mobile users), fast loading (very crucial to rank higher on Google), rich snippets (To find out content).  These are some of the critical parts in a search engine friendly design.

Another aspect of search engine friendly design is clean coding. Is there any chunky, unwanted code in your Tumblr theme? If your answer is “yes”, then you’re on the edge of search engine ranking. You’re unsure whether your posts rank well or not.

Many premium Tumblr theme designers have knowledge of search engine optimization. And you’d receive updates on each new change in the SEO world. Else you can contact them and ask for it.

Though many Tumblr free themes are mainly targeted for promoting their themes (or for just testing) and not giving something valuable to people. You can find some Tumblr themes with frames enabled. Which in result case to decrease your search traffic. Also, because unwanted JavaScript and CSS files, your Tumblr blog’s loading speed will increase. You know the result. Yes, increases the bounce rate and decrease your SERP ranks.

#7. Encrypted Links

You might notify that in the footer of your free Tumblr theme, there are links to the Tumblr theme maker’s homepage. It’s an encrypted link which is established using JavaScript. Let’s forget about the professionalism of your website or reputation. But what about link-juice passing and external linking that influence to whole your website? Some theme designers are deceitful that they host JavaScript files on their servers. So they can later change the link text or link. And also sell links.

How if the theme designer added a link on your website to a porn website? What will happen?

Actually Encrypted links are one of the major problems that every blogger suffers. It can sweep out your website in Google indexing. So I recommend you to purchase a premium Tumblr theme so that you can control your website content. Click here to purchase Tumblr Themes.

#8. Security

In above, I explained how an external link can influence your website ranking. There may be malicious codes installed in your theme. That will ruin your reputation in a few seconds. Who likes to view your website again after seeing a window like this?

Danger Malware Ahead Google Chrome

I suffered from this message a few months ago. Fortunately, I was able to sweep out those malicious codes from my blog. But what if your malicious code cannot be found or like I said in above if they are hosted on an external server which loads the virus when your pages are loading?

So for the good of you and ensuring that you have the most securitized web design in hand, buy premium Tumblr themes which have good reviews, comments, etc. If you want to search for a good Theme on Themeforest, you can filter the search results with “most popular”, “most rated” etc. And more feedback (comments) means they work well on all web browsers and devices.

Moreover, you can Google search, “Tumblr Theme Name + Review” to find good Tumblr themes.

Watch below Slideshare presentation which summarizes above compares between free Tumblr themes vs premium Tumblr themes.

Click here to tweet this Presentation


When comparing differences between free Tumblr themes vs Premium Tumblr themes, definitely you would find clear differences between these two Theme types. The main advantage of free Tumblr themes is that it’s absolutely free of cost, Not it has more new features rather than premium Tumblr themes.

If you want to blog like a professional blogger or want to get higher benefits from Tumblr, you should go for a premium Tumblr theme. There are hundreds of Tumblr premium themes out there for different purposes such as for blogging, portfolios, business blogs, marketing blogs, and landing pages, etc.

So do you use a Premium Tumblr theme or free Tumblr theme on your blog? What are the differences you’d see when comparing free Tumblr themes vs premium Tumblr themes? Share your meaningful thoughts in the comment section.


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