Can you get traffic to a blog using free wordpress theme?

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  1. NateB11 profile image88
    NateB11posted 8 years ago

    When I first started my 3 blogs I bought themes that were designed for SEO. At least that's how they were promoted, as being optimized for search engines. I started a new blog and decided to just use the free theme wordpress provides called Twenty-Fourteen. I like the look of it and it seems like a good theme, simple and easy to navigate. I'd prefer to keep it. But I was wondering if the theme is good as far as SEO goes. Will my posts get indexed and gain traffic using this theme? I've done the keyword research for the articles, so I know they have potential for getting traffic.

    1. Venkatachari M profile image84
      Venkatachari Mposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I do not know about all these SEO traffic techniques. I simply try to know which keywords are used in searches. When I put a word in Google search, it provides some options of phrases using that key word. Then I copy that word from the browser and paste it in my article. This is what I know. I maintain 4 blogs on Google Blogger (one paid) and one more free on wordpress.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I have very rarely purchased a theme.  Free themes can be just as good as, and sometimes better than, paid ones.

      There is no guarantee that a paid theme will have "better SEO" than a free theme, and in fact the theme itself has very little to do with how good your SEO is.  The most important thing about a theme is that it looks good, provides easy navigation and, most importantly, loads fast. 

      Some of my favourite themes come from - all completely free, but you pay an annual subcription if you want support (which is very generous and includes help with customising, code snippets etc).   My current favourite doesn't come from them, though - it's Hueman, available on but there is a better version downloadable direct from the developer's website.

      1. NateB11 profile image88
        NateB11posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        That's kind of what I thought. Good info, I'll check out some of those sources mentioned too.

  2. Sebastian Balog profile image79
    Sebastian Balogposted 8 years ago

    Depends how well you did your keyword research and the quality of your articles. Nowdays the big G is putting a high value on quality content. What used to work before doesn't work anymore. People used to pay attention to how many times they use the keyword in the article. Over optimization is bad now, Google understands the articles and the word variables so for a search like "how do i rank my website fast" your title could look like "rank your website fast". It's not really the greatest example but words like coding can be replaced with programming etc, words which mean the same thing. Also backlinks still play a major role when it comes to keyword competition and keyword research should always be focused around this but that can be tricky also. Even for low comp keywords the top 10 results could be authority highly optimized websites so you couldn't rank. Being number 11 is almost like being number 100 same as number 10 compared to number 1, number 1 always gets most traffic so the potential earnings are way higher than let's say number 4 but that again depends on your topic, if you only earn through adsense or only amazon or both. Amazon is way better and will get you higher esrnings if you do things right even with low but targeted traffic while for adsense you would need A LOT of traffic to make even half the money or not even that. The key is keyword research - good content that google will appreciate and - give the people what they look for don't write for the search engines - backlinks and social presence (make a twitter, facebook, instagram etc acccount) so people can share your articles. These factors together will guarantee success. Knowing this will help but actually putting it all together is not easy and requires lots of work but can be done. Trial and error testing is key. See what works best for you and always write about subjects you master because people want to know new things. If they already know what you wrote about, you brought nothing new in their heads and won't appreciate it in order to share it.


  3. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 8 years ago

    Free themes are fine.  Just get one that is fairly customizable to ensure that your blog has a distinctive look.

    1. NateB11 profile image88
      NateB11posted 8 years agoin reply to this


  4. jacharless profile image73
    jacharlessposted 8 years ago

    It is, unfortunately, a sad event regarding optimization of blogs using WordPress and other prefabricated website designs. The primary issue is their use of framing. A stand-alone application has much more flexibility and visibility than a frames based application.

    WP is notorious for slug linking, which is viewed by all major search engines as spam, even as a stand-alone application, because too many spammers used the free or paid framework to create false links to trick the engine into giving it more CPM. The only benefit is semi customization, which could potentially be indexed as quality.

    The secondary issue is that SEO is essentially a fossil. Digging up links (good or bad) is no longer relevant, defunct, as search protocol now uses digital DNA, so to speak, through very clean, sanitized environments and lean heavily on Social Searches and Custom User Trends.

    A great example is Facebook, Tsu, Twitter and Instagram. One person posts a link to an article, etc. Because of social delivery, the link virals out to 100, 1K, 1M people, or more, via app notifications or top trends. Essentially, no one needs to really search. They only need a connection to someone else.

    WordPress, like Joomla and Drupal, is considered outdated technology, whereas HTML5 and SVG sites are the modern, more App-like platforms, as the population flows more into tabular and mobile devices.

    Lastly, "blogging" or article writing in-blog is not really a trending item anymore, unless it was establishment 5 years ago and has accumulated a very strong following. Blogs, which are really just public diaries, have been replaced with real-time social interaction or used for corporate news, updates, etc.

    1. Sebastian Balog profile image79
      Sebastian Balogposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I`m not saying you`re not right and while the flexibility is indeed higher, a stand-alone application will not be in the near future widely used by individuals who start a website, maybe it never will be. People will always use the easiest way of building a website because most are not professionals so I bet updated versions of Joomla, Wordpress and Drupal will live on forever. There are HTML5 wordpress themes, drupal themes and Joomla as well so no problem with that.

      What is widely used, must be accepted by the search engines because that`s what people use and  want.

      Google will never penalize a wordpress website just because it uses that platform, it will penalize it for grey/blackhat SEO practices. Even highly popular websites are wordpress based so I don`t quite agree with your point of wiev because we`re talking about "the majority of poeple building a website", not companies or corporations (those are few compared to the wordpress, joomla and drupal lot).

      In conclusion the current platforms work really well if you don`t just use them "as is" and with the help of a few SEO plugins you`re good to go!

      Links are still the most important thing in SEO optimization no matter what anyone says. Social signs are great and will give the website a good boost if they exist, but only with optimizaiton and great quality content you will never outrank a highly optimized competition website with good backlinks. Social signs don`t exist for every niche, not every niche is of interest for so many people to start sharing.

      1. jacharless profile image73
        jacharlessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, Google does -and will continue to- penalize sites using false pages/links -aka slugs and excessive "plug-ins" which are the worst technological inventions ever. If you doubt, think Panda and Penguin.

        I know of no "highly popular" website that is WP based. If you have any data to the contrary, I would definitely be interested in seeing it. Because as a web & mobile developer I have never, ever -in nearly a decade+ of deploying applications- seen a single WP (or even Joomla/Drupal based system) ranked above PR3.

        The majority of people who build a website are not everyday people. They are designers/developers. Look at Behance, AngelList, etc and you'll see the statistics. None will even consider a prefabricated system. Those who go the route of themed sites are,  primarily, "average Joe's" who, respectfully, are not in a financial position to build a truly innovative system. Hence why such "free" or "inexpensive" platforms like WP, Joomla, Drupal -even SquareSpace, and more recently Wix, exist to begin with.

        A friend over at Theme Forest has noted that sales have dropped some 75% for themed sites because of modern technology requirements, the fade-out of blogs and increase in tabular/mobile applications. These previously thriving systems are now considered irrelevant.

        Just look at this site - HP - a well designed PHP/Jquery based system, with quite a large volume of membership and visitors. Show me one WP site that compares...

        Furthermore, the purpose of a good themed site is not only visual excitement but "SEO friendly". And, going back to Penguin, and Social Searches (Bing-Facebook being one example), have scads of data to prove SEO is dead. Best to get over it, as the saying goes, and catch up to the modern trend, if one desires to stay in the game.

  5. Mukherjee Rudrabh profile image60
    Mukherjee Rudrabhposted 8 years ago

    The ultimate goal of every blogger is traffic. Right? So keeping away all those things like SEO... If you use a free version you will get much lower traffic. Which of-course you are not looking for. Right? You can use various high quality themes for very low price even with discount if you want. All the best sir for your future endeavors. smile My good wishes for you.

    1. NateB11 profile image88
      NateB11posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      It's been my feeling that the themes you pay for are better than the free ones; that's generally the case with everything; you get what you pay for, as they say. I've bought themes that were very reasonably prices, in addition I have access to those themes, I might use one for the blog for which I'm now using the free theme. Maybe I'll wait it out and see if traffic improves over the next couple months; if not, I'll try the paid theme.

      And, yes, you're right, the whole point is to get traffic.

  6. Alessio Ganci profile image96
    Alessio Ganciposted 8 years ago

    Generally when you pay for a theme you expect better quality. But that's not necessarily true: I always suggest to try demos of themes and see if they really are good for search engines: no hidden texts, elegant interface... if you find these themes look good for a user, surely it will also for search engines (Google always encourages webmasters to make websites looking good for users). Actually you can try all SEO techniques of the world, but none of these will work if the basic concept of the website (so looking good for people who visit it) is not good. So I always suggest to try all the themes you like, and when you choose one of them and have tried it (also with demos) decide if you want to use it. Paid themes usually have better quality and more features, but it is not good to generalize, also because there are a lot of free themes which are good as well (or also best sometimes).


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