Is it worth investing in a WordPress template for blogging?

So, I’ve made the switch from Squarespace to nixihost + WordPress to kickstart my blog, and things are looking good! However, I ran into a bit of a snag with the template I chose, Polite Blog Grid. Turns out, after some adjustments, I realized that many of the features I saw in the live demo are only available in the full paid version, which costs $49 as a one-time fee on Templatesell. It’s a bummer because I really liked that template.

I’ve been discussing this with a friend who mentioned there’s a risk in investing in paid templates because even after paying for extra features, they might still not meet all your expectations. From what I can see in the feature list, Polite Blog Grid seems to have everything I need, especially in terms of design flexibility (which was my main reason for moving from Squarespace). But I’m hesitant to spend the money if it turns out to be subpar. I tried searching for reviews on Templatesell but couldn’t find much.

Any thoughts? Are there any completely free templates out there that are similar to Polite Blog Grid? I prefer a one-time payment over a yearly subscription. Any advice on how to choose a paid blogging template?

Thanks for your input.


Paying for a template is definitely worthwhile if it meets all your requirements. The initial cost is a one-time payment, and ongoing costs typically involve support beyond the first year. You essentially have a year to customize and refine the template to suit your needs, and after that, it’s yours to keep. Updates are usually provided even after the first year.

I’ve always used WordPress templates from ThemeForest without any issues. It’s essential to ensure the theme you choose is optimized for SEO and speed. There’s nothing worse than investing in a theme only to find out later that it requires extensive optimization to perform well on mobile devices for Google Page Speed.

Themes often claim to be speed-optimized, but this usually refers to desktop performance. Before purchasing, it’s wise to test different pages of the theme using a page speed test tool to ensure it meets your mobile performance expectations.


Sure, I understand this might be a basic question, but how do you go about testing speed optimization specifically for mobile devices?

1 Like

You can test the pages using the following link:

I understand your frustration with the Polite Blog Grid template. It’s disappointing to discover locked features after customization. Here are some options to consider:

Free Alternatives to Polite Blog Grid:

Search Within WordPress:

WordPress offers a vast library of free themes directly within its interface. Search for themes with a “grid layout” and “minimalist” or “modern” style to find options similar to Polite Blog Grid. Here are a couple of popular free grid-style themes to get you started:

  • Shapely
  • Gridlove

Third-Party Theme Providers:

Several websites offer free WordPress themes. Here are a couple of reputable sources with a good selection of free grid-style themes:

  • ThemeForest (Free Section)
  • StartUp Theme

Considering the Paid Option (Polite Blog Grid):

Research More Thoroughly:

While you couldn’t find reviews on Templatesell, there might be reviews or discussions about the Polite Blog Grid template on other websites or WordPress forums. Search for the template name along with terms like “review” or “user experience.”

Consider the Long-Term Value:

A one-time fee of $49 for a template with all the features you need might be a worthwhile investment compared to potentially switching themes multiple times in the future.

Tips for Choosing Paid Templates:

  • Look Beyond Design: While design is important, consider features, customization options, mobile responsiveness, and customer support offered by the theme developer.
  • Check Demo Thoroughly: Many paid themes offer extensive live demos where you can play around with the theme and see all the features in action. Utilize these demos before making a purchase decision.
  • Read Reviews: Search for reviews from other users who have purchased the theme. Look for feedback on design, functionality, customer support, and ease of use.
  • Template Author Reputation: Choose templates from reputable theme developers with a history of good customer support and theme updates.

Additional Tips:

  • Don’t Rush the Decision: Take your time and explore both free and paid options before committing.
  • Consider Customization Plugins: If a free theme lacks a specific feature you need, there might be free or paid WordPress plugins that can add that functionality.