When you’re just getting started with design, it can be hard to know which tools are worth your time and which ones you should ignore. The abundance of design choices out there can make it tricky to know where to begin. So if you’ve just started using Canva and are wondering if it’s worth upgrading to the paid version, we’ve got you covered. There are so many great things about the free version of Canva. It’s simple and easy to use, has a wide selection of good designs that are regularly updated, and the interface is intuitive enough that anyone can pick it up in minutes. But there are also a few shortcomings in the free version that might make you consider switching over to Canva Pro.

Canva Pro is much more powerful than the free version.

The free version of Canva is a robust tool in its own right, but it doesn’t come close to matching the power of the pro version. This is the main reason to make the switch: more design options. There are dozens of different types of designs in the free version that you’ll have to choose from, and though they’re very high quality and regularly updated, there’s only so much variety you can expect from a selection of a few dozen designs. If you’re designing for your business, a blog, or perhaps a few social media posts, you might be just fine with the free version. But if you want additional design options or need to design the occasional logo or business card, the limitations of the free version can become frustrating very quickly.

You’ll get unlimited access to fonts.

One of the biggest benefits of upgrading to Canva Pro is that you’ll be able to use any font that you want. This is a huge advantage over the free version, which limits you to a selection of just a few fonts. You’ll have access to any font on the internet with Canva Pro, so if you’re designing a logo, poster, or even a wedding invitation, you’ll have access to just about any font you could ever want. If you’re just using the free version, you’ll be stuck with whatever fonts are in the selection provided. While there are a few fonts like Arial, Futura, or Times New Roman that are usable in almost any situation, it’s still helpful to have access to a much wider range of options.

You’ll be able to use templates and drag-and-drop tools.

Everything in the free version of Canva is done manually. There are no templates to click on, no drag-and-drop features, and no frames to bring your designs together. But if you upgrade to Canva Pro, you’ll have access to all these helpful features. You’ll be able to easily create social media posts, blog graphics, invitations, and other designs that don’t require a lot of custom editing. You’ll also be able to use templates to quickly create simple designs like business cards, flyers, and posters. These tools are particularly handy for designers who are just getting started or who don’t want to spend a lot of time designing every single project from scratch.

Canva Pro has no ads.

The biggest complaint you might have about the free version of Canva is that it shows you a few ads at the bottom of your screen. These ads are unobtrusive and typically don’t take away from your design experience, but they’re still something that you have to deal with. They’re easy to ignore, and they’re most likely not a huge concern for most people. But if you’re designing on a tight schedule, having to wait while an ad loads can be a huge annoyance. You can avoid this annoyance completely if you make the switch to Canva Pro. Unfortunately, switching to the pro version isn’t a magic cure-all that will suddenly get rid of the ads completely. You’ll have to pay a small monthly fee to access the ad-free version, but it’s definitely worth it if you’re in a pinch.

People will only be able to find your free portfolio on Canva.com.

If you create an online portfolio with the free version of Canva, it will only be accessible on Canva.com. This might be a problem if you want to get your work in front of as many people as possible. If you’re only using the free version and you post your portfolio on Canva.com, no one will be able to find it unless they also have an account on that website. If you make the switch to Canva Pro, though, you’ll have the option to put your portfolio on your own website instead. Even if you don’t have a website, you can still post your portfolio on social media like LinkedIn or your blog.

You’ll get advanced editing tools, including blur and lighting effects.

The free version of Canva is a powerful tool, but the pro version is even more powerful. One of the biggest ways it’s more powerful is by giving you access to advanced editing tools, including blur effects and lighting adjustments. If you’re designing images for social media or business cards, blur effects are a quick and easy way to make your images pop. Blur effects are helpful for placing focus on a single element like a product or person in a photo or for highlighting a colourful graphic. Similarly, lighting effects are great for adding subtle colour and depth to images. These tools are particularly helpful if you’re designing for a professional audience or want to make your images really stand out.


Design can be intimidating for beginners, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re just beginning to explore design, Canva is an excellent place to start, especially if you start with the free version. Once you get the hang of the interface and design process, though, you’ll probably want to make the jump to the pro version. The free version is great for beginners, but it doesn’t give you access to a lot of design options. If you’re designing for your business or your blog, though, you might want access to a larger assortment of designs and more design flexibility. In that case, it’s worth it to invest in Canva Pro.