I recently read an article on why businesses are better off using a theme or template for their website rather than going with a custom designed WordPress site, like what I design and build. I vehemently disagreed with this article, and would turn many of the reasons that it stated around on their head. For instance, one of the reasons that it stated was: that custom WordPress design and builds are more difficult to maintain than using a customized theme or purchased template.
I believe a little disclaimer would make that statement somewhat valid, and yet still there are issues with it. So, let me give five reasons that a custom designed and developed WordPress theme and site is advantageous over using a free WordPress theme or even a premium theme.
Often times customized, purchased WordPress themes are more difficult to maintain and support than a fully custom designed WordPress site.
Let me preface that statement by saying that this claim is contingent upon the experience and creativity of the custom designer and upon the quality of the custom WordPress site built. Obviously by using cousin Johny down the street or any old “Wordpress” shop, a custom theme could be full of bad code, horrible framework and outdated/excessive plugins.
But if you’re using a quality WordPress designer who knows the true ins and outs of WordPress and the custom site is built with clean code and meets current WordPress standards, then this is the way to go, especially if the developer is agrees to maintain the site and is available for support and updates.
Many times, purchased (even premium) themes have horrendous support, aren’t updated frequently, and over time present issues with ever-changing Web and WordPress standards.
Do you really want your website looking like 10,000 other sites on the internet?
With over 25% of all websites that are on the Internet built on WordPress now, if you opt to use a pre-built theme (as “customized” as it may be) you run the risk of using the exact same look, feel and layout as not just dozens but literally hundreds of other websites. Is that the image you wish to portray for your business?
By working with a custom WordPress designer and developer, you ensure that the site you’re having designed and built is unique in it’s own way. Many “web designers” use free, purchased, or premium themes that they modify, and there is a time and a place for those themes. If a project is limited by budget, time frame, and a simple website is all that is needed these can be effective solutions. But for a fully functional, quality website that you trust to enhance your image, build your brand and bring you new business, don’t you want something that is truly built for you and your business with all of those things in mind from start to finish?
A theme based WordPress site can only be customized to a certain extent.
Time and time again I’ve had companies contact me looking for a website redesign because they wanted to update their existing website, and yet their previous designer could not include the functionality they wanted. After some investigation, I almost always find the culprit – their current site was built using a pre-purchased theme.
By having your WordPress website custom designed and built, you can rest assured that not only will your business have a unique design, but that all of the functionality and features that you need will be designed, planned and executed without any issues.
Does spending $50 for a theme really portray the value of your brand?
Whether you pay the $30-$70 for a theme yourself, or hire an “agency” to design it for you (using a pre-built theme) does working within that mold really portray the image of professionalism that you want to convey to your clients? No matter how much a theme is “customized” the framework, identity, and features almost always look exactly the same. For instance, I can tell immediately if the website I visit is a theme based website or a custom WordPress build. And I almost always think to myself: Really? It’s hard to take a company’s product or service seriously when I know they’ve invested $50 in one of their most important platforms.
Pre-purchased themes are often slow and clunky vs. custom built WordPress sites that have the exact CSS, plugins and files that that website needs.
Another major issue with using a “theme” is that they come packaged with tons of extra stuff that you just don’t need and that most of the time greatly slow the speed of the website. When you have a custom WordPress website designed and built, that developer (as long as you’re working with a reputable developer or agency) builds the CSS specifically for your framework and content (and only your framework and content) and installs or builds plugins that your website specifically needs and will use, not a long list of plugins that eat up your bandwidth and significantly slow your website to a crawl.
All of that said, the flexibility, cleanliness, speed, uniqueness, and professionalism are just some of the reasons to hire a reputable designer to build your new custom WordPress website. Why not start today? I’ve helped dozens of other companies get their online business up off the ground, and I can help you as well. Contact me to find out more about how I help businesses achieve their online goals, empower their brand, and build that customer base!