When it comes to designing your new website, you have countless options, but perhaps the one that gives the most headaches it the theme choice. Once you’ve decided that WordPress is the CMS to go, you have to choose between a custom-made theme and buying a premium one that is, ideally, “plug-and-play”. As experienced WordPress developers, out choice will always be the custom themes and, after reading this, so will yours.
Advantages of a custom-made WordPress theme
Uniqueness. When buying a premium WordPress theme (or, even worse, installing a free one), you run the risk of having made the same choice as other people in your industry, perhaps even your competitors. With millions of blogs and websites around, this risk is quite high and can only be mitigated by having your own theme developed from scratch.
Customization of a premium WordPress theme is not an easy task. Sure, you might be happy that you’ve spent less than $100 on a premium theme, but you will most likely need to customize it on your own. If you are not a tech person, you will have to hire someone and you will soon end up paying the same amount you would have paid a developer to create your theme from scratch. But it won’t be that attuned to your business needs.
You can get anything you want. Even though premium WordPress themes are often categorized according to the business niche they fit best (restaurants, finance, photography and so on), there are no two businesses in the world who have the exact same needs. Instead of spending hundreds of hours looking for the right plugins or performing customization work, why not have your very own theme with all the functionalities you need from the very beginning?
Not too little, not too much. Pre-built WordPress themes come with a lot of functionalities as they are made to appeal to a wide array of potential clients. But you definitely don’t need all of them, so why add bulk to your website? By having your own theme built, you will only have the functionalities you need, nothing more and nothing less.
You stay ahead of the trends. The most popular (and expensive!) premium WordPress themes are those who follow the current design trends. By the end of the year, they will be obsolete. If you create your own theme using a professional and dedicated developer, you can become a trendsetter in the industry and thus make sure that your investment is future-proof.
Code issues. Let’s be honest, when choosing a pre-built WordPress theme, you mostly care about what it looks like, don’t you? But those extra functionalities we mentioned above (the ones you don’t actually need) also add a lot of code to it. Oftentimes, the code is poorly written and buggy which leads to website issues. This does not happen when you hire an experienced developer that can guarantee for his work.
Support. Most websites that sell premium themes offer support. However, be advised that we are only talking about basic support – people that teach YOU how to fix the problem. If you are a non-technical person, you will have to hire someone to fix it for you. Once again, when building your WordPress theme from scratch, this does not happen – problems are rarer and the support is timely and professional.
Scalability. A custom WordPress website is built for growth, for your growth. A premium theme comes “as is”, which means that you may soon outgrow it and have to go through the whole process again.
Your website will never clash with your brand. Yes, you can customize the colors of your premium WordPress theme, but will the shapes and the typography align with that of your logo? If you want to build a coherent image, then you can never choose a pre-built theme; you have to get a new one done just for you, in accordance with your brand guidelines.