Sometimes premade themes are an excellent solution. You can potentially find a lot of features that would otherwise cost big bucks to code from scratch. But it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This post examines some of the pros and cons of using premade WordPress themes vs. a fully custom theme.
- You save money in the short-term.
- You have a wide range to select from, and you can get a solid idea of what it’ll look like and what features it offers (with some research).
- You can get up and running faster (assuming you don’t have to customize very much).
- Your site will likely be less unique.
- Security can potentially be an issue for popular themes that aren’t well-coded or incorporate flaky code.
- Some themes require a ton of plugins that are requiring constant updates; this can become a maintenance and security nightmare.
- Customizing can become a lengthy and cumbersome process if the theme is poorly coded or locks you in to certain features.
- Many themes have severe feature bloat and include lots of junk that you don’t want or need.
- Theme updates are out of your control, and when they do happen they can cause conflict that compromises your design.
- If you do want to customize, you often will need to invest time to become familiar with the theme, which is time that could have been spent coding a unique theme from scratch.
- You might never know if the theme is suffering from design issues, browser incompatibilities or just poor coding since you were never a part of the design process. Assuming every theme is well-coded is a huge mistake.
- Long-term costs can actually run higher given all of the above.
Intavant has designed themes and customized premade themes for hundreds of businesses, and by far the biggest gotchas always come with the premade themes. Sometimes seemingly simple tweaks or customizations are time-consuming tasks due to the decisions of the original designer, lack of documentation, poor implementation, etc.
However, premade WordPress themes can provide an affordable way to get a full-featured website up and running, and often with a few customizations it can be adapted to suit your immediate needs.