Source: WordPress Themes
Choosing which theme to use when building your website can be overwhelming. Each theme claims to be the best in the industry. However, most themes fall short when it comes to providing the features that you need. Custom WordPress Development offers many benefits over pre-built themes, and you don’t need to be a coder to take advantage of them.
While pre-built themes make it easy to get a website up, custom-built themes help you stand out from the crowd. Understand how to choose the best one for your project.
What are Custom Built Themes?
They’re incredibly powerful and flexible, but they aren’t as easy to implement as pre-built themes. However, if you’re willing to invest the time, energy and money into implementing a custom-built theme, you can customize it to fit your site’s needs.
Pros and Cons of using a custom-built theme
Full customization: You can make almost any changes you want to a custom built theme without worrying about messing anything up because you know exactly how everything works. You can also change the stylesheet easily if you have coding knowledge or pay someone to do it for you.
Caching Plugins: Because you know exactly how everything works, you can optimize your site more efficiently with caching plugins to make it load faster than sites running generic themes
Better SEO: A customized theme will be better optimized for SEO purposes than a generic one because you can optimize the code specifically for your content.
Mobile Optimization: You can customize your theme to be better optimized for mobile devices.
Better support: Sometimes, it doesn’t fit quite right when you buy something off the rack. When this happens, you have no one to turn to for answers other than the online forum or help section referenced in the documentation. With a custom-built theme, you can hire someone who will be available for extra support if needed.
Cost versus flexibility: While there are plenty of arguments for building your own theme, the biggest disadvantage is cost. A premium theme from a marketplace might cost $40 or $50 but give you tons of options and save a lot of time in development.
On top of that, many premium themes come with support included. Building your own theme from scratch means paying for the design work upfront, learning how to code, coordinating with developers and supporting the end product on your own.
Source: Custom vs pre-built themes
What are pre-built themes?
Pre-built themes are ready-made templates that were created with WordPress in mind. If you purchase a pre-built theme in the WordPress theme repository, then it will be automatically installed in your WordPress installation when it is activated. If you want to use a pre-built theme from somewhere else than the WordPress repository, then you will have to upload it to your WordPress installation manually.
They’re great for beginners who don’t have any coding or design experience. They’re also much quicker and easier to implement than a custom built theme because they come with an installation wizard that makes the process as simple as possible.
Pros and Cons of using a pre-built theme
Saves Time: Since most pre-built themes have been around for a while, they come with lessons learned and a lot of common issues already fixed in them. This saves you time since you don’t need to find and fix these issues yourself.
Lower Costs: Pre-made themes are cheaper than having one created from scratch by a professional web designer or agency. Even a small change in your website can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you hire an agency to do it. By choosing a premade theme that comes with lots of built-in functionality, you’ll save on costly changes in the future.
Seamless Integration: Pre-built themes are very easy and quick to install. All you have to do is install it and then find a pre-made design that suits your needs. You can choose from thousands of designs that are available online, or you can contact a professional web designer who will create one for you based on your requirements.
However, there are also cons to using pre-built themes. First of all, it’s obvious that the developers have their own vision of how they want the theme to look and function; this is especially true if you go with a premium theme from a premium developer. If you try to push your brand’s message into their template, they often won’t be able to accommodate you without investing time, energy and money into custom themes.
The biggest cons of using a pre-built theme are that they lack customizability and flexibility. Pre-built themes are made for the average user, so it is difficult to customize them to suit your website’s needs. They are also not optimized with SEO in mind.
Pre-built themes are expensive. They cost around $60-$100, which you would have to pay every single year just to keep the theme up and running on your site. If you want to make a lot of changes to the theme or activate some of its premium features, you will have to pay extra fees. Non-developers will not be able to edit the code or HTML and CSS on their own unless there is an option for them to do so in the admin panel.
Building a WordPress site comes with its own set of technical complications, even if you only have one website project at hand. Building a site can be made easier, faster and less intimidating by using pre-built themes but will sacrifice the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of a website.