Although it is known that there are free WordPress themes and that with some technical knowledge you can create a website for free using WordPress, most professional users still hire professional WordPress developers to achieve a better result. In this text, we will try to answer the question of what benefits you get from paying for creating a theme from scratch, instead of simply paying about $ 50 to a portal that resells ready-made WordPress themes. Note: Even when purchasing a paid WordPress theme, it is necessary to have the technical knowledge to modify the content and upload your website to the Internet.
Before we start with specific information, we would like to note that ready-made WordPress themes are often a solid alternative for companies that are in the beginning and are not able to set aside large sums to create a better website or have not yet precisely defined all marketing aspects that can use it to improve your business. Having been involved in this business for a long time and creating web pages using both ready-made and custom themes, we had the opportunity to see the advantages and disadvantages of both, through the concrete results that these web pages have brought to our clients. One of the disadvantages of the finished theme is that instead of it adapting to you, you adapt to it. Ready-made WordPress themes can be a one-time good for your budget, however, there are very important facts that you must be familiar with before embarking on such an investment.
We will briefly state in which case, according to our experience, you should choose a ready-made solution, and when it is better to decide on creating a custom theme in accordance with your needs.
Order a finished theme in the following situations:
- You have a very limited budget
- You have found a ready-made theme that perfectly suits your needs
- You do not plan to improve or change the functionality of the website in the future
A custom theme is a better solution for you in the following situations:
- You feel that your website deserves a unique design that fits your aesthetic and functional requirements
- There is no topic that suits your needs without additional changes
- There is a possibility that you will later want to improve your site with new functionalities
- You want to make sure that the web page is optimized for the speed and quality of page loading
- You want a simple user interface that contains only the options you need, if you add content to the website yourself
Ready-made (premium or free) WordPress themes
a) A large number of files that are loaded when loading the web page itself, increases the number of so-called. HTTP request – in other words, each file represents one request to the server, which must process the request and then send a response. Each new request loads the server, so the more requests, the higher the server load, and thus the slower the operation of the website. The average predefined WordPress theme can have several hundred static files, so every time you load a web page, several hundred requests (HTTP-requests) are sent to the server, which significantly slows down its work, and thus the work of the web page. A special problem with a large number of HTTP requests is web servers based on Apache, the most popular web server software in the world, which is used by most hosting companies.
- Similar to the previous point, the fact that almost every topic comes with a large number of subpages and different homepage templates, means that “under the hood” comes a lot of code that in 99% of cases is unnecessary, but will still to some extent execute. In the background of these topics lies a complex composition for managing certain aspects of the appearance and functionality of the website. Each time your web page loads, your theme (i.e. its program code) sends queries to the database (query-e) for all those segments of the web page that the developer intended to edit. The topic actually asks your database every time it loads the web page what it should look like and where it should be located, which is a huge waste of server resources and leads to a significant slowdown of the web page. For custom themes, the look of the website is set by the programmer / designer, so there is no need to create a background composition that will be edited by laymen, because with custom themes, background compositions are built exclusively for editing content. If you think about it, this makes sense – the design should be done by the designer, not the owner of the website, and the reasons are numerous.
- Free themes can potentially be a breeding ground for infection. Although this is a somewhat rarer case in recent times, if you have downloaded the theme for free (except in the WordPress.org directory where the themes are thoroughly checked and “clean”), there is a possibility that the theme is at least “enriched” with some SPAM links, if not and malicious code. There are also websites that distribute paid WordPress themes for free, which are then usually infected and used for SPAMing or building bot farms, which are then further used for various criminal activities. All together it can severely damage the reputation of your company. Imagine that a visitor comes to your website via Google Chrome, or has an antivirus program installed on their computer, which, when you open your website, blocks their access and reports that your website is on the list of pages distributed by
- Limited technical support – unlike custom themes that come with virtually unlimited support, warranty, and training to use, ready-made (predefined) themes often come with a lack of documentation to use, and most often if something goes wrong, or if you can’t configure the theme as shown in the demo version, or as you imagined, you can expect very limited help from the person who developed the theme.
- Technical incompleteness of the topic – topics that are developed for mass sales are very often unfinished, in the sense that they contain certain bugs that the developer fixes along the way, when customers start noticing and reporting them.
- Hidden costs – very often, some basic functionalities may be missing in the themes, which the developer charges extra, so he personally implements them for a certain fee (which very often exceeds the price you paid for the theme itself). It does not implement these same functionalities in the paid version of its theme, which is intended for mass sales, so that it can charge extra for them.
- Instead of adapting to you, you adapt to her. The predefined theme contains the final look, functionality and presentation capabilities of the content. In most cases, these possibilities are not enough for the customer to set up and display their content, services and the like. In most cases, after buying a theme, it is necessary to pay a professional to set and style the content, because in essence, it is still the job of a person who understands web design. Predefined themes come with a large amount of CSS code to style not only the look of the website, but also the content, and that CSS code “does not understand” your content, or how it should look.
Custom theme – website for your business, business and marketing goals
With custom themes, all of the above disadvantages actually turn into advantages. This means that custom themes:
- A custom theme contains only the code that is actually used. No unnecessary code and functionality.
- Full technical support – the person who developed your website will, in 99% of cases, provide you with unlimited technical assistance, as well as assistance in working with your website. Also, that person will unconditionally stand behind your work and give you a guarantee that every segment of the program code works flawlessly.
- Any topic that develops from scratch (except in the case of large web applications that are perfected on the fly), generally does not contain bugs, or they are very easy and quick to remove.
- Unlike predefined themes, custom themes are planned from the start in accordance with the content, business and marketing goals and the production and service range of the customer. Therefore, such solutions achieve a significantly better performance in the target market for which they are intended. In conclusion, with custom themes, the programmer generally chooses the best software solution for a particular case and is not limited by a particular technology or practice, which would be limited to doing the topic for mass distribution. For custom themes, proven, stable and modern solutions are usually chosen, with predictable results. Such solutions are very safe, stable and long-lasting.