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Theme vs Custom Build

It’s safe to say WordPress is the most commonly used content management system (CMS) and has been for some time now. A staggering 44% of website online are built using WordPress. As of January 2021, there are more than 28 Million live WordPress websites. To put that into perspective, the second most popular CMS is Wix on a mere 7%. 

The main reason WordPress is so commonly used is because of it’s the userfriendly backend and the vast amounts of pre-built themes that can be installed in just a couple of hours. But are pre-built themes right for your business? 

With pre-built themes or templates, you are stuck with the developer’s designs. Usually, good templates let you change some aspects of the design, but you are dependent on what they let you do. Finding a theme that suits your needs can be difficult as the developer might not have built all the feature you need into the templates.

The biggest downside to these themes is the sheer bulk of unused code! Theme developers make a living from selling their products, so they try to cram in as many layout variants and over the top animations. While this does offer some more customisation of elements you can choose from, it also adds a load of unused code that probably won’t be used. As for the animations, there’s a difference between annoyingly bad website animations and subtle transitions that keep the user engaged. (I’ll write a post about this soon)

If you choose to buy a theme or template and then want a developer to customise it further by adding those extra features you need, it can take longer to build in the long run. What could have been a day or two might take 3 to 4 days, depending on how the theme is built. 

When you go down the custom-built website route, a designer and developer will work with you and figure out your goals. There’s more to it than just building a website. Planning a site map, user journeys, key features, and many other important steps leads to a better user experience. You don’t get this with pre-built theme or templates.

A custom-built website is tailored to your needs, no need for excess or unused code. It’s a bespoke platform that suits your business and goals!

Products and services now days are rarely different from one another; it’s your brand and visual identity that will differentiate you in the end.

One of the risks of using a pre-built WordPress theme is that your website might end up looking like your competitors. To stand out and differentiate yourself from the market, your first impression (your website) should be distinctive and leave an impression on its user. 

Web Developers who build websites from scratch can better optimise your site for search engines. Adding a custom-coded design that allows for better keyword penetration and features will also help make your site SEO-friendly to increase brand awareness.

My personal conclusion using a pre-built template may be cheaper, faster and easier for most businesses. Still, it will hinder your growth in the long run.

If you want to discuss a project or have a question about an existing website, make a brew then contact me and let’s have a call.