Custom WordPress Theme: Why is it a better option than a premium one?

(Updated: Nov 5, 2019)  

WordPress Content Management System

As a “factory that makes pages” WordPress has proven to be one of the most trusted and preferred Content Management Systems (CMS).

The main reason for this is the great plugin architecture that stands in the core of WordPress. It allows users to maintain features easily: adding pages, additional functionalities and basically to fully maintain the content of their website. That makes WordPress a lot user-friendlier and easier-to-learn than the pure HTML-based websites. Latest statistics show that over 60 million websites, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress. There is no doubt that WordPress is worth its prestige.

One of the most important parts in the process of creating a good-looking WordPress site is indeed a good theme that will match your needs. These themes are a set of design templates that make the visual concept of a website and include the user interface (UI), like a frame of a blank canvas that must be filled with content.

Why is Custom WordPress Theme a better option?

Even though there are a lot of different free WordPress themes, the highest percentage of WordPress customers choose the paid version. Why? The most logical answer is that a good value always comes with a certain price. The so-called Premium WordPress Theme is a paid theme and can offer you a stable and decent design but it comes with several limitations – which we will discuss in the following section. Another alternative is a fully custom-made WordPress theme. In this case, a team of developers and graphic designers will serve the best of your interests to make a professional-looking website with a unique design.

Let’s examine both options by comparing them and measure their pros and cons to make a grounded and reasonable choice.

Premium vs Custom

One of the first things you have to do before choosing either custom-made or Premium design is to define the goal you are looking to achieve. The theme choice has great importance as it has a direct impact on your customers/visitors and it can literally define the success of your business. That is why it’s very important to make a sound choice based on your initial goals.

Let’s measure the qualities of both options in five different criteria and see what the results will show us:

  • Personalization
    In Premium WordPress Themes you can find a lot of feature variations like color combinations, typography, buttons, theme icons, sliders, footer & header options, menus, widgets, etc. But even with such variations, there are only three themes that are massively used (Avada, Divi, and Genesis). That’s mainly because they are proven to be working extremely well in terms of user experience (UX). Actually, a lot of other themes mimic the working ones to provide higher quality. No matter what you choose there is a big chance of finding not only a few other websites similar to yours – but many. This, unfortunately, means that Premium WordPress Themes can make you stand out in front of the competition a lot more difficult. On the other hand, a custom-made theme gives you more freedom to be different and creative. Custom WordPress Themes provide your project with more specific features and elements defined in the requirements of your business. You are empowered to put weight in every little detail and make it work for you. The creation of absolutely unique website design, made by a professional team of developers and graphic designers can give a flying start to your entire project. That’s why the biggest and most successful companies prefer the custom-made option. So, it’s obvious that in terms of personalization, the Custom WP Themes is your best choice. One-of-a-kind website that is user-centered and efficient can be achieved only with custom-written code and it’s up to you to decide if this is what you’re looking for.
  • Functionality
    There are a lot of high-quality themes that a premade premium version can offer. In fact, a lot of businesses can find themes that look and work as they wanted it. But most of these themes are intentionally made with a lot of options so they can be as customized as possible and serve in a bigger range of business needs. This means that they come with additional code to perform a lot of different configurations without much development skills. Unnecessary code is always a precondition for problems. For instance, if even a small modification is made to the premade theme, this can cause future bugs or malfunctions that can crash the entire website. Sometimes it takes a lot more work to fix this kind of problem than to basically rewrite the entire code from scratch.
    But the major disadvantage of all the additional scripts that aren’t being used is that they cause slower loading times. The performance of page speed today for SEO and the better user experience (UX) is of great importance. Google can penalize you with bad ranking and this problem can be hard to solve even by the best SEO experts.  Custom WP Theme will save you from these headaches. There will be no line of unnecessary code written. Your loading speed can be easily optimized. Even if you decide to add new functionalities at a later stage, this can be executed without causing any troubles to the performance of the website. The professional team of experienced developers and designers can guarantee a high-quality, high-functioning website and better support when it comes to the modifications. Everybody knows how important an up-to-date website is. So, let’s check how the Premium WordPress Theme and a customized one are dealing with updates.
  • Updates
    Updates are an important part of the theme configuration not only in terms of better performance but mostly because of security reasons. When you choose a Premium theme, you have to make your research about the qualities of the developers releasing it. Among the reliable factors are the regular upgrades they are obligated to make to fulfill the constantly changing security concerns. The statistics show that more than 50% of hacked or somehow infected websites lack the latest updates. You can’t just ignore their importance. But even if your theme is always supported with the latest updates, it all depends on you to regularly check for, download, and install them. Yet, there’s a chance that you’ll have a lot more work to do than just that. If you have applied even a small change to the premade theme, this can be problematic for the proper installation of an update and a bug may appear. Then the help of professionals will be required and that’s additional work that may yield a substantial amount of money and time. Custom-made themes don’t have that problem. They simply don’t need many security updates as the code is unique and it’s a lot harder to get hacked. In cases of updates, you can count on experienced developers for its execution. They are responsible also for all the modifications you want to put to make your website more fresh, advanced and attractive for your users.
  • Security
    We already pointed out how important the latest updates are for the security and normal operability of your website. Without updates, your website can be a lot more vulnerable to hacker attacks. That’s basically because the premium WP themes are overused. Even if there are a million themes on the market, they are also open for purchases by cybercriminals. In that way, it’s easy for anyone to learn the theme’s weaknesses and use it to crash hundreds of good-working websites. We already mentioned that over 60 million websites worldwide use WordPress and that’s a huge field for cyberattacks. It’s hard to guarantee a 100% security, even with a custom-made theme. However, when the developer opts for the cutting-edge core code and sticks to the minimum amount of trusted plugins, the risks of hacker attacks are kept to a minimum. It also won’t be necessary for you to think about security updates, as all will be in the hands of professionals. Note: No matter which options you use or consider choosing, please pay attention to the security measures presented in the following article and make sure you do all of them to reduce the risks for your website.
  • Price
    Let’s not beat around the bush. Price is often an essential factor when making your online presence. And here lies one of the major cons of custom WordPress theme – it costs more than choosing a premium option. In some sense, this is fully understandable. Knowing how important the presentation of your website is for your business liability and better results, the investment will indeed pay off. Sometimes the lower price of the Premium version will lead to additional work that will also cause you time and money. In the end, we have to come back to the initial question – the goals of your project. One-time investment can play a huge role in your business when you want to grow your potential in the long run. So, it’s up to you not only to define your goals but also to decide if future possibilities and growth are what you are looking to achieve with your online presence.

Conclusion

By analyzing five important criteria, we checked how a premium WP theme and custom-made are performing. It turns out there are five reasons why the custom-made theme is better. Let’s see point them out again:

  1. Unique design that can provide better functional solutions for your business
  2. Fewer problems with updates
  3. Safer and more stable to cyberattacks
  4. Modification can be easily made
  5. Better loading speed and SEO
  6. A better solution for more complex interfaces
  7. Reasonable price that will pay off

Once again, it’s all up to the plans and what you want to achieve starting with WordPress. But keep in mind that your online presence has great importance for the success of your business and a high-functioning and professional-looking custom-made design can make you reach unimaginable heights.

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