Why you should think twice about using an off-the-shelf WordPress theme

Published:

3 min read

Firstly, what is a WordPress Theme?

A theme is ultimately what a visitor sees when they come to your WordPress website. It’s the ‘look and feel’ of your website and includes everything from layouts, typography, colours, animation & more.
All of these things combined together defines how your website looks and behaves.

What is an off-the-shelf theme?

Off-the-shelf themes (or Premium themes) are pre-designed website layouts that you can install on your WordPress website.
The idea is that you would browse for a theme on the likes of ThemeForest, purchase a theme that you like the look of and install it on your website.

Off-the-shelf themes can vary in price – ranging from free, to £100+ per theme. Because of this, they can often be a very attractive option when it comes to creating a WordPress website.

So why are off-the-shelf theme’s not always a good idea?

The first & most important problem with off an off-the-shelf WordPress theme, is the fact that it’s not built for you.
Your website’s primary job is to work for your business, but off-the-shelf themes are created for one purpose – to sell to the mass market.

One of the main unique selling points for these themes is that they are multi-purpose – in essence the same theme can be used for any business type, industry etc. But a major downside of trying to cater for all scenarios is that they’re often bloated with functionality that most websites will never use – leading to a website that isn’t properly optimised & often very sluggish.

Introducing Custom WordPress themes?

A custom WordPress theme in contrast has been tailor-made specifically for you. It’s a one-off theme that’s been designed from scratch based on your exact requirements, and built from the ground up.

Before we even start to dive into the aesthetics, we gain an understanding of what the goals are for the new website, uncovering any legacy pain points, and how we can ensure these are resolved with the new site.
Our research also helps shape a site’s direction to get it where it needs to be, all before we work on the all important design and user experience.

Pros and cons – Off-the-shelf themes

Pros

  • Considerably cheaper than a custom theme.
  • Allows you to quickly get a website set up without requiring a design or developer.
  • Huge variety of themes to choose from.

Cons

  • Not tailored to your business – catering for all.
  • Often very bloated and full of features/functionality you don’t need.
    Website speed often takes a hit because of this.
  • Due to how much customisation you have, it’s hard to retain brand consistency with multiple fonts, colours, etc often being used.
  • They can often be a nightmare for developers to work on. Because of this we generally don’t offer support for off-the-shelf theme websites.

Pros and cons – Custom themes

Pros

  • Tailor-made for your business & customers.
  • Generally much higher conversion rates because of this.
  • A lean, well-built theme means performance/speed will be improved considerably.
  • Better optimised for SEO.

Cons

  • More expensive than an off-the-shelf theme.
  • Process can take longer due to discovery, design & development.

Why choose Yellow Peach?

With over 12 years at the forefront of our industry, we are proud to have worked with an incredibly diverse range of businesses, from homegrown startups to FTSE-100 companies. As a dedicated and dynamic team – we want to be the web design agency in Somerset you’ve always been looking for.

Our goal is simple: to provide the high standards and level of service you’d expect from an agency – without the sky high prices you’d expect from an agency.

What our clients say

Of course we’d say we’re great at what we do, but don’t just take our word for it – have a look at some of the kind words our clients are saying in our fantastic reviews & testimonials. Take a look at some of our 5 star reviews here.

Get in touch today

Call Yellow Peach on 01373 476 446 to speak with our web development team down in Somerset, who’ll be delighted to answer any questions you may have. You can also email us at hello@yellowpeach.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.