At MAjor Designs, our favorite task is creating custom WordPress themes for our clients. A few examples of our themes include CrossingTheLineEnt.com, EarthDogStudios.com, Gallon.com, GettysburgTrinityUCC.org, NYSSA-PGA.org and REHHoldings.com.
There can be advantages to using a pre-made theme. If your site is simple and doesn’t require any complex forms or validation methods, then a pre-made theme can get you up and running pretty quickly. You purchase your theme and install it, configure your settings, add your content & boom, you are up and running!
Of course there are downsides.
WordPress is always evolving and often has updates applied to it’s core files. This means code changes which could impact your 3rd party plug-ins or themes. Most plug-in and theme developers will release updates for their projects but almost always at a cost. Most theme marketplaces offer support through a subscription service to ensure you always get the most up to date files to work with the latest WordPress version.
The next big issue with pre-made themes is scalability. Say you installed your theme and site is working great. Business is up so you need some new functionality added to the site. If using a pre-made theme, you are locked into what the developers offer you. Odds are you’ll have to place a ticket with your theme’s developers and create a “feature request”. Those developers then prioritize requests to see which features are requested the most. The dev team then makes the appropriate code updates and releases another version of the theme for you to download/upload again. This is a process which could take months or longer.
Having a custom theme developed allows your site to have custom post types and categories to make adding content easier. We can also create custom user roles so only certain people can see certain content (great for membership based websites). Finally with all the other services all over the internet, using a custom theme gives you the ability to integrate 3rd party APIs.
If you find yourself using an outdated theme or looking for a new theme for your WP site, please reach out. We can start working on a new theme for you right away.