Reasons Not To Use Off-The-Shelf WordPress Themes
With the vast array of WordPress themes available on the market, choosing an off-the-shelf premium theme for your website is tempting.
Using pre-made themes can save you time, money and offer a wide range of functionality and design. However, there are several reasons to avoid using an off-the-shelf premium WordPress theme.
This guide will explore the cons of using an off-the-shelf WordPress theme and provide some alternatives that may be a better fit for your website. Let’s get started.
Several cons to using an off-the-shelf premium WordPress theme exist, which include the following:
1. Lack of Customisability
With an off-the-shelf theme, you are usually stuck with the design and functionality packaged with the theme. While some themes offer a limited number of customization options, these options are often not enough to truly personalize your website and make it stand out from the competition.
For example, let’s say you want to add a custom header or background image to your website. With an off-the-shelf theme, you would likely need to edit the code to add these elements – which can be difficult if you’re not a developer. Similarly, if you want to change the layout of your website, you may need to purchase a separate layout plugin or hire theme developers to help you make these changes.
2. Outdated Designs
While some premium themes are regularly updated, others are not. This can pose a problem if you’re using an outdated theme, as your website may look outdated and out of touch. In some cases, it can also negatively impact your website’s performance.
For instance, the mobile-responsive design wasn’t widely used a few years ago. If you’re using a theme that isn’t mobile-responsive, your website will likely have problems loading on mobile devices. This can frustrate users and result in lost traffic and sales.
Additionally, older themes may not be compatible with the latest version of WordPress. This can cause problems with your website and prevent you from taking advantage of the latest WordPress features.
3. Not Clean Coding
While you may be able to find some well-coded off-the-shelf themes, the vast majority are not up to par in terms of coding quality. This can cause several problems down the road, including:
- Websites loading slowly
- Conflicts with other themes and plugins
- Security vulnerabilities
- Inability to make customisations
Also, because these themes are so popular, they often target hackers. So, if you are using an off-the-shelf theme, you must be extra careful about keeping your site secure. Several codes are repeated throughout the site, making it easier for hackers to infiltrate your site. Additionally, since so many people use these themes, it is more likely that someone has already found and exploited a security vulnerability.
4. Lack of Support
When you purchase an off-the-shelf theme, you are usually on your own regarding support. If you run into any issues with the theme, this can be a problem. The theme author often will not respond to support requests promptly, if at all.
If you are not a theme developer or don’t have one on hand, you could be stuck with pre-built WordPress themes that don’t work properly. Some theme authors do offer support, but it can be very limited.
5. Conflict With Plugins
Some off-the-shelf themes are incompatible with certain plugins of the WordPress website, leading to errors and conflicts. This can be a major problem, especially if the plugin is essential to your website’s functionality.
For example, let’s say you’re using a popular contact form plugin on your site. If your same theme is incompatible with the plugin, the contact form may not work properly. This can lead to lost opportunities and customers.
It’s always best to choose a theme that has been tested and is known to be compatible with all the plugins you’re using. Don’t go with free themes for own website, as most themes are not flexible and secure.
What’s The Solution?
As we said, it’s not reliable to buy an off-the-shelf theme. The solution is to have a custom WordPress theme developed specifically for your business by a professional WordPress development company. It’s only feasible if you have a large budget, but it will be worth it in the long run.
A custom WordPress theme will:
Incorporate Your Branding: You’ll be stuck with the designer’s branding with an off-the-shelf theme. A custom WordPress theme will be designed with your brand in mind.
Be Built for Your Specific Needs: A good development team will take the time to understand your business and build a theme that meets all of your needs.
Better Performance: Custom WordPress themes are designed with performance in mind. They’re lightweight, and loading times will be quick.
Be More Secure: Off-the-shelf themes are often full of security vulnerabilities. A custom WordPress theme will be more secure as it will be developed with security.
Be Easier to Maintain: With a custom WordPress theme, you won’t have to worry about updates breaking your site. The development team will take care of that for you.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to consider whether an off-the-shelf premium WordPress theme is the right choice for your website. While they can be a convenient option, there are some definite drawbacks that you should be aware of. If you want a truly unique website that reflects your brand and business goals, working with a professional web designer to create a custom WordPress theme is the best way to achieve that.
Do you want a cookie-cutter website that looks like everyone else’s? Or would you rather have a website designed specifically for your business and goals? The choice is yours.
If you have any further questions about WordPress themes or if you’d like to discuss designing a custom theme for your website, please don’t hesitate to contact us.