Ready made WordPress themes vs custom WordPress themes

Article by Rob Fraser
Published 11 Jul, 2020

It can be confusing to know exactly what you’re getting when looking for a new website for your business. Most decent tradie type websites use WordPress, whilst some will use a cheap, ready made theme like Spectrum. Others have their own custom theme or use a hybrid approach where a ready made theme is highly modified to suit the specific needs of the business.

Every WordPress site uses a theme. A theme is basically the look and functionality of your WordPress site. For example, our site uses a custom theme that we built from scratch so it has a unique look and feel. Some sites use a free theme or will buy a theme online so they can quickly and easily change the design of their site.

Custom WordPress website

These different approaches will have their pros and cons, but we generally recommend using a custom theme or at least modifying an existing theme like we did for SS Bricklaying. Sometimes modifying a theme too far means you would have been better off with a custom approach to begin with.

A custom theme means you’ll get a tailored website that fits around your business needs and it’ll be one of a kind so it stands out from the competition who may be using similar ready made themes.

Below are some of the pros and cons of each approach.

Ready made WordPress theme

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Quick to get up and running

Cons

  • Generic look
  • Basic functionality
  • Hard to customise to fit your business needs

Custom made WordPress theme

Pros

  • Custom design and functionality
  • Will more effectively fit your business needs
  • Will help you stand out from the pack / your competition

Cons

  • Generally more expensive
  • The website development time is longer

Modify an existing WordPress theme

Pros

  • Not as expensive as a custom theme
  • Is the best of both worlds in terms of price, speed of delivery and customisation

Cons

  • Can still look quite generic without significant customisation
  • Occasionally it can be more work than starting with a custom approach

These pros and cons are based on my experience developing and designing WordPress websites for tradies. If you’re after a website or need your existing to be refreshed then feel free to contact us below.

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