The issue with off the shelf WordPress themes

, 2 min read

If you’ve ever browsed through the WordPress theme library or visited websites such as Themeforest, you’ll know there are thousands of themes out there designed for a whole array of website types. There are pre-built themes for news websites, graphic design portfolios, legal businesses, cake shops, fashion brands and more.

These themes are great for people with very little time or budget, who just want to get something online which doesn’t necessarily have to look great or be customised too much.

The issue with off the shelf themes is that they’re limited to an idea some unknown web designer had, who knows how long ago, about what you might need to showcase your kind of business. They’re built with a generic audience in mind and they’re not always guaranteed to even work that well all the way down to mobile sizes. Believe me, I’ve seen some shocking themes for sale in my time.

While you might be drawn to all of the bells and whistles that come with a theme, those same features might actually clash with the plugins you want to use or even slow your whole website down. If a theme brags about how you can create your own layouts using something like Visual Composer, it’s likely going to be adding things which don’t need to be there. It’s much better to know what you want and only build what you need than have a theme which adds complexity and slow loads times on for the front end user.

It’s good to consider how original your website will be if it’s using exactly the same theme as a number of other websites too. If you choose a theme with customisable options and really tailor it to your business it might not be so bad, but it’s likely that the theme will just fall short of what you want to do.

So if you want something quick, generic and cheap to represent your business online, an off the shelf WordPress might be perfect for you. If you’re looking for something a little more custom though, you know where to find me.