Should I purchase a WordPress Theme?

Credibility / Websites /

February 2020

Let’s talk about WordPress themes.

WordPress is (by far) the most popular platform to build a website on. We love it and every site we build uses it.

WordPress is a powerful and flexible website system.

WordPress is great, unless you chock it up with a heap of unnecessary crap!

What makes WordPress so flexible is that it doesn’t come jam-packed with a million features that you may never use. That’s why we have plugins, so that we can add the features you want.

Unless of course you go ahead and install a pre-built template that has infinite (well almost) options, buttons and effects and is jam-packed with all the ‘stuff’ (junk) that’s going to slow it down.

Yes, these themes come with a heap of (unnecessary) customisation options and features, but also a heck of a lot of code to facilitate this, which clutters your site speed.

Clutter inducing code doesn’t only affect the novices who download the latest theme and build the website themselves….

So, lets talk about the risk you take when purchasing 3rd party themes…

Themes can also be sold by companies with hundreds and thousands to select from. Usually for around $29-99 per theme. But again, this comes with  risks!

When purchasing something like this from a third party you never have any way of knowing how committed the theme developers are going to be in keeping that particular theme updated to the WordPress basic standards. They have the right to withdraw their product from the market. Leaving you with a site you can no longer update. You make the purchase with this risk in mind, hence the tiny price.

It’s like anything, if you purchased a site for $59 it’s not likely to last as long as one that’s worth $3,000.  But you could buy multiple sites for the $3,000 and hope one works out. And as long as you’re prepared to spend the hours to customise and modify it ’till it looks presentable each time you re-do it, then I personally envy the spare time you must have, but it could be a good compromise you’re willing to make to save money.

How can you guarantee to be supported in the future?

The issues I’ve discussed above can also happen when you ‘buy’ a website from a rogue ‘web designer’ or ‘web developer’ who really doesn’t design or develop the site at all, but rather selects a pre-built, third party theme for you and modifies it to suit your brand. Eeekkk! Yes, unfortunately it happens a lot in our industry.

Of course, more often than not, they will not tell you they’re using a chunky theme and will fob it off as a quality site and still attach a ‘quality site’ price tag to encourage you to think they put in the work, but don’t be fooled. This is unfortunately common in our industry.

Red flags are:

  • Not having in-house designers AND developers (note this can rarely be a single person as designers and developers require very separate skill sets and parts of the brain to actually conduct their work).
  • Not being provided with a PDF of the design or the opportunity to make design changes BEFORE you see the site development link. If they sound like the request could be difficult to design, red flag!
  • All their example sites look similar.
  • They have only been around for 5 or so years…

Rule of thumb is, avoid the red flags and select a provider with in-house designers and developers, just like us! We don’t use templates – we design every single website from scratch, bespoke to you and your brand.

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