Blog - Wordpress

Use Free, Premium or Custom WordPress Theme?

Written by: Dan C, on 2014-01-15

Before going any further, we don’t encourage using free WordPress themes. Some of these free themes may be nice looking and professionally done, but some may also have hidden links and advertisements that are not under your control and may even contain malicious scripts!

When building a WordPress website, design and functionality are at the forefront of your mind. That being said, one of the first things you have to decide is if your needs can be met by a premium (pre-made theme) or if you need a fully custom theme developed. Whether you are going to customize your theme or purchase a premium theme, it’s very important to analyze it thoroughly. Take in consideration your contents, your purposes and also your budget.

Pros and Cons of Premium and Custom WordPress Themes

Premium WordPress themes are usually well-coded and may include certain plugins like image gallery and options, SEO configuration, custom post types, options to change the front end look and many more. Support is sometimes provided with theme purchase and also upgrades to new theme versions.

Pros:

- Cost effective. Most themes cost less than $ 200.
- Quick installation. Your website can be fully functional in less than 24 hours.

Cons:

- Limited design. Premium WordPress themes may allow you to load logos and backgrounds or change colors, but changing a theme’s structure or use custom graphics will require a developer and a web-designer.
- Complicated administration. Stock theme developers rarely spend time making the administration of a theme intuitive. Subsequently, you can spend hours searching for support logs.
- Limited support. In case something goes wrong or you want a critical update, you may be on your own.
- High security risks. Premium WordPress themes are mainly using public plugins to increase their functionality, some plugins may represent a security risk.
- Popularity issues. Other websites may be using the same theme as your own website. You and the brand will be taking the hit.

Custom WordPress themes are coded specifically for the website they are used on. This approach allows unlimited creativity in both design and functionality but may also increase the cost. Building such a website takes longer and it needs to be done by professionals but in the end it will be a product of the clients choice and will entirely match their branding.

Pros:

- Unlimited creativity. If you can imagine it, you can build it.
- Custom functionality. Make your site more powerful with special features.
- Clean Code. Less code and unnecessary lines of code help the website with: better SEO, less 404 errors and faster load speed.
- Theme support is an email or call away.
- No security risks with custom-built plugins.
- Uniqueness!

Cons:

- Development time. Creating flawless design and functionality from scratch takes some time.
- Cost. Building a theme from scratch will cost more but in the end you will get what you payed for.

If you need a professional web design & development company to handle your project, contact us: