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Why We Only Create Custom WordPress Themes

Posted on June 1, 2016

WordPress has lots of great built-in functionality, but looks pretty bland on initial install. To get a professional-looking website, you have two basic options: buy a pre-made theme or create a custom theme from scratch. If you’re setting up a personal blog or a temporary site, save time and money with a pre-built theme. But if you’re creating a website for a professional company, here’s why we always recommend going the custom route.

Page Optimization

Pre-built WordPress themes can look super slick with fancy animations and lots of layout options. In reality, most of these bells n’ whistles go unused, but still load a bunch of unnecessary scripts and CSS on every page. The result? Slow page load times, which is bad for both usability and SEO.

With a custom WordPress theme, the code is streamlined to include only what you need so your site will load faster.

Unlimited Customization

Yes, off-the-shelf WordPress themes usually have a fair number of page templates, but customization within each layout is often limited. Want your headshots in a square instead of a circle? Need to make the sidebar wider? It can’t be done without hacking into the code, which can open up a whole other can of development worms.

If a web design agency is creating your WordPress theme, everything is customized so you won’t have to sacrifice your needs to work around the theme’s capabilities.

Originality

You know that theme you fell in love with on page #1 of the template store? Well, thousands of other people had the same thought…and your website will look almost identical to theirs.

With custom web design, your site will be tailored to your exact needs and design preferences. It may follow industry best practices, but you won’t have the exact same icons, color palette and photography as a competitor.

Professional Web Design

We’ll admit that the demos for pre-built themes look awesome. The problem is they often use high-quality photography, custom CSS and JavaScript to spruce up the base theme…and all of that isn’t included with the built-in theme options you purchased. This means your site will rarely look as good as the demo.

A professional web designer will make sure that your site looks just as awesome in the initial Photoshop mockups as it does the day it launches. This includes sourcing great photography, styling the fonts and more; the details matter!

Maintenance & Technical Support

Pre-made WordPress themes can rely on lots of plugins and custom-coded components. When these need to be updated, there’s a good chance something will become incompatible, causing your site to break. Sure, you can submit a support ticket, but response times can be long and some developers eventually abandon the upkeep of their theme.

If you use a reputable web design agency to create a custom theme, there will be a lower chance of future compatibility issues. And if you do run into any bugs, most firms are happy to perform ongoing maintenance and/or technical support after your site launches (for an additional fee).

Conclusion

Have we sold you on the value of creating a custom WordPress theme? It may involve a bigger time/money investment upfront, but building your new website the right way now will save you lots of headaches down the road. When you’re ready to get started on your site (re)design, contact us to learn how we can help.

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Topics: Website Development

Ryan Patterson

Written by Ryan Patterson

Ryan Patterson is Kiwi Creative's code-obsessed Web Developer. A master of all things related to WordPress, he builds custom marketing-focused websites for our clients that look awesome and are easy to use.

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