So, you’re finally deciding to update your website’s design. Either you’ve probably outgrown the current look of your blog, your followers are requesting for a new feature to be added, or you just want your site to look as sleek and user-friendly as possible.
Whatever your reason is, you’ve made up your mind. It’s time for a change.
Now, what’s the next step?
Well, you have two options:
- Use a pre-made WordPress template
- Hire someone to build a custom web design from scratch
What is the difference between one from the other? What are the pros and cons of using a WordPress theme vs. a custom web design for your blog?
Pros and cons of using WordPress Template:
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of WordPress themes to choose from. You might be a small business owner who recently launched a blog, and there are many WordPress themes where you can get inspiration from that could fit with your brand’s message and content.
Pro: Best for bloggers who are on a budget
It’s a known fact that WordPress themes are a great option- budget-wise. It’s affordable, much of the coding is there already, all you have to do are a few minor tweaks on your site, and that’s it. Not only that you’d find yourself a premade theme that’s super affordable, but it also saves you a lot of time.
Most themes out there are much more expensive than the others, but typical prices are usually below the $100 mark.
Pro: Works for shorter timelines
When you have a WordPress Template that’s already pre-coded, you don’t have to build a website from scratch. It speeds up everything, especially designing the site and optimizing it for functionality. It’s quick, easy and functional; you already had a website design up without even much knowledge of coding.
Con: Not as flexible
According to ThinkSEM, one of the most significant assets of WordPress Themes is that it saves you from dealing with CSS and HTML that make your life less complicated. However, since it primarily acts as a plug and play button, you lose your capacity to customize it the way you want it to be.
Also, you have to consider several factors as well such as are the developers of this particular theme using the best SEO practices and is the code they are using clean? How about their support? Do they regularly update and do they provide users a helpful solution to their problems?
Con: Your website design might look the same with your competitors
More likely, other bloggers and businesses are also using the same theme, too. Since you purchased it online, chances are other users will be using it as well. If your primary concern is building a website that’s unique and different from the rest, you might consider purchasing a custom design.
Pros and cons of using Custom Web Design:
Opting for a custom web design means that you will be hiring people, usually a web designer or a team to get most of the job done for you. They’ll likely have a creative brainstorming session with you, discussing your goals, target audience, as well as how you want your site to function. They’ll likely be asking you about what kind of ROI you’re targeting for your site as well as employing different SEO practices.
Pro: Your website stands out
Your site is one of a kind, and you’re in a definite advantage because you stand out from the rest of the pack. You’re sure that you’re the only one sporting that kind of theme. Having a customized web design makes sure that you won’t end up having the same ones as your competitors.
A custom web design is great for websites with much more complex functionalities. Not only does it give you creative freedom, but it also allows lots of flexibility on your part. This would also mean that everything- call to actions, layouts, colors, transitions, animations, responsiveness, and many other elements will be created, tested and coded by a design team. You’ll get customized features which you have control of.
Con: The time it takes to be completed
Building a custom website will naturally take longer. This is because you have to go through the process of creating a quality website from scratch. Usually, the timeline would depend on the design as well as the designer, but this could take a couple of months to make.
Con: Custom websites are expensive
Probably that main reason why most people are so hesitant to go for a customized theme is the price. Custom designed websites are costly. Going for this option means that there will be a lot of work to be done on the website itself in striving for the design you want to achieve. It’s not a pre-made theme that you’re likely working on, and everything’s much more complicated than that. Since it’s built to be more flexible and functional as a whole, as well as the codes will be created and tested to perfectly fit into the standards of your website, it also comes with a higher price as well.
There is no easy answer when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme vs. custom web design for your blog. Your website is extremely vital as it represents you, your company, and your brand. It has the power to influence and connect yourself with people to make a difference. Therefore, it needs a great deal of thought on how it should be made as well as what purpose does it serve. Which is the better option for your current situation that best tailors to your needs right now? A pre-made WordPress theme or custom web design? It’s your choice to decide, considering several of these factors before making your final decision. You can also click here if you need further professional assistance on this matter.
About the author: Melissa Turner, aside from her love of her craft, aspires to be a web designer and she has been hard at work developing her web design proficiency. She tinkers around with web design during her free time if she’s not walking her dog, Shaggy. If not designing another website, she’s writing yet another one of her entertaining pieces.