WordPress Themes vs. Custom WordPress Development

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We’ve been asked about this subject several times, so I figured I’d put in my two cents and make a list of pros and cons for both.

I’ve been using WordPress for almost 15 years and adore it. Because of how simple it is to comprehend and teach, I use it on almost every client website I design. Which path you should choose is ultimately determined by your goals and your finances.

If you have a website developed for your company, there’s a strong chance it’ll be designed with WordPress. According to current estimates, the platform powers 42% of all websites in the world. The market share is significant among websites that use content management systems, accounting for 65 percent.

Beyond that obvious reality, though, the options are numerous. Most significantly, you must decide whether you want to use a pre-built theme for your website or develop your online presence from scratch.

The distinction between these two solutions is apparent. In fact, choosing one over the other can have serious consequences for your company. So let’s look at those distinctions and how to make the best decision possible.

We’ll begin with some fundamental definitions. Using a pre-built theme is a plug-and-play approach. Select one of the thousands of designs that govern how your website will be laid out, what types of photos to use, and other details. Then simply insert those images and content into the various page types available with the theme.

What is the difference?

A pre-built WordPress theme can be purchased from a marketplace such as ThemeForest. These are intended to be sold repeatedly to meet modest commercial demands. Custom WordPress development is the process of wireframing, creating, and developing a custom website to best meet the demands of your business.

WordPress Themes-Advantages:

1) You’ll save some cash.

This could be an excellent alternative for a small business looking to set up a simple website. Pre-built themes on ThemeForest range in price from $40 to $65 USD. Remember that each of these themes is unique and has its own limitations and learning curves. After purchasing the theme, you will most likely want to change some features and personalize it to match your needs, which can take some time to master because each one is proprietary and unique.

2. You will conserve time.

If you need something up quickly and don’t mind putting something together on the fly, this could be a fantastic alternative for you. Because pre-built pages and elements are used, the amount of preparation that goes into a theme is substantially reduced. In roughly 2-3 weeks, you can have a theme up and running.

3. You have a multitude of possibilities.

There are 6,884 themes for sale on ThemeForest alone (at the time of this post). There is a lot to select from and some excellent themes for almost any business. This gives your business an excellent starting point and may inspire you!

Pre-built WordPress Themes-Drawbacks:

1) A lot of unnecessary code.

Theme authors frequently aim to jam-pack every single feature they can into their theme in order to meet the needs of as many people as possible. This is a nice selling point, but you are unlikely to use all they supply, leaving a lot of unnecessary code and features. This can result in a slew of undesirable symptoms on your site, including security flaws and a decrease in page performance.

2) Poor quality.

When you buy a theme, you never know what you’re getting; some authors are better than others, and it’s crucial to know who you’re buying from to see how well they’ll be able to support you if you have a problem. When selecting a theme, it’s usually a good idea to look at reviews and the number of sales to see if it’s a suitable fit for your company.

3) It is not long-term.

When you purchase a theme, it includes a large amount of proprietary code written by the theme author. They are typically pre-loaded with theme-specific plugins and features. You are now locked into their codebase and risk having them fail to update your website when a new version of WordPress is released.

Pros of Custom WordPress Development:

1) You have complete authority.

A professional developer will ensure that you have complete control over your website and that you can make content changes whenever you want without requiring assistance. Custom Post Types in WordPress allows developers to design simple interfaces for our clients to utilize and change their websites with them.

2. It is designed just for your company.

Every business is distinctive and has its own distinct identity, and so should your website. You will have a one-of-a-kind website customized for your business where you can plan every step of the process. When trying to establish a business, it is critical to ensure that your website is targeting your audience in the most efficient way possible.

3) It is long-term.

A custom-made theme will be built to specification and will utilize as few plugins as feasible. The fewer plugins your website relies on, the better. When WordPress Core is updated and your website runs a new version, the rest of your website must be compatible in order for everything to work smoothly. It’s also much easier to hire a developer after it’s constructed to come in behind someone than it is to try to navigate a theme.

Cons of Custom WordPress Development:

1) Time.

When you’re starting from scratch, it obviously takes longer to plan, design, construct, and launch your website. The discovery process and deciding how to set out all of the parts in a way your audience will comprehend are critical to your firm’s success. A custom website typically takes around 2-3 months to complete.

2) Cost.

Because it takes so much time, the expense rises. Many people don’t understand the process of creating a website, so I’ll explain mine:

Wireframe for Design Development (Rough Design)

A custom website can cost anywhere between $4,500 and $15,000.


I believe both solutions have a use case, and which way you should pursue them depends on the stage of your organization. Pre-built themes will be less expensive to build and will be completed sooner, but custom WordPress themes will be an overall better product if you are ready to invest in your online presence.

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