Every day businesses launch new websites using the WordPress platform. It’s no wonder that it’s so popular: WordPress offers an easy-to-use content management system and it’s very easy to build and adapt your site using the tools it offers. WordPress is flexible enough that it allows you to build a bespoke site using your own coding and design skills, or use the pre-built themes supplied by other developers and designers. Although WordPress makes it simple to do both, there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. We’ll explore what the two approaches have to offer, so that you can try to decide which may work best for your particular project.
Templated ‘theme’ websites
WordPress offers a large number of both free and paid website templates, which it calls ‘themes’. These are a collection of pre-designed templates with inbuilt stylesheets, offering an instant look and feel for your website. They are easy to customise using your own brand elements and images so you can create a website that’s fairly unique, within the limits of the template. Some free themes don’t offer a full range of options for customising the fonts, for example. The flexibility offered has limits, but these vary from theme to theme. If you aren’t certain how your website is going to develop, it can be hard to pick a theme at first because whichever template you pick will inevitably have its limitations on flexibility. If you want to make changes at a later date, you may need to rebuild your website almost from scratch.
Many (but not all) WordPress themes offer resources for supporting you with the build. One of the key advantages of using a theme is that you may not need much support from a designer or developer to turn out a really nice looking, bug-free site if you stick within the template options. There are many themes to choose from, offering you a range of visual styles and layouts, and the theme libraries offer good inspiration. Perhaps the main disadvantage is that many other sites may also be using the more popular WordPress themes, so your site may look a lot like other peoples‘.
If you decide to go the bespoke route for your WordPress build, then you’re much more likely to need the services of a professional designer and developer. What you gain with a bespoke site is total flexibility and uniqueness. If you want your website to stand out from the crowd and your competitors then bespoke may be the right choice for you. In addition, bespoke sites are often more search friendly than pre-designed themes, and can be easily scaled up as your business expands. It’s easy to both amend and upgrade a bespoke-built site without having to create an entirely new site; this is harder with a theme-built site.
The best way to make a decision for which route to take is to decide how critical flexibility, uniqueness and search engine friendliness are to the aims of your website.
We specialise in building bespoke WordPress websites for our clients as we’re firm believers in making your site stand out, and being a true reflection of your company’s personality and brand. However, we do understand the appeal of themed website builds, especially if you have very little, or no budget, to start with.
If you have any more questions on what’s best for your business, tweet us a question and we’ll be more than happy to offer our advice.
Categorised in: Web Design
This post was written by sherlockiscool