If your like most people, when you start building your WordPress website, you head on over to either the Theme Repository on WordPress.org or to a marketplace like Themeforest.net. You scroll through the offerings of pre-packaged websites, find one within your industry that appeals to your design sense and download or purchase it.
You’ll have a beautiful website in no time, right?
The pre-packaged theme that looks so attractive in the marketplace looks like garbage on your installation. So maybe you do the Demo Import (if it was a purchased theme). Now you have typically 20-30 pages of example layouts and fake content on your site, none of which are pages you need. This is the point where many DIYers get overwhelmed and intimidated, but you press on – Worpdress is supposed to be easy and intuitive and the theme was highly rated. You try to find and manipulate a homepage, swap out content and replace stock imagery. Before you know it, you’ve spend hours of your time with little progress.
Before you purchase a theme, consider these issues first:
- The layout is never exactly what you want
- Demo import creates a wealth of pages & posts that you don’t need and will probably be afraid to delete, plus these pages can have a negative impact on your SEO
- The custom post types are not relevant keywords to your industry, resulting in poor SEO
- They try to be everything for a specific industry, meaning that a lot more features are included than are needed – that extra capabilities adds massive amounts of code and files to the site and bloats the download site speed
- Because you to figure out a way to accomplish your specific design goals within a structure not designed for your exact goals the resulting backend is disorganized, confusing to navigate and hard to update or adjust
- The pre-built color schemes rarely match your company branding exactly, although some themes do allow unlimited color adjustment
- More ‘Band-Aids’ are required post development to overcome the extra page load sizes
Last, but not least, my #1 complaint in using a pre-packaged theme is…
There’s almost no room for dynamic page manipulation of content or elements on a bulk scale.
Ok, Guttenberg has come along way, and yes, Visual Basic and Beaver Builder DID add reusable blocks to their drag and drop element systems in recent years, however, they are extremely clunky to use, time consuming and almost impossible to keep organized – especially when you get into the 200+ page websites needed for Pay Per Click sites. Not to mention, the drag and drop builders add 10x the code to produce simple html element layouts (especially compared to Bootstrap layouts) – the amount of nested DOM objects drag and drop builders render quickly gets out of control. I advise staying away from them whenever possible.