November 18, 2016 - Web development

Why is a Custom WordPress Site Better Than a Template?

by Antoni Żółciak
More by this author

While using templates might be tempting, only a custom WordPress site will fulfill your needs completely. Find out why!

Developing a custom-made WordPress website is like visiting a tailor

It’s just for you. There’s no way you encounter another webpage that looks the same – as you would if you’d decide to go with templates.

We’re not saying that using pre-existing solutions is wrong. A template might be exactly what you need, as there are plenty great ones out there. We’re simply stating that – if you want something that suits your needs perfectly – we’ve got you. Sorry for barging in with self-promotion. We promise not to do that too often.

Once the page is set up, through our own solutions you’ll be able to modify it within the grid we developed previously. It’s a huge convenience both for you and for everyone who’ll be working with your WordPress. You won’t need the developer’s help for a day-to-day work.

With custom WordPress you get everything: the code, the design, the idea

We’re not the ones to brag. Okay, maybe a little: for example, if you decide to work with us, we’ll provide you with everything after the project is completed. You’ll get the design, the code, and the project book for further development.

Interested on what we’re able to do with WordPress?

Your coders (or another agency) will be able to work with our back-end easily. Sure, we’ll be honored if you decide to stay with us, but just in case: you can just as easily drop us.

A neatly developed back-end (and front-end, for that matter) ensures the compatibility with plugins and leads to fewer errors with anything you do in the future.

It’s that simple.

You won’t get any bloat software

It’s not uncommon for free (or paid) templates to come with “extras”. Or ads. Or both.

You don’t want those “extras”. They’ll slow the site down so much, that all the benefits you get with using WordPress will become obliterated.

Tom McFarlin published an interesting piece on bloated WordPress sites – but it can be applied to any software that comes with “something else” in it. Hassan Akhtar associated with WPGurus spoke about the same thing.

And, honestly, if you’ve used a computer before, you probably hate bloat software as well.

The most obvious example of an overkill? We don’t have to look very far:

You definitely wouldn’t want your WordPress’s back-end to be the modern equivalent of the old too-much-toolbars situation, would you?

Chances are, there is no template out there that will suit your needs

We may talk about how templates are good or bad, but one thing can be said for certain: their capabilities are limited. There simply may not be a template that will satisfy you, which makes a custom-made WordPress website a necessity.

The thing is, while a template may seem like it has all the functionalities that you need, oftentimes it doesn’t – and it’s not so easy to add such feature to a pre-existing, closed code.

This a custom-made, grid website based on WordPress. Our Client, BlurbStudio, can adapt it to their needs without the developer’s help.


If you still want to go with a theme rather than a custom solution, here’s what to do

It’s more than understandable that sometimes, you just want to try WordPress out and not make any serious investments along the way. In that case, please check if the template of your choosing doesn’t have much underlying code issues.

Make sure that you’re getting a minified, lean code with no unnecessary elements. Less code is less processing, less processing means a shorter loading times, and shorter loading times are key for better SEO. Always check the performance with tools such as GTmetrixPingdomPageSpeed Insights, and similar. Ever if you’re not a developer, you’ll have an idea of what’s going on in terms of the page speed.

Look for plugins: many template authors tend to implement as many plugins as possible. Chances are, you won’t need a majority of them, at least not at the beginning.

Buy templates only from trusted sources, and please do the research on every template by its name. You may find some opinions of people who’ve already bought it, successfully installed and tested it for more than a day. Another thing to look for – documentation and author’s support. You may even encounter a template publisher who’ll customize your layout a bit.

Security may also be an issue

There is one thing in particular that you have to be aware of. Sometimes, template companies embed a part of the site’s functionality not within the plugins, but within the “skin”, the template itself.

That’s not great. Not great at all. Here’s why:

  • it artificially inflates the price of the template (unless it’s a real custom-made solution);
  • it creates security vulnerabilities (templates are not updated as often as plugins are);
  • usually, you can’t disable the embedded functionalities (whereas with plugins, you can just turn off the whole thing).

With these kinds of templates, it’s basically like buying a bicycle that you can’t modify in any way. You can’t even install a ringer bell unless you disassemble your bike completely.

Too long? Here are the most important takeaways!

  • Don’t go all-in with the first template you like
  • Look for a proper documentation and technical support from the authors
  • Make sure that template servers your needs – not only now, but also in the future
  • And contact us if you feel you need a complete, custom-built website!

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