WordPress Website Development: Ready-Made Themes vs. Custom Design — Which Approach Suits You Best?

WordPress Website Development: Ready-Made Themes vs. Custom Design — Which Approach Suits You Best?

Needless to say that WordPress is the most common Content Management System (CMS) used by businesses globally. Here at Webcapitan we usually use it for website development as clients require. So, when it comes to developing a new website and completely revamping the old one with WordPress, one of the first issues is “What about the design?”

Although functionality and content play a significant role in the user experience, the interface makes the first impression of the site. If UI/UX design is good, it attracts visitors. According to Adobe, 38% of people will only engage with a website with an attractive layout.

There are two ways we work on website design at Webcapitan. While the first option offers a more cost-effective solution, the second one provides a higher level of personalized experience. Today, I want to introduce our web design services and outline their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the differences between each option and assist website owners in saving their energy and funds.

Harnessing the Power of Ready-Made WordPress Themes for Website Development

What is the first option we recommend to our clients? It is a ready-made WordPress theme! It is an off-the-shelf theme that is ready to implement on your website.

It is like buying a semi-finished product instead of cooking your dinner — affordable and quick. The same goes when you select a ready-made theme for WordPress development. This option includes all you need to build a good-looking and functional website: changing colors, fonts, customized layouts (in many cases), and space for your logos. As a result, you can adapt the design to your needs.

The key here is working with the Webcapitan company to improve the pre-made theme to its best appearance. As we offer the client a variety of themes available according to their preferences, let’s glance at how the process is going:

  1. As customers express their wishes about what changes they want to see on their site, we try to capture their preferences. The team studies the client’s business area and dives deep into the subject.
  2. From thousands of themes on https://themeforest.net, we search for several most appropriate ones and propose them to the client. The choice depends on the client’s preferences and general vision for the site. Still, as a friendly reminder, we draw your attention to the following:
    • not only the appearance of a theme is important, but also its functionality;
    • whether the template theme code is safe and of high quality. Fortunately, we can check the security and quality of the theme’s code when the client buys the one. And if something goes wrong with the theme, the client can always make a refund;
    • the more changes have to be implemented — removals, additions, or alterations — the more time and expense it may entail.
  3. After choosing the most suitable theme, the client purchases it and prepares a customized setup requirements document.
  4. Our experts make estimations according to the requirements.
  5. We develop and test the website.

With many ready-made WordPress themes available in the market, free or premium, we can make your site more professional and stylish.

Pros of Ready-Made Themes

Let’s dive into details and look at some useful features of ready-made WordPress themes:

  1. Budget-friendly: The tag price of pre-made themes is one of the most significant benefits of this option. Although the cost of ready-made layouts varies due to their complexity, they are usually cheaper than custom ones.
    There are two paths you can go: free or paid theme. Many high-quality free pieces are available, but those designs often have fewer customization options.
  2. Easy to Use: Most WordPress themes come with an intuitive interface and easy-to-use options so that we can customize the piece quickly.
  3. Time-saving: If you’re building a website with a short timeframe, pre-made themes save weeks or months of work. You can get your site up and running quickly because most design work is already done. You need a specialist to tweak the design and add content, and your site is ready.
  4. Quick Check: You can check how your website will look in demo mode without implementation and preview the changes in real-time.
  5. Community Support: Popular WordPress themes often have a large user base and active community. You can get support, but it may take some time. It can be beneficial for troubleshooting or learning tips and tricks.

We recommend researching the level of support the theme seller will provide before purchasing.

Cons of Ready-Made Themes

Here are some challenges users might face:

  1. Non-uniqueness: Since these themes are available to anyone and the same template may be used unlimited times, many websites can look the same or similar to yours. Try to choose a theme with many customization options so that we can adjust the design to your brand.
  2. Potential for Bloat: Some themes come packed with built-in features for versatility and flexibility. The more codes, plugins, and secondary processes it contains, the slower download times on your website because it takes up lots of space on your hosting account.
  3. Limited Customization: While you can customize certain elements, you might be limited by the theme’s built-in design and functionality. Since templates are built on particular frameworks and structured systems, you can rarely add a custom technology solution.
  4. Updates and Compatibility: When WordPress updates, there is a risk that the theme or its components may not be compatible with the new version. So the piece needs to be regularly updated by its creators. Otherwise, it might lead to downtime on the website and affect its functionality.
    Another downside is the high risk that the purchased theme won’t work with all the plugins you want to use.
  5. Code Quality: Not all themes are created by professional developers. Some pre-made designs can have bad coding practices, leading to security issues, poor performance, or difficulties in customization. In consequence, this leads to the disadvantage below.
  6. Vulnerability: There is always a risk of security breach on the site. Since users have previously downloaded the theme, many people can know its vulnerabilities and use this knowledge for fraud. Unfortunately, the weakness of your chosen theme cannot always be fixed. Still, we do our best to ensure your safety on the Internet.

Contact the professionals if you want to use a ready-made template for your website. At Webcapitan, for example, we’ll find the theme with the best features and functionality for your business. Typically, ready-made WordPress designs are perfect for small companies, but large organizations choose the second option to work with.

What is Custom Design for a WordPress Website and Why to Choose it?

Should we talk about the custom WordPress design? Obviously, yes.

In contrast to a ready-made theme, the custom one is designed and built from scratch for a specific website. It focuses on your business needs and wishes from the very beginning. You don’t need anything to start — just your vision of the final product. It is like preparing an apple pie yourself with the help of a professional chef.

A full custom WordPress website development involves both a web designer and a developer. In most cases, business owners come to us since developing a custom site requires some profound knowledge, and we at Webcapitan offer complex web design services. They include such stages:

  1. Immersion stage
    • Interviewing clients about their wishes and preferences.
    • Collecting and analyzing information about competitors and trends in the business area.
    • Preparing the documentation for the project.
  2. Designing
    • We create unique UI/UX designs for each page according to the client’s requirements.
    • At the design stage, consider all possible technical issues according to UI/UX design practices and then develop. If there are any technical specifications, it can be more efficient and high-quality.
  3. Building
    • We write HTML codes for all devices and add animations to the website.
    • We implement the coding with a custom WordPress development and set the admin panel for the website.
  4. Testing
    • Before the testing, we demonstrate how the website will look on the Internet to the client.
    • If there are any edits or technical issues, we add or fix them.
    • Final testing of the website with the client.
  5. Launching
    • We move the website to the client’s hosting.

Remember that coding and developing a website without a design is a complex challenge requiring time and investment. It is due to the specifics of implementing custom design, which requires flexibility to consider all site details.

Pros of Custom Design

As usual, let’s start with the advantages, and there are plenty of them:

  1. Uniqueness: A custom design means it will be unique, and there is no other site in the world to look like yours. Of course, you must find a responsible and honest contractor. In the first stage, developers determine the specific business requirements and create a responsive WordPress website, which can help you highlight your brand from your competitors.
  2. Tailored Functionality: Custom websites are highly adaptable, given your business needs, design, and functionality. Instead of wasting time figuring out how to make your pre-made theme look like you envisioned, we can develop features specifically catered to your requirements.
  3. Optimization: Custom designs are much less bulky than pre-made themes. They can help massively with the performance of your website (SEO and speed), reducing unnecessary bloat and potentially resulting in faster load times. After all, custom development has significant effects on the admin area. As only the necessary fields for managing pages are displayed, the speed of work, transitions, content management, and the convenience of managing and editing content improve.
  4. Flexibility for Future Changes: As your business grows, your website is evolving. With a custom design, implementing changes or additions is often easier. The more professional the work is done in the initial stages, the easier and smoother the process.
  5. Trustworthiness: It looks more professional if businesses hire specialists to develop the custom design. That helps build trust and credibility with your audience.

Remember that you receive excellent support during and after the website development process by working with skilled designers and developers. And if it is made by professionals such as Webcapitan, your website will be more secure.

Cons of Custom Design

You may be surprised, but with all the pluses of the option, there are only two minuses:

  1. Cost. When asked about the price of the service, you will not get a satisfactory answer. Unfortunately, custom designs are typically much more expensive than pre-made themes.
    Custom WordPress development involves a professional designer and developer. Building a website from scratch needs deep research, design, integration with plugins, testing, SEO optimization, installation, and ongoing support.
    In search of affordable solutions, small businesses turn to freelancers or novice designers who are happy to do the work for a few hundred dollars. This approach usually gives the opposite effect because the low price usually means low quality. Remember, developing a new website is much easier and cheaper than fixing something that can’t be fixed.
  2. Time-consuming process. The second challenge for those who need a site “for yesterday” is that the process from initial design to a fully developed website is typically longer than when using a ready-made theme. From brainstorming to testing, it may take months.

If you want to calculate the cost and timing of the development of your site, contact us today.

Bottom Line

A ready-made theme and a custom design for building a WordPress website have pros and cons, and neither is inherently superior. We can’t say you should prefer one over the other. Choosing between them ultimately boils down to a balance of time, cost, skills, and the specific needs of your project.
A ready-made theme is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a low-cost decision and time-efficient solution for a starter website. It’s particularly suitable for starting small businesses or projects with tight budgets and timelines. However, you may have to compromise on the uniqueness and deal with bloated features or limitations in customization. You can choose between ready-made themes or custom themes, which is why WordPress is better than a Сustom CMS.
On the other hand, a custom design offers a high degree of flexibility. It allows for truly unique and potentially more advanced capabilities. It could be the right choice if your brand requires specific functionality or a distinctive look. The drawbacks here are the higher cost and the longer development time. However, it is well worth every cent you pay and every minute you spend.

Creating a user-friendly, visually appealing, and functional website should always be your top priority, regardless of your chosen path. In any case, our web design company in Ukraine provides a top-quality web design service and web development. Get in touch with Webcapitan for professional assistance — together, we will find the best solution for your business.

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