If you’ve begun the process of building a website and have decided to use WordPress as your content management system (CMS) of choice then you’ve already made a great decision! However, this isn’t the only major decision you’ll have to make. You will also have to decide whether your website is able to make do with a pre-built WordPress template or if it will require a bespoke solution. There are pros and cons to each choice, so to help you make your decision just take a look at the following guide – Wordpress Template or Go Bespoke, which one will it be …
What is a WordPress Template?
All WordPress sites are built using a template, they can either be bespoke, custom built, one of kind templates, or they can be templates which are created then sold to hundreds or even thousands of other people to use. Templates created with the intention of then selling them to many different people are usually known as themes.
Pre-built WordPress Themes
You can buy WordPress themes from a number of different websites and one of the most popular, with nearly 4,000 available themes, is a site called Themeforest. There are themes that are suitable for all kinds of websites including everything from standard run of the mill blogs, right up to fully-fledged e-commerce sites. Whatever kind of website you can think of, it’s more than likely that there is a theme which will be suitable for it.
If you have a simple understanding of web design, creating a site using a theme is relatively simple. Many theme authors offer comprehensive documentation, step-by-step photo or video walk-throughs for setting up the theme and support forums in case you need any assistance along the way. The support forums can be particularly helpful if you come across any issues or problems as it’s more than likely that someone else has had the same problem before you and had it resolved with the solution available for all to see.
Using a theme with WordPress is a great choice for both novice and advanced WordPress users alike, due to its ease of use and intuitive designs. You won’t need any specialist software such as Dreamweaver in order to start building the site either, as you are able to edit & alter the code directly within the live site. Whilst editing pages you can also preview the changes before you commit to making any changes
The advantages of using a pre-built template include the following:
- Much cheaper – Compared to a bespoke template, a pre-built template is considerably cheaper. With prices ranging from around $25 up to about $60, themes offer incredible value for money. Prices for bespoke solutions of similar quality and functionality can vary enormously depending on whom you choose to give the commission to, but you can expect to pay at least a thousand dollars!
- Faster to get up and running – With a theme, all you have to do is follow the instructions and choose your colour scheme, upload your pictures and add the text. You could have a site up and running in the space of a day and with time to spare! If you ask a web-design company to create a bespoke template, they will need to design, construct and test it – all of which takes time. A time-scale of a fortnight is quite common although more complex sites will take much longer to build.
Disadvantages can include:
- Not unique – If you use a theme for your site, it’s possible that there could be another ten thousand sites using the same theme as you! However, if you take into account the sheer number of websites out there (hundreds of millions), it’s unlikely that anyone would notice.
Notes: If you decide on a template, you should also remember that it would be possible for you to get a web-developer to customise the template for you. This will enable you to tweak the website in case it doesn’t quite meet your needs or you want some kind of function which isn’t available in the standard template.