Who wants a cheap quick takeaway burger when you could get a gourmet style piece of quality steak? Now take this analogy and apply it to the building of your website.
It may feel that you’re getting huge value for money by buying a $50 WordPress theme from for example, Themeforest. It’s true, you’re getting a huge amount of coding and design effort that is being shared by all the purchasers. BeTheme, one of the most popular WordPress themes on Themeforest has been purchased over 60,000 times, resulting in a tidy $3,600,000 turnover for the developer – WordPress theme development is a profitable business!
However, unless you are a business with really basic web needs, I believe you will soon start to see its shortcomings.
If you go through the proper design process (like in one of our Marketing #HackDays), it will involve among other things:
- close analysis of your customers and their needs
- the problems you can solve for customers
- how your brand should be visually represented
- the user journey each one of these prospective customer types may take
We believe the only method in building a good website is to build it from the ground up.
Using a pre-purchased theme and off-the-shelf WordPress plug-ins have a number of significant disadvantages.
5 Problems to expect with off-the-shelf WordPress plug-ins:
- Your ability to brand your new website will be limited to changing a logo, the colour scheme and images. If tens of thousands of other businesses have used the same theme, your unique business won’t have a unique online user experience.
- It is unlikely that the layout of the purchased theme will match the wireframes that you have designed to optimise the user journey. The user experience will be compromised.
- Themes come with a lot of extra functionality that won’t be used by your business. This extra code will affect performance, make the management more confusing for your content staff, and make updating the website more complicated technically.
- Extending WordPress with plugins (to add Google Analytics for example) adds a lot of unnecessary code. For example, something that may only be one line of code when hand-crafted can become hundreds of lines when built into a plugin.
- Plugins and themes can often become out-of-date quite quickly, and can often contain security vulnerabilities. You are at the mercy of the plug-in developer to release a timely update to patch any vulnerabilities.
We feel that prebuilt WordPress themes are what gives WordPress a bad name; with me-too identikit websites, user-unfriendly features like carousels and out-of-date components creating security vulnerabilities that the entire business has to carry the can for. Which, incidentally, is why we developed our Enterprise Hosting solution and our WordPress theme development service which hand-builds every website from the ground-up.
Pretty soon your original cheap website will be costing you a lot to maintain and won’t be performing to meet your potential customers’ needs and expectations.
And nobody wants to disappoint a potential customer, do they?