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WordPress Themes Are Bad

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Christopher Rhines

WordPress themes are bad. There, I said it.

At first glance, themes seem like a simple way to get a website up and running quickly. But themes are the biggest indicator to your visitors and customers that your website (and your business) is just like everybody else’s. Your site has to be unique and professionally-designed if you want to stand out in today’s highly competitive digital marketplace. If you want to make an impact, ignore the temptation to cut corners by implementing a ready-made theme. Here’s why:

  1. Your business is unique, right? Your business’s website should be unique as well. So if 100 different websites are all using the same WordPress theme, none of those sites are unique after all. Websites using common WordPress themes get lost in the crowd and become instantly forgettable.
  2. Customizing a website’s design, as well as its functionality, is sometimes very difficult to do with a ready-made WordPress theme. Having to pick a theme apart and hack it back together is not only a pain, it wastes precious hours and dollars. Instead of wrangling a hodge-podge of template code, it is far easier for a (good) developer to start with a blank slate.
  3. Some themes are simple and straightforward, but the ones that provide the most functionality often come with a steeper learning curve. WordPress on its own requires some getting used to, but having to also wrangle with a complex theme can frustrate both the business owner and the programmer.
  4. Overly complicated WordPress themes have limitations. WordPress sites with intense customization and fine-tuning might require a programmer to actually override parts of the theme code itself. It’s often more efficient to scrap the theme altogether and build what’s actually needed, instead of spending the time and resources attempting to hammer a square peg into a round hole.
  5. Some themes are comprised of a large amount of code that may go completely unused. No harm, no foul, right? But even if some of the theme’s code and functionality go unused, every time someone loads a page on your website, they have to load that unused baggage code, too. Too much code, especially sloppy code, causes pages to load more slowly. And when pages load at an unacceptable pace, visitors are more likely to leave your website altogether. On the other hand, navigating a streamlined website is a quick, easy and painless experience for your visitors.

Sure, free themes might look shiny and easy to use – if you ignore these huge disadvantages. And if you have a website budget of no more than $100, then by all means, go get yourself a WordPress theme. But if you truly want a professional website for you or your business, invest in a theme that’s built and tailored to your exact needs.

At Torx, we simply do not use WordPress themes because we believe our clients deserve much better. If you’re interested in chatting with us about a custom-designed website for your unique business, give us a call at 804-577-8679 or fill out the form below to contact us.

About the author:

Christopher Rhines

Partner, Director of Development

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Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.