Bespoke WordPress Theme Design
October 12, 2020
We’re big fans of WordPress at the London Web Design Agency and often find ourselves suggesting a bespoke WordPress theme solution to our clients because the platform is so very flexible.
The flexibility of WordPress comes from a large number of developers who are constantly creating and refining plugins and APIs. This allows companies to add more functionality to their websites and to integrate other software solutions.
The success of the platform can be seen in the numbers. WordPress currently powers just over 40% of ALL websites and 65% of all CMS websites.
The downside of this success has been the misunderstanding that WordPress can do anything and everything out of the box and that all plugins will work without fault with any theme. This is untrue and is the reason that we like to build our themes and often plug-ins from scratch.
Why build a bespoke WordPress theme?
Quite simply, if you have a bespoke WordPress theme created for your website, you will be safe in the knowledge that the theme has been created to your specific set of requirements and will function exactly as you need it to.
We work closely with our clients to outline exactly what a site needs to do for the end-user and the admin team. Creating a functional spec which is agreed and followed to the letter, resulting in a solution that is truly fit for purpose.
You can of course choose to create your website using an off-the-shelf theme, but there are potential issues that you must consider before you pursue this avenue.
Here are our top reasons why you should not use an off-the-shelf WordPress theme:
Support for an off-the-shelf theme can stop at any time
The developer can, at any time, decide that they no longer want to continue developing the code for your chosen theme. This will result in incompatibility with future WordPress upgrades and plugins updates.
Your website will have a very limited lifespan from the moment that theme support stops, meaning that you will need to start making plans to re-do the site again from scratch with a new theme.
You can not guarantee site security
As mentioned above, if you use an off-the-shelf WordPress theme, you will likely need to add quite a few plugins in order to have the site work as you want it to. This can cause security issues.
As an agency, we try to use as few plugins as possible. Only using the most reputable plugins where required and often develop our own from scratch.
Top Tip – Sign-up to the Wordfence mailing list to receive security alerts pertaining to known plugin exploits.
Slower page-load times
There are several factors that contribute to slow page-load times for WordPress websites:
- The base install of WordPress often includes a lot of code that you do not require. We strip-out a lot of this code for our bespoke builds to help speed-up our websites.
- Too many plugins will also slow down the responsiveness of your website. Each plugin represents another codeset that your site needs to load in order to deliver the required functionality, leading to sluggish performance.
- Your hosting solution may not be up-to-scratch. Many self-hosted WordPress installs will perform poorly because they are sitting on servers that are shared with thousands of other websites. We use industry-spec servers to host our websites and deliver quick page-load times.
Your website design will not be unique
If you are looking to build a personal website for a hobby or just as a blog, then an off-the-shelf theme may deliver all the design options you need. But the chances are that you’ll require a little more creativity if you are building a website for your business.
Off-the-shelf themes are the ‘pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap’ approach to web design. You have limited options with regards to page layout; and because of the price, there is a high chance there will be hundreds of websites that look just like yours. Perhaps even one of your competitors.
Having a bespoke WordPress theme designed for you means your website will stand out from the crowd, be 100% on-brand and truly represent your company.
The above list of concerns are not exhaustive, but we hope that they give you pause for thought before committing to an off-the-shelf solution for your website.
LWDA is a web design agency that takes pride in our work. We are only as good as our last project, so we strive to deliver excellent digital solutions for all of our clients.
When it comes to WordPress websites, this means we take great care to deliver the following:
- Website design that is unique to your requirements and accurately represents your brand.
- A website that is fast to load. Using as little code as possible, delivered from a secure fast server.
- SEO-optimised code that will help your website’s visibility in search results. Including installation of the Yoast SEO Plugin that assists with the creation of keyword-targeted content.
- A secure platform that includes WordFence installation and hard-to-guess passwords.
- Friendly technical support via email and phone. For as long as you are one of our clients, we will be more than happy to help you with any potential site issues.
If you are looking to have a new website built for your company or brand and would like to discuss the possibility of WordPress as the solution, feel free to get in touch with us here and we’ll do our best to help.