WordPress is the friendliest and the most commonly used content management system. Online Business owners love it because it’s easy to use, easy to maintain & provides great possibilities for you to promote your offerings.
The fact is that all businesses need an affordable website and this is completely understandable. Such a desire of WP owners is fulfilled in the shape of WP templates. In my career, I have seen thousands of businesses purchasing ready-made WP templates. It’s because they are cheap and instantly provide businesses with a decent looking website. However, I believe that there are some things of great importance literally missing in a WP template.
The two sayings, “stand out from the rest” & “break through the clutter” (or may be more) that you will find on the web are used in quite many scenarios to define uniqueness- but most commonly used when businesses want to differentiate their offerings from their competition. Believe it or not, but these statements in definition is like the holy grail of glory if you want to succeed as a business owner online.
What you are offering on the web, there can be thousands offering the same. There needs to be some uniqueness, which can garner you the expected results and beats them. This is where you need to stand out and break through. But if you use an “on-sale” WP template on your website (which is going to be your first expression to new visitors), then forget that they’ll ever remember you, let alone become customers. Worst is when one of your competition is already using the same template. This is more likely, because no matter how premium, that template is up for sale. I can’t even tell you how many websites I have come across using the exact same templates and there is nothing memorable or unique about them.
However, when you invest on your business and pay to create custom look, you get to “stand out “and make a memorable website which your visitors are going to remember. In custom design, you are the boss. You get to choose aspects of design that will reflect the needs of your customers and appeal to them.
Remember, being unique is the best thing in life and also in the online realm!
Keep in mind that every developer is a different person in life and in code. They have different levels of maturity, different experience/expertise and especially the understanding of best practices. Considering that every template is made by a different designer/developer solely for the purpose to appeal & getting sold as many times as possible, so expect messy coding. Most of the times, templates can produce worst code ever, so choose carefully if you really want to buy one.
The reason why coding is important is 1. It has a huge impact on the speed and functionality of your website & 2. Speed is what google now keeps in view while ranking you in search results. Right now, there are standards of coding that designers and developers religiously follow while coding a website. Coding by the books not only takes time and effort, but at the end of the day, bears great results. This practice is very rare in templates.
Another issue that commonly comes with templates is that they create problems with certain plugins. So, if you choose a good designer/developer to make a custom website, the code will be a lot cleaner and there will be a lot less worry regarding plugins which is what you really want. Did we mention that clean code is also critical for a site to work on all browsers and also on mobile?
If you have an eye for detail and you want things to be in certain way that you like then keep in mind that WP templates often don’t give you that type of control. A website with WP template doesn’t give you the ability to make decisions about its design elements.
Here are some things we believe a website owner needs to have the control of all the time:
- How the images are displayed in the website
- Ability to customize the sidebars
- Ability to play with font sizes and colors
- Change the way how home page displays, change its layout
- Ability to change the layout of all the pages
- Display control of Blog excerpts
- Ability to change the layout of entire blog page
- Layout of the website footer
- Control of the slider- its height, width, images, text, speed control, linking from images
- Contact form options
You should have the control to each and every aspect of your website just as you do with your business. Leveraging the above mentioned features, you will be able to make strategic decisions regarding your website, which will have a direct impact on your visitors, your customers and your sales. Plus, you can always experiment new ways to make your website more interactive given that you have control. This is exactly what a custom website design offers. It lets you choose what you want, how and when.
I understand that some people don’t want to spend money on a custom WordPress design, but I really don’t see how you can avoid doing that if you are serious about your online business. For every type of business, success in web is success overall and for this all businesses need to have a strong web presence which is unique, functional and marks your territory.
But you cannot have this with a cheap or (worse), a Free WP template. Remember, that you get what you pay for so don’t put all at stake with this choice. Invest in a quality Custom WordPress design and it will pay off in the end. And BTW, a lot of Premium-special WP templates (the good ones) are priced somewhat near to what a WP developer will charge you for custom site development- but then again an overpriced template will not be unique, a custom job will be!
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