WordPress: Custom Theme or Purchase?September 3rd, 2013

With WordPress one of the key questions you have to ask yourself is should I have a custom theme built for my website or should I use a premium theme that I can purchase?

My answer depends on a few things:

  • What type of business are you in?
  • What is your time-to-market?
  • Budget

Depending on your answers, I can come up with an option for you.
Type of Business
I always think people in creative fields should lean towards more custom themes. For instance, I look at some website designer’s website and I see a purchased theme, to me that doesn’t seem quite right. I mean if your selling your creativity, you should at least show you are creative, right? However, for many professions, or small businesses, a premium theme is fine. There are thousands, and with some customizations, you can make it your own.

Time to Market
If you are in a rush to get a site done, then your answer is simple, go with a nice premium theme which will cut the time down by 60-70%. If you have months, then you can consider a custom design. As the design process takes a couple of weeks on average, and building a custom theme can add a few weeks, you can see where time to market is considerably longer.

If you have a small budget, then go with a premium theme. If you have $2000 and up you can consider the custom design route. The reason is that having designs created takes time and money. And coding a custom theme can take weeks, which is where the cost adds up.

So, I know you are going to ask, what do I prefer? Well, in a perfect world, a custom, unique theme is what I prefer. But in reality, the things we spoke about come into play. Budget and time to market are so important. Whichever way you go, you can have a great site. If you aren’t sure, then ask me. I am happy to help you decide.