WordPress is a wonderful tool for building websites. Not only does it have great out of the box functionality, with the ability to create pages, posts, and add media content within minutes of installing, there are also some amazing plugins that can help you create some amazing extra functionality on your website. Where many people have questions however, is when it comes time to choose a theme.
The WordPress store has an abundance of pre built themes you can download directly from their website. These themes offer a wide variety of options, in both front-end display and back end features. Some themes focus on providing beautiful, flexible column layouts, some expand upon the basic set-up of WordPress blogs to really make them stand out, and others can turn your website into an e-commerce platform- all with the click of a button!
Too Good to Be True?
When you take all of that into consideration, it sounds like a great idea to just filter through the WordPress.org website and download the first theme that catches your eye. However, there are definitely some pitfalls when you go this route.
First of all, these themes can tend to be extremely bulky and unintuitive. You’ll know this is the case if you try and create a new page -only to be hit with a back-end interface that’s slow, clunky and requires you to hit 3 different buttons before even writing one line of text. Trying to customize a page with an interface like this quickly becomes a hassle, and we’ve even seen some themes become so slow that they crash your browser and you have to start building your new page from scratch!
Another common issue is that once the theme is installed on your website, it looks nothing like those beautiful, elegant example pictures from the theme dashboard. There can be multiple reasons for this, but it usually boils down to some pretty common issues. Your media content (things like pictures) may not look great in this theme- perhaps they’re not large enough or bright enough, or they just aren’t the right dimensions for the theme. Or, perhaps the colour scheme is all wrong for your website. A theme that has an indy, dark, noir vibe to it may not work well if you’re trying to show off a ton of colourful baby products you’re selling on your website!
Finally, some of these themes just have way too much going on. They have a million things in the admin dashboard, you don’t know what any of it means, and it can seem overwhelming. You’ll find that you downloaded a theme for 1 or 2 of its advertised features that appealed to you, only to realize you have to also deal with 9-10 other features you don’t even need! These themes make the crucial mistake of trying to do everything – and end up accomplishing nothing in the process.
Because of these issues with pre-built themes, here at Simplistics we build a fully custom theme for every client we work with! All of our clients are different, so it makes no sense to use the same theme on more than 1 website! Our clients are unique, so their themes should be as well. When we start a new project with our clients, we determine their needs, what they want to accomplish, how they want to present themselves online, and build our theme according to that. The admin dashboard stays neat and tidy, the page building interface is easy to navigate and fun to use, and the website will look on brand, with the correct colours and media content to make you stand out from the rest!