With a seemingly infinite number of prebuilt themes readily available to be injected into any WordPress installation, we often get the question of why would anyone invest in a custom theme. At C1 STUDIOS, we pride ourselves in pairing functional solutions for all budgets; however, when it comes to longevity we always recommend developing a custom WordPress theme.
Though it is true that custom themes come in at a higher price tag, our reasoning for the recommendation is independent of cost. Let’s breakdown our thought process…
1. The most influential factor in building a custom WordPress theme is control. You hold the keys to car and can drive it, maintain it and use it in any manner that best suits you.
2. The second factor relates to longevity. With a pre-built theme, you are also beholden to the original developer’s ability to maintain the theme and bring it into future versions of WordPress. We have a long list of themes from old client sites that simply stopped being updated. Themes that are not updated will undoubtedly lead to errors, performance and security issues. Life cycles for pre-built themes are typically 2-3 years when compared to 5-6+ years for custom themes.
3. The last factor is more of a trade off than it is a reason to go custom. With a pre-built theme, you are stuck working within an often rigid framework with little to no options to implement changes or customizations. Want to change the home page layout? Need to add in a social media feed to the footer? Sorry to say but the answer is typically no.
While it’s not the end of the world if you’re unable to have a custom theme (we can still help), our perspective is that a custom WordPress theme is the most sound investment your business or organization can make.