Pre-made WordPress themes, or templates often get a bad rap. It’s easy to understand why when you think about what’s implied by the word.
One definition of template is, “something that serves as a model for others to copy” which conjures images of a conveyor belt, churning out exact replicas one by one. You want your website to be different, not generic and you definitely don’t want your site to be a carbon copy of another.
Your WordPress theme will generate templates which define parts of a webpage layout such as header sections and side bars.
One historic bug bear has been that templates don’t allow flexibility in functionality should you want your website updated or modified in any way. Trying to shoe-horn bespoke content and company branding into a pre-made template with few customisable options was a pain, to say the least. However, this is pretty much a thing of the past and why a lot of developers who were previously dead against templates are now embracing them.
As long as the research is done into the required functionality and adaptability, and you’re using a reputable developer, why not save time (and money) by using a pre-made template?
In the world of web development, when used properly, templates are a gift.
This post will give you a better understanding of the benefits of using templates on your site and ease any concerns about maintaining your brand identity.
This topic is continually debated by developers and designers alike and you’ll find a lot of reasons for and against the use of pre-made templates.
Just to be clear, we’re all for them, when used right.
In no particular order, here are 4 great reasons to use a pre-made WordPress template.
Saving time and money
Building a website from scratch is a lot more time consuming and expensive than using a pre-made template. From a development perspective, spending some time finding a relevant and customisable theme to use as the foundations of the site you’re building, shaves hours off deliberating layouts and coding a custom site. From a client perspective, this is also an obvious reason to choose the pre-made template option. If your developer is saving time, this will be saving you significant money and you’ll have your site up and running quicker.
Specific design and functionality options
Depending on the industry you’re in, there are a huge amount of template options designed specifically for your area of business. These are built with the customer in mind and often include menu options and suchlike that you may not need at first but as your business scales up, will be well worth having from the get go. A developer will be able to integrate more options should you need them, via coding or simply customising the template options.
The majority of decent themes come with a number of customisable options, so don’t be fooled into thinking the template layout has to stay exactly as it is. Colours and widgets can be adapted to suit your needs and although pre-made templates are often designed to be used ‘as is’, you needn’t be restricted to the default option.
Don’t forget, a large part of design is content. If you’re using the same pre-made template as another business, your content will differ and therefore your site won’t look the same. There are plenty of ways to modify pre-made templates. Plus, let’s be honest, how many people really notice these things anyway? There are so many templates out there, the chances of your customers stumbling across a site which matches yours are slim to say the least.
Help and support
If your layout is playing up, it’s easier to find a solution when you’re using a pre-made template. You just need to ask. Paid for themes will come with support so any issues can be dealt with by the author(s). Even with unpaid themes, help will be on hand. Chances are if you encounter an issue, someone else will have too and a quick Google search will usually deliver some advice from a forum to resolve said issue. With regular updates and bug fixes, you are also future-proofing your site.
Any pre-made templates that are worth their salt will focus on the customer journey. Again, this is something you could spend a long time on but by choosing a template suitable for your industry, this is already taken care of. It’s convenient, effective, and saves you hassle. Bulky sites with complex customer journeys just don’t cut the mustard. Simplicity and ease of navigation is paramount and a pre-made template will already have this covered.
Of course, having a custom-built site will mean it’s unique and can be personalised precisely how you want it. When using a pre-made template, you might find some modifications won’t be exactly how you envisaged, or you may be restricted by some elements of design.
We’re not trying to tell you that a custom-built site is bad, simply that pre-made templates aren’t bad either and can be adapted to your website requirements.
A lot of start-up businesses simply can’t afford to pay for a complete custom-built site. Using the template option is the obvious solution. Your web developer can customise your site according to your specifications and the turnaround time will be a great deal faster than starting from scratch.
Hopefully this post has allowed you to shed your reservations and embrace the benefits of pre-made templates.