The difference between custom & template themes

A question that pops up in my Digital Alchemy Workshops is What is the difference between Custom WordPress websites and Templates? And how do I know what is right for me? 

Like most things, the answer depends on where you are in your business and whether you have specific needs. To be clear a theme template should not include the function of your site, it is just the way it looks.

Custom websites

Having a custom built WordPress theme is generally what you will need when you have a specific set of needs and a desired look (with a budget to match).

Let’s discuss the pros and cons.

Benefits of having a custom template

  • You get exactly what you want
  • You’re getting it built to your needs
  • There is no extra stuff you don’t need

Downfalls of having a custom template

  • You’re paying for the one off custom theme, not life time support (unless you pay recurring fees)
  • Sometimes updating can be risky
  • It’s more expensive as a starting cost

Pre built templates

I have to admit the pre-built templates you can get these days are pretty damn awesome. So if you’re not too fussed about how it is going to end up (as long as it looks good right) then this may be a pretty good option.

Let’s break it down.

Benefits of having a pre built template

  • It’s cheap
  • It’s quick (if you’re prepared to get your hands dirty)
  • Generally as a premium template you get ongoing updates

Downfalls of having a pre built template

  • You have to work with what they have (ie. fit your content into their structure)
  • Sometimes they need 10 billion plugins to work
  • Sometimes they don’t look as advertised
  • Finding someone to make adjustments can be hard

So as you can see both have their pros and cons and what you choose will really depend on your overall needs.

As part of my next round of digital alchemy workshops I’ll be releasing some template options for clients, I’ve also released a new service offering for template installs or as I call it the “Dream Startup Package”, you can find more information here..

Still confused? Not really sure what your best options are for where you are at in your business? Take my website compass quiz here.