Custom theme design is the top level for those who are serious about blogging and while free and premium themes and templates will get you started, they lack the flexibility and uniqueness that getting something handmade delivers.
Their list of reasons are:
- When you have the budget for a custom WordPress theme
- When you can’t find a theme which suits your vision, goals, requirements and content
- When you don’t want to be limited in design options
- When you want an original, unique design that stands out from the crowd
- When you want lightweight code with no feature bloat for things you don’t need
- When you want quality-assured code
- When you want wonderful customer support
Here are my thoughts on their list along with another reason I’ve added at the bottom of the page.
As is the case with hand made furniture or clothing, custom built kitchens, or spec-built technology, getting your own custom made WordPress theme is going to be more expensive than opting for a free or premium theme. The cost of a good custom made theme is going to come with a price tag of at least $5,000 but think of it like buying a watch. You could get a basic watch that tells the time or a Fitbit that gives you that with all the additional accessories. Both deliver you the primary function of time keeping but the one with all the extra bells and whistles justifiably costs more.
Finding something that suits
That never ending quest for the right theme is easily solved by a customer theme developer. Based on the sheer number of free and premium themes that are available and the number of people who have blogs, I can only imagine the number of hours that have been spent trying to find the perfect theme. There is only one perfect theme for your blog and that’s one that has been custom designed especially for it.
Limited design options
Every blog is limited by its design and it’s pretty much a given that the designer of the free or premium theme you’re contemplating on deploying wasn’t thinking about what you might want to be doing with a blog when they designed it. There is so much more to a theme than whether you want a two or three column layout or which plugins and widgets you should use. What about landing pages? What about the homepage? Are they different from a simple blog post? Knowing what you want and finding a free or premium theme that matches your requirements without needing any modification is incredibly rare. Don’t waste your time trying to find that special theme that doesn’t actually exist. Get a custom made theme and use your extra time creating content for your readers.
Stand out from the crowd
Being unique is so important when it comes to being online. We’re all adrift in an ocean of digital destinations and it’s the islands of intrigue that entice us to step ashore. A custom WordPress theme can certainly make you stand out from a crowd of cookie cutter blogs.
There has been a lot of change in how Google will rank your website in the search results and one of the most important recent changes has been around speed. Slow load time is typically attributed to code bloat and a good developer understands this and will ensure that the higher price you’re prepared to pay results in a speedier delivery of content for your readers. Many themes that are available for free may be a contributing factor to the low search engine results which is why the benefits of employing a custom theme developer who understands the latest trends for SEO are very important.
If you’ve ever gone down the route of using a free theme then you’ve probably discovered that there were a few bonus bugs included in your install. This can also be true with premium themes. When you’re paying a reputable custom theme designer to put together your dream blog layout and design, you should be able to trust them to do the job right and ensure that the final product is of a high quality. If you’re not getting that level of quality assurance, just remember that you get what you pay for.
With many themes of the free or premium nature, it’s easy to buy and download them but when it comes to needing support, that service is typically next to non-existent. Your experience with having anything custom made generally includes an exemplary level of customer service and the same should be true of working with your own designer.
Being involved in the process
My extra reason for choosing a custom WordPress theme all comes down to communication. A good designer won’t assume they know what you want and will involve you in the entire design process to ensure what you want is what you get. A good designer will listen to what it is you’re wanting to do and will likely throw a bunch of questions at you to get you to think about the user experience and how you want them to interact with your content. Understanding how your users will consume what you write, how you want them to share it, where they will share it, along with dozens of other things will help ensure that your new blog theme isn’t just unique, but enhances the entire experience of visiting and reading your blog.
If you’re serious about standing out from the crowd and having a unique design for your blog that delivers more than just a better reader experience, fill out this design survey and have a chat with Rachel at Cre8d Design.