Got WordPress? Great. Welcome to the Community! More than 16 million websites are run on and proud to be powered by WordPress. The numbers are growing every second.
So you have the most popular content management system installed, your server configured, and your website almost up and out live to engage your audiences.
So, how is it looking?
Everyone who likes to say that “looks don’t matter; it’s who you are on the inside that counts”, probably never had to develop a functional, efficient, and beautiful looking theme.
Front-end WordPress Developers know better: What’s on the inside counts only slightly more than what is on the outside.
Before getting a theme to stylize your site a bit, you should know how a WordPress theme is measured for quality. Here’s how an informed customer would make their decision before buying a WP theme:
- Cleanly Coded: W3C Validated and WordPress standard compliant to keep those pesky errors at bay.
- Responsive: To fit across various device sizes without messing up your content.
Performance: Fast loading (Themes can mess with Speed) for better search rankings and user-experience.
- Functionality: Any added features (in the form of bundled plugins) or do you get just a background with you content pasted over it?
- Source: Security first. Where exactly are you downloading the theme from?
Update-friendly: Could your theme support future WordPress updates? Will the theme be updated routinely?
- ‘Design’: …this here means what it looks like. Practically, it should be neat and elegant so that’s easy to use and looks good too, but it’s better to go with your own style.
You probably won’t find a theme that fits you like a well tailored suit. Themes are ‘multi-purpose’ for commercial viability. So it’s not just your competitors who might be sporting your look, it could even be someone from a completely different industry.
Should you get one made for you? Perhaps. Custom WordPress theme development is not everyone’s cup of tea. What you really need is a sense of how very rewarding it could be to stand out among your competition with a stunning website that reflects who you are as a brand.
It may put a slightly larger hole in your pocket (depends upon what kind of front-end developers you hire), but it’s worth it for those who want:
- Themes tailored precisely for online marketing needs: Good theme development is preceded by thorough research and analysis. What are your online marketing goals and how can your website help you achieve them? Main navigation on landing pages or not? Are all those forms the reason for a really pitiful number of leads? Can your theme be optimized for better search results and rankings?
Custom design solves problems specific to you. A theme you installed from somewhere is just common ground everyone’s walking on.
- Unique: The brand identity takes after the brand itself, and for those starting out, it’s a great way to show who you are (or will be). Instead of squeezing your identity into a design used thoroughly by thousands of other websites, get something fresh and unique to you. Someday, people might associate your brand to that design/color too. Foster it.
- Flexible: I see a lot of this – “Custom theme development will cost you a lot”. I want to ask the people who say that, “How much is “a lot” exactly?” The developers can be hired by hour, and good developers get your work done swiftly without mooching off because they have a reputation to maintain.
Good theme development is only as costly as its quality.
- Scalable: Good businesses grow in a fiercely competitive consumer market. As the business gains popularity, so will its online portal. A theme should be capable of being compatible with high-grade traffic-managing functionalities and not break down without a moment’s notice the second you install something to improve your website.
Good themes, ready made or custom built, will cost you money. We get clients trying to fix things up after a theme they had already paid for broke from WordPress update or a plugin, or even the most basic attempts at customization on the owners’ part.
Custom WordPress theme development is done with one goal with mind (from developers’ viewpoint): To adapt a website so it reflects your brand identity and content beautifully and consistently across all devices. Yes, there are enough pretty, responsive themes out there. But I can bet you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that is inherently, specifically, amazingly you.