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Prefabricated web design or custom web design?

Since the appearance of your website can influence how well it performs, let’s talk about the pros and cons of prefabricated (themes & templates) and bespoke wordpress website design.

// by Rose

While WordPress themes (or templates) have always been a popular choice, more and more business owners in Ireland are beginning to understand the superior results that custom web design can bring.

Some WordPress themes are free, and can perfectly fulfil their role if you’re willing to put up with their very standardized graphics and lack of flexibility. Those available on www.wordpress.org/themes, for example, have been validated by the WordPress community, making them good tried-and-tested options.

But there are also paid themes, mass-marketed on specialized sites. Here you will find plenty of choice, and themes that are easy to implement. Premium themes are often more aesthetically-pleasing and versatile. They allow you to create a site quickly, at minimum cost, and without needing to enlist the services of a web developer. Nevertheless, these themes still have some disadvantages, including:

Choice paralysis

Yes, choice can be both an advantage and a disadvantage!
Choosing a theme is harder than it looks, especially for an untrained eye. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when deciding on your website theme. Trust us, you could spend countless hours scrolling! That’s usually because there’s more than one decision to make. In addition to the aesthetics of your website, you’ll also have to determine which features accompany the theme and ensure that everything is compatible with your objectives and your working environment.

An overcrowded back office

To be functional and adaptable and to meet the widest possible range of customers (from a butcher to a florist to the owner of an online clothing store), premium themes offer hundreds of features that you’ll probably never use.
As a result, you end up with a back-office full of dummy content that has to be removed, as well as an abundance of unhelpful plugins. In short, these are things that will make your administration interface less fluid and more difficult to handle.

An impediment to SEO

Because business owners know that customers will focus on website functionality and design, the quality of the underlying code sometimes becomes a second thought.
A premium theme uses more resources in CSS, JS or PHP which has a direct impact on the loading speed of the site. Google’s SEO techniques are intimately linked to loading time. As a result, poor performance negatively affects your site’s traffic and SEO.

If the premium themes exist, it’s because there is a demand and they do the job perfectly well. Above all, they are capable of giving your business a decent internet presence when you have a small budget. However, don’t expect a result worthy of a tailor-made website that has been developed according to your own targets.

Offer a better user experience with a tailored theme

A customized WordPress theme includes a design and set of unique features specially realised for the needs of your business.

Here are some of their advantages:

A unique identity

To leave a unique impression, your website must be closely linked to your brand image or graphic identity. At the end of the day, it’s a communication tool that is meant to resonate and capture the attention of users.
Other elements also come into play: targeting your audience, marketing positioning, etc. The user experience must be designed with the end-user in mind. The navigation, design, and UX of a website must be considered and optimized in order to convert the casual visitor into a future customer.

A more controlled budget

Even if a prefabricated theme costs less to design than a custom one, you must take into account any modifications needed to tailor the site to your business. Indeed, an unwise choice of WordPress theme may ultimately cost more than a custom theme.
If you plan to have your site updated regularly by an outsourced team, a custom theme means developers won’t need to sift through tons of irrelevant or confusing code. A well-optimised site means you will spend less money and time on interventions in the long run.

An efficient and accessible site

In a tailor-made theme, each line of code is useful to the project to meet clearly-expressed needs. If your code is simple and efficient, your site will be quick to load.

It’s for all these reasons that here at Ourside, a web design agency based in Ireland, we prefer to create a theme customized according to your needs.

We understand how important it is to feel heard and considered when it comes to communicating a vision for your website. That’s why we design bespoke themes that perfectly fit the aims of your business. Our web development team are highly-experienced and are always pushing the boundaries of technology and design. They use only the best tools to bring your brand message to life alongside animations that enhance the user experience.

Our web designers would be happy to accompany you through the process of creating a website that meets your expectations, speaks to your targets, and is in line with your objectives. Don’t be afraid to get in touch!

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