WordPress Theme or Bespoke Design?

After creating for WordPress with themes for many years I am now working with a lot of clients who are opting for a bespoke theme for their website, so how does this compare to a premium theme? Are there benefits or is it just to say “hey our site is unique your not going to find one the same!”
Originally I was sceptical about spending a huge amount of development time on a bespoke theme for WordPress but it so happens that there are some huge benefits out there for such construction of a site as well as compelling arguments for sites on a premium theme.

So here are some benefits from a bespoke build:

  • You can aim for a lighter weight theme build which will minimise loading times for your site and benefit SEO.
  • Less bloat within your site meaning if you don’t need certain functions within your theme they can be removed and not included.
  • Your site is a one off which will be both unique and allow for a complete design process to be undertaken.
  • Bespoke built in functionality specific to your needs can be developed.
    Editing areas can be adjusted to allow easy management of your site from the admin area especially if you are assigning someone to manage your content.
  • More control over your SEO
  • Less reliance on Plugins

So how does a premium theme compare to the above?

  • Highly ranked Premium themes are normally rigorously tested internally to ensure when they are released for sale that they have minimal errors and problems.
  • There is a certain amount of design which can be implemented on theme but you will normally need to constrict yourself within the bounds of theme layout.
  • These themes come in all shapes and size and for various uses, this means that you can often find a tried and tested theme for your business or activity.
  • Functionality for your WordPress site can often be bundled within the theme meaning the use of less plugins on your site.
  • Premium themes often have a number of developers behind them providing support and in most cases updates / upgrades to improve functionality and protect against vulnerabilities.

There are many other pro’s and con’s for both types of site but client need will always influence the decision on whether to go theme or bespoke.