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Custom WordPress Theme Development

5 Reasons to Choose a Custom WordPress Theme for Your Business

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When you’re building or updating a website for your business, you have a lot of options. From free website builders, to pre-built themes, to custom development, the options are almost infinite. “Cheap and easy” might be a good option for a hobby or personal website, but when it comes to your business, we believe that custom WordPress theme development is the way to go. Here’s why.

For starters, we’ll assume that you’re looking for a Content Management System (CMS) so that you can update website content quickly and easily, without the help of a web developer. And in most cases, WordPress is the CMS of choice. While it may not be the right fit for every business, WordPress is the overwhelming market leader among CMS platforms and has been the most popular CMS for seven years running. WordPress accounts for 43% of all websites on the internet and 62% of all websites that use a CMS. Their closest competitor is Shopify, with just a 5.4% market share. WordPress simply offers the most robust CMS platform you can find, to get your site up and running quickly and effectively.

Next up is choosing or building a theme – the front-end design of the website, which your users will see and interact with. Because of WordPress’s overwhelming popularity, you will find a ton of free or very affordable pre-built themes to choose from. But buyer beware – all themes are not created equal. Poor design can lead to visitor confusion and usability issues. And poor development can lead to errors and security problems. If you do opt for an off-the-shelf theme, at least be sure you’re buying from an established provider who will be around to update and patch the theme as needed, and to provide support over the expected lifespan of your website.

But even the best pre-built themes can suffer from code bloat, because they need to be adaptable to many different types of businesses. Because they have to be all things to all people, off-the-shelf themes tend to include way more features than a single business ever needs, which slows down the website’s loading time. And they often include visual builders, which are touted for their ease of use, but actually come with a substantial learning curve and code bloat of their own.

So to harness the benefits of WordPress and the professionalism of custom design, without the worry of buggy code or slow performance, we highly recommend a custom theme that is designed and built around your specific business.

Let’s break down the top 5 reasons that a custom theme is the best option for helping your business succeed online:


1. Unique Design Helps Your Brand Stand Out

You put a lot of time and thought into your brand and your business, so why choose a generic template that is being used by many other businesses – maybe even your competitors? Custom design helps convey your brand’s unique character and is built around your messaging and your product or service offerings. You’re probably competing with hundreds or thousands of other websites, and you have mere minutes (or seconds) to make an impression on your visitors. If you want to stand out and be remembered, custom design is the way to go.


2. Optimized Features Provide Faster Loading Time

A custom theme includes all the features you want, and none of the features you don’t. This leads to faster loading time, which is crucial for capturing your visitors’ attention and even has SEO benefits. CloudFlare recently shared some impressive statistics about how decreasing load time by even just 100 milliseconds can lead to an increased conversion rate and a decreased bounce rate. There is also evidence that slow-loading websites get crawled less frequently by Google, and are ranked lower in search engine results.


3. Better Usability Promotes Better Content Management

As mentioned above, visual editors have grown in popularity over the past several years. They provide tremendous flexibility for managing your content and how it gets displayed, but they also come with a steep learning curve. Many clients opt for these visual builders but then end up outsourcing their content management anyway due to lack of time, frustration with usability, or fear of messing things up. While custom themes can include visual builders for clients who want to use them, they can also be built to allow website managers to simply copy/paste plain text and select the images they want, while all of the layout and styling is handled automatically on the front end. And when content updates are easier and faster, you’re more likely to keep your website content updated, and keep your visitors engaged with fresh information.


4. A Unique Code Base Reduces Security Concerns

Unfortunately, the most commonly used themes and plugins are the biggest targets for hackers. So it stands to reason that custom themes come with less risk than widely-used options like Elementor or Divi. It’s simply easier for hackers to target the big players, hoping to breach a small percentage of their users. But unless there’s something extraordinarily valuable behind your firewall, it’s just not worth their time trying to find a way into your custom site.

While we’re on the topic, some people point to WordPress’s market dominance as a security threat, in itself. Large players are large targets, after all. It’s a fair point, but the good news is that WordPress also has lots of people working hard to protect it. There are many good (and even free) security plugins that can greatly reduce your risk. Beyond that, statistics show that most websites aren’t breached due to vulnerabilities inherent in the core, but due to out-of-date software and weak passwords. Use a good security plugin and keep all of your website software updated, and you can greatly reduce your risk. Hackers always prefer an easy target.


5. Local Agencies Provide Better Customer Service

When you have an urgent update or a problem with your live site, would you rather pick up the phone and have a direct conversation with the local agency that knows you, your business, and your website – or submit a ticket to your theme provider and get in line with all of their other customers, waiting for a response for 24 hours or more? No matter how well-built your website is, there will almost certainly be days where you face some type of urgent technical challenge. Those days turn out much better when you have that established relationship with a local agency and you know they have your back when you need it most.


Want to learn more? Reach out to us with questions about custom WordPress themes or any other web-related project you have in mind. PixelPeople is here for you!

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