What is a Theme, Custom vs. Off-the-Shelf


WordPress’ popularity in the blogosphere and even the World Wide Web today has made it a household name for users, bloggers and web developers across the world. Because of its position as a top web publishing platform, most of websites you visit today is powered by WordPress.

Every website powered by WordPress comes in many different shapes and sizes, designs and user experience. That is because WordPress offers thousands of free themes, and the number of third party premium WordPress themes developed by people around the world is amazingly more than that.

There’s also developers who specialize in building customized WordPress themes. These are very unique, highly personalized and greatly branded themes that are built for a specific personal or business needs.

There are certain advantages and disadvantages in using Off-the-Shelf and Custom WordPress themes and these play a critical role in the decision-making process. It’s always important to learn about these pros and cons in order to make a learned decision.


Pros Cons
They are ridiculously cheap, no doubt about that! You wouldn’t know how good it is until you scrutinize and test.
They are designed to be responsive so they work best with mobile phones and tablets.


You won’t be able to try it unless you buy it. That said, you’ll have to spend money before you can set it up and test.
There are a thousand available themes to choose from and get some inspiration! Sometimes, it takes a lot of time, effort and money to set up and customize. In addition, after hours of customization, it might take you a lot more to troubleshoot if you run into problems.
There’s no coding required since it’s already built and pre-made. Upon installation of the theme, your site design is built. Some themes are very well support while some are not.
You can also build a website from scratch using an Off-the-Shelf theme It will require to have some skills and knowledge as well as preparation around imagery and artwork if you plan to build it or customize.


Pros Cons
Highly branded and you can maximize your branding according to your needs and requirements. It is costly and expensive.


You get an expert or a team of experts to build the theme for you based on your specifications. It takes a lot of time. Usual build time runs for a month or up to 3 months.
There’s a lot of testing performed before launching so you can ensure that all areas are tested for bugs and faults.