WordPress is a great option for businesses because it is easy to use, easy to maintain and it is very easy to have a business website with a blog. All businesses need an affordable website and I totally understand this.
In the last few years I have seen millions of businesses buying WP templates online because they are cheap and instantly give businesses a decent looking website. However, there are some things that are missing with a template.
When you use a template you are not really creating a “unique” presence. I cannot tell you how many sites I have come across using the exact same theme. Sometimes you go back through your history to find something and can’t remember which site it was you were looking for because there is nothing unique or memorable to remind you.
When you spend the money to create a custom look you get to create something memorable for the visitor to remember. With custom you also get to choose aspects of the design that will meet the needs of your visitors and also integrate your personality into the design. Being unique is a good thing in life and also in online marketing.
Sometimes with templates you are not getting the clean code you should have. All designers have differently levels of experience and understanding of best practices. Templates can sometimes produce the worst code ever! If you must choose a template choose one carefully!
Often, if you choose a good designer/developer, the code of your site will be a lot cleaner and this is something you want. Clean code is better for the search engines and it is critical if you want your site to work on all browsers, and on mobile.
One other issue that arises often with templates is their coding interacts negatively with certain plugins. With clean code there is a lot less worry regarding plugins. Good developers can easily code in what you need (without interference with bad code) instead of using a plugin.
Anytime you have a website you want the ability to make decisions about everything. Here are some examples of things I want to have control of:
- How images are displayed
- Custom coding in sidebars
- The ability to change font sizes and colors
- Home page layout
- Page to page layouts
- Blog excerpt display control
- Blog page layout
- Footer displays
- Slider control – height, width, text, images, speed control, linking from images
- Contact form options
If you like things a certain way and you like the little details, keep in mind that often templates don’t give the control you might want to have. A customized site lets you choose what you want, how you want it and when you want things to look one way versus when you don’t.
I understand that many people don’t want to spend their money on a custom WP design (based on client experience), but I really don’t see how you can’t spend the money. The web is critical to the success of every business today. All businesses need to have a strong web presence based on areas served and their website needs to be strong.
All businesses need to be memorable and their website needs to create trust instantly. Websites must meet the needs of the user and this means that sites need to be customized to meet those needs.
No matter what kind of business you are in you need to find the money to invest in a solid website. If your budget is low start out with a template and save money monthly to go towards a solid, customized website. Believe me when a say that a strong website will pay off in the end. Just remember, you get what you pay for.
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