Read this before you try a free website theme for WordPress

Armed with these 5 questions, we’ll save you a lot of heart-ache, time and trial & error.

If you Google “Website themes for WordPress” you will literally find millions of results. 

There are huge collections of pre-made website themes online which are free or available for about fifty bucks.  Whilst they can be a good option for some websites or a personal travel blog, there are a few lessons we’d like to share with you, before you try a pre-made theme for yourself.

One of the common misconceptions is that pre-made website themes will be fast to build (and cheap)! 

Whilst they can save time on the design of pages and individual elements, you still have to customise the template to suit your unique brand point and insert the content you want to share with your customers. 

And yes.

It is possible to ‘Do It Yourself’ but be prepared to spend many hours learning ‘how to implement the theme’ and ‘how to insert your content’ into the website. 

This can be a massive time-trap, as a mate of ours experienced when attempting his own DIY website. Inevitably, your site will also be missing several crucial features like optimisation for Google (otherwise known as SEO) and undoubtedly, it will be slow loading without any suitable image compression.

To help avoid the pitfalls of a pre-made website theme for WordPress, it is important to ask the following questions when considering your options:

Can I customise this theme to suit my objectives?

Pre-made themes can be very inflexible to any design flair or style changes you wish to add. They’re called a ‘template’ for a reason, so more often than not, they’re rigid and inflexible to any serious changes. 

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Which website builder does the theme use? And it is easy to learn?

The rigidity of most templates is further compounded by the fact they might be designed to suit one particular ‘website builder.’  In itself, this is a whole other rabbit hole to explore. 

But let’s just say, there are hundreds of website builder’s available for WordPress and many of them are outdated, clunky or unsupported, without any online help.

Put plainly, many just suck!

Choosing the wrong theme can force you into the purchase of a terrible old website builder that is awful to use and expensive in itself, to buy and maintain. 

However, choosing a theme that is linked to a modern, large, established builder like Elementor or Divi can set your up for success.  Conversely, these builders are easy to use and easy to learn, supported with online help services and flexible to unique design ideas and changes.

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Does the website theme fit my brand?

After searching for a while, you’re bound to find some nice-looking website themes.  But we really have to ask ourselves, “do they fit my brand?” 

After we remove the glossy photos and insert photos from your business, “will the pre-made theme still look just as nice?” 

And, “how will the theme look, with my corporate colours and fonts?”

We have found that most often, the allure of these pre-made themes, is the bold imagery and uber-cool colours; which do not necessarily suit the persona of a normal business.

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Hand’s down, a bespoke website that adopts your company brand, is faster to build and easier to customise, than trying to bend a pre-made template to represent your brand and image.

Does my offering fit this theme?

After we look past the initial allure of the big images & bright graphics, we also have to ask ourselves “does my company ‘fit’ this website?” 

We need to look at the pages, headings and sections of the template, to see if we’re really going to be able to fill the website.  We also have to consider if the structure of the template is too large and complicated for a smaller business.

If we only have a small offering, will this theme still work or will it be confusing to your customers?

Do I have enough content to fill this theme?

Finally, we must consider that most pre-made themes rely on us having at least 6 pre-written blog posts, stories or project portfolio items in order to work correctly. 

At the very least, we need to be prepared with this amount of content and 10 – 20 high quality photos to match.

To ensure you look like a ‘real business’ when done, 12 or 20 post would be ideal.

As they say “content is king.”

Content helps you connect with customers on a deeper, emotional level; as people buy people (they know).

Without investing enough energy into creating meaningful content, your website might look like a fake business or a soulless placeholder, that doesn’t connect with potential customers.

Hopefully, armed with these five questions, we might save you a lot of heart-ache, time and trial and error with your WordPress theme. 

However, if you’re still convinced that you’d like to try a pre-made template, we recommend these pre-made themes & templates by Elementor.  This is a small batch of themes we know and trust to get the job done very well.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your ideas or pre-made website themes for WordPress.

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