Pros and Cons of using Commercial WordPress Themes

By February 21, 2015 Web Design, Website Design, Wordpress

The popularity of WordPress in recent years has sparked an industry of its own in the designing and developing of WordPress themes. Some designers are making a living selling WordPress themes online through several key marketplaces. While these themes can be useful for some websites, they can also be responsible for some fundamental errors that may affect your website.

Off the shelf WordPress themes from websites like ThemeForest, WooThemes and CreativeMarket are often used to quickly build a WordPress website for start up businesses or where budget is tight. While that may seem on the surface to be a reasonable proposition there are issues that are present at deeper levels.

Rapid Development

One of the significant benefits of using existing WordPress themes is that you can literally have a new website up and running in a matter of hours. This can be well suited to low cost and low value websites where a quick solution is required.

To develop a custom well crafted and tailored WordPress theme a more significant investment is required in both time and cost.

Website Design

Generally speaking, the design of a website based upon a commercial WordPress theme will carry similar characteristics to others using the same theme. In fact, they can look very similar given their template nature. While this may not be a major concern, the commercialization of WordPress themes is beginning to be quite obvious online.

It is common for people to now easily identify which theme a website is using. The question here to consider is this: does spending $70 on your website design portray value of your own brand?

Search Engine Optimisation

WordPress has some pretty decent SEO capabilities right out of the box and they can be enhanced with some very well made plugins. A real issue that we have experienced with some commercial WordPress themes is that they try to cater for everyone and for every circumstance.

What this translates to is that they contain a stack of functionality and additional plugins that you may not require. This results in multiple CSS files and a plethora of Javascript files that bloat the HTML code, slow down load times, move the important content lower in the page and ultimately affect your SEO.

With a custom theme you can control exactly how may CSS and JS files are loaded so you define how fast your WordPress site will load and how well it will perform.


A number of the popular premium WordPress themes contain a selection of additional plugins to provide other functions. The more plugins that are installed can increase your exposure to risk from vulnerabilities in the code.

Our preference is to install only the bear minimum to achieve your website’s main objectives and in order to reduce risk and increase site load speed. The old adage that less is more really does relate the website development. Less plugins means less chance of being exposed to hacking attempts.

In summary, WordPress ready made themes certainly have their place. They are great for low cost, low value websites but care should be exercised when basing a serious business upon them,