Top 5 Reasons Why We Build Custom Themes
One of the strangest yet most obvious questions we get after we launch a client’s website is, “What theme did you use to build my website?” And our answer is usually fairly straightforward. “Yours. It’s custom.” This exchange usually leads us down a path of continued discussion of clarification of what we mean by “custom theme” or “Didn’t you start by using someone’s else’s theme?”
Like most things that have been marketed with an air of simplicity, website themes being no exception, we take a lot of pride in debunking these myths and celebrating the blood, sweat and tears that go into creating and building websites for our clients. Sure, we could purchase a whole mess of starter themes, let our clients choose the one that they like best and then populate it with their content. But that’s not why our clients come to Vendi and here’s the top 5 reasons why we build custom themes.
When we take on a website project, every client’s needs are different. Some need a lot control over their content. Others want a content-rich experience with a lot of automation. For others, their website is their entire business. As easy as it would be to pick out a pre-created theme and slap the client’s logo on it and change some colors, that theme is never going to meet all of the client’s or users’ needs. There always will be shortcomings, and by crafting a custom theme from the ground up, we can match up our client’s goals to the website experience both on the front-end and back-end. We make sure that the client’s website is guiding their users to the information they want. By designing and developing a custom theme, we’re giving focus to the website.
Along with giving a website focus, we have found that many, if not all, pre-created themes come with a lot of bloat. This usually comes in the form of some super awesome, do anything page crafter tool, three kinds of slideshows to leverage or a dashboard full of sliders to change every color instance and font size throughout the entire site. We’ve found that throwing the kitchen sink at a client and sending them off out into the internet ocean is not the answer. We listen to our clients and create themes that are not only slim on the front end but slim on the backend too. By reducing the amount of options our clients have and giving them the options they need, this makes for a much better experience in maintaining their site, while their visitors have a better experience too.
One major disadvantage of utilizing a pre-created theme is its inability to scale with our clients. I like to use the Jenga analogy when talking about using a pre-created theme. Typically when we inherit a pre-created theme or customize one, it’s like playing a game of Jenga. The initial code base is well packed and solid. But once we start moving things around or adding pieces on, that code base starts to get unstable real fast. Holes start to appear and certain dependencies within the theme start to create barriers for growth. We like to avoid playing this game and create themes that are solid from the outset and provide a solid foundation for growth. No need for finding that elusive “loose piece.”
I mentioned previously about certain dependencies that pre-created themes have. These dependencies are usually a part of all the super powerful, kitchen sink features these themes typically come with. However, they are implemented to work with certain versions of each other and that can and usually results in security risks. As security risks appear, these dependencies and the theme itself are left exposed due to an inability to be updated, leaving clients sometimes with no choice but to redo their website. At the pace in which security vulnerabilities appear, we build our themes with resources that are trusted, maintained and secure. We strive to ensure our themes will weather any future security storms and remain healthy for days to come.
I wanted to save the best reason for last. Pre-created themes are tightly spun, tightly designed, tightly coded and generic. That leaves little to no room for creativity on any front. Our clients come to us for something special, something that is uniquely them. By creating and building a custom theme, we can provide just that… something unique. Our designers get the flexibility to create designs to match our clients’ goals and vision. Our content creators can write without the limitations of pre-defined spaces. And our developers can code to fit the needs of design, content, front-end and back-end users. We get to work with our clients to find design, content and code solutions to best fit their needs to create the best experience possible.
So when you build your next website with us, know that your website is just that… yours.