WordPress: Custom or commercial theme?

When it comes to building or redesigning a WordPress website, choosing the right base theme is a crucial decision. The theme sets the foundation for the website's design flexibility and functionality and has a significant impact on how you update and maintain your website in the future.

Using a commercially-available no-code theme from one of many online marketplaces offers flexibility and ease of use. These themes come with a wide range of pre-built features and options, allowing creative people to build a website without needing to write any code. However, these themes can also introduce additional bloat and dependencies, making upgrades more challenging.

One of the main issues with using no-code themes is that design choices are often buried within complicated user interfaces inside the WordPress admin. This can make it difficult for users to quickly find and recover design choices that may have been accidentally changed. Additionally, when these choices are stored in a database rather than in the code, which can make it even harder to find and fix any issues that may arise. This can make it difficult to maintain design consistency and can make it challenging to troubleshoot and fix any design issues that may occur. It also means that you lose the full benefits of code history and version control. This makes it harder to track changes and troubleshoot issues in the future.

An alternative approach is to build a custom theme, which can provide better control over design consistency and website performance. By building a custom design, you can create a website that looks and functions exactly as you envision it, tailored to the specific needs of your project. However, building a custom design can be more time-consuming and require more technical and design expertise. Moreover, updating the design or making sometimes even small design tweaks may require more technical expertise than using a commercially-available theme.

It's all about finding the right balance between design flexibility and consistency. While commercially-available themes can be a great option for those who want to create a website quickly and without needing to write any code, building a custom design may be the better choice for those who want more control over the functionality of their website and cosistency in design.

In any case, it's important to consider the long-term goals of the website and the resources that are available to maintain the website in the future. And, of course, consulting with a developer and designer can be extremely helpful in making the best decision for your project.

Of course, I'm happy to help!