Use a WordPress theme or build from scratch?

Posted December 6, 2021

Out of the box, WordPress comes with a couple of predesigned themes, which nobody with any self respect uses. Sorry for being blunt. To make a nice website, you need more than that.

You can go and buy some very nice themes, which good. These can be pretty cheap, and you can be up and running in no time. But there are a couple of caveats to doing it this way. First of all not all themes are built for fast load speed, and secondly you’re in the hands of the theme builder. Is the theme still being updated? If not, it will likely break sooner or later when a new version of WordPress comes out.

A better way to build a site is with a fast base theme, such as GeneratePress,  and use a page builder such as Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder etc. In our house we use both Elementor and Divi, but prefer Elementor as it’s geared more towards customization, where Divi is focused more on prebuilt layouts. Over time Divi has also become a bit bloated and not as streamlined as Elementor. This might of course change, and Elementor might end up being bloated as well.

If you’re building an ecommerce site, selecting a theme focused on this is advantageous as Elementor and Divi are weak on this point. It will require quite a bit of m a manual coding to layout the cart, checkout and account pages to make them look good. Instead we would recommend WooCommerce’s own Storefront theme which is specifically built for this purpose.

With Elementor (or Divi) you can build the website visually with only a minimal amount of coding involved. Many people are using Elementor to built a site from scratch without having a pre-defined layout first. You can use it either way – having the design done beforehand by a designer, who creates the layout in photoshop, or you can play around and built it without having a predefined layout.

In our experience how to do it depends on the site of the website. If you’re creating a small website with a page or two, you can do that without having it designed first. However, if you’re building a larger site, such as an ecommerce site, we do recommend having it designed first, to ensure there is a coherent layout throughout the website and on all pages. Otherwise the website builder will also have to spend a lot of time while building each page to make sure the layout is coherent.

Rarely would we recommend using a prebuilt theme, as we feel the downsides are too big. But there are many ways to accomplish what you’re after, and it all depends on timeframe, budget and future plans.

Integrating Shopify and Amazon – why you should do it
In the world of e-commerce, one thing is certain: You need to make your products ...
Google Analytics is not as reliable as it used to be
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing website traffic, but it’s important ...
Why you should use CloudFlare – and what is it?
CloudFlare is what is known as Content Delivery Network – or CDN for short. So ...
Your website speed matters
Do you know how fast your website loads? Does it matter? More than you think. ...

Contact us

Have an idea a problem a question a project in mind?

What are you trying to achieve?

Let us know what you have in mind, and let’s see what we can do.

Need to solve or improve an IT problem? Let’s have a chat.

Have an existing site you need refreshed? Let’s look at it.

Is your website performing horribly? We can fix that.

Talk to us.