If you’re considering a WordPress theme for your business websites, it’s imperative to know what you’re getting into. Many business owners have turned to a free or paid WordPress template to save the cost of professional web design, only to end up completely overwhelmed.
You could be opening a Pandora’s box of risk and uncertainty. What most people don’t realize is paid WordPress themes aren’t always user-friendly or intuitive. If using one, you’ll have to step away from running your business and divert significant amounts of time and energy to learning new technology and figuring out how to adjust that theme to fit your business needs. The WordPress template you get could contain shoddy code and feature bloat that cuts into your revenue and drags your attention away from your business.
Before you go down the winding road of purchasing and installing a WordPress theme, we’d like to help by pointing out 13 potential pitfalls. We’ll show you how to avoid wasting time and money and get a WordPress website that looks stunning and grows your business online.
- Custom Website or Paid Template?
- You’re The Admin Now
- Installation, Setup and Hosting
- Built For the Masses
- Feature Overload
- Website Speed and Performance
- Bad Coding Practices
- Limited Support
- Not Always Extendable
- Required Plugins, Manual Updates
- Lack of Continued Development
- The Lock-In Effect
- Rarely Like the Demo
1 Custom Website or Paid Template?
If you buy a paid WordPress theme, you might never have a website that looks like the preview implies. There are over 45 million results on Google for the search phrase ‘WordPress theme not like demo). This should concern you.
Paid WordPress themes are cheap and they come with a lot of bells and whistles, but they can be extremely complex and frustrating. You may think you’re purchasing something that will help your business grow, but you could be opening a Pandora’s box of risk and uncertainty.
WordPress template previews are designed to sell. Why waste your money on a WordPress theme with bloated code and unnecessary features? Why waste your time, risking uncertainty and frustration on a website that may never turn out like you hoped?
A paid WordPress template could get you in over your head and leave you with a site that devalues your business. Your business and your brand deserve a solution built around your needs. Many paid themes lead to headache and dissatisfaction.
When you choose Stoodeo instead, you get a website that causes your business to thrive without all that hassle.
2 You’re The Admin Now
Let’s imagine for a minute you do choose a paid WordPress theme. New technology always comes with a learning curve. As your website’s new administrator, you’ll be responsible for everything. If you’re a quick learner with good technical skills, it’s still reasonable to expect to spend several hours just finding your way around.
To get started, you could familiarize yourself with the dashboard, figure out what plugins you need and learn how to add and edit pages. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Page builder tools are third-party plugins WordPress theme authors integrate to achieve the theme’s look and feel, and they can be extremely difficult to learn.
There’s no one to call if you need help. When you get stuck, your WordPress theme website will be at a standstill until you figure out how to solve the problem or learn to live with less-than-desirable results. Is that what you want for your business and your time?
3 Installation, Setup and Hosting
Paid WordPress themes make it sound like installation and setup just takes a few clicks, but almost always that’s not the case. Sure, purchasing a WordPress blog or WordPress eCommerce theme starts with paying for it and downloading the product just like you’d expect. Then things get complicated.
Installation and theme configuration isn’t always easy. WordPress theme documentation and instructions often require extensive background knowledge and take time to decipher. Also, WordPress and all other content management systems are designed to run on a web server. Which means you’ll have to set up a web server environment before you can even get started.
Let’s face it, you have more pressing roles than that of “server administrator.” You can avoid all that hassle. Our website packages come with the peace of mind that comes with letting us take care of everything. Plus, we’re here 24/7 to keep your WordPress website working around the clock to grow your business.
4 Built For the Masses
The WordPress themes you’re looking at might appeal to you because they resemble other websites you like, but that’s actually a problem. A look-alike WordPress template website keeps your business from standing out. Your customers can’t see how your business is unique, so they usually choose a business that is.
Paid WordPress themes are built to appeal to the widest possible range of audiences. WordPress designers market their theme to tens of thousands of businesses. Your website looks generic when you use one. If you want to stand out and grow your business, a website from Stoodeo is the only way to go.
The goal for WordPress theme designers is to sell as many themes as possible, not convert your website’s visitors into leads. You need to decide — do you want something handcrafted that reaches your unique business goals, or something that offers unlimited features to the masses?
5 Feature Overload
WordPress theme authors stuff templates with every unnecessary feature imaginable. That makes it hard to find the features you really need. The time spent can leave you overwhelmed and frustrated.
Since you can’t call someone for help, you spend hours clicking through menus looking for something that may or may not be buried in the haystack. The shiny bells and whistles that once dazzled become an obstacle to getting the website your business needs.
6 Website Speed and Performance
Search engines and visitors expect your website to have lightning-fast performance, and if it doesn’t they leave. Those once attractive features now have a negative effect on page speed, load times and performance.
Compare that to our websites, which are handcrafted, with everything you need and nothing you don’t. We benchmark, stress-test and optimize for mobile performance. That’s especially important now that Google has implemented a mobile-first algorithm that considers your website’s mobile version as its primary version. It’s more important than ever to have optimal speed and load times, or your search engine ranking could drop and you lose visitors.
7 Bad Coding Practices
If you install a WordPress theme with bloated code on your website, it can seriously harm your businesses ranking on search engines. Bad coding practices affect page speed, how your website ranks and whether customers even find your business or go to your competitor.
Often, the coding practices used in many WordPress themes are quite terrible. They can create vulnerabilities that leave your website open to hackers. You really don’t know what you’re receiving until you’ve already paid for it. Once you complete your transaction, you get what you get.
8 Limited Support
Imagine you actually make it through setup and your website goes live. Your WordPress theme seems to be working for you, then something breaks. There’s no way for customers to find you or to access your website. You now have a major problem that costs you money every hour it drags on.
Most WordPress theme developers are overseas, often in third-world countries. English isn’t their first language, sometimes it isn’t even their second. Your only options are to search for help on forums or submit a help ticket. You may or may not get an answer, and if you do it will take a while. It’s not unusual to take a week to resolve a single, simple issue.
Communication frequently breaks down. Support staff are well known to simply brush off your appeal for help as a customization request, leaving you with a broken site and nowhere to turn. You shouldn’t have to take valuable time and attention away from your business to deal with the frustrations of a paid WordPress theme.
9 Not Always Extendable
What happens if, in the future, you need a feature that didn’t come with your WordPress theme? You can’t extend many themes beyond the features and functionality they come with. There’s no guarantee added functionalities will be compatible with your template.
In fact, they could even break it. Sure, there may be WordPress plugins you can add, but you’ll be responsible for finding, implementing and maintaining those plugins that don’t do more damage than good.
When we build a custom WordPress website for a client, it comes with extensibility options, managed implementation and maintained performance. With Stoodeo, you skip the frustration of building your website and go to the front of the line when it comes to online business growth.
10 Required Plugins, Manual Updates
Once your website goes live, your work isn’t over if you’re using a WordPress theme. Almost every WordPress design requires you to install third-party plugins, and each of them requires regular updating. When developers discover problems that endanger site function or security, they issue a patch, a way to fix the problem. If you don’t apply that patch, your website is vulnerable.
If your paid WordPress theme bundles in a paid plugin, which they often do, it will cost you additional money and manual time to license and update that plugin. If you don’t pay extra to license and update this required plugin, it’s like skipping maintenance on any other piece of technology – you’re just asking for something bad to happen. Neglected updates create vulnerable websites and make easy targets for hackers.
There’s a way to save your money, your website and your time. Stoodeo mitigates this risk by handling updates for you with all our website packages.
11 Lack of Continued Development
You could easily end up with a paid WordPress theme website the developer no longer supports or updates. Many WordPress templates aren’t guaranteed to have support in the future. They all have a shelf life. Once sales slow, developers are known to pull support and move on to the next project.
At that point, you’ve lost your time, effort and investment. Eventually, you could have to start over when your website becomes outdated and vulnerable.
12 The Lock-In Effect
The lock-in problem is when a user is forced to continue using a theme because their data would be lost to them if they switched to another theme. Don’t become a victim of the WordPress theme lock-in effect. A WordPress theme determines the look and feel of your site, while plugins allow you to do more with it. The problem is, many themes offer customization options that should actually be plugins. If you decide to change themes, you could lose image galleries, custom posts and other data you worked hard to create.
Either you do it all over again in the new theme or you switch back to the original one. You’re locked in, as there’s often no simple way to migrate to another theme.
With Stoodeo, your data and content are always yours. If you ever decide to move your website to another provider or platform, we’ll always help you make that move.
13 Rarely Like the Demo
Imagine you purchase this great looking WordPress theme, expecting to get right to work creating your website. You activate your theme and click to customize. Then you stare at your screen in confusion.
It looks nothing like the demo, not even a little. You start clicking through menu options, but nothing there helps you create what you thought you were getting. You expected to see the building blocks to make a website. It’s more like you get the individual components for the building blocks, and they’re hidden in strange places with names you don’t know.
The sad truth is, 90 percent of paid WordPress theme implementations never look as polished or as good as the demo. It takes extensive technical knowledge and an extreme time commitment for it to look like the preview. Unless you have plenty of money and time to throw at it, you’re left with empty spaces on your website and an incomplete, unbalanced look you might be embarrassed to claim.
A Custom Website and Your Business
You need a business website that engages and delights your customers, then compels them to choose you. A paid WordPress theme could leave you frustrated and disappointed with a website that’s bloated, slow and vulnerable to attack.
At Stoodeo, we believe your business is worth more than this. We’ve helped numerous clients like you get WordPress websites that skyrocket revenue and avoid all the headache that comes with a WordPress theme. Let’s talk about creating a custom website for your business.
Schedule a free consultation online or call us now at (903) 871-5170.