The hidden costs of a WordPress theme

by Kelvin

The temptation to download a free or commercial WordPress theme is suitable for both professionals and beginners who want to create their own site. And it is easy to understand why. A theoretically rich theme can give your project a huge advantage. Faster development means it will be operational in a shorter time and you will have spent a fraction of the money.

And modern themes offer a wide range of customization options. For example, many page builders offer header / footer tools and countless pre-trained layouts. However, this is not always sufficient for a site with specific requirements.


There may be hidden costs for Pandora's Box (both time and money). It surprises many of us.

Take a moment to read this article before deciding on a topic. We will introduce you to the possible complications associated with the area, as well as some other items you may want to consider. It can save you a headache or two!

Don't believe the hype

It's easy to navigate through a WordPress theme and come to the conclusion that it's exactly what you need, or at least most of the way. However, you may not know if this is really the case until you start building your website.

Although there are a number of high-quality themes, it is just an easy flexibility that can be easily integrated. In other words, you can customize any look, but it may take a lot more effort than your first glance suggests.

For beginners and amateur designers, this can test the limits of your patience and determination. Many subjects promise that you can move mountains without "code". But at some point you may have to cross the invisible line in a code-laden nightmare.

Even professionals can be frustrated with the effort required to compel an individual to adhere to a particular vision. This may include overwriting templates in a child theme. This is good in practice, but it also leaves you open to possible future maintenance issues with major changes to the primary element.

The most important thing is that no topic can do absolutely nothing without the user having to make an effort. However, the items are not sold in this way. They give the impression that anyone who can click the mouse can perform all kinds of magical actions. This is more exaggeration than reality.

Assess the skills of a topic.

The reality is that if you are not ready to accept at least some sort of predetermined appearance and behavior, you will have to work. This often includes reading the documentation, searching the support forums, and many trial and error.

To put this in perspective, consider a typical theme settings panel (or WordPress Customizer if your theme uses it). Imagine everything available here by default for your theme. This may include but is not limited to page layouts, sidebar widgets, header and footer settings, fonts, and colors.

Now combine these elements with the functionality of the included page builder (or Gutenberg's standard block editor) and you should have a pretty good idea of ​​what you can achieve with relatively little effort.

Do you want to do more? Adding new features and characteristics can only be a matter of installing a plugin or hacking CSS. But it is not always so simple. Sometimes a very complicated theme is not compatible with all the plugins you want to use. And if you don't know CSS, that's another obstacle.

Consider alternatives

If a theme's default settings and tools don't deliver the results you want, it's time to look elsewhere. Among your options:

Find another topic

There may be another theme somewhere that does exactly what you want it to do. It could only be about finding him. However, given the variety of themes available, this can be challenging.

Fully DIY

Another option would be to search for a blank minimal element type that can start again in combination with a page generator.

Products like Beaver Builder (through the Beaver Builder theme) or Divi (through the all-in-one theme) come to mind. Basically they allow you to build from scratch. This may be easier than extracting and collecting an already created item.

Create a custom theme

Maybe that was what he was trying to avoid. However, there are situations when a custom WordPress theme is the best answer. It may cost more if you have to hire someone and take the time to get it right. However, the advantage is that you are more likely to get exactly what you are looking for.

Person touching a tablet screen.

Manage your expectations

In a way, WordPress themes are often marketed as the "amazing" products you see on TV. Some will claim to solve all your problems for a fraction of the cost of building something custom. But as with everything else, it is important to separate the conversation from reality.

This is not to prevent you from using prepared items. It's more about knowing what to expect by taking this step. Understand that the more you wait for your site, the more work it will take, whether it's a fantastic theme or not.

So if you see a topic that you like, do it. Just don't expect miracles.

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