The Benefits of Custom WordPress Development
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The Benefits of Custom WordPress Development

A website is the front door to your business. That’s why the design and development process needs to be treated with the same attention to detail you give to your business everyday.

Creating a look and feel that aligns with your brand messaging is the start, but it’s oftentimes missed when brands go with cookie cutter website builders.

True creativity and brand expression come to those who think outside the box, especially when it comes to web design. WordPress is undoubtedly a titan in the website design space, but many business owners don’t utilize the platform to its full potential.

By ditching the premade themes and going with a custom WordPress website design, brands can reap the benefits of a better user experience (UX), improve SEO rankings, and an overall better looking website.

What is WordPress Custom Development?

Custom WordPress themes are intended to fit the needs of the specific business.

While WordPress has a number of generic pre-made themes covering different website niches, like “small business websites,” “marketing agencies,” and “consultants,” there are limitations to how you can customize these to fit your brand.

WordPress Custom themes vs Generic themes

Custom WordPress development services build websites that are unique to the brand. Everything is customized, from graphic designs to site organization and file storage. Not to mention having a mobile-friendly custom designed website.

A custom WordPress designer works closely with brand decisionmakers to ensure that the brand’s voice is properly articulated. These themes will be constructed according to the specs provided and will use the fewest possible plugins to improve page speed—a big difference between custom and pre-made.

It is to your advantage to have as few plugins as possible running on your website. When you update WordPress Core and your website is running a new version, the rest of your site has to be compatible with the new version in order for everything to function normally. It is also a lot simpler to have a custom WordPress developer working for you from the start. If you hire a custom designer after the site is already published they will be out of the loop as far as how the site was initially designed.

Each company is different and needs to have a website that reflects this. Individuality is a key reason to hire a custom WordPress developer. You will get access to a one-of-a-kind website that is customized to your business and will provide you a platform for achieving your brand goals. This could be a local service business who is looking for a few local pages, or it could be a large custom eCommerce website that wants to make the shopping and payment process as smooth as possible.

Plugins are another area where customization is useful. Although many premade plugins are popular and effective, WordPress custom plugins can fill gaps where those plugins fall short. A custom plugin can be developed to address specific brand website needs, whether it’s a proprietary feature, a custom form, or a special widget to improve the user experience.

Made for Speed

Custom designers will help you craft a website experience that addresses the needs of your target audience, rather than the needs of the masses. One of the biggest components of this is page speed.

graphic showing perfect page speed score

Page speed is a critical factor that can lead to better rankings and higher conversions, but when it’s slow the results are downright damaging. Many premade themes appear fast initially, but as soon as you add more content to your site things slow to a crawl. Custom WordPress designs protect against the bloat that leads to slow load times. Developers can use just the right amount of code to make the site functional without the bloat that comes with pre-made themes.

Having a custom WordPress development professional in your corner is a huge asset. Not only will they safeguard your site against common pitfalls, they can provide ongoing maintenance to ensure your platform stays up to date.

Custom Websites Aren’t Just for Large Brands

It’s not only S&P 500 companies that deserve custom-made websites. You deserve it too!

A custom WordPress site is an ideal solution for any brand who needs a website designed to fit their needs. Not only are custom sites affordable, they provide many critical benefits you can’t simply get from a pre-made template.

You might be asking, “is a custom WordPress website really for me?” The answer is simple. If you are planning to build any sizable web presence—anything larger than a single landing page or brochure-style site—you should consider a custom design as your best solution.

Custom sites are better equipped to handle increases in traffic and their proprietary nature makes it simple to adjust coding as needed. Brands can easily make design changes to reflect changes in branding, plus they can add pages when new products or services are introduced.

tailored suit analogy

It’s akin to buying a tailored suit versus something off the rack. The latter might work out “okay” but a specifically designed look will always win the day.

Advantages to a Custom WordPress Site for a Small Business

Even if your business operates in a small local market, you can truly outshine the competition with a custom website design.

You might think that having less competition means you can get by with a premade theme. In some cases that may be true, but think about it another way… 

If you create a specific website that answers your local customers’ pain points, you will really knock out the ‘near me’ competition. Most local business sites don’t reap the benefits of custom designs, and the result is cookie cutter and stale.

It’s especially important to consider a custom theme if you plan on expanding to other markets. As your business expands, your website will grow. There will be more location pages, service pages, and website files to manage. Not to mention way more traffic

You need a custom designer who can help you expand your website hassle-free, without giving you unfortunate dips in page speed or negative UX.

Custom WordPress Themes vs. Templates

When it comes to website speed and responsiveness, there are certain boxes that must be checked before a website can be considered successful.

Sure, there are several amazing pre-made themes available. Many of them look great out of the box. But the downside is performance.

A lot of these ready-made themes are not suited for performance on mobile devices. Since mobile friendliness is a chief ranking factor on Google and more than half of online searches are conducted on mobile devices, it’s pretty important that brands keep tabs on their mobile speed scores.

Many pre-made themes come with a large number of features that you do not need, plain and simple. As a result, they come with excess code that is not required, which may cause your website’s performance to suffer.

Having too much, or unnecessary code, is akin to inviting 5 people over for a dinner party and cooking enough food for 20. It’s a waste of time and resources, and the majority of that food goes bad. Same thing with your website.

Unused code just sits there like dead weight on your pages causing slow load times and a bad user experience.

If you want a website that performs well, you should limit yourself to just include the features and capabilities that are absolutely necessary. In most cases, the best results are achieved by using a bespoke, custom theme built from the ground up.

Advantages of Premade WordPress Templates

Premade WordPress templates are celebrated for their convenience above all else. Just about anyone can download a theme and launch a brand new website in minutes. It doesn’t require any in-depth coding knowledge or development experience to get things up and running.

WordPress also comes with a lot of high-quality free plugins that can enhance your website even further. These range from the ever popular Yoast SEO plugin to Elementor which is a free site builder.

examples of WordPress free plugins

If your website is not the foundation of your business, premade themes might be the way to go. Especially if you’re just launching a single landing page or promoting one product. Maybe you’re marketing a course on a different platform and you just need a one-page lander for your ads campaign, or you are a social media influencer who relies predominantly on their social following. Beyond these use cases, the majority of brands will benefit from building a custom WordPress site over a premade theme.

The Hidden Costs of Premade Templates & Themes

Despite thinking that a premade site may seem straightforward and cost effective, it can actually prove to be the opposite. Even though there might be a lower upfront cost compared to custom development, site owners could end up having to spend more money on improvements over the long term.

Page speed and lack of responsiveness are two of the biggest issues plaguing premade themes. This makes these sites more prone to rankings losses and dips in traffic. The ultimate solution is to hire a WordPress developer to fix these pitfalls, which you might as well do from the start.

Although they’ve gotten better over the past ten years, pre-made themes still aren’t on par with well-designed custom WordPress themes.

If price tag is your main motivation, don’t be fooled by the seemingly cheaper premade themes. It could end up costing you a fortune over the long haul.

How WordPress Evolved Above The Competition

Some might be asking, “why WordPress?” Well, WordPress was able to surpass its competitor Blogspot (another prominent site building platform) and grow from a site builder that was popular among amateur content creators to one that could be used in a more professional capacity by businesses and organizations ranging in size.

WordPress was able to make a name for itself largely because of its customizability and how streamlined it is. Competitors like Blogspot were unable to compete with the array of features offered by WordPress to the development community.

This is one of the reasons why we insist on custom WordPress development over pre-made designs. We believe that the customizability options are where WordPress truly stands out from the rest.

Custom Developed WordPress Sites vs. Page Builders

Aside from themes, there’s the topic of ongoing design work. Determining if it’s better to use a page builder like Elementor, or have a custom WordPress developer handle all of your content updates and on-page changes.

It comes down to two key areas, responsiveness and customizability.

Custom WordPress Sites vs. Page Builders

Custom WordPress Sites vs. Page Builders: Responsiveness

Firstly, mobile responsiveness should be your guiding light. Custom designs perform better due to more precise coding practices.

The sheer presence of a page builder causes bloat on the website. Every element you add will force a hit to page speed and prevent the site from performing at optimum levels.

Custom WordPress Sites vs. Page Builders: Customizability

It’s not called a “custom” WordPress site for nothing. Custom WordPress sites are literally 100% customizable, allowing you to create and own any piece of new content that lives on the site. You can freely edit layouts, logos, banners, and colors accordingly without sacrificing responsiveness.

WordPress custom blocks are an additional advantage to custom web design. These Gutenberg blocks allow brands to create proprietary elements like sign-up forms and testimonial boxes that align with branding. 

Designers can stack modules for different elements of a web page, including the Header, Body, and Footer, which allows for further customization.

Functionality updates are another important piece of the puzzle. Many premade WordPress themes get outdated and don’t update on a regular basis to respond to new versions of the software. A custom developer can facilitate these updates as part of their ongoing maintenance process.

How Can I Find a Custom Theme That Works Best for My Brand

Launching a custom WordPress theme begins by hiring a professional WordPress development team to show you the way. Whether you need a local service business website or an eCommerce store, there are custom WP solutions that will fit your needs.

Your site deserves to be unique and emblematic of your business. From logos to color schemes, images to fonts, and everything in between, a custom design will help your brand tell its story clearly and succinctly.

Let our team of talented WordPress designers help you express your brand the right way. Our ongoing maintenance will help ensure that your site remains live and thriving for the long-term.

Learn how Blue Laser Digital is your go-to resource for a custom made website using WordPress that’s affordable and aesthetically pleasing.

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