WordPress Theme Development

Custom Theme Development vs. Premium Themes

The theme is the look and feel of your website as well as the branding of your business. This post will discuss custom WordPress theme development vs. Premium themes and the pros and cons of each


Custom WordPress Theming

If you are familiar with front-end website technologies, i.e., CSS, Sass, HTML and Javascript, Bootstrap, and base themes such as underscores or UnderStrap, custom theme development may be the be

tter option.

If time does not permit you to do your own theming or development, then 

working with a skilled developer might be a better option for creating a unique site that perfectly reflects your brand and meets all of your specific needs.

Use a base theme as a starting point to building a custom theme to prevent the need to re-inventing the wheel and doing many time-consuming tasks to get to the starting point.

Understrap and Understrap-child themes are great examples of base themes to develop professional themes.

Premium Themes

Premium themes are a great way to build a beautiful, professional-looking website if you

 are unfamiliar with the front-endfront-end technologies mentioned in the previous section.


themes come with the most commonly used features of modern website

s, such as jumbotrons, Headers, sidebars, boxes, tables, columns, menus, and just about any part you want to add to your website. Just point and click or drag and drop the feature you want to where you want it on your website.

No coding or special skills are required.

There is a cost associated with Premium themes, and ther

e is still a learning curve to become proficient in building a piece, which can be very time-consuming.

Why would premium theme developers offer free themes?

Premium theme developers want you to be familiar with them if you ever require a more advanced theme with more features tailored to your business needs.

Free Themes

Free themes are another option. Premium theme developers typically develop free themes with typical features of similar businesses types.

One downside of free themes is that they are often not as feature-rich as premium themes. The free theme may not give you a look and feel you were hoping for, and down the road, you may see features on

other websites that you would like on yours but isn’t available for that theme.

Finally, free themes may include links to the developer’s site and branding somewhere on the site that could be confusing to your customers. While this is not necessarily bad, it can be annoying if you prefer not to have these features on your site.

Free themes can be a good option if you are on a tight budget and willing to sacrifice some features


So, which option is right for you?

It comes down to skill level, time, and budget. If you are skilled at theming and have the time to develop your theme, you’ll probably want to create a custom theme. Another option is to hire a professional theme developer to do the work for you.

If you don’t have the skills but the time, a premium theme might be the best option.

A free theme might be a good starting point if you don’t have skills, time, or the budget. You can always upgrade your theme in the future when your budget permits.

Pros & Cons

Custom and premium themes

 give you an advantage over the other with the final result; it is just a matter of the development process. Ultimately it comes down to your skill level, budget, and what is best for your specific project.


If you want a unique design tailored to your specific brand, then custom theme development is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option that still offers a great design and a wide range of features, then a premium theme might be the better option. A free theme may be a good starting point if you don’t have the skills, time, or budget.

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