Custom WordPress Development v/s Pre-built WordPress Theme: Pros & Cons

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 30th July 2020

When it comes to building a website for your business, web design is an important consideration as that is what can make your company stand out from a pool of competitors. The fact remains that design is still uber important today.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, accounting for over 75 million websites, out of the 172 million active websites today. In other words, 35% of the internet is powered by WordPress. It’s not surprising. But that’s not what we are here to address. 
As a WordPress website owner, you namely have 2 choices. Do you opt for a WordPress theme or a custom web design? In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both so you can choose what’s best for your business.

Custom WordPress Website Development 

When you build a WordPress website from scratch, this is known as a custom website design. This is usually done by working with a professional web development agency. This requires a lot of technical knowledge about both front-end and back-end development and is a time-consuming process. Despite that, there are many pros such as it is much more customizable than a pre-built WordPress theme. If you have specific needs, a custom WordPress theme is probably the way to go.


  1. Greater Control  – Custom website development means that you can create a website as per your choice, budget and business requirement. You are in the driving seat of the website development process and have full control over which advanced functionalities or features to incorporate into your website.
  1. Higher Speed & Performance  – A Custom WordPress website loads faster. This is because the website is developed by professionals who follow clean coding practices with no hard-coded gaps. In turn, delivering fine-tuned websites that perform better in terms of speed and optimization. A custom-WordPress theme ensures that only the features you need are included in your theme. Optimized code means an overall faster website.
  1. Better Security- Custom websites can be built as a closed-source network. This means that your website is less vulnerable to security threats. In case there are any concerns after the launch of the website, it can be tackled quickly(owing to the developer’s technical know-how) without allowing it to disrupt the performance of the website. By using a few basic plug-ins for security, you can make your WordPress website secure from hackers.
  1. More SEO Friendly- A custom-built WordPress website is more search engine friendly than a pre-built WordPress website. This means that it can rank higher in search engines than the one built with templates using a WordPress CMS. This is very important for any business looking to generate leads. 


  1. Longer Development Time  – Every single element of your website has to be designed and coded from scratch. This is a time-consuming process as there is no ready-made template or blueprint to work off. The development time is very long compared to a pre-built WordPress theme. Even after the website is live, incorporating changes and customizing features will take additional time. 
  1. Expensive  – Building a website from scratch requires major technical expertise, right from the design, to the development. Businesses will have to hire web developers to do this. This can cost a lot of money. Moreover, even after the website is live, you will still have to pay for IT support to monitor your website and ensure there are no bugs or security lapses.

WordPress Development Using Ready-Made Themes


As the name suggests, a ready-made theme is a precoded template created specifically for the WordPress platform. There are both paid and free WordPress themes, to suit any budget and business needs. WordPress themes come equipped with a variety of features and customization options.


1. Cost Saving  – Pre Built WordPress themes will save you a lot of money compared to custom WordPress themes. You can buy pre-built themes anywhere from $40 – $65 on ThemeForest. It offers templates in varied price ranges, so you can always be sure to find something that suits your budget. Moreover, since the templates are readymade and require no manual work, you will save money otherwise paid to a designer or developer. 

2. Time-Saving  – Creating a website by the use of WordPress takes a shorter time compared to building it from scratch. This is because the CMS has already been developed and so you will have time to concentrate on content and design. If you are looking to get your website up and running quickly, then pre-built themes are a great option. You can get a theme running in about 2-3 weeks. 

3. Variety of Options  –  There is a plethora of themes available to choose from, themes for every industry and business. This can be a great starting point for your business. Moreover, the vast variety of plug-ins which allow you to build a high-performance website within a short period of time and with limited resources. Additionally, WordPress comes with a built-in blogging feature that allows you to easily set up and maintain a blog.


1. Risk of Security Breaches- WordPress lacks foolproof security features making it vulnerable to hackers. While the platform does its best to constantly update and upgrade its security features, the platform is still vulnerable to a cyber attack. 

2. Unnecessary Code– Pre-built themes are usually jammed packed with many features that you necessarily do not need. More the features, the more the code. This can impact your website’s speed as well as the overall look and feel of the site. 

3. Limited Functionalities and Design- When you buy a theme, you are buying a template which is pre-coded and pre-installed plug-ins, features and options. This means you are stuck with the pre-set design and a website that could look like a clone of many existing websites out there. There is very little scope of creativity and customization, hence making your website, one of many.

Which Design Option is Right for You?
Well, let me leave you with this illustration, which is quite self-explanatory and should help you make an informed decision. 

If you have decided to opt for a custom WordPress development services, don’t hesitate to buzz us, we would love to build a custom WordPress theme just for you.

Categories: Tech