Custom Website Design or Theme / Template WordPress Site?


Deciding on the Type of WordPress Website?

Before building your WordPress website, it’s essential to decide on an option that is more suitable for your business – a pre-built template or a custom website design.

Many businesses today already have a website in their niche, making it additionally hard to enter. However, even in today’s highly competitive market, having a unique and research-based website design can give your business an edge over the competition. One major mistake businesses make when creating their online presence is rushing into the WordPress website design process without taking the time to research their options properly.

Building a new website for your business can be challenging, but working with the right WordPress design developers can help you avoid mistakes your competitors usually make. However, before moving forward with the design and development process, you must evaluate what’s best for your website to ensure its success.


Which is the Better Option for your WordPress Website

Starting a new website or updating an existing one can be challenging. While most website owners prefer pre-built templates, choosing a custom-built WordPress website design could be a better option. But it all depends on many factors.

In this article, we’ll compare the difference between a custom-coded WordPress design and a pre-built template to help you choose the best option for your WordPress website. Whether you’re building a new website from scratch or redesigning an existing one, this article will provide in-depth knowledge of what works best for your business.



What are Custom Built Websites and how do they work?

A custom WordPress design website or custom design website is a website that is entirely unique and tailored to your business’s specific needs. These websites are designed from scratch and can be created by either in-house designers or an experienced WordPress website design company.

With a custom built WordPress website, businesses can create an attractive, conversion-focused website that sets them apart from their competitors. In addition, by working with a reliable and experienced website design company like Australian Website Development, you can ensure your website is aesthetically pleasing and highly functional and optimised for search engines.

Many businesses prefer custom built WordPress websites over pre-built themes because they can create a website that aligns with their brand identity, business needs, and appearance. Building a new WordPress site from scratch requires significant technical knowledge and experience. But don’t let that scare you – partnering with an experienced WordPress web design company like Australian Website Development can help businesses overcome these challenges.

Creating a website from zero allows you to customise each element of the site, including images, videos, sidebars, and highlighted articles, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly website. Furthermore, when the front-end coding is written from scratch, the website’s speed and performance automatically improve, enhancing the user experience.

Custom designed WordPress websites are tailored to meet the specific demands of clients, making it easy for website owners to manage the backend of their websites. Because of this, bespoke WordPress websites are an ideal solution for both small and large businesses. However, using custom-designed (coded) WordPress websites has both benefits and drawbacks.

In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of custom-designed WordPress websites so you can make an informed decision. Understanding the pros and cons of a custom-designed website will make it easier to decide on the best option for your business’s website.

Website: Custom WordPress Development



A custom built WordPress website offers numerous advantages for businesses. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Complete control

Creating a website from scratch gives you complete control over the site’s look, feel, functionality, and content. With a custom-built WordPress website, you can start with a clean page and customise it as needed to meet your company’s unique needs and budget.

A bespoke WordPress website gives you complete control over your site, from cell content editing to the entire site structure. With the assistance of an experienced WordPress website design company, you will be able to build a website interface that puts you in charge. By having complete control over your website, you can ensure that it reflects your brand and meets the specific needs of your business.

2. Boosting Your Website’s Performance

With a custom built WordPress website, you can expect faster loading times and overall better performance than with pre-built themes. This is due to the structured approach that custom-built websites follow, with the client’s business goals being the top priority. Skilled website developers also ensure that they write lightweight and clean code to optimise website speed and performance.

Clean and lightweight code reduces server response time, which in turn improves the loading speed of your website. Partnering with an experienced WordPress website design company can help you create a tailored website that includes only the necessary functionalities. By building a website with the features you require, you can significantly enhance its performance.


3. Building a website for SEO success

A website’s success online is determined mainly by how well it ranks on search engines, making an SEO-friendly website crucial. While WordPress offers an SEO-friendly platform, integrating various add-ons into pre-built themes can result in SEO-related issues. For this reason, businesses often opt for a custom website design that is tailored to their specific needs.

A custom-built WordPress website is mostly more SEO-friendly than pre-built WordPress themes. That means that a customised WordPress website could rank higher on SERPs than other WordPress websites with pre-built themes or templates. With that in mind, choose a company that can create both your custom WordPress website and has an in-house SEO team to get better results.

4. Enhanced security

As businesses increasingly shift to online platforms, privacy and security have become primary concerns, particularly for ecommerce sites that require users to share personal information to make purchases. While WordPress provides a secure environment for websites, they can still be vulnerable to malicious activities due to various add-ons and other factors.

Custom coding a WordPress website can enhance its security and protect it against vulnerabilities, which is why many businesses prefer a custom built site. If security threats do arise after the launch, they can be quickly and efficiently dealt with. Creating a custom coded WordPress website with built-in security features is best achieved by partnering with a trustworthy and experienced WordPress website design firm. This ensures that the website’s performance is maintained, even during periods of high demand, which helps to avoid the need to shut down your business.


While you may already know about the advantages of having a tailor-made website for your business, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential drawbacks before making a decision. Below are some points to keep in mind when considering a custom WordPress site.

1. Building a website from the ground up requires significant time, effort, and dedication

With a custom design, every element of your website must be created from scratch, which entails writing code from scratch. As a result, you must be prepared to exercise patience since the custom design and development process can be time-consuming. It typically takes a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks to complete a full website design from scratch, with delivery times varying depending on the number of pages.

Let’s take an example of an ecommerce site. With its many product and category pages, it typically takes longer to develop than a pre-built website. Although the design and development process is slower than a pre-built site, creating a custom WordPress website comes with a host of advantages. It’s crucial to engage a competent WordPress website design company that can deliver quality work and meet deadlines.

2. The process can be pricey

Opting for a custom-coded WordPress website can be pricier than using a pre-built theme. Developing custom websites demands extensive planning and research, which can be time-consuming. Despite this, the benefits and features of a bespoke site are well worth the investment.

While some businesses choose to hire a web developer to create a custom-coded website for them, we suggest partnering with an experienced WordPress website design company if you seek a research-based, custom-built WordPress website that drives more traffic and conversions. A skilled and knowledgeable team can provide the professionalism and expertise required to develop a custom-coded web design that suits your business needs.


When choosing a theme for their website, most people opt for pre-built themes rather than custom coded templates. The main advantage of pre-built themes is that you can customise the look of your website without any knowledge of coding languages. This includes adjusting page layout, fonts, and colors. However, is a pre-built theme the right choice for your business? We’ll explore this question in greater depth in the following section.

With a plethora of options available, selecting a pre-built template can be a daunting and confusing task. You can find pre-built themes either in the WordPress dashboard or from a third-party provider like Envato. You can find themes that are specifically designed for your industry, with hundreds of thousands of options to choose from.


Website: Summit Joinery Kitchens: WordPress Pre-built Theme 


WordPress provides both free and paid themes, with paid themes offering additional customisation features to help you build a business website according to your wants.

Although people usually choose themes based on design or function, there are other considerations to take into account when selecting an appropriate template for your business website. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Choose a theme based on its overall performance, not just its appearance.
  • Always read reviews from other users before making any decisions.
  • Pick a light-coded theme for improved SEO performance and results.
  • Ensure that the theme is compatible with WordPress plugins.
  • Select a theme with an intuitive interface and good customer service.
  • Ensure that the widgets are maintainable and won’t break easily.

These are some essential factors to consider when deciding to go with a pre-built theme for your WordPress website. But first, let’s determine whether pre-built themes are suitable for your business website or not. Below, we will highlight the pros and cons of using pre-built themes for your WordPress website.


1. Affordability

When it comes to WordPress themes, the free option is the most popular among users. However, when comparing premium themes to custom-coded ones, you’ll find that, in the long run, premium themes are cheaper and will save you money. If you’re starting a business with a tight budget, opting for a premium theme may be your best option.

You can easily purchase a premium theme for between $40-$80 on third-party platforms like Envato, ThemeForest, and more. The price range varies depending on the category and the theme’s features. Therefore, you can always find a premium theme within your budget. Furthermore, setting up new themes is easy, and you don’t need to do any manual work when it comes to design or development.

2. Time-efficiency

Using pre-built WordPress themes can help you create a fully functional website quickly. Premium themes typically come with pre-built demos that you can easily integrate into your WordPress site and customise as needed. Compared to custom themes, pre-built WordPress themes take less time to set up, as the design and pattern have already been developed. You just need to spend time customising the logo, color scheme, sidebars, and other elements.

Once you’ve finished customising your website, you can use the content management system (CMS) to add content and make it ready for both users and search engines. If you’re in a hurry to get your website up and running for potential customers, we recommend using pre-built WordPress themes.

3. Variety of Options

There are many WordPress themes to choose from, so you can select one that best fits your website. Consider a theme that’s suitable for your industry or business model.

Browse the list of themes in the WordPress dashboard or visit third-party sites like Envato, ThemeForest, and others to find the suitable theme for your WordPress site. All of these third-party theme providers allow users to search themes by keywords or categories. Depending on your business category, you can explore various themes and select the best option for your business.


1. Potential Risks

If you intend to handle user data or integrate payment gateways, it is best to avoid using pre-built themes for your WordPress website due to security risks and possible breaches associated with these activities. Hackers can exploit the lack of necessary security features in pre-built WordPress themes, despite the secured platform provided by WordPress itself.

To ensure a secure environment for your website, always prioritise security when selecting a theme and verify that the theme you choose offers the necessary protection against malicious activities.

2. Heavy code can slow down your website

While pre-built WordPress themes can speed up the website development process, they can also have a negative impact on the website’s SEO performance and speed due to bulky and highly coded features. Although premium themes have advanced customisation features, the more features they have, the more highly coded they become.

If you want a fast-loading WordPress website, consider selecting themes that require less code and are less complex. You may also choose to build a custom-coded WordPress website that prioritises speed and performance.

3. Limited Customisation Options

Pre-built themes offer advanced customisation features that allow you to make your website visually appealing, but they come with pre-coded designs and installed plugins, which can limit your design and functional customizations.

Most businesses require a website that communicates their message and caters to their target audience’s needs. However, pre-built themes can limit the freedom of expression and upgrading. Although you can alter various design elements, you may only be able to customise some aspects of the pre-designed theme.

4. Lack of Uniqueness

While pre-built themes are widely available and easy to use, most businesses want a unique website that stands out from the rest. Even after modifying the theme, there may be similarities in terms of functionality and layout between your website and others. Customising the PHP and CSS codes is necessary to create a genuinely unique website that reflects your brand.

Moreover, publicly available pre-built themes can be used by your competitors, and altering the appearance of these themes may not change the structure and other elements of the theme. As a result, many companies prefer to invest in custom built WordPress websites.

Before deciding to purchase a pre-built WordPress theme, consider the pros and cons and weigh your options.


What is the difference between WordPress themes and templates?

A large number of site owners are not aware of the distinction between a WordPress theme and a template. A WordPress theme manages the entire look and functionality of a website, including color schemes, backgrounds, headers and footers, page layouts, element positioning, and more.

On the other hand, WordPress templates refer to or define only a single page on a website (not the entire website). To put it simply, templates are part of the theme, a single-page layout that is available within various WordPress themes. Most WordPress themes, especially paid ones, come with various types of templates, such as blog post templates, pricing page templates, and more.

2. How much does building a custom-coded WordPress website cost?

The cost of a custom-coded WordPress website varies depending on your specific needs. To ensure you get the best possible website for your business, it is recommended to hire an experienced WordPress website designer. The cost of their services can range anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the size and complexity of the site. For a high-quality e-commerce platform with advanced features, the cost may reach up to $100,000.

It is important to note that a significant amount of backend research goes into the design and development of a custom-coded WordPress website. By partnering with a reliable and highly experienced WordPress website design firm like Australian Website Development, you can leverage their expertise and build a responsive and conversion-centric website for your business.

3. How can I create a custom template in WordPress?

Creating a custom Page Template in WordPress can be done by starting with a default template and modifying the code to meet your needs. To get started, identify the default template file you want to use and copy it. Then, rename the template and add information to the file header that indicates it’s a new creation.

After the file header is set up, you can start customizing the template code. This involves adding or removing sidebars and other elements as per your requirements. Once the customisation is complete, you can save the template in either your child theme or create a folder in the main parent theme and upload it in a separate subfolder.

After uploading the custom template, you can activate it and add more elements to it. However, keep in mind that creating a fully customised template can be a challenging task. Still, by partnering with a professional WordPress website design firm, you can redesign your current website and create several custom-coded templates for your future needs.

4. What are some of the most popular free themes in WordPress?

Check out these top-notch WordPress themes that come at no cost and can be used for your website:

GeneratePress: This lightweight and versatile theme is perfect for any website.

OceanWP: If you’re looking for a feature-rich theme with everything you need to create a stunning website, OceanWP is an excellent choice.

Blossom: With its feminine design, Blossom is an excellent choice for lifestyle, food, or fashion blogs.

Zerif Lite: This trendy WordPress theme is perfect for creating one-page websites. It’s easy to use and comes with tons of built-in features.

TheGem: TheGem is a multipurpose WordPress theme that includes over 40 different demo websites you can use to start off with your website. It’s easy to use and comes with tons of built-in features.

Envato: As a marketplace for WordPress themes and plugins, Envato offers thousands of products to choose from, and you can even sell your own products on the site.

ThemeForest: Another great marketplace for WordPress themes and plugins, ThemeForest offers many products to choose from, and you can also sell your own products on the site.

WP-Creative: This versatile WordPress theme is well-coded, SEO-friendly, and responsive. It’s perfect for a wide variety of websites.

Hestia: If you’re looking for a beautiful and minimalist WordPress theme for your small business website, Hestia is an excellent choice. It’s easy to use and comes with a powerful drag-and-drop page builder.

Astra: This fast and fully customizable theme is perfect for creating a professional website.

Simple: Another versatile WordPress theme that is well-coded, SEO-friendly, and responsive. It’s perfect for a wide variety of websites.

Neve: This fast and lightweight theme is perfect for creating a simple website.

Foodica Lite: For creating a food blog or recipe website, Foodica Lite is an excellent theme.

North Shore: If you’re looking to create a travel blog or website, North Shore is a great theme choice.

Ascend: With the aim of making your site look amazing, Ascend is a WordPress theme development company.

Prolific: This WordPress development company specializes in making custom WordPress websites.

Minimal Magazine: If you’re in the market for a custom WordPress website for a magazine, Minimal Magazine is the development company for you.

Outstanding: Outstanding is a WordPress development company that can create custom WordPress websites for businesses.

Nothing Personal: As a WordPress development company specializing in creating custom WordPress websites for personal use, Nothing Personal is an excellent choice.

Riba Lite: For creating custom WordPress websites for eCommerce, Riba Lite is a WordPress development company worth considering.

X-Theme: X-Theme is a WordPress development company that specializes in creating custom WordPress websites for businesses.

Although free WordPress themes may be sufficient for some businesses, they often need more features to meet the needs of all businesses. Investing in a custom-built website that is tailored to your business’s unique requirements can help you achieve your goals. A professional WordPress website design company can work with you to create a visually stunning website that is also designed to drive conversions.

Whether you’re a mid-cap or enterprise-level business, a custom-coded website can enhance your efficiency and productivity. By investing time and resources in creating an attractive website that is optimized for conversions, you can achieve a significant return on investment.

Are WordPress Themes a Good Investment?

When it comes to WordPress themes, many people wonder if they’re worth the investment. While some argue that free themes may suffice for specific purposes, others claim that purchasing a premium theme can save you time and money in the long run. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your needs and budget.

If you’re starting a business, investing in a premium WordPress theme is a smart move. However, as your business grows, it may be wise to hire a WordPress custom website design company to create a custom-coded website that caters specifically to your business needs. It’s best to make this decision early on rather than waiting until later.

While premium themes can be a good option for building a website, it’s always recommended to work with an experienced WordPress website development company to build a custom WordPress website that caters to your specific needs. A professional company can work with you to create a custom design that looks great on all devices and is optimized for SEO. By investing in a well-designed website, you can impress your customers and drive results for your business.

Author: Todd Johnson