Not everyone has the resources for a custom WordPress Theme. And that’s ok. Template Themes are available to fill those needs. But there’s a huge disparity in code quality between template themes. Since 2010, I’ve had the (mis)fortune to help many clients manage their paid commercial Themes.
Here are 5 reasons you may want to reconsider using a third-party paid commercial theme.
Now, some clients do find commercial themes easy to manage and edit. However, in my experience, most clients find the editing process cumbersome. I recall a Seattle nonprofit client who was unable to edit their own homepage because their Theme had too many confusing Theme Customizer options. Other Themes require you to learn various third-party editing tools, like Visual Composer or Elementor, which can take hours to learn and days to master.
Commercial Themes often bundle lots of features – like content sliders, e-commerce, fonts, icons, and more. You should generally rely on your Theme for visual layout and styles; and rely on Plugins for features. When features are integrated into a Theme, content may not easily port over to a new Theme, if and when you decide to switch.
Security consistently ranks last among client priorities. Until your site is hacked and goes offline. The stability of any WordPress site strongly depends on the choice of Theme and Plugins. WordPress.org-approved themes are vetted by a volunteer Theme Review Team that ensures themes in the official WordPress repository conform to certain coding standards.
Most people don’t think about inclusion when they manage their own web project. But most premium themes do not follow to accessibility guidelines, much less comply with WCAG AA standards required for organizations that must meet federal ADA regulations.