Premium vs. Custom WordPress Themes

Premium vs. Custom WordPress Themes Hero Image

Premium WordPress themes have a large amount of variety and options when it comes to styles and layout.

Even though there is variety and options, sometimes you need to have a completely fresh look. Hiring a developer to build a custom theme for your website can accomplish this. This allows your website to stand out from a basic template design.

How do you know if you should use a premium theme or if you should use a custom theme? Today we are going to discuss the right option for you.

Premium WordPress theme advantages

A WordPress premium theme allows you to place your content inside of a pre-built template. These premium themes are available for purchase from hundreds of developers online. A premium theme is similar to a coloring book. You can color everything inside of the lines. If you decided that you don’t like the picture and want to change it, unfortunately as it’s already printed, there isn’t a way to do so. This is the same with a premium theme. You can place all of your content inside of the template, but if you want to expand and add new styles and layouts, this isn’t generally possible.

There are thousands of different WordPress themes with different styles and layouts. These allow you to choose which theme would work best with your brand and overall design. The overall cost for a premium theme is minimal.

Custom-developed theme advantages

When a custom theme is developed, it is specific to your website. The overall layout and style is not based off of a pre-built template and is one hundred percent designed for you and your brand. A custom-developed theme is similar to being the artist who creates the coloring book. You can create any picture, and if you decide that you don’t like it, you can change it.

This is the same for a custom-developed theme. You can work with your custom theme developer to bring your ideas to life. If you decided that you want to change it, you can work with him to make those necessary changes. A custom-developed theme also allows for flexibility and customization as it allows SEO to be built directly into the source code of your website. As your website is built completely custom, there are generally not conflicts with plugins.

Premium WordPress theme disadvantages

As a premium theme is a pre-built template, this causes restriction with the amount of customization for layout and style. Sometimes themes can look perfect in the preview, but once purchased, the actual layout and coding does not appear the same. Premium themes also can have conflicts with certain plugins that you may use. Generally, there is not an easy way to fix these conflicts without removing the plugin or contacting the plugin developer. The ability to add SEO directly into the coding of your website is typically not possible.

Custom-developed theme disadvantages

One of the biggest disadvantages of a custom theme is cost. A custom-developed theme can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars depending upon design. A custom-developed theme can take some time to be completed as it is built from scratch.

If you want to change a certain theme element on your custom theme, you will generally need to contact the theme developer to make this change. Since there is not a full support team behind a custom theme, the custom theme can become outdated and may require a follow-up with the developer for basic updates.

Which theme option is best for me?

The answer to this question will depend up on time and money.

Consider using a premium theme if:

  • You have a restricted budget
  • You need to build your website quickly
  • You don’t have coding knowledge

Consider having a custom-developed theme if:

  • You want a completely unique website
  • You want to have SEO built directly into your website source code
  • You have coding knowledge and prefer to develop the theme yourself.


Premium themes are perfect for getting started quickly and are affordable. Custom-developed themes give the ability to bring your dreams and ideas to reality. The decision between a premium theme and custom-developed theme should come down to your budget, design style, and the time-frame you wish to complete your website.

Before you choose a theme, it’s important to setup a WordPress hosting account. 

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