WordPress Website Custom Theme VS Customised Theme




Most business owners when they engage a company to build them a WordPress powered website have little to no understanding of the difference between a custom WordPress theme and a customised WordPress theme. From my experiences as a project manager who has delivered both types of these sites the difference is huge.

What is a Customised Theme?

A customised theme is essentially a pre designed wordpress theme that is purchased from a site that allows developers of these themes to list and sell them over and over again. These usually cost between $50 – $100 to purchase and download. A company selling websites this way will buy one of these themes (or use one they bought earlier for another client) and then do some basic customisation (change the logo and colours) and present it as a finished product to a client.

What is a Custom Theme?

A custom WordPress theme starts with a graphic designer that designs the website and all the elements within the website first. This allows for very customised designs and a lot of flexibility in layout. Once the designs are approved they are coded into html / css first. In the coding or ‘cutup’ stage the developers may use a ‘framework’ to allow for speed in this process. Once the cutup is completed the site is integrated into WordPress with each area of content, image, menu, widget and form setup in the WordPress back end to allow for future customisation and site growth. The approximate time for this process is 20-50 hours.

Which one should I choose?

The choice here is very situational, and is very much budget dependant, but you should know the difference in what you are buying. Unfortunately there are web developers out there that sell customised themes as custom themes without clearly explaining the difference to their clients. Personally I believe this isn’t a good practice as regardless of how happy the client is with the result, they do actually understand what they have purchased.

Pros of Customised Themes

  • Very low cost to deploy – between $100 – $500
  • Easy for anyone to setup with minimal learning or experience
  • Ticket based or forum support for the themes and often a community of users around the theme
  • Often have WYSIWYG editors to change the themes appearance
  • Very fast turnaround

Cons of Customised Themes

  • They can be open to security vulnerabilities
  • You will have sites that look exactly the same as yours (back in 2008 Click Click Media’s site was built on a customised theme, the colour scheme, edits and layouts were copied by 18 other sites without any variation)
  • If you choose the wrong theme they can be very slow to load
  • You are stuck to variations of a single design
  • You can end up paying custom theme rates for a customised theme if dealing with an unethical developer

Pros of Custom Themes

  • A unique design that fits your brand and strategy
  • Ability to customise workflows and back end functionality
  • Can design the site with conversions as a focus
  • Very fast, lightweight and clean code
  • A lot more secure than customised themes
  • Can have much better SEO benefits

Cons of Custom Themes

  • Much more expensive than a customised theme
  • Can take a lot longer to develop
  • You will need to be involved in the creative process
  • You will need to work with the developers on scope and requirements

My thoughts on customised themes.

If you are publishing a blog or journal or have a website as a hobby then customised themes are definitely the way to go, however if you have any commercial aspirations then do the right thing and invest into a custom theme. I have seen companies investing a few hundred dollars into a website and then spending tens of thousands on paid advertising which in my opinion is a massive waste of potential. These days at Click Click Media we do everything as a custom theme, even landing pages because the potential marketing gains are so significant that the cost of custom design and development pales in comparison.

The biggest costs in digital marketing is missed opportunity

How much do we charge for a custom theme?

It depends on the scope of the project, we have invested huge amounts of time into refining the process to be able to deliver custom themes that actually compete with what some developers are charging for customised themes. At the end of the day, as we are primarily an online marketing company we know that the additional cost is worth it and we only use custom themes for our pay per lead campaigns.

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Every Client is a Partner

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Click Click Media has been such a pleasure to work with over the past few years. They have cut our CPA by over 70% over 1 year. Very easy to communicate with and they are always available to answer any questions that we have. Such a friendly, honest and reliable team and I highly recommend them!
Martin Perelman
SILK Laser Clinics
I have used Click Click Media as a retainer for multiple clients and I have to say, at a time where we thought we would lose business, we gained a lot through the marketing expertise of Click Click Media. They were very responsive towards requests and advice and allowed myself and my team to have our highest growth ever in the 2020/2021 period.
Bassam Saleem
Kirana Education
The team at Click Click Media have always provide excellent service and have achieved superior results when benchmarking against other companies in the same field.
Craig Kenchington
Crown Forklifts
I have found the team at Click Click Media to be friendly, passionate and responsive to our online marketing requirements. They have proven they know their stuff and I highly recommend them.
Rebecca Hunt
Click Click Media have transformed the way we work with our digital media. They provide a very solid and transparent service with incredibly knowledgeable people who are always available. Results speak for themselves and our digital marketing increase can be directly attributed to the work undertaken since June by Click Click Media. Highly recommended.
Kevin Peters
1300 Smiles
We've been working with Click Click for over 5 years now. They've created 6 of our sites and manage all of our SEO. Every project has been delivered exactly to our requirements and they let us work exactly how we want. They remove all the jargon and have become an integral extension of our Marketing team, I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Sarah Gonzalez
Redback Conferencing
Click Click Media make for a great one-stop-shop when it comes to online marketing. With their knowledge of SEO, SEM, Adwords and web design, Click Click Media come highly recommended.
Michael Burford
The team at ClickClick Media are always so helpful and extremely good at what they do. I had several issues with web developers until I came across ClickClick, they are honest and very fair with their pricing. After setting up an awesome landing page they then setup an ad words campaign that literally saved our business. There after sale service is second to none. Looking forward to using Click Click for all my future online projects. Thanks to Ben, Rik, Adriel & the rest of the team
Leon Wills
Lamb Finance
We’ve had several different marketing teams before coming across Click Click Media and were never quiet satisfied with the process or the outcome. Until we started working with Click Click Media, Ricky and his team are amazing at what they do and deliver exactly what they say they would and beyond! From website to SEO management and to SEO work! We are in really good hands. We have never been this satisfied with such an outstanding work, communication and great outcome from a marketing company. Thank you Click Click Media!
Alessandro Poon
Sydney Paws Pet Doors
Click Click designed and setup my website a few years ago after a rebranding. They manage my SEO and website content to ensure i get as many new leads as possible and i have seen great results and increased customer enquiries.. They constantly update and check my site, and keep me posted with any new ideas. Highly recommend!
Darren Kerr
Appleseed Gardening
Sydney CBD
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