| 4 min
October 5th, 2021
At Brave, we are experts in creating WordPress websites. We, and thousands like us, choose WordPress for our client’s website development because it’s a reputable, simple and customisable system. It is easy to use for everyday web tasks and is used by corporations around the world like IGN and Sony Music. That being said, it is important that you have a bespoke, optimised WordPress website and not a website built on WordPress Themes.
Think of your website as the face of your business online. Almost like a shop window. Your existing and probable clients are visiting you online to see what you do and to verify that you are a legitimate and trustworthy business. The goal for your website should be to not only represent your brand but to give the customer a good user experience. By using a premade WordPress Theme you are sacrificing a unique experience for your user and you are less likely to build an authentic customer experience.
WordPress, no doubt, is one of the most demanding website engines. And yes, premium WordPress themes are certainly creative and unique, they do have some significant drawbacks.
Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t use WordPress Themes to build your website.
1. No originality
Remember, your website’s job is to work for your business. Whether it’s an E-commerce site that makes sales or a brochure site that generates leads, the main problem with off the shelf WordPress themes is the fact that they’re not built for you. They’re built to sell, not be optimised.
These themes are made to appeal to as large an audience as possible. This means that any level of customisation, if any, is difficult. To make certain changes to your WordPress site, you have to have HTML, CSS and PHP knowledge. If you try to write code without having the right know-how, you can do a lot of damage to your website. Not only that, but because these themes aren’t designed specifically for you, they’re not taking into account your user base and target audience. If you would like to add some personalisation or bespoke features, you may find yourself needing to write abundant complex code lines.
2. Not Secure
WordPress is one of the most commonly used CMS systems in the world. Due to the sheer mass of people that use the system, it makes them susceptible to hackers and therefore can create a massive security risk. The downside to WordPress being used by websites, if a chink in the security can be found in one website it is very likely that it can be found in a lot of other WordPress websites.
Another security risk that comes with WordPress themes is plugins. When plugins are combined with themes, it makes them more susceptible to malware. Back in 2014, over 100,000 websites using WordPress were hit with a malware campaign that ultimately led to Google blacklisting more than 11,000 domains.
3. Slow Site Speed
There are a lot of factors that impact your SEO (search engine optimisation) and one of those is site speed. Keeping SEO in mind, the loading speed of your site is important to user experience and is tested regularly by Google. If your website loads quickly then your user experience will be better. In fact, speed impacts your rankings so much that every one second of delay in page response leads to a 7% reduction in conversion!
WordPress uses a lot of plugins for websites, especially premium themes. If a lot of plugins are used in a site this will slow the loading speeds of your website. Chances are that these plugins would be coded poorly, or may conflict with other plugins slowing your site down.
Tips for designing a bespoke WordPress Site
There are so many ways a bespoke design can improve your website’s performance. Not only will it be unique to your brand but it can improve your user experience and overall conversion rate. Here are some tips to consider when designing your website:
1/ Making your website look nice is great, but never sacrifice user experience overlooks!
2/ Colours need to be considered – people assess your values based on colour instantly and colour can also aid in creating a visual hierarchy.
3/ Ensure your website is responsive and works amazingly on mobile! After all, up to 50% of internet traffic is from mobile devices.
4/ Use the F Pattern – users almost always start top left, then read straight across to the top right corner, then move their eyes down to the middle line of the letter F and then move across.
5/ Rule of Third Rules! GO ahead, draw a grid on your web page, divide the page into thirds both horizontally and vertically, then the four corners of the centre square are usually the best areas for priority content like headers and calls to action.
6/ Don’t be afraid of white space. White space can effectively break up modules within a webpage and allow the user to distinguish elements and sections on the site with more ease.
7/ CTA Buttons must be strong enough to entice and communicate with consistency
8/ Test and iterate. There is always room for improvement! A/B testing is a useful way to see how users interact with certain elements of your site and if any elements are causing problems for your users. Each test can reveal a variety of data that could allow you to increase your conversion rate.
9/ Ensure that you use high quality yet optimised images, you don’t want users to go onto your brand new site and not have any images to look at if they don’t load!
10/ Design with visual hierarchy in mind. Rank different elements and ensure that you place the highly ranked elements further towards the top of the page. When doing this really think about your target audience and how they will use your site.
At Brave, we love working with WordPress as it offers flexibility but we have a team of web development wizards, coders, UX designers and data-loving analysts to design a website experience for you like no other. By having a bespoke, optimised and secure site you can fully utilise all WordPress has to offer with the issues that a premade theme can bring.
If you would like to discuss e-commerce or brochure website design or UX/UI with a member of our design team, contact us today.