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Deciding Between a Custom WordPress Theme or Custom Design When Creating Your Website Deciding Between a Custom WordPress Theme or Custom Design When Creating Your Website Deciding Between a Custom WordPress Theme or Custom Design When Creating Your Website Paradigm Marketing and Design
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Marketing Tips, Insights, and Trends

Deciding Between a Custom WordPress Theme or Custom Design When Creating Your Website

Author: Michael Scorcia Category: Web Design Date: February 3, 2022

A person holding a mobile with WordPress logo infront of a laptop with WordPress site on screen

Is it time to create a website for your growing business, but you don’t know where to begin? Is your website screaming for an update, but you are paralyzed by all the options available? Designing a website can feel overwhelming. Can you do it yourself, or should you hire a professional website design company? Do you have to build it from scratch, or is it better to use a tool like a custom WordPress design?

We’re going to explain what each option entails, as well as lay out their pros and cons to help you choose between custom website design vs. WordPress theme.

Custom WordPress Theme

WordPress is one of the most popular platforms that organizations use to build their sites. To create your theme – or the overall look, feel, and styles of your website – WordPress offers both free options and ones you pay for. The biggest difference between a free custom WordPress vs. premium theme is that paid premium themes have more features available for customization. Each theme will include various custom WordPress template designs, controlling how the different pages can be laid out within the style of the overall theme. You can create a custom WordPress theme based on your company’s brand standards, accessing font styles, color schemes, photo integration, media integration, and a variety of plugins available to use.


  • Affordable: Custom WordPress themes can accommodate any budget, even no budget at all. We’ve found that most premium themes fall within a range of prices, typically somewhere between $15 and $400 depending on the complexity.
  • Fast: Web development with custom WordPress themes doesn’t require a lot of time before they are up and running.
  • Easy: Custom WordPress themes are great for people just starting out because they don’t require special skills or knowledge to use.
  • Search engine assistance: Most custom WordPress themes come with ready-made search engine optimization (SEO) options.


  • Repetition: Even though the available options grow all the time, the same theme and template may be used by an unlimited number of other sites.
  • Less flexibility: While there are some great opportunities to customize, you may not be able to do exactly what you want.
  • Minimum support: You’re pretty much on your own creating a custom WordPress theme, spending time watching how-to videos and combing online forums for guidance. Or you can hire someone who offers WordPress theme design services.
  • Slow load times: Using a custom WordPress theme may give you a bunch of built-in features you don’t need, which could slow down load times on your site.

Custom Design

A custom design for your website means building your website from the ground up, and probably hiring professionals to do it for you.


  • Customization: Since you are creating everything from scratch, it can be and do whatever you want. It can be tailored specifically to your audience.
  • Originality: You are guaranteed to have a unique website that is different than businesses using themes and templates available to anyone.
  • Search engine optimization: Search engines favor different and uncommon content.
  • On-call professionals: The team you hire would be on standby to work through any problems you encounter.


  • Price: The experience you get from a team of custom web designers comes at a premium, and could cost you thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars.
  • Lengthy process: Creating something out of nothing takes more time than working with a ready-made tool.
  • Long-term cost: Ongoing support from your web team will also cost money. If you stop paying them, their support will likely disappear, and you will be on your own.
  • Lack of control: Your site will be at the mercy of the designers you hire. That could prove challenging for business owners who are used to leading all aspects of their operations.

So which will work best for you? Your decision will depend on many factors: skills, time, budget, and the needs of your business. And as you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to each path. While we can’t make the decision for you, we can offer you our expertise in custom WordPress design. At Paradigm, when we build your WordPress website, your design will support your current needs and can scale to anticipate your future growth. Contact us today, and one of our Paradigm team members will be in touch.

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