Why you shouldn’t use off-the-shelf themes on WordPress

Why you shouldn't use off-the-shelf themes on WordPress

WordPress is an incredibly popular content management system, but using off-the-shelf themes can have some serious drawbacks. Off-the-shelf themes may seem like a great way to quickly get a website up and running, but there can be major security, performance and design issues. Not only can it be difficult to customize the look and feel of the website, you may end up with a slow and vulnerable site. Here is why you shouldn’t be using WordPress off-the-shelf themes.

1. Control.

When you use an off-the-shelf theme, you give up a great deal of control over the look, feel and functionality of your website. You are limited to the design and features that are built into the theme and are unable to customize the code to create a truly unique and custom website. If you don’t think you’ll want to update it going forward then that is great, but 99% of companies with ambition will want change things as their company grows.

2. Limited Updates.

Unless you purchase a theme that offers ongoing support and updates, you’re stuck with the version of the theme that you purchased. If a browser or WordPress update breaks your theme, you may need to purchase a new one.

3. Security.

Off-the-shelf themes can be a source of security vulnerabilities. This is because the code released by the theme developer is often replicated across dozens or even hundreds of websites, making them a prime target for hackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities.

4. Features.

Off-the-shelf themes rarely come with all the features you may want or need for your website. This can be a major inconvenience as it often requires you to purchase additional plugins and extensions to get the features you need.

5. Compatibility.

Even with the most up-to-date themes, there is no guarantee that the code will be compatible with the latest version of WordPress or other plugins. This can lead to conflicting code and broken features.

6. Speed.

Off-the-shelf themes often have code bloat that can slow down your website. This can be an especially big problem if you are using a shared hosting environment as the server resources are shared among all the websites hosted on the server.

7. Support.

Most off-the-shelf themes only offer limited support. This means that if you encounter a technical issue or need assistance with customizing the theme, you may be on your own.

8. Cost.

Although off-the-shelf themes are usually cheaper than having a custom website built, the cost can quickly add up if you need to purchase additional plugins and features. In the long run, this can be more expensive than having a custom website designed.

9. Branding.

Off-the-shelf themes often lack branding capabilities, meaning you can’t add your own logo or other branding elements to the theme.

10. Maintenance.

Using an off-the-shelf theme also means you’re responsible for maintaining it. This includes keeping the code and plugins up-to-date, as well as troubleshooting any problems that arise.


It’s important to consider all of these factors before choosing an off-the-shelf theme for your website. While they may offer convenience and affordability, they can also be a source of frustration and cost you more in the long run. If you’re serious about your website and need a truly custom design, it’s best to hire a professional web developer to create a custom WordPress theme that meets all your needs and requirements.