Purchased theme vs custom design

When building a website, one of the common questions that people ask is whether they should go for a custom designed theme or use an existing theme for their website. Choosing the right theme for your website is very crucial. You website’s theme play a major role in providing online users what they want. If you don’t have the right theme for your website, your readers will not likely to retain on your site. 

However, with the so many options available, choosing the theme that will maximize the potential of your site can be difficult. But to help you make a wise decision, you should first understand the pros and cons of custom and purchased themes.

Ready-designed themes, what are they?

Ready-designed themes, also known as commercial themes, are themes created by WordPress developers and resold repeatedly for website owners. They can be found and purchased from different commercial theme companies, such as Theme Fuse and Theme Forest, and even from different blogging platforms, like WordPress.


  • Cost-effective. If you only have a limited budget, commercial themes are a great option. Typically, they are sold from $20 – $100, depending on the package and quality. Premium themes tend to cost more.
  • You can try it. The best thing about commercial themes is you can demo them and visualize how your website will look when you install them. If you think that the theme doesn’t match to your need, you have the option to not purchase it.


  • Restricted Design. Some commercial themes allow you to change their color according to your desire and needs. However, if you want to include more designs and graphics, you may need the help of the developer. This means additional service cost.
  • Common. Since commercial themes are resold repeatedly by companies, chances are you’ll find other sites using the same theme you are.

Custom-designed themes, what are they?

Unlike ready-designed themes, custom themes are not available online for website owners to download. They are only created once the client requested them and are built by a web developer. And usually, they are built according to the design preferred by the client.


  • Complete control. In custom themes, you have the freedom to choose and experiment the design that can be beneficial for your website.
  • Unique. Since the design is based on your own creativity and imagination, it’s very unlikely to find other sites using the same theme you are.


  • Time-consuming. Custom themes take time to build. Unless they are fully done and customized, you can never use them on your website.
  • Cost. Since custom themes are built from scratch and cannot be resold to other users, they tend to cost more than commercial themes. 

Which one should I choose?

There are several factors to determine which of the available themes you should choose. Much of it depends on your personality, budget, time, and business goals. If you only want a simple design for your personal website or blog, and you have limited budget, then a commercial theme will work fine for you. But if you want a more unique design to meet your branding requirements and have a slightly bigger budget on your hand, then consider a custom-designed theme. If you’re unsure which one to choose, talk to a professional web developer to get recommendations and advice.

Whether you choose a purchased theme or go for the custom designed theme, Christom can help you with setting up your website. Contact us for more information.

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