Never Build a Website on a Theme: 3 Reasons Why

Every business needs a website – plain and simple.

Without a digital footprint in 2017, your company likely isn’t generating the leads and impressions it needs to sustain customers for the long haul. And if you’re starting a new entity, creating a site should be your top priority.

But building a site shouldn’t be a hasty process, as the decisions you make in web development will greatly affect your site’s performance on search engines. The biggest of these decisions is whether or not to pony up for a custom site or to build on a pre-made theme. While a theme is cheap, quick and passes for quality, there are countless disadvantages to taking the easier route. Here are three key reasons why you should never build on a theme.

Working with a developer to write you personalized code means they know every single line of your website. Although a theme site can pass the eye test, it’s all about the code. If you don’t know who’s writing it, there’s a good chance your theme was created by someone in Eastern Europe with an ax to grind and data to steal. How can you tell? Unless you’re experienced in PHP, you probably can’t!

The benefit of a theme is that the end user can easily customize a site without knowing PHP. While that sounds great in theory, there are many potential pitfalls that can cause headaches. The author’s reason to create a theme is to sell their source code to as many people as possible upon completion. Nothing in the purchase agreement requires the creator to maintain key website components. So when a plugin tied to your theme isn’t updated properly, it can lead to your site either being down or not function properly – with no timetable for repair.

Adverse to Rankings
We’ve outlined this before, but the key to having a website is to be seen! And the best way to be seen is to rank on search engines for your relevant keywords. When you build your site with an experienced developer, you’re building a foundation of solid SEO principles. A theme essentially boxes you into a code that is shared by thousands of other websites. When Google indexes your site, it reads the code. And while your site might look different on a customizable theme, the back end contains nearly the exact same text as many other sites. So as relevancy is rendered, Google will have a hard time determining if your site is right for its users. By creating custom code, you are telling Google who you are, what you do, and why it’s users should trust you. A theme will never elicit the same results.

SteerPoint is a full-service digital marketing agency headquartered in Indianapolis with offices in Manchester, NH and Washington D.C. We have an in-house web design team to ensure your next site is custom-coded and designed to shine on search engines. Please fill out a complimentary website audit if you suspect your site is built on a theme.