Choosing a WordPress theme can be one of the toughest decisions one has to make when building a website on WordPress. Or is it?
A few years ago, you had essentially two options:
- You purchased a theme that did most of what you needed for your site.
- You created a theme from scratch (coding CSS, JS, PHP, and HTML)
Now, both of those options had their downsides.
Purchasing a theme
For one, purchasing a theme that does “almost” everything you need, means that there will still be things that you have to custom code. Certain tweaks that you have to add, or certain functionalities that you will have to remove.
Ironically, it often turns out to be harder to modify an existing theme since it was someone else who built it. You depend on their ability to write clean and efficient code. If the code wasn’t clean, it will be hard to understand and therefore harder to modify.
If you are purchasing a theme, you better make sure it does exactly what you need it to do. Otherwise, creating one from scratch would probably make more financial sense down the road.
Creating a theme from scratch
Creating a theme from scratch would be, in theory, the best way to go, as you would have complete control as to what the site does and how it looks.
Unfortunately, most business owners are not developers or designers. So creating a theme from scratch is out of the picture if you don’t have the cash to invest in hiring a developer/designer. (Unless you want to take some courses and learn how to code – which is totally fine!).
For everyone else (the majority), it is either too expensive or too time-consuming to create them from scratch.
So where does that leave us?
Follow the Yellow brick road
(Or “choose the red pill” – if you’re from The Matrix generation…)
These standards of needing a theme in order to create a WordPress site are the norm and what most people consider necessary.
Fortunately, we have come a long way and there is now an alternate route. A route that can take you as far as your imagination can go…
Now, before I dive into it, a little background: We’ve all heard of so-called “page-builders” that allow you to visually build your site.
Outside the WordPress ecosystem, you can find Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. On their TV ads, they make it sound easy and fun to use – I’ve found them to be neither. Sure, you can choose a quick template and sort of get it to work. But try anything “outside the box”, and it all comes crumbling down.
Enter Elementor (cue 2001 Space Oddissey soundtrack)…
A Better way
Elementor is a very nice tool that you can install (for free) on WordPress and it allows you to visually build any page you want.
– “oh! you mean like a template?”
No, I mean, literally, anything you want, where you want it.
You can use predefined layouts, of course, to help you on your design journey. But you are free to move everything to where you need it, in the size you want it, with the colors you love. You have complete freedom to build the next best website, independent of any theme.
And it’s all “Drag & Drop”. No restrictions.
It’s like having the best of both worlds: the flexibility and freedom that they promise on all those Wix ads, with the robustness and expandability of WordPress.
They have a Pro version as well, which costs less than the average theme, and it allows you to create custom Headers and Footers for your site, Shop and Product pages for your stores, and completely overhaul the look of your blog.
Now every site I build on WordPress is using Elementor and I’ve forgotten all about themes. Turnaround times have gone down dramatically, design phases are much more efficient and everyone is happy. My sites are super fast, mobile responsive and they are all completely custom-designed to our client’s needs.
If you are planning to build a new site for your business/hobby/passion, I truly recommend considering WordPress with Elementor. You can try it for free here.
And if you design websites for a living and haven’t tried it out, trust me, it will change the way you view WordPress for good.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Do you have any questions/comments about Elementor? Let me know below!