Over the last couple years, we’ve really seen a massive explosion in the use of up and ready website themes. This movement has really left many creatives completely dumbstruck as the quality of work we seeing from
these Theme Authors has been pretty extraordinary.
The fact of the matter is that many of these themes are years ahead of much of the design talent we see here in South Africa, they also come with a massive bundle of free plugins which you would need to purchase otherwise and let’s not forget the cost factor of not having to dish out R1000’s if not R100 000’s for pages and pages of design.
The truth is these Themes give any brand the opportunity to shine and encompass a truly strong online presence. So where’s the catch you may ask?
Well 1st of all not everyone can work within the constraints of what these off the shelf themes have to offer.. and much of the time the minute you start hacking away at these themes in terms of trying to sneak in a custom functionality here and there then problems do start to popup. It may rear its ugly face in terms breaking page layouts on the many browsers available or just not play ball with the responsive layout on a smartphone. Try also communicating this with a Theme Author who most of the times are based in cities on the other side of the world with crazy time zones and you start to realize that maybe Themes are not for everyone.
That and the fact that every now and then you’re just gonna hit a dud theme which we’ve experienced recently and eventually had to redo and entire project.
But in the defence of these themes they give everyone a fair and fighting chance out there..
I wouldn’t recommend them to everyone, but if you find something that truly catches your eye out there and you re happy to work within the Frameworks that these themes have to offer, then yes go right ahead.
Also remember that just buying a theme or paying to have it installed doesn’t mean that that’s that.. You still need some crafty designers and devs to style these themes according to your CI and general look and feel, otherwise you’ll find yourself truly being number 1413 in the queue of a unique look and feel.
My closing point on this article is as follows..
If your requirements are very unique and you have some deep pockets, then no stay away from this product offering, but if you’re a fresh start-up and realize that you need to be wise with your start-up capital and you can live within the restraints of what this product has to offer then yes this would be your best move forward.