There are so many people out there that have terrible advice. The last thing you need is for someone else’s misconceptions, ignorance, or manipulation to steer you down the wrong path. You wouldn’t act on Dumb Ways to Die in hopes of developing your inner well being, so you shouldn’t believe this terrible advice about website themes.
“If you want to sell products, you need to pay for an expensive theme,” declared the manipulative web design company rep.
The first piece of terrible advice that I heard about website themes was given to a client of mine by a competitor of mine. The company told him that if he wanted search engines to see his content, he couldn’t use a drag and drop theme. They told him that the work I was doing (within his budget) would never be crawled by search engines and he was going to need a brand new, $2,000 theme to remedy the issue.
When this client first brought this information back to me, I was appalled. Here I had built him a brand new eCommerce website for his artisan crafts at a discount (I’m not even a web designer) and I was hearing that someone was trying to scam him. I tried to tell him why this wasn’t true, but he just wouldn’t listen.
In case you haven’t already guessed what happened, I’ll tell you: The client hired the other company to install a new, more expensive theme, which completely erased all the work we had done. At this point, his budget was completely shot, and he wasn’t able to finish the website, let alone pay for initial marketing and promotion efforts.
When it comes to choosing a website theme, you should work within your budget. Your options are limitless and there is no reason to pay $2,000 for a theme (especially if you’re just starting out). When someone tells you that you need to buy an expensive theme, ignore them.
“You have to hire a website developer to create a custom theme,” said the upsell-hungry developer.
You’re probably wondering why hiring a web developer is a bad idea. Afterall, they know how to speak code, which is a foreign language to most of us – they have to be extremely talented and intelligent. But, you don’t have to hire a web developer to create a custom theme for you when you already have access to countless customizable themes.
One client of mine spent two years and over $30K on her custom website theme, which was built by a talented developer. Despite the fact that he slept during her waking hours, she was fairly satisfied with the final product. Sadly, when it was time to launch, the site didn’t convert.
All the fancy bells and whistles (collapsable menu, flash videos, and more) were aesthetically appealing, but they weren’t functional. If this client had just purchased a completed theme, up-to-date with best practices, she could saved up to $29,900 on the theme alone, not to mention the money wasted on additional tools, content creation, marketing strategy, and other business expenses during the first six months during launch.
There is usually no need to purchase a custom theme; spare your pocketbook and choose a responsive website theme that is pre-built and customizable for the best results.
“Don’t listen to the marketing team,” insisted the irritated website admin.
I was hired as a consultant for a company with high-end customer relationships. They asked me to check out their website theme, which had cost in the ballpark of $9K. I took one look and asked, “Where do you want me to begin?” This theme was terrible.
The main problem for this client was that their customers weren’t able to order from the website (despite the fact that it had cost more than 6 months of mortgage payments). A functional shopping cart can make or break eCommerce sales. So, I advised that the company move into a simpler platform with a built-in, reliable shopping cart first. The website creator didn’t like this, and he told the client not to listen to me, “She’s a marketer, not a web designer.”
The marketing team and the development team should work closely together for optimal synergy. If the theme isn’t working for one, it doesn’t matter what the other thinks – something needs adjusted. Communication, compromise, and goal-setting will help you choose the right theme.
Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Do your own research, shop around, and discuss your options with everyone on your team before you choose website theme. Being informed will keep you from taking terrible advice from people who don’t know or don’t care what’s best for you.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever heard about website themes? Share it in the comments below.
About the Author:
Currently a content marketing writer on behalf of Heroic Search in Tulsa, Ashley Kimler has been working in online promotions for over ten years. In her spare time, she likes to binge watch the Sci-Fi category on Netflix and knows the names of 80% of the Walking Dead Characters. Follow her on Twitter (@ashleykimler) to see what she and her team get into next.