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Marketing Insight

The problems of pre-packaged theme websites

Posted on June 4, 2020

First impressions count. When we are asked to look at creating a new website for a number of clients, it’s important to look at it from a number of angles to assess its viability.

Representation of the brand and proposition is of course important, however, security, speed and ability to be agile are also considerations.

The Aimtrac list of auditing your existing WordPress pre-package theme website:

  • Is it tired? Sites can look outdated and show signs of their age. This means branding is reflected poorly, for example poor use of colour and images.
  • Is it a bad fit? If the website is a pre-packaged theme, the images and content are generally shoehorned into place with limited flexibility and creativity due to having a “paint by numbers” approach.
  • Is it bloated and slow? If a pre-packaged theme has lots of unnecessary scripts, images or plugins they can slow performance down. That causes a bad user experience and make customers wait unnecessarily, often bouncing before they’ve reviewed your content.
  • Is it a risk? Poor security and maintenance. A pre-packaged theme will also be open to security flaws and vulnerabilities that can be easily hacked and exploited. This is often the main reason WordPress gets a bad reputation.
  • Is it rudderless? If there is no known upgrade path and if the pre-packaged theme is no longer actively developed, it may not be available to be used on newer versions of WordPress. This would leave you with an unmaintained website leading to critical security issues.
  • Is progress halted? This means functionality brick walls. Due to being limited to a pre-packaged theme and its options, it’s quite common for requested changes to be very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to implement without significant time leading to unnecessary increased cost. This stops a website from evolving with your company and is one of the main causes of it becoming quickly outdated.
  • Is it hindering search? With structure and content being limited by a pre-packaged theme, it constrains how we would layout a website's sitemap, impacting on-site SEO, use of landing pages and a customer's user journey throughout.
  • Is it compatible to a diverse audience? Testing on multiple devices and browsers will be limited due to a pre-package theme needing to be a one size fits all solution for users. This will hurt conversion, especially as the market trend of browsing the web carries on moving towards mobile devices.

In 2020 your website should be about presentation and the user experience. It’s incredibly important to get the right first impressions with your brand as well as guiding customers to the correct content as quickly as possible. In having a bespoke website, we can ensure that this happens without the large amount of limitations and strings attached that come with a pre-packaged theme website.

In making sure the sitemap, structure and content are well put together, received and illustrated, we can be sure that the traffic and potential leads that visit the site have the highest possible chance of converting.

This will have a significant impact on paid advertising when we work towards getting as much out of a budgeted spend as possible.

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