A great article from Rachel @ cre8d-design about ‘Why should you get a custom WordPress theme?’. Although prices are in US dollars – not really comparable to South African custom WordPress builds.
#1 When you have the budget for a custom WordPress theme
Custom WordPress themes cost approximately $3,000-$6,000 for design and development, and can range up to $20,000 for sites with special features, plugins, ecommerce and other integrations.
Having the budget to get a custom WordPress theme is a key factor. If you’re bootstrapping your new business or blog, you may be able to get by on a free or premium theme until you have the income or growth to justify the expense.
Working with an experienced WordPress designer and developer is worth the cost: you’ll benefit from their years of experience. Their consulting insights will be invaluable and much broader in scope than only a WordPress theme. Plus, you’re getting a personalized service working with someone hands-on.
#2 When you can’t find a theme which suits your vision, goals, requirements and content
It is a theme jungle out there and you can spend fruitless hours hunting for the “perfect theme”. You can purchase multiple themes, configure them and add in your content only to find the theme may look wonderful in the shop window but simply doesn’t suit your vision, goals, requirements and content.
An experienced custom WordPress theme designer starts by asking a lot of questions, doing research, analyzing data, putting together a strategy, organizing your content and working out priorities and key actions you want people to take… all before getting to the aesthetics.
#3 When you don’t want to be limited in design options
A custom WordPress theme can be created to suit literally any design you want. There are no limitations for custom WordPress theme designers. Even better, they don’t start with pre-made boxes to put content in or have to force your content to fit certain patterns, like a premium theme does.
#4 When you want an original, unique design that stands out from the crowd
How many websites have you been to that all feel and sound the same? Your eyes glaze over, you stop engaging with the content and leave. You quickly forget which site it was that you were visiting.
A custom WordPress theme will leave a memorable impression: no-one else will have the same design as your site.
#5 When you want lightweight code with no feature bloat for things you don’t need
Custom WordPress themes can be much more efficient in their code because they only build the features you need and use, rather than stuffing in all sorts of features to try and entice people to build them.
All these extra features can slow down your site. Ensuring your site loads quickly is important not only for your visitors’ experience, but also for good search engine rankings.
And, these extras can make maintaining your WordPress website frustrating. Premium themes regularly have an overwhelming number of pages of options to hunt through to make simple changes. Custom WordPress themes can simplify and streamline your site maintenance work.
#6 When you want quality-assured code
Working with a reputable custom WordPress theme developer means you get good quality code that you can trust. While you might not ever look at it, or understand it, a site which is built on good code will run smoothly and not cause you problems. Some premium themes are extremely buggy, have low quality or unsafe code (or even worse have malware in it).
#7 When you want wonderful customer support
A custom WordPress designer and developer will provide personal, rapid support and quickly fix any bugs. Premium theme support can be slow or non-existent – you’ll be waiting in a queue with lots of other people. In many cases, premium theme developers don’t offer customization help or support for integrating the theme with other tools or plugins.