In our work, customers often wonder whether it is possible to use a ready-made theme for the site.
Ready theme is a set of files already encoded layout, logic and functionality to the particular CMS (most often OpenCart, WordPress or Joomla). Typically, they also include additional modules and / or plug-ins. Sometimes authors include a PSD file with a design that makes it easier to change sites.
Such topics can be divided into two main categories: «multipurpose» (“all-purpose”) or «the same type» sites (like the blog, news portal, portfolio or online store).
Ready themes can be found on many Internet sites.
As usual, every decision has its pros and cons . Some of them are found only in specific situations or are difficult to predict prior to the development process. We have prepared a list of common problems that can arise, and we want to share with you now.
Benefits of using ready-made templates:
1. Low price
Not taking into account the free topics (threads are generally not supported by sponsors and existing bugs and other problems remain unsolved, if not fix them), the price range varies from a few dollars to a hundred dollars.
2. Less time for development
Using ready-made template that should save us from the more time spent, as a matter of fact, we missed two labor-intensive phase of the project: designing and coding (design slicing and coding it in HTML + CSS + templates JS).
If we decided how the theme will look and work as a final product, it is only necessary to install it, set up with the help of pre-defined elements and functions. Before you finish a project, we must carefully check the web site to make sure that everything is working just fine.
3. Easy to use
In theory – the threads should be designed so that they can be used quite easily by people who are not programmers. However, in practice it often happens that the settings for a particular topic you must have knowledge in the field of programming and the selected content management system (cms). If you want the site to be developed professionally, it would be wise to hire a developer or web address in the studio to bought theme was properly installed and configured.
4. High availability
Access to buy a huge range of topics. The number of available topics is growing almost daily. Because of this, we can find at least a few interesting topics that can meet all our expectations.
5. The idea of the appearance of the future site
Choosing a template for the future of the site, you basically choose how it will look your site and its pages, products, arrangement of blocks, and more. Sometimes on the design for the new site takes a long time to the designer could create exactly what the customer wants. And picking the desired template, you save your time and nerves.
Minuses of using ready-made templates:
Note that some problems arise only when modification starts topic. Often, it is the beginning of many obstacles in the process of development. Below you will find some of them.
1. Documentation and Configuration
In highly skilled developers we will find good documentation, information on how to install the theme properly, any modules or plug-ins to be installed and how to set things right. But there are cases where the documentation does not exist or it is poorly written.
2. Low flexibility coded elements
Ready threads are often designed for a specific purpose, and you can not change most of the elements. This should not be a problem to change the CSS code, but is that any changes, especially in the HTML structure, will generate problems. Some of the elements can be encoded without the flexibility of their amendments. Also, the use of third-party plug-ins or modules may complicate the process at the time, they can generate conflicts in the code.
Undoubtedly updates made thematic authors are useful because they often contain fixes to known problems and possible security problems. But, even making the upgrade, you can do damage to the site, and some of the sections of the site (or an entire website) will not function as before. After updating the template version to check if everything is in order. We must make sure that all updates will not overwrite our code. There are also updates CMS, coming from time to time. Also in this case it is advisable to check, the new version is compatible with our theme or not. Always good to have a backup of the site before installing the update. After the upgrade is committed, it may take several additional steps in the code of a site, not to break the functionality and design of the site. This could lead to additional costs related to site maintenance.
4. Warranty and Support
This is the normal bonus for buyers of the theme – to have access to support from sponsors. Some people are doing business in selling so therefore they offer customer support and is likely to help you when you need to. This technical support can be both free and paid. Unfortunately, this does not always guarantee that the support will help. And whenever we find an error, or any other problem, you may need to wait until the authors realize the correction in the next update (this may take days, weeks, and sometimes months). Otherwise we are wasting our time trying to make corrections, working with other people’s code. Also, there is no guarantee that the authors suddenly decide to cancel the project or to suspend it.
There are many topics for different purposes. Such topics include a plurality of sub-types, add-ons, plug-ins, modules and functionality that we certainly do not recommend. After all, as a consequence of these topics are packed too much code can slow down the site, and make it difficult to administer. We need to think carefully before you use a universal theme, and if so, which of the elements necessary to establish (some themes allow you to decide what elements will be installed and which are not).
6. Testing and bug fixes
Each site should be carefully checked before giving him life. This means to check on site the various browsers and its functionality. In the case of ready-made templates may be that we will find the error in the source code. In this situation, we have two choices, we can contact the authors and wait for fixes (we never know how long it might take, and whether it will be fixed), or correct it themselves. Therefore, additional time and cost required.
Originality in business and marketing is a very important thing. Companies that can not give the impression of standing out from the crowd is likely to lose the battle for the wallets of consumers. Ready threads in many cases are very similar, they use the same elements, and have no originality.
We describe the pros and cons of using ready-made templates (themes) for content management systems. Buy or order a ready-made template to create a unique design – it is your decision based on your budget and time you have available. In fairness it is worth mentioning that there is a very good ready-made templates that can be used successfully to your site for many years. Moreover, the pattern – often serves only the skeleton of your site. Any pattern can be changed according to your wishes on design and functionality. It is important that this pattern was designed really professional team.
We also want to note that virtually every CMS has a ready-made template “default”. If you are satisfied with the appearance of a template, which is the default setting for content management system, you have no need to buy the theme.