When would you buy a Wordpress Theme over using a builder, or have a website made from scratch?

Call Me Paul
9 replies
Lately I have some doubts about the model of one of my businesses in which we make web pages from scratch for clients. More and more we see that the entrepreneur market prefers to simply buy a premade Wordpress template or use a builder to then edit the site in Wordpress. Do you think there is a market for the development of web pages or should I try to turn the business to create templates for Wordpress?


It's great you're reflecting on data and results to move your business forward. Personally I find the options that exist now for website building are plentiful that it's pretty easy for folks to self-serve, even for more complex types of sites. It may be helpful for you to spend some time speaking to business owners who use Wordpress to understand what kind of support they would need and offer some support there?
Call Me Paul
@abadesi Thanks for your time and reply. In my reflection on what is happening in the industry, I am realizing that today, unlike what it was before, our business is more niche, than massive. Before, "everyone" needed a website and we could supply them. Today "everybody" uses Wordpress, and we support the niche of customers who need something different. Wordpress does not cover the needs of customers who want something that breaks the basics. For example, of the winning websites on awwards.com, I'm sure 0% is made with a Wordpress Site Builder. That is our new client apparently ...
Cristian Moisei
If we’re talking about marketing sites, my preferred approach (being hardly skilled on the development side) is to build it from scratch so that I can get it exactly as I want it and can maintain it much more easily since it’s my code, but rely heavily on libraries and plugins for things like sliders, animations, anything that I can pay a few dollars to save me days or weeks of hassle. It worked pretty well so far. It’s worth mentioning though that these are side projects that don’t have the same needs as a real business might (e.g. easy to update CMS for the marketing team to be able to tweak everything frequently)
Sohum S.
I think is really depends on the individual business context and model. Far more niche and complex websites/apps will almost always need to be made from scratch. However, everything from a simple static site to a complex marketplace can easily be created using many readily available self-service tools like @abadesi mentions. I've seen very interesting setups for eCommerce marketplaces using only Wordpress and a plethora of very cool plugins to get what they want. Low code solutions (like Wordpress) really seems like the direction the industry is moving to, and if people with literally no coding experience can use it, it's likely going to become hugely successful. Don't forget that from a psychological perspective also, we value things more if we actually make them ourselves, hence why self-service website makers and easily customisable templates are hugely popular. Perhaps the solution to your problem @yakitos is a hybrid between making templates and your current set up? I'm thinking the core of your business would be focused on template creation and then you offer a side gig where you set up, customise and host your client's website, using the template they just purchased!?
Call Me Paul
@abadesi @sjs Thank you for your time Jay, I share your vision of the industry and your suggestion about trying to attack both "worlds" is one with which I have been playing in my head for a while. I still didn't do it because it seems to me that being "one more" of those who offer templates clearly would not be profitable or interesting. I am trying to find a space within the template market with which I can differentiate either in terms of design or business model.
Marcus Eagan
Very little market for developing non-CMS powered sites. Use a CMS.
Roman in Berlin
Companies and startups still want to stand out from the crowd. If you can bring top-notch design, demand is there. Very early stage companies are always going to be tricky if there's not much budget to be had, you want to meet companies when they're in a growth stage.
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David Allworthy
I use the best of both worlds. I’m a small business front end designer and I use Wordpress on a daily basis with Divi Builder. I use Divi to design websites for my clients from scratch, exactly how they want them! It works a treat!