Multi-purpose WordPress themes or just not fit for purpose?

If you’re anything like me the idea of having a WordPress theme that can be all encompassing is an exciting prospect. One theme to rule them all (my precious), however, the reality is somewhat different.

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If you take a look at online marketplaces such as Themeforest (which is a behemoth in the WordPress theme selling space), you will see countless themes all professing to cure-all ails.

Unfortunately more often than not this can throw up a wealth of problems. Before you all go yeh whatever, hear me out, ok?

Multi-purpose WordPress themes are great they save me and my clients so much time.

Whilst that may well be true, just how fitting is your theme choice for your client. Or indeed yourself? Does it work the way it should specifically for your niche?

Or are you putting a round peg in a square hole, with an ‘I bought it for this purpose, I’m getting my monies worth’ attitude?

Chances are you more than likely are.

Then again it may well be the theme fits the niche you need it for and it’s happy days all around. To that, I say fair play to you good sir/lady.

Multi-purpose WordPress themes are hit and miss, more often miss.

The problem you have with a WordPress theme that bills itself as the Swiss Army knife of themes is the developer. Plain and simple, developers are great they do the things we non-techies do, which is create something so the rest of us can create content, attract visitors and generally win all around.

The problem with developers is, they do not understand specifics, specifics relating to a range of niches.

Developers/theme creators focus on the trend of current websites, they focus on functionality and trying to please everyone with their labors. That in itself is a problem.

You cannot, cannot please everyone. It’s a simple fact, with every one person who is happy with your multi-purpose WordPress theme, there will be a slew of more asking can it do this, can it do that. Or better yet, it won’t do this, it won’t do that.

WordPress theme creators cannot account for all tastes, all they can do is serve up something that will scrape by and offer the sort of functionality they would expect themselves.

Trying to please everyone and Frankenstein’s monster

By listening to customers (I’m talking about Themeforest comments from pre-sales, through to existing customers) developers can get an idea of what additional functionality they might want to carry out to appease those asking.

The problem of course with this is you end up with a mess. A big mess. By making a multi-purpose WordPress theme even more multi-purpose you are just making something that will end up being monstrous.

Over-complication, too many functions, inevitable slow down and site performance issues will abound.

This equals a loss of customers, and of course a loss of revenue.

Niche WordPress themes and why they are better than multi-purpose themes

Niche is specific to a relevant market. For example, WordPress themes for auto repair centers, bakeries, sports clubs and such.

These types of themes have had thought to go into them. They have had research performed in order to accommodate the needs of those that fill that niche.

They are specific, they are unique in that they will cover their respective niche and more than likely have the functionality and features you need to get going.

If they don’t, it’s not a massive headache for the developer to evolve the theme, catering of course for a specific singular sector. This means the theme will grow with the niche.

Invariably through user feedback niche WordPress themes will go from strength to strength. Due to a better understanding of a singular niche, without having to open up the theme in question to appease those from a wealth of different sectors.

For me, it’s niche WordPress themes all the way. Don’t get me wrong there are some cracking multi-purpose themes on Themeforest, however, they are seldom few.

Many are overly complicated for the most basic of end-user and will see many struggles with coming to grips with them.

My advice when looking for WordPress themes?

If you know your niche, you understand your market, then look for themes specific to your niche. Ask questions, read up on any documentation you can find, read reviews do your research.

Or waste hours on a multi-purpose theme you have just purchased to get it up and running ‘as you liked the demo’.

Rant over.

Note: This post was originally on my other website WhatWP. I moved it here as I am playing with the domain and it’s better suited to WPin!

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