What are the main problems that you are likely to face when using a WordPress theme? That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this video.
Martin here from Jammy Digital, where we help business owners like you to make your mark online. If that’s exactly what you want to do, then click on the subscribe button, and then click on the bell icon to get notified, the very next time that we release a video.
WordPress theme problems
So why are we talking about problems with WordPress themes? It may baffle some of you because we actually have a membership where we teach people how to use themes and plugins and all of that good stuff. So why are we releasing a video talking about the problems that you might face?
Well, because you may face problems, no tool out there is 100% perfect. And I wanted to outline the key issues that you’re likely to face if you’re building your own website using a theme. And at the end of the video I’m going to tell you how you can eliminate a lot of these problems. So make sure that you stick around to the end.
1. Your website NEVER looks like the demo theme
Okay problem number one, when you install a WordPress theme from a third party vendor, what’s likely to happen is you’re going to see a really nice theme and you’re going to think this is the theme for me. This is exactly what I want to use on my website. You download it, you maybe even bought a theme, you click on install and nothing. You don’t see that amazing design that sold you that theme in the first place. What you essentially have to do with most themes is actually rebuild that theme again, using their features within the backend of WordPress.
Now this isn’t a very good thing. They sell you on the design, but then you install it and then you have to build it yourself to make it look the same. Well that’s not really what you paid for you want it to just be one click and then it installs all of the sample data. And that does happen on some themes. It does, but not all of them. So you have to waste even more time spending the time, creating the theme, working out what does what, and already you’ve wasted all of this time. And really you just wanted to click a button and have it look like that theme and it just doesn’t happen. So that’s problem number one.
2. WordPress themes are basic
Problem number two is that WordPress themes are quite basic if I’m being honest. So what they usually do is they showcase a really amazing homepage with all of these really nice designs. Maybe they’ve got some sliding stuff down here, maybe they got a nice testimonial section, and then you click through to the about page and the service page and the contact page, and they’re all really basic. They sell you based on a really nice homepage, but we all know as online shoppers and as looking around for online services that you don’t just need a nice homepage you have to click through to other pages when you’re doing your research, you want those pages to be as good as the homepage.
Now with WordPress themes, quite often they focus all of their energy on the homepage and you click through to the other pages and they just don’t look that great. So you’ve essentially installed the theme just for the home page. And that happens a lot. Yes, there are some themes out there that come with really nice different page designs, but it’s not very common. So be on the lookout for that one. That’s problem number two.
3. All WordPress themes are created differently
Problem number three, most WordPress themes are built completely differently. That means you install one theme from this third party provider and it will be different from this theme on this other third party provider. So all of the themes are different. How you edit them is different. You may have spent five years editing one website, you install a brand new theme and it’s completely different. And from the ground up, you’re going to have to learn the ins and outs of that theme and it can be quite tricky. So that’s problem number three, it’s not very adaptable, it’s a lot of time and energy and effort for you to learn how to customise that theme the same way that you have done in previous theme so that’s not very helpful.
4. You’re relying on the theme developer to keep it updated and secure
Problem number four, you’re reliant on the developer of that theme to keep you up to date. So we’ve just been through a major update with WordPress where they released Gutenberg and version five and there are a lot of themes that people were using beforehand that when version five came out, something developers just said, “Nah, we’re not going to update that theme.” And people were left stranded and they’re still using the previous version of WordPress. So that’s a real issue. You may have paid 20, 30, 50, maybe even $100 for this theme, and then 12 months later the developer decides to go and find a job, do something else with their life, and you’re left with this theme that is no longer updated.
If this is your entire business, you know that’s a pretty scary place to be. We’ve had people come to us before that say, “I’ve got this website. Can you help? We’re really stuck because there’s no latest version of the theme and plugins don’t work well with it.” Everything needs to be ideally on one of the later versions so that you don’t have issues with compatibility. And that’s another problem with using WordPress themes.
5. Stuck with the header and footer of your theme
Problem number five when it comes to using a WordPress theme is you’re pretty much stuck with the headers and the footers of the theme. Most of the other things can be changed around and moved around a little bit, but usually the headers and footers are not very adaptable. This is what makes a theme. It’s the headers and the footers. Everything else in between it can kind of be changed, but the headers and footers are there. So you have to check to make sure that the theme that you using has interchangeable headers and footers, and it’s only a small issue for a lot of people, but it matters. It’s a potential problem that you might face.
6. Not enough control over the layout
Now, problem number six is a big one. You do not have much control over the layout of the individual pages. Now this is a theme by theme problem. You may get more access to change the layout of the individual pages on some themes, on others you might be stuck with what you can see. Obviously the more that you pay for a theme, the more functionality it might have, but overall you need to have 100% control over your website and if you don’t, that’s a major issue. So I mean we teach a lot about what you should include on your homepage, what you should include on your about page, your service page, your contact page. This is what we do. And when we give you that advice, you want to go to your website and you actually want to say, “I want to move this up here. I want to delete this thing that’s no longer relevant. I want to add an FAQ here and a gallery here and some testimonials here.”
But chances are if you’re using a theme, you’re going to be restricted in what you can do and how you can make it look. And that’s a real issue. So there you have it, there’s six issues that you could be facing. If you’re trying to install a theme on your website, however you’re not alone. People struggle with WordPress all the time and people struggle with WordPress themes.
WordPress page builders
This is exactly why we do things differently for our clients and for our members. Anyone that’s a part of our membership knows that we actually provide page templates. So we actually recommend that you install a baseline theme, something very, very basic, something that you can have a lot of control over. Something like the Hello Theme by Elementor, something like OceanWP, Astra. These are all very, very basic themes that you have more control over. So they might not look great, fresh out the box, but actually what we recommend is that you plug in a page builder, something like Elementor or Beaver Builder, one of the page builders where you can actually have control over the design itself and that’s exactly what we teach you how to do in our membership MakeYourMarkOnline.net
We guide you through the steps and tell you exactly what you should be including on your homepage and your service page and your about page and all of the other pages on your website. And then we give you the tools in order to do it. Here’s exactly how to do it as well. So you’re not stuck relying on a WordPress theme that you paid $50 for 12 months ago in the hopes that your WordPress developer or the developer who designed it to build that theme is not going to run away and have a trip around the world and you’re stuck with this outdated theme that breaks your websites. The worst thing in the world, and there are lots of other problems, we’ve seen that with WordPress themes. Take back control of your website, make sure that you have access to change the layout, add features that you want. And again, don’t get trapped in the WordPress theme cycle of just swapping your theme out because it doesn’t work. Swap for another theme. You need control over it. And like I said, that’s exactly what we teach you how to do in the membership. MakeyourMarkOnline.net.
What now? How else can you improve your website?
If you found this video useful, then you’re going to love this. We’ve created a 54 point checklist that goes through loads of different things that you can do in order to improve your website, even more than what we’ve been talking about in this video today. So go to jammydigital.com/54ways, and get access to our very own, brand new checklist.
Web designer & marketer for small businesses. Martin is an experienced search engine and web design specialist, with over a decade of experience working with large corporations to small businesses.