Why we develop custom WordPress themes

The content management system (CMS) WordPress has become extremely popular to use as a platform to create websites. There are also a ton of good themes that are available for purchase and can be integrated and customised. However, there are many issues that come with using these themes and for this reason, we go the route of developing our own custom WordPress themes.


At first, these themes look really great and seem to cover various page layouts, offer multiple options in terms of layouts, navigation, widgets, and styles, etc.

Experience has taught us that various issues arise once a project starts such as:

  • Once the website’s content and imagery have been inserted various formatting issues and limitations start to appear.
  • When the site is viewed on various mobile and tablet devices, rendering issues are encountered and certain elements appear to be broken or simply don’t work well on mobile.
  • Often these themes are coupled with highly convoluted content builders that are cumbersome to work with, somewhat limited and not user-friendly, resulting in content populators and administrators struggling to manage content effectively.
  • Websites often grow in functionality and requirements but these themes are quite limiting in terms of adding custom functionality, either it’s impossible or it takes tons of time which is not cost-friendly to the client.
  • Certain themes do contain bugs and code that is not built to scale and abide by best practices. This again provides frustration as it is difficult (and time-consuming) to get these issues resolved.
  • Many themes are really bulky and packed with tons of extra CSS and Javascript files. This makes the site load slower (which Google also uses as a factor when it comes to rankings). With custom developed themes you only load what is needed keeping it light, simple and fast.
  • Many plugins are included and are over-complicated and not needed. These plugins are also susceptible to hacking and security breaches if not updated.



There are many benefits to creating a custom WordPress theme based on the designs for the website.

We can implement all the design features without limitations or restrictions.

From a content management point of view, we stick to the WordPress way of managing content, therefore administrators have a consistent experience and don’t have to learn additional complex content management tools.

A major benefit is that we can add custom functionality from the get-go and scale the website in the future, as further features and enhancements are required by the client.

Due to the theme being custom coded, we have complete control over all responsive aspects and therefore can ensure the site looks and performs as it was designed to on major mobile and tablet devices.

Upgrading a theme that is created according to the WordPress best practice and also HTML5 and CSS3 best practices ensures no major issues should arise.


WordPress themes may seem like a cheaper option due to the low purchase cost but the end product may be limited or a lot of time is spent to get the theme to do what you want (and therefore costs more). This is obviously not what companies want when showcasing their website.

The typical nature of a website is that it grows and increases in content, features and functionality. Having to deal with constant issues due to theme limitations is not pleasant and is often costly. However using a custom-built theme many of these issues are mitigated and clients can have the peace of mind that the website will look, function and scale as per the client’s custom requirements.

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Having been established in 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa, Elemental is primarily focused on providing web development services and digital marketing campaigns.