Bloggers at certain point in time usually decide eventually that they would start using a paid theme. The problem that bothers them the most is whether they should use a premium theme or a completely customized theme. In this brief post I would discuss to you the two briefly including their advantage and disadvantage.
Premium themes are themes you usually pay for. Obviously the quality of these themes are way ahead of free themes and the benefits that you’d receive from using it is just too much.
The cost of a single use license is very cheap either, ranging from $20 to couple hundreds of dollars. If you ask me its a great deal because for some couple of dollars you get yourself a good theme, and you set yourself apart from other millions of bloggers who use “cookie-cutter” free themes. Also with premium themes, you can pretty much expect the coding to be clean enough to maximize every possible potential for the blog.
Another thing to add is the support forums. Most, if not all, premium themes services come with lifetime support which includes access to tutorials and the forum. For me this is really crucial since working with your newly purchased premium design could be tough especially if you’re not techy enough to handle all the mind-boggling stuffs. One reason why the Thesis theme is soooo popular and well-loved is because of its excellent support enabling users to really make the most of what they paid.
Obviously the main disadvantage of Premium themes is that you really don’t get to look that much different from the rest of the users of the same theme. Yes, you can change the headers, colors, fonts designs or whatever but at the end of the day, you’re still using the same theme with 100 others. But heck that should not be that big of a factor when considering this type of theme! Here’s a short list of the popular Premium themes services:
Customized themes are themes that are unique, meaning no one can have that same look, layout or whatever. The quality of these themes is never in question (debatable) and it’s certainly the type of theme you could use if you have big money to spend.
That being said, to get a custom theme you need to have $1000 upwards. Obviously what you’re going to get is more than just the “premium” and you’d feel super special knowing not any single blogger sports the same theme. 🙂
There are several disadvantages that in my opinion the custom themes have. First is limited support. Most custom theme companies just have a limited number of revisions (mostly 3 revs). So in case you communicated poorly with them then its a big problem for your part when you couldnt seem to get what you want from them. And since different companies have different coding conventions, it can really be tough to do the dirty work yourself.
And another is the tough decision on choosing what company to hire. Most people find themselves trapped on choosing a cheap untested company to design their own only to find out that the work completely sucked. It usually is a big problem because most people want to have custom looks for their blogs YET don’t have that budget so they end up paying for a cheap (crap) company. Anyhow no worries, I already did the research for you for the top ones in this category
It’s a cliche statement, but it all depends on what you really need and what your goals are (and how much you can spend). Most people use (custom) designs to springboard themselves to fame while others let content speak for it.
I’m biased but obviously I would pick Premium over custom simply because you can do so much things that can match what a custom theme does for a very reasonable price. Support also does it because you don’t need to guess, most of what you want is laid out in there and that’s something a custom theme NEVER does have.
Coding is another big factor. As I’ve said when you hire a custom designer, most of what you would see is in the front-end. But how about the back-end? How about how codes are optimal? How its integration maximizes the search engine traffic? Or is it even w3c compliant?
So I’m laying out the floor on you to speak. What do you think about the custom themes and the premium themes? Which one do you prefer the most?