I have been in many situations where my customer was deciding whether to purchase an existing theme or make a new one from scratch.
At first at my company we were doing both. We were making templates for customers and also purchasing and installing themes from popular sites like theme forest. But after doing this for about three years we now exclusively make templates from scratch. This shift has made it much easier for me to do work for various customers and I suggest you do the same. Now I would like to talk about some reasons why we made this change and I hope you can benefit from this
Purchased templates are too general: This is my very first concern and it doesn’t really come up that often in the mind of the customer, until after they have already purchased the template and they have added content to it.
Templates that you buy have a ‘generic’ theme. They are designed so they can work with any branding, but that’s simply not possible, unless if your branding nearly exactly matches the branding of the template.
Sure most themes allow you to change colors, but they don’t let you change visual components of the theme, such as the design of buttons or various components of their slideshow. If your brand uses curves and the template has straight lines, it will work at first, but then your template design will go downhill very quickly.
It is easier to make your own: Depending on your experience, it may be easier to make your own template. Wether it is from scratch or if it is based on a template you made already.
In the long run it is cost effective: You don’t have to worry about updates to the purchase template breaking changes you made.
The customer knows the developers and has a direct relationship with them: Depending on how good their service is, the developer of your purchased template may have insufficient documentation, may not be willing to acknowledge your emails in a timely fashion, or simply won’t care about providing a good QoS.
It is easy to improve over time: You know your code, and making improvements over time is easier.
Restoring from failed servers is easier: If you are using source control, you will always have a copy of your template on your machine, and it’ll be easier to recover.
Plugin compatibility is much better: Sometimes templates come with packaged plugins. These plugins can’t be updated if you run out of the service contract time on the template. Then you are stuck with out of date plugins on your website, unless if you purchase another year of service or your template.
I hope that after reading this post, you will favor more creativity, and not buy boiler-plate templates.