A client has an existing website built with Elementor and website managers are having issues managing content. They want to rebuild the website with a different WordPress theme that is easier to manage. In particular, they want to make blog post categories more effective as topical landing pages for digital marketing.
What are the Pros & Cons of these 3 common approaches for building websites in wordpress?
- We have found this layout manager to be easier for our clients to use to manage content than others we have supported over the past 8 years.
- Layout customization, like adding columns or media elements, can be applied to blog posts as easily as pages.
- Theme updates are very easy to perform.
- The support community for the theme is good, and there is a team that regularly keeps it updated, adds new features and consistently keeps users informed with tutorial videos and other online resources.
- Automated WordPress updates can cause odd layout behaviours that are fixed by concurrent theme updates.
- Custom coded CSS may cause style/layout issues after the site has gone through new content additions due to new elements being added, but not accounted for in the custom CSS.
Bonus: 3PRIME will manage theme updates for free for clients we host or as part of a support package.
- This is a powerful layout builder that can produce very slick frontend experiences
- The demos available provide shortcuts to custom layout building if you find a theme that provides the layout and user experience you want.
- We have found this system to be more difficult for clients to manage content and add new layout customizations on new pages.
- Layout customization is not available on blog posts without extra steps.
- Importing a demo may provide a shortcut to getting the layout you want, but you have to cleanup lots of information not relevant to the website you are building.
Free WordPress Themes
- These are free downloads and abundantly available
- For this client, whose layout is not complicated, it is likely there is a good free theme out there, but it might take several hours of research to find one that provides a good match.
- Simple sites that remain more informational rather than interactive can easily handle the simpler tasks. However, if more interactivity/complexity is needed at a future date, the free theme may not be sophisticated enough to handle it.
- Free themes are generally devoid of content management features users have come to expect, like a variety of media presentations elements and easy layout management.
- A free theme will not enable this client to customize their blog categories to make them more effective landing pages.
- Adding a free layout manager, like SiteOrigin, requires several additional plugins and the elements are less intuitive and flexible that premium layout builders like Divi or Visual Composer.
- They are often unsupported and need to be replaced every few years.
- Poorly written code and features can cause security issues.
- Updates may not be done in a sufficient or timely manner to help keep the theme current with 3rd party plugins that might have their own critical or important security updates needed. This could render your site inoperable or contain a security risk if you also rely on these 3rd party plugins.