Why you shouldn’t use a premium WordPress theme for your personal blog

I am running a blog (this one) for more than 11 years, and as a web company owner I have a lot of WordPress installations used for customers websites.

Talking about this blog, I think I changed the theme about six or seven times, installing themes like the old Torn 2.0 (now impossible to find) by SoloStream, Silhouette (now impossible to find) by Brian Gardner, blog.txt and the extremely popular X theme.

As a web company, we have a subscription with CSSIgniter and a dozen themes purchased on the popular ThemeForest market.

While for your customers using a premium theme is a good choice, mostly because you can show them a virtually infinite series of templates to choose from without actually have a showcase made on your own, when it comes to your personal blog, I highly recommend not to use any premium theme.

Here’s why:

1 – You use 10% of theme features. While it’s good to show your customers they can have an interactive 3d header with particles and parallax effects if they want to, you probably know you’ll never use it in your blog, so why uploading to your server something you won’t use? It’s just like when they try to sell you an owen which can cook pies and pizzas at the same time, but you never eat pizza and pie at the same time. Ok, I do, but it’s not the point.

2 – Premium themes LOOK nice (with their pre-made tailred contents). Take the most good-looking premium theme, rip the “meet the team” part (because you are an one man company), remove the animated progress bar and counters to show someone’s skills because you’re tired of seeing them, get rid of the 25 menus, add a bit more text here and a little less text there, and… suddenly your theme does not look that good, does it?

3 – You can’t edit the code inside premium themes. That’s right, you can’t move that featured image elsewhere, because once you’ll need to update the theme, the new files will overwrite your changes. To avoid this problem, now themes have children themes. Basically you create a sub theme of the main theme, so when you update the theme your sub theme is safe. Prepare to navigate though dozens of files all with the same name scattered through various folders.

4 – A diamond is forever. Your premium theme too. Funny thing is a diamond could at least make your girlfriend happy, a premium theme probably won’t. Premium themes have a curse called shortcodes. Basically you write something like this in your post: [glowingtext]hey I am glowing[/glowingtext] and your theme will make your text glow. Until you change the theme. Then you’ll realize each theme has its own shortcodes, so from now on your readers will only read [glowingtext]hey I am glowing[/glowingtext].

5 – One hundred options in the admin area. Seriously. I can’t cope anymore. I just want to change header font, plese let me edit the CSS rather than looking into Settings -> Theme Control -> Header -> Font -> Style and play with three preset values. There’s something even more evil: a drag and drop editor inside the editor, which will generate shortcodes like the ones I mentioned before, so once you change the theme you will screw up the entire site.

6 – A lot of plugins. Now premium themes promote themselves with “10 professional plugins included”, which means “you’ll end up updating your theme once a week, what a lot of stuff making your site slower”. And remember point 1: you won’t use them.

7 – You don’t edit the theme. You negotiate with it. Did you ever watch an action movie with a lot of people taken as hostages in a bank with bad guys yelling “we want an airplane, new passports, one billion dollars in a secret Panama bank or we’ll start killing everyone”, and the police says “we can give you a pizza if you free men, women and children”. Same thing happens with your theme. You won’t make it look the way you want. You are asking for the plane, it’s giving you a pizza.

8 – WordPress is fantastic, learn it. Download BlankSlate and play. You will have the full control of your contents while learning something new.

That’s why I am designing my theme with BlankSlate and BootStrap

Get the most popular Phaser 3 book

Through 202 pages, 32 source code examples and an Android Studio project you will learn how to build cross platform HTML5 games and create a complete game along the way.

Get the book

// 1+2=3
// 100 rounds
// 10000000
// 2 Cars
// 2048
// A Blocky Christmas
// A Jumping Block
// A Life of Logic
// Angry Birds
// Angry Birds Space
// Artillery
// Astro-PANIC!
// Avoider
// Back to Square One
// Ball Game
// Ball vs Ball
// Ball: Revamped
// Balloon Invasion
// BallPusher
// Ballz
// Bar Balance
// Bejeweled
// Biggification
// Block it
// Blockage
// Bloons
// Boids
// Bombuzal
// Boom Dots
// Bouncing Ball
// Bouncing Ball 2
// Bouncy Light
// BoxHead
// Breakout
// Bricks
// Bubble Chaos
// Bubbles 2
// Card Game
// Castle Ramble
// Chronotron
// Circle Chain
// Circle Path
// Circle Race
// Circular endless runner
// Cirplosion
// CLOCKS - The Game
// Color Hit
// Color Jump
// ColorFill
// Columns
// Concentration
// Crossy Road
// Crush the Castle
// Cube Jump
// CubesOut
// Dash N Blast
// Dashy Panda
// Deflection
// Diamond Digger Saga
// Don't touch the spikes
// Dots
// Down The Mountain
// Drag and Match
// Draw Game
// Drop Wizard
// DROP'd
// Dudeski
// Dungeon Raid
// Educational Game
// Elasticity
// Endless Runner
// Erase Box
// Eskiv
// Farm Heroes Saga
// Filler
// Flappy Bird
// Fling
// Flipping Legend
// Floaty Light
// Fuse Ballz
// GearTaker
// Gem Sweeper
// Globe
// Goat Rider
// Gold Miner
// Grindstone
// GuessNext
// Helicopter
// Hero Emblems
// Hero Slide
// Hexagonal Tiles
// HookPod
// Hop Hop Hop Underwater
// Horizontal Endless Runner
// Hundreds
// Hungry Hero
// Hurry it's Christmas
// InkTd
// Iromeku
// Jet Set Willy
// Jigsaw Game
// Knife Hit
// Knightfall
// Legends of Runeterra
// Lep's World
// Line Rider
// Lumines
// Magick
// MagOrMin
// Mass Attack
// Math Game
// Maze
// Meeblings
// Memdot
// Metro Siberia Underground
// Mike Dangers
// Mikey Hooks
// Nano War
// Nodes
// o:anquan
// One Button Game
// One Tap RPG
// Ononmin
// Pacco
// Perfect Square!
// Perfectionism
// Phyballs
// Pixel Purge
// PixelField
// Planet Revenge
// Plants Vs Zombies
// Platform
// Platform game
// Plus+Plus
// Pocket Snap
// Poker
// Pool
// Pop the Lock
// Pop to Save
// Poux
// Pudi
// Pumpkin Story
// Puppet Bird
// Pyramids of Ra
// qomp
// Quick Switch
// Racing
// Radical
// Rebuild Chile
// Renju
// Rise Above
// Risky Road
// Roguelike
// Roly Poly
// Run Around
// Rush Hour
// SameGame
// SamePhysics
// Save the Totem
// Security
// Serious Scramblers
// Shrink it
// Sling
// Slingy
// Snowflakes
// Sokoban
// Space Checkers
// Space is Key
// Spellfall
// Spinny Gun
// Splitter
// Spring Ninja
// Sproing
// Stabilize!
// Stack
// Stairs
// Stick Hero
// String Avoider
// Stringy
// Sudoku
// Super Mario Bros
// Surfingers
// Survival Horror
// Talesworth Adventure
// Tetris
// The Impossible Line
// The Moops - Combos of Joy
// The Next Arrow
// Threes
// Tic Tac Toe
// Timberman
// Tiny Wings
// Tipsy Tower
// Toony
// Totem Destroyer
// Tower Defense
// Trick Shot
// Tunnelball
// Turn
// Turnellio
// TwinSpin
// vvvvvv
// Warp Shift
// Way of an Idea
// Whack a Creep
// Wheel of Fortune
// Where's my Water
// Wish Upon a Star
// Word Game
// Wordle
// Worms
// Yanga
// Yeah Bunny
// Zhed
// zNumbers