When A WordPress Theme Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

by | Nov 1, 2017 | Web Development

While we can custom build any type of website, like most web agencies, 3PRIME takes advantage of pre-designed WordPress themes in order to help save our clients’ money and speed up the development process. After our initial discovery process, we determine what WordPress theme may work best for your business and then further customize it to suit your needs.

But sometimes one is not aware of the pitfalls that may occur once you get your hands “dirty” with a theme and begin to customize it. Though our decision on choosing the best theme is based on researching, testing out the demo version, and reading the theme’s documentation, there still may be some roadblocks encountered once development is underway.

We’re not keen on badmouthing any WordPress theme creators out there. But even more so, we want to make others aware of issues we’ve found with some of the themes we’ve used.

Entrada – Adventure Tour WordPress Theme

The design and demo version of this theme is very nice. It’s geared towards adventure tours, but we decided to use the theme for a vacation and tourist destination website. There are a lot of good things to say about this theme, but this article was written to tell you about the bad things. So let’s get to it:

  • No Text Block Element
    You read that correctly. One of the most basic and needed elements that comes with any theme using Visual Composer(or a comparable editing tool) is the text block element. This theme does not have one. The closest element available is an HTML block – which is supposed to show raw HTML code on your website, but doesn’t. It displays text, as the text block should. It’s buggy though. There are issues with images that have links attached to them that do not work. There is a lot of customization needed to make this element work properly. It’s a head-scratcher for sure.
  • Sidebar Limited to 3 Widgets
    Want more than 3 widgets to display in the sidebar? Not with this theme. No matter how many widgets you add to the sidebar, only the first 3 will be displayed on your website. If you’re savvy you can work around this issue by using a text or HTML widget block and apply custom code to accommodate all of the sidebar pieces you need. That’s what we’ve done to remedy this problem.

WordPress and 3PRIME Web Solutions

Demo Content

A lot of WordPress theme also come with demo content. These are the images, text, and copy you see when viewing the demo version of the theme. This helps you get an idea of how your site may look. But one thing you may not think of is customizing your website, with or without the demo content.

Demo content can sometimes be difficult to import as JSON or XML files. And once that content is set up, you then have the task of editing each page that you need and deleting ones you don’t.

Other Issues

Some themes come ready with custom post types and other unique features. Not knowing how to handle these properly can be the difference of using your new theme’s to its fullest potential, or wasting time and money with something that seemed easy to do at first.

Bloated code is another issue that may add extra weight to your site, causing page load speeds to increase, thereby negatively affecting SEO efforts and the user experience. Make sure your theme is not loading extra Javascript or CSS files that are not in use.

Always remember to use a child theme with the main, or parent, theme that you purchase. Some child themes may not come ready-made and so you’ll have to create one yourself. Learn more about child themes here.