7 Reasons a Custom WordPress Theme Might Be the Best Choice for Your Nonprofit’s Website

WordPress is often a good choice as the content management system (CMS) for a nonprofit’s website. It requires no licensing fee, and it’s relatively easy to use. For similar reasons, many nonprofits start their WordPress website design using one of the hundreds of inexpensive WordPress theme templates available.

But a generic WordPress theme isn’t always the best choice for every nonprofit. And it’s not the only option. A custom WordPress theme design can be a unique, efficient, flexible, and affordable alternative – even for smaller organizations and budgets.

Here are seven reasons a custom WordPress theme might be the right choice for your nonprofit:

1. You need more design flexibility.
If you’re okay with a very simple website design, a WordPress theme might be sufficient. However, if your nonprofit’s goal is to stand out from the crowd and leave a unique impression on site visitors, then an out-of-the-box WordPress theme might not be right for you.

WordPress themes are built to convey information for multiple companies, and therefore can begin to feel mundane. If you choose a theme that your site visitor has seen on hundreds of corporate websites, your site might not appear original, inspiring, or mission-appropriate.

With a custom WordPress theme, you can create a unique, compelling website. A custom theme will help ensure your website is unique to your brand and mission – and doesn’t end up looking like everyone else’s.

Cathexis Partners creates custom WordPress themes designed with the unique needs of nonprofits in mind.
Learn more about the Cathexis Partners Quicksite service.

2. Your content is (or might soon become) complex.
Relying on existing styles in a basic WordPress theme can work well if your content fits the theme components exactly. However, you might find that the path to explain your nonprofit’s message is more complex than themes allow.

Developing a custom WordPress theme allows you to tell the full story of your nonprofit and mission.

3. You might want to change themes in a couple of years.
As your organization’s web requirements change, be sure to have realistic expectations of how easy or difficult it might be to migrate from one theme to another. Changing your website is not always as simple as buying a new WordPress theme and moving content over. Not all content will port from one WordPress theme to another, and future changes can be difficult to make without starting from scratch.

A custom WordPress theme can grow with you. You can make changes to the theme down the road as your organization evolves.

4. You need a website that performs well. 
Some WordPress themes are full of extra code that your organization doesn’t need. This creates slower page load times, which can turn away prospective donors and other supporters.

A custom WordPress themes is efficient, including only the functionality you need.

5. You need a site that’s easy to edit.
The bloated code might also require more extensive web development knowledge and skills to work with in the long run. Because it doesn’t include a lot of extras that you don’t need, content entry and updating can be much easier.

6. You need to be able to modify the theme.
What happens if your organization needs something a little different than what the out-of-the-box theme was designed to do? That might require changes to the theme’s underlying code, which might require you to hire a developer. At this point, you need to make sure you choose a theme that’s easy for a developer to modify. Otherwise, you could end up spending as much money (or more) than if you had a custom website theme design built in the first place.

A custom WordPress theme can be more cost-effective in the long run.If you will be making a lot of customizations anyway, there might be a point at which you would spend so much time and money on customizations that you might as well start from scratch to get exactly the design and functionality you want and need.

7. You don’t have the resources to deal with potential errors. 
WordPress updates can cause certain themes and plug-ins to break. Using a generic theme can increase the risk of incompatibility with future WordPress updates. This could result in an unexpected and unnecessary site failure, especially if the theme is full of complex bells and whistles your organization doesn’t need.

When building your nonprofit’s website on WordPress, generic WordPress themes aren’t your only choice (and might not be your best choice!). You have the option to work with a developer to create your own custom design that meets your organization’s specific requirements.

Find out if WordPress is the right CMS tool for your nonprofit, and get a custom WordPress design that makes your nonprofit shine: Contact Cathexis Partners.

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