Theme Builders vs Custom Themes?

Hello everyone,

I have a question about theme builders versus custom-built themes. Currently, I work as a WordPress Developer where we code our custom themes using Understrap as a base. However, on a personal level, I use Bricks Builder and appreciate its efficiency in writing HTML and PHP.

In your opinion, which approach is more sustainable in the long term: using a Theme Builder or creating a Custom Theme? At my workplace, we’ve handled several projects made with Custom Themes, and their workflows often don’t align with our style. Typically, when you take over a project from other developers, the code quality rarely meets your standards.

I believe that Theme Builders help bridge this gap because when another person takes over a project, it still uses the core builder features. In contrast, custom themes can be structured in many different ways, making it unsustainable for the client in the long term if they switch developers.

What are your thoughts?

4 Comments
  1. For small business clients and sites under 2k in value – use bricks. For anything higher / more bespoke use a custom approach.

  2. custom code > page builder but also take lot more time and knowledge, so it basically all depend on your clients profile

  3. Work smarter not harder. Use Bricks. *  

    ** I’m known to be a smartass and also no longer a freelancer so what the Feck do I know

  4. Page builders are always going to be limited compared to coding something yourself in terms of flexibility. There are many different ways to build a theme hence “workflows often don’t align with our style”. However, there are probably 100’s of code-free theme builders out there. 2 out of 5 clients usually use the same one.

    When you use a plugin or a theme builder, you are stuck to the limitations of the other person’s code (the builder). Meaning you have to digest their system, then work within the limitations they set. These limitations are often expanded by using their in-house paid plugins. When working with someone else’s custom code, you still have to digest their system, but then you have the ability to add, remove and change whatever you want.

    > In contrast, custom themes can be structured in many different ways, making it unsustainable for the client in the long term if they switch developers.

    For reasons mentioned above, unsustainable isn’t really the right word here. A new developer would need time to familiarize themself with the environment with either option. This is true for all projects though.

 

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