Demise of WordPress theme serves as warning

The website development team in our Geelong HQ had mixed feelings during the week while reading how the people behind a hugely popular WordPress theme had stopped updating the theme.

On one hand our web developers felt vindicated because at GOOP Digital we don’t use out-of-the-box themes for our websites – ever! Every single one of our clients’ WordPress websites is individually crafted specifically for each client. The only part of our websites that goes close to a third party theme is the GOOP Digital base theme, the WordPress skeleton which is the foundation of our Geelong website development.

But while on one hand our people were feeling vindicated, on the other hand we all felt concern for the owners of the 4000-plus websites which have the now-officially-unsupported themes installed. The owners of those theme-based websites now have no choice but to migrate their sites to a different theme – which isn’t as easy as it sounds – or suffer the consequences of continuing to use unsupported themes which become more and more unstable and more and more vulnerable as each day passes.

In case you don’t know, a WordPress theme is a template which can be tailored to an individual appearance. Think of it as an already-designed-and-developed website where you only have to fill the gaps with images and text. It’s pretty simple and even a former journo like myself could knock up a basic theme-based website before I joined GOOP Digital. In other words, there’s not really any website development skill involved – it’s more like painting by numbers.

Official confirmation of the group’s decision not to update its themes reinforces the need for businesses to thoroughly research website developers when embarking on a new website project. Perhaps the first question should be if the developer uses themes. If the answer is yes, then the next question might be to ask what you’re actually paying for, followed by queries about ongoing support and updates.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and again and again. GOOP Digital does not use out-of-the-box WordPress themes. Our website developers here in Geelong spend hours converting our graphic designers’ unique creations into fully functioning, Google-friendly, search engine optimised websites.

And they spend just as many hours each month updating our clients’ websites, ensuring each website has the latest version of the WordPress content management system, that all the sites’ features are compatible with the CMS and that the websites continue to perform as they should.

The demise of a popular theme and the consequences for thousands of websites is sad, but it is a timely and important reminder about why the best website developers don’t rely on template themes for their websites.

If you’d like to know more about websites, themes, WordPress or even about how GOOP Digital’s web developers in Geelong go about their work, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll happily answer your questions.

Let's chat about your next project

Contact Us