“Sidebars, widgets, themes, plugins, categories, tags, permalinks” – seeing all these terms can cause a headache if you’re a beginner. Sure, these terms sound cool, their meanings are obvious to developers, and it seems that WordPress wouldn’t have the same exponential expansion without those. (I dare to say that even Big Bang is a little bit jealous about WordPress’ expansion.)
Anyway, another two terms that might cause some head scratching are, “niche” and “multipurpose” when talking about WordPress themes.
What are those?
In this post, I will clarify this, and also try answering the question of which is best for your project, a niche or a multipurpose theme? It’s useless to mention how important a theme for the overall success of a website is. And since we did publish a post about how to install plugins and how to choose a proper host, it therefore makes sense to provide you with some valuable tips for selecting the right theme too.
Niche WordPress themes
The barrier between niche and multipurpose themes isn’t set in stone, and there aren’t criteria to make a clear distinction between niche and multipurpose ones.
That being said, a niche theme is aimed to be used for a specific field – there are niche themes for churches, charity projects, schools, DJs, events, etc. These themes ship with features that are useful mostly for their respective kind of project. Wrapping up, a niche theme should be used mostly – if not only – for a specific purpose. Nothing more, nothing less.
For instance, just looking into ThemeIsle’s library, LawyeriaX is a theme destined for attorneys, while Woga is meant for yoga instructors and gyms. Both themes come packed with features, but I don’t recommend using them for other purposes then the ones recommended by the developers (although it is only my personal opinion).
Then, there are some slightly bigger themes that can still be labeled “niche,” but actually offer a more extensive set of characteristics:
FlyMag Pro is a great example in this regard; its primary market is magazine and news-like sites. Still, it can be successfully used for other blogging purposes too. I like to call these kinds of themes multi-niche.
Multipurpose WordPress themes
The name is quite self-explanatory in itself. These themes can fit any kind of project: blogs, magazine news, portfolios, business projects, online shops, etc.
Zerif Pro is a multipurpose theme of ThemeIsle’s that has made its mark on the web, and is now valued by thousands of users.
Another example, Divi is the Elegant Themes flagship theme, and it’s one of the most used WordPress themes out there. Lastly, Avada, another multipurpose theme, has been trusted by almost 250,000 customers so far.
Under the hood, these themes don’t miss any particular feature; you have at your disposal everything to create a wonderful WordPress website! Without any doubt, these multipurpose themes are some of the most advanced tools allowing you to create websites without writing a line of code.
Which is better? Niche or multipurpose WordPress themes
I hope that you have a better understanding of what the differences between niche and multipurpose themes are. Now let’s look into which is going to be better for your specific project:
First off, I hate answers that begin with “it depends on,” but in this case, the context and the purpose of the website has a major role. You’ve guessed it, I don’t have a general solution for this dilemma! However, there are some tips for choosing the proper theme depending on some criteria:
1. The type and the complexity of the website
Selecting a niche or a multipurpose theme hinges on the type and the complexity of the project. If you want to develop a huge website with lots of options then you should go for a multipurpose theme.
On the other hand, if you want a decent website just to let people know that you and your business are online then a simple niche theme can be better (if there’s one for your particular niche).
For instance, if you want to launch a web design blog, you should go for a multipurpose theme. With time, you might want to add sections to present your best works and/or to sell courses, works, or various kinds of services. In other words, your blog may transform into a portfolio or an online store.
2. The user skills
Another thing to look at is your own level of confidence when customizing a theme and making it work.
If you find yourself more on the “beginner” side of the spectrum then a niche theme is going to be better for you. They are usually much easier to get going, and don’t offer too many unneeded options.
For slightly more experienced users, multipurpose might be better. Some of those themes are more complex, and might put some users in trouble. But all of them come with reliable support, and the WordPress community is truly helpful.
3. The time invested into the pre-launch phase
Another important factor to take into account in the dilemma of niche vs. multipurpose is the investment itself.
Setting up a WordPress website is a serious task, and it calls for a decent investment of time. Even the most experienced WordPress users spend time to check all the features of a theme before launching it online.
Usually, a niche theme comes with fewer options, and it implies a shorter period of time invested in the customization work. On the average, niche themes also have fewer sales than multipurpose themes, so the risk of looking similar to other websites is pretty low.
A multipurpose theme requires more work to set it up, as there are more features. Also, the risk of looking similar to other websites is higher than in the case of niche themes.
At the end of the day, though, the countless features give you the ability to create stunning creations.
Wrapping up, you should have a clear plan when launching a new website. And once all the steps of this plan are correctly done, you will have your answer – you will know whether you should go with a niche theme or a multipurpose one.
My personal advice: read this blog post carefully, take all the tips into account, and think hard on what kind of website you want to launch, what your resources are, time, etc. Once you have all these clearly determined, read it even once again. Then decide.
What do you think, are niche themes better? Or not?
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