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Advocate IV

"All in One" Wordpress Themes

One of the GoDaddy Pro perks is an all-in-one WordPress theme through WPMU DEV: . This is one in a category of responsive, drag-and-drop themes, boasting that you never have to buy another WP theme again. 


I've also seen a similar project through Elegant Themes:


What's your experience using module-based themes for WordPress? Do they work for your website (or your clients)? Do you have a favorite module-based theme?

Super User I Super User I
Super User I

I'd love to buy themes or use a all-in-one theme but they always pose a bit of an issue with me. Typically I don't like how the theme is coded even if I love the theme. I have an inherent need to go through every line of code for any theme that comes my way. I find that most mass marketed themes are overcoded (by design I'm sure) so they can fit into many scenarios, uses and website categories. It is my experience that the more coded (or miscoded) the longer load time, the harder it is to manage, it is more difficult to customize, too many javascript calls, bad HTML practices, poor formatting, licence calls...

For client templates I like to code a solution as clean as possible without including erroneous calls, embedded plugins, user interfaces, menu calls, added post types, shortcodes... There is simply not a huge use for a lot of template code that is included in such templates. Certainly I include as much is required to accomplish the client need but no more and no code that goes unused.

All-in-one themes are fine for those doing their own website. I find no need to use them because of their unneeded coding complexity. Keep in mind that I check the "Disable the visual editor when writing" in WordPress and use UltraEdit to code only because I had to upgrade from Notepad.

...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.

roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head

"All-in-one" (page builder) themes are great if all you want to do is get a website up and running fast. As Roy noted, you have to cede control to the theme, however, as modifying their behavior to suit your needs is difficult. I've also noted in my tech support role for a couple of WordPress plugin developers that these page builders can cause problems with third-party plugins (as can any theme, to be honest) and certain "blocks" in their page builders don't play nicely with shortcodes in particular.


Even though I'm a WPMU die-hard, I haven't used their UpFront theme and its progeny. I've had clients who use both Divi (Elegant Themes) and themes with Visual Composer built-in. I don't like them, but those clients do because they have enough technical expertise on their own to use the page builder functionality. They are not that easy for beginners, in my opinion. Much like WordPress itself, it looks easy, but it isn't really. 😉

Geeks rule!