Why You Should Reuse WordPress Themes Instead of Buying New Ones

At the risk of pissing off theme developers worldwide, I have to say that you don’t need to buy a new theme for every new blogsite you design.

Instead, you can reuse WordPress themes – ones you know well and are comfortable with – and simply customize the hell out of them.

Why reuse WordPress themes

Customizing the same workhorse theme for every site has lots of advantages:

  • You save time from the learning curve of figuring out how each new theme works
  • Use the developer relationship you have instead of building a new relationship each time
  • You save money from not spending $40-$100 per theme
  • Most themes are packaged with a page builder anyway, so you might as well use the ones you know

How to reuse a theme

First, if it’s a premium theme, make sure you have the proper licensing to use it on multiple sites.

Second, install a good page builder so you can place your various elements in the rows and columns you’ve designed for.

Read More: 9 Top WordPress Page Builders to Renovate Your Site

Third, finish off the design by adding snippets of code to your stylesheet file at style.css. Better yet, use the CSS box provided in the workhorse theme’s settings, so the customizations don’t get lost when the theme gets updated.

Read More: Easy Stylesheet Customizations in WordPress

Case study

I took my own advice on a project I completed recently for Pipe Dreams Winery.

pipe dreams winery

This was not a particularly complicated design, given to me by their agency TownHall Brands, nor was it large in scale. But there were enough specific parts to fit that made me realize I needed a page builder.

And if I was going to use a page builder, I may as well install one in a theme I know.

The theme I chose was Canvas v 5.10.1, by WooThemes. It comes with WooCommerce installed, so the ecommerce component was already in motion.

After writing all about page builders recently I decided to experiment with Elementor.

Elementor offers control over the height and width of rows and columns just by dragging the box corners. Advanced settings allow you to set margins, padding, animation and css.

elementor responsive
And, Elementor allows you to preview your page in desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile landscape and mobile portrait modes.

Alas, Elementor will not change the layout of headers and footers. In this case, I wanted the logo to align with the navigation menu.

But a quick ticket to my friends at Woo yielded a response that gave me a link to 65 tips, tricks and CSS tweaks for WooThemes Canvas, which included exactly the snippet I needed to insert in my CSS file:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=”none”]
@media only screen and (min-width: 768px) {
#navigation {
float: right;
width: auto;
max-width: 600px; // This can be changed

For the wine Product pages, I didn’t like the H2 tag that read “Product Description” as that didn’t adequately describe each wine’s awards. To eliminate the universal setting, I used:

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=”none”].woocommerce-tabs .panel h2 {
display: none;
After that, I manually added my own H2 tags.

Additional plugins I added to support WooCommerce were:

WooCommerce Local Pickup Plus – $
WooCommerce Product Fees – $
WooCommerce Stripe Gateway – Free

For design purposes I added:

Regenerate Thumbnails – Free
Menu Social Icons – Free

Then, a couple of security plugins, plus Yoast, Backitup, W3 Cache, and Akismet, and the site’s plugins were complete.

The site is hosted by Cloudways whose servers in San Francisco give the site an average load time of 1.5 seconds. Not bad.

Next time

So the next web design job you start, ask yourself if it’s worth your time, energy and money to research a new theme, send pre-sale email questions to the developer, purchase, stumble through new settings, and start a new developer-user relationship.

Or, should you just reuse your favorite (properly licensed) WordPress theme and a familiar page builder, and just get to work.

What will you do?


If you haven’t already, please subscribe to Blogsite Studio and get my free ebook, Secure Your WordPress Website. Cheers!

Blogsite Studio on Youtube banner

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.