If you are anything like me, you have a hard time choosing a WordPress theme for your site. There are thousands of premium themes and even more free themes. I’ve spent many an hour scrolling through theme marketplaces, opening theme pages in dozens of tabs, and scrutinizing demonstration sites – all in an effort to find the perfect theme for a project.
Understanding the types of themes that are available can help you to choose more quickly. One way to categorize themes is as niche or general purpose. Niche themes are designed with a specific type of site in mind, while general themes can be adapted to any site.
General Purpose WordPress Themes
A general-purpose WordPress theme can be thought of as a flexible framework. They can be put to work on blogs, news sites, eCommerce stores, portfolios, or any other type of site.
General or multi-purpose themes can be further divided into themes that include a huge amount of functionality and bare-bones themes. Some of the most popular WordPress themes, such as Divi, Uncode, Avada are heavyweight themes with a complex array of functionality that might include drag-and-drop page builders, multiple sliders, and bundled premium plugins.
At the other end of the spectrum are themes like StudioPress’s Genesis framework, which while powerful and flexible, provides a relatively lightweight framework on which a great site can be built.
Niche WordPress Themes
Niche WordPress themes are pre-tailored to a specific type of site. There is a huge variety of niche themes for every type of site and industry, from law to health and real estate to gyms. Niche themes include features relevant to their niche: for example, the popular Woga theme is designed for Yoga Studios and includes a built-in BMI calculator, a daily schedule, and a design suitable to that type of business.
Which Is Right For Your Project?
Niche themes are inflexible by design, and that makes them simpler to use. You can install them, tweak a few configuration options, add your content, and you are good to go.
Multi-purpose themes are more complex. The best are designed to be easy to use, but you are still expected to mold the theme into a shape that is appropriate to your project. While themes like Avada are user-friendly, the same is not true of barebones multi-purpose themes, which assume familiarity with the WordPress way of doing things.
As the WordPress’s theme recommendations for developers put it: ““General” or “multipurpose” themes are often hard for a new user to set up easily. Consider designing niche themes.”
If flexibility and features are important to you, a multi-purpose WordPress theme is ideal. But if you want a theme tailored to your use-case or you aren’t familiar with WordPress, a niche theme will provide the best experience.