Beyond Premium: Why Oozle Proven Layouts Are Better

So you’ve decided to get a WordPress site. You’re in great company! Besides powering 33% of the internet (and growing), including a lot of famous brands, WordPress is also one of the most customizable, most secure, best performing options available. You’ve made a good decision! Everything should be downhill from here on out, right?

Man giving thumbs up to his computer

It’s true that you’re on your way to the best content management system available. (And yes, we’re including Drupal and Joomla.) However, the things that make WordPress incredible are also the things that can give you a headache later. The best thing about WordPress, and the worst thing about WordPress, can be summed up in one word: flexibility.

What do we mean by that? To answer that, let’s talk specifically about why Oozle Media has chosen to create custom, proprietary themes rather than use the themes you can buy and download online.

The Difference Between Oozle Proven Layouts and “Premium Themes”

Many WordPress shops build websites using a type of theme usually referred to as “premium themes”. This term came from WordPress itself, when referring to themes that are higher quality than the free themes offered through WordPress’s marketplace. Some of the most popular premium themes are also being purchased by web marketing companies who want to build cheap, quick websites for their clients. These themes are popular because they’re flexible, attractive, and have neat effects and features in the design.

Oozle Media, on the other hand, has chosen to build our own customized themes from scratch. We started out with design and developed them from the ground up. You won’t find our code anywhere else online – it’s custom to Oozle Proven Layouts.

What’s Wrong With Purchasing a Theme?

Themes like Avada and Divi are attempting to be anything that any business could possibly need. Not just your business – all businesses, as well as personal websites, photo blogs, and so on. They’re trying to be flexible, but that flexibility comes at a cost.

Picture of complicated switchboard

  • They’re tough to edit. Most of these premium themes use popular page builder plugins, like Beaver Builder or Cornerstone. Each one tries their best to be everything you could ever need. Often they’ll have dozens of options, each with dozens of settings. In theory, the flexibility sounds amazing. In reality, there’s a huge learning curve to figure them out.

    In fact, if you type “wordpress page builder” into Google, the first two search predictions are “tutorial” and “not working”.

    Google Autocomplete Predicting WordPress Page Builder Text

  • They’re even tougher to customize. Whatever your business needs are, they need to fit exactly within the theme or you’re going to need a developer to customize it. All those settings hide one major truth – that your choices are actually limited by what the theme author predicted you’d want. Maybe they didn’t know you have four different locations and need all of them listed in the header. Maybe they didn’t know you’d need a form above the fold, instead of in the content below. They don’t know what your needs are as a business, and so they didn’t plan for it.

Square peg with Make It Work lettering in a round hole

  • Customization can break the theme anyway. We’ve worked on a lot of non-Oozle sites over the years. Most were built using one of these popular themes – so far, we see Divi and Avada the most. They’re great themes, but they also break down quickly when they’re heavily customized. Like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, things just don’t work correctly. You can usually see it in responsive views (mobile, tablet, laptop) or on certain browsers.
  • Flexibility comes at a cost to security and forward compatibility. This isn’t true of all themes, and we don’t want to imply that any type of theme is invincible. However, premium themes often come with dozens or hundreds of PHP and JavaScript files. As a result, we see a lot of older themes with serious security vulnerabilities or old, invalid code. It can happen in as little as a year. WordPress stays up to date on code, but your theme might not.
  • Licensing poses a challenge. Typically a premium theme comes with a certain number of months of licensing. You have to renew that license every year, or you don’t get updates to the theme. Often there are page builders or slideshow plugins that come with the theme, and they don’t get updates anymore, either. Sometimes these updates are absolutely vital. We’ve seen client sites be hacked because of known vulnerabilities in the theme they were using, but we couldn’t do anything about it because the license expired. Well, that, and because…
  • Updating the theme is often dangerous. All that customization we mentioned above means that updating the theme itself can alter your site permanently. Oozle Media generally won’t risk updating premium themes on websites because we have no idea how it will affect the site. We’ve seen theme updates completely wipe out a site’s branding. The same is true of things like page builders. Sometimes updating a builder, especially when it hasn’t been updated in years, results in pages no longer displaying content at all.
  • These themes aren’t designed to convert leads. They’re designed to be pretty. There’s no denying they often are beautiful. The problem is that you have no idea if they’ll even turn your visitors into actual money for your business. They will not have any data on that for you, and you’ll be flying blind.

Yes, the theme will cost you less than $100 up front. Maybe it’ll be cheap to pay someone to set it up. It will probably be attractive. The bottom line, though, is that you’ll probably wind up spending a lot of money to get your theme customized for your business, fixed when it stops working, edited when you need changes to the site, and replaced when you realize you’re losing money.

The Oozle Proven Layout Advantage

Oozle Media tests our own layouts for conversion rate optimization and other benchmarks of success. We got client feedback, followed their customer journeys, and started changing our themes to maximize client satisfaction and conversion rates.

Conversion Rate Optimization visualization

Not only that, but we target very specific businesses and learn everything we can about those industries. It helps us write better content, design better websites, do better marketing work, and write better code. Here’s a few ways that our proven layout sites have a better return on your investment.

  • We’ve built our own custom page-builder using a plugin called Advanced Custom Fields (ACF). We did this because ACF code is maintained far better than we could maintain on our own, while also allowing us to customize pages. Our page builder trades a little flexibility for better results. We don’t want our sites to be everything to everyone. We want them to work for our clients.
  • Our proven layouts are developed with as little code as possible. We avoid bulky theme code with a lot of included scripts and files. We do that mostly to avoid security vulnerabilities, but also because we just don’t need it. We’re building a website that works for your business, not one that has to predict what a photo blogger and a restaurant may both want in a website. The result is that our proven layouts take up less space, have never conflicted with WordPress updates, and are significantly less likely to be hacked.

    By the way, Google’s algorithm prefers simple, basic code. Traditional page builders spit out miles of HTML, but ours gets right to the point. Less code means fewer places something can break.

  • Your proven layout is custom to you and converts for you. We work with our clients to ensure that the website does exactly what it should do for them. For example, as a dentist, you may want more phone calls. We’ve designed ways to make your site get more phone calls. Or you might be a school that relies on more form submissions to get leads. We’ve done the math and worked out where to put a form to make sure it’s seen and sent more often.
  • You’ll have more input on the design. Typically, if you build a website from a pre-built theme, you’re a bit limited on what the site can look like. Developers often “design” the site as they go along, with the theme’s limitations as a guide. With our process, you’re given the opportunity to influence your site design from the beginning.

  • We understand compliance. Whether it’s secondary school accreditation with NACCAS or making your website accessible to the disabled, Oozle Media knows that your site has to follow the rules. Isn’t it better to work with a company that already knows what those rules are?

Let Oozle Media Make a Difference for You

Call us or fill out the form below today to talk about what we can do for your business! In addition to building some of the best websites on the market (and we’ve got the numbers to back it up!), Oozle Media also offers some pretty fantastic online marketing services to help make your new website even more successful. No matter what layout you choose.

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Cheryl Montgomery May 17 2019
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