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Should you use a freely-available Drupal theme?

For today’s businesses, their website is their shop window. Even shops and cafes on the high street see online advertising as critical to bringing in new customers. Their website has to be as quick and responsive on a smartphone as on a computer.

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A slow or unresponsive website gives a poor impression of your business. The British Computer Society likens this to the T Rex, which obviously becoming extinct.

Perhaps your website is just a pet project and you rely on social media to spread the word? Weighing up the importance of your website is a good place to start before thinking about Drupal pros and cons.

Drupal themes

Drupal is a professional tool for building websites, using themes that define their look and feel. You can build your own themes from scratch or use pre-packaged themes, either premium or freely available.

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Website development means relying on tools and applications to work in the way you want. An experienced developer will be able to tease out the bugs during development and enhance the design later; however, a rookie will need time to build this experience and will rely on support. This is one of the downsides of using freely-available Drupal themes, as there is no obligation for the developer to provide support.

This may be OK if you are using your website as a training exercise, as you can learn by trial and error; however, if you have a deadline or don’t have the skill to fix a broken website, it is a risk to your business.

User experience

Today’s websites have to be responsive and perform well on all devices. The technology is evolving rapidly, with development invariably meaning using third-party plug-ins.

Freely-available Drupal themes tend to be written mainly as back-end code. This means they are robust but unlikely to provide a contemporary look and feel. Premium Drupal themes are supported, maintained, and will give your website a modern and responsive user experience (UX).

You may wish to consider having your website built by a professional Drupal design agency such as

You only get one chance to make a first impression. If your website is critical to your business, you need to see it as an investment rather than a pet project.


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