You get 114,000 results when you Google search WordPress “look like the demo”. How is that different from 114,000 women saying they want Angelina’s lips, Kate Middleton’s nose or Mila Kunis’ eyes? “Why would you want to look exactly like someone else” question aside, it can take a lot of time and effort to get there.
Because of how many people ask this question in support forums, a lot of overly complex themes have a “plastic surgeon feature” that allows you to import demo content, settings or both, allowing you to effortlessly make your website look like every other website out there that used it.
The real issue with so many people asking how their sites can “look like the demo” isn’t that it will lead to so many sites looking exactly like the demo, it’s the fact that an average user needs help doing something as simple as installing and setting up a WordPress theme. If you can install WordPress (famously) in five minutes and it’s so easy anyone can do it, I just can’t find a way to justify a theme taking a lot more than that to set up.
Why Do I Need This Again?
So, the “plastic surgeon feature” exists because high enough percentage of users struggled setting up their websites to look exactly like the demo did. Making it look any other way is at least as difficult, except this time there is no shortcut to it and you’ll have to do it yourself. Treating the symptoms by adding one-click setup helper doesn’t even begin to address the real problem the theme has – setting it up is frustrating and takes too much time.
Give the Man a Fish And You Feed Him For a Day…
This is the equivalent of a feature that makes your website look like the demo. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use, you can probably do better than a theme that has a feature that makes it less impossible to set up.
…Teach a Man to Fish And You Feed Him For a Lifetime
Or in this case, make fishing so damn easy anyone can do it without you having to teach them. For every option a theme has, burden of making a decision is shifted from the person who created the theme to the one using it. Not only that, but abundance of theme options makes it more difficult for you to find the one you’re looking for.
Rather than making your site look like the demo, as easy or difficult a theme makes it to do that, you should focus on figuring out how you want your website to look before finding a demo you want to emulate. Once you know that, it’s easy to find a theme that can do it for you, there are thousands of themes out there waiting to be installed.
Beginning with the end in mind doesn’t make much sense if you’re picking your end result from a catalogue.
Featured image credits: Flickr