If you’ve had a WordPress website for more than a year, chances are you have multiple themes within your WordPress dashboard. WordPress typically produces a new default theme each year and will include a new theme in certain updates. So it’s not a huge surprise when we come across a website with ten, or even twenty, themes attached to it.
Is it bad to have multiple themes on a WordPress website?
There are several downsides to having multiple themes on your website. These include:
- Upkeep. You want to ensure all of your themes (as well as your plug-ins and WordPress itself) are updated regularly with the latest bug fixes and security patches. Not keeping everything updated can at best, result in a number of update alerts. At worst, it can open your site up to attacks.
- Cost. Many Premium WordPress themes follow a subscription model with a monthly or yearly cost for updates. So paying for multiple premium themes, especially ones you aren’t using, can get expensive. Additionally, if your hosting plan has space or inode limits, having too many themes can put you close to your quota.
- Security. Yes, themes can be exploited. We recommend limiting the amount of code on your site as it minimizes what could potentially be vulnerable. Also, many themes come with a large number of files (scripts, PHP files, images, etc…) that will increase the run time of any security scans and thus uses more processing time on your web server.
- Site speed & performance. Many premium themes come with additional code such as premium builders (WP Bakery, Elementor) and plug-ins (Revolution Slider, WooCommerce) that aren’t needed for your current site. This means that libraries that you may not even use are being loaded with every page view. These libraries slow down your site’s load time. So when cleaning out your themes, be sure to clean out any plug-ins that are only used by those themes.
So is it the end of the world if you have ten, fifteen, or twenty WordPress themes on your site? No, but we don’t recommend it.
How many WordPress themes do you recommend?
A typical JVF-built website has only three themes: the parent theme, the child theme, and one WordPress default theme. We keep that one default theme for testing and troubleshooting issues. Occasionally, we’ll keep an additional theme on a client’s site, but only when there’s a reason for doing so. And it’s usually because the theme has something we want to preserve.
We’d be happy to review your themes and/or plug-ins during a complimentary consultation. We can also point out some of the unnecessary plug-ins that are slowing down your website.