Need to choose between a theme or a template kit? Well, it might be a little confusing at the start, especially if you’re not even sure what makes each one different from the other.
In this guide, I’ll explain as simply as I can the differences between WordPress themes and Elementor template kits.
What are WordPress themes?
Most people who are in the process of creating a WordPress site took a bit of time to choose a fitting theme from the WordPress theme repository or online markets like Envato.
That’s understandable since it’s widely known that themes basically dictate the design and feel of a site.
But technically, themes touch a lot of the site’s design components, including the following:
The way a theme dictates the site design is through a CSS stylesheet — which basically controls how web pages look like.
This is usually the flow when you use a theme:
Installing a theme is straightforward. There is a section dedicated in the dashboard where you can easily upload a downloaded theme or directly install one from the repository:
Unfortunately, the good bits end there. All themes have limited built-in customization options. If you want advanced customizations, you need to use codes.
Themes also come with their own page builder that you need to use if you want to do further customizations — except for the ones that natively use Gutenberg.
On the other hand, themes enable everyone to easily start designing a site, which is perfect for newbies and for those who don’t need much customization.
What are Elementor template kits?
If themes touch the design components on all the pages in a site, template kits provide you a way to modify a single page.
Template kits are made up of pre-designed templates or page layouts that share a design or visual style.
Note that the term template kit is usually associated with Elementor. But other page builders also have similar products, though they use other terms.
A good example of this is Divi layouts (works exactly like Elementor template kits):
Template kits still need a primary theme to run (could be the simplest Elementor-compatible theme you can find). The theme you will use doesn’t really matter since the template kit will modify the page using Elementor.
Template kits are usually bundled by:
Below is an example of an Elementor template kit specifically made for a logistic or courier service website:
The sample template kit above includes page templates for different pages. However, the user gets to decide which page template he or she wants to use.
Here’s the flow when you use a template kit:
Many people like to use template kits since they give more freedom on how to customize the site design.
The caveat here is that you also need to learn how to use its page builder to be able to make use of its design potential.
How do WordPress themes and template kits differ?
Still confused? Okay, let me zoom in on the exact differences between WordPress themes and Elementor template kits.
But first — you need to understand that both of them modify a site’s design components, essentially changing the look of the site and its pages.
Here are the ways that they differ:
The problem with themes using shortcodes is that when you want to change themes, the look of the site breaks.
That means more work for you in order to rebuild the site according to the new theme’s customization options.
With Elementor template kits, the content and design don’t break even if you change the primary theme of your site.
Benefits and drawbacks of using WordPress themes
Now, even if template kits have an advantage when it comes to designing a site, I still want to be fair.
I know plenty of sites that look really good even if they’re not using Elementor. Many of them used the theme’s basic look and simply changed the content and color scheme.
Here are the benefits if you want to use a WordPress theme to design your site:
Although it’s true that themes are easier to customize, most free themes have bare bones customization options.
The vast customization options that you see in the image below are only available on paid themes:
As far as I know, the free theme that has the most customization options is Astra. But even that is not enough if you want to modify every part of your website.
Perhaps the most annoying part of using a theme is that the demo looks vastly different than when you apply the theme to your site.
Similar to what I said above, themes rely on plugins to work. If you don’t install those plugins, then you won’t have the look that attracted you to the theme in the first place.
Benefits and drawbacks of using Elementor template kits
Now that you know what it’s like if you rely on a theme for your site’s design, let’s head over to template kits.
Here are the benefits if you want to use Elementor template kits to design your site:
The caveat here is that to make use of Elementor’s full power, you need the pro version, which starts at $49/year for a single site.
There’s also the fact that you need to know how to use Elementor, which takes a bit of time and practice to master.
The price of the kits was also an issue before. Fortunately, you can now buy an all access pass to all template kits created on my site.
How to choose between using a theme or a template kit
The main issue now is how to choose between using a theme or an Elementor template kit to design your site.
I have a feeling that some of you may ask that question, so I prepared a list of questions that can guide you:
If you ask me, I would always recommend using Elementor template kits. They make designing a site simpler and smoother since no code is needed.
But what’s important here is that you’re comfortable and happy with what you use. Start experimenting and see for yourself which one suits you better.
This content was originally published here.