Randy A Brown

Web Design Trends 2017 – Multi-purpose Themes

April 13, 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Multi-purpose themes have been around for a few years but they’re gaining in popularity due to their versatility. They’re relatively inexpensive and you can use them to create any layout you want using the included drag-and-drop theme builders to create modular designs. Many include multiple child themes to help you get started quickly and you can modify the layouts to create something unique without having to start from scratch every time. This saves a lot of time and greatly reduces the difficulty in creating new layouts because it doesn’t require coding skills. They can also be expanded further using code, shortcodes, CSS, etc. The design can be as complex or as simple as you want it.

A lot of designers/developers choose one or two to build from so they can build a library of layouts, plugins, etc., and save lots of time on each project because they’re familiar with how the theme works. Designers can create layouts and even share or sell them. Clients can choose from pre-made layouts which can save them money and get their website running faster, or they can choose to have the designer to create something unique just for them. The designer can use the same tools either way and the end result get’s the client exactly what they want.

Multi-purpose themes can simplify the initial layout work, but still require design and/or development skills to create something unique or to add unique elements to pre-made designs. They don’t take away the need or advantage of hiring a designer or developer. At the same time, they’re great tools to get started and may even have what you need out of the box. They are great tools for beginners as well as advanced designers and developers. Some of them even have a large community to help with ideas and solve problems. The communities include Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, forums, websites devoted to that specific theme, and marketplaces.

Another advantage in using multi-purpose themes is it’s easier to teach clients to use a theme that the designer is the most familiar with. This also reduces support and maintenance time. The client can use the theme just like any WordPress theme or they can use the special features such as pre-made blog post templates.

The most popular themes include:

This Website Uses a Multi-purpose Theme

For reference, this site was built with Divi. It uses a drag-and-drop system that makes it easy to create layouts quickly. It includes lots of pre-made pages to help you get started and you can buy professionally made child-themes in the marketplaces.

To create the site with Divi I created a page and placed my elements where I wanted them, created some dummy content, and tested the design. Once I decided on the final layout I use it to create the pages and post templates. The design you see now is the 5th version. Using the drag-and-drop elements it didn’t take that long to change my design. This layout can be recreated in just a few minutes with Divi. As you can guess, the hard part wasn’t building the layout – it was designing the layout.

Let’s Discuss

  • Do you use multi-purpose themes?
  • Do you prefer to use pre-made layouts and modify them as needed?
  • What are your favorite multi-purpose themes?

Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading and please subscribe if you haven’t already. 

Images used (except for the Divi Builder) are from the theme’s sales pages. 


  1. Mizagorn

    Another well written article, Randy! I prefer Divi myself. In the past I didn’t normally look for layouts, but I have been recently looking more into it as it’s such a time saver and I’m not much of a designer. 😀

    My favorite line: “They don’t take away the need or advantage of hiring a designer or developer.”

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks! I’m a Divi fan too. Once you start using Divi it’s hard to change. I’m with you on the layouts. They’re a big time-saver.

  2. Andrew

    I love your writing style Randy, easy to read, understand and appreciate the differences and uses of each theme.


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