Why Your WordPress Theme (and all of those Plugins) is Ruining Your Website

Okay, I’m going to pick on someone. Well, not someone as much as something: The OceanWP theme.

This is not a unique problem with OceanWP though, rather, it’s an issue with prebuilt themes.

Imagine if you went to the car dealership to purchase a nice, small, electric coupe car. The salesman walks you around the lot and eventually you end up at a car.

“This is the car for you my friend,” he tells you.

You look at the car, and the first thing you notice is that it has four doors. “I’m looking for a coupe,” you remind him, “this car has four doors and I want one with two doors — you know, a coupe.”

“Yep, this one has four doors just in case you ever want it.” He walks you around to the back of the car, “It’s also got a truck bed, a winch, and not only an electric engine, but a diesel and a gasoline engine in there too. It comes with an extra row of seats, has ten tires and two steering wheels.”

“What?!” you might ask, but regardless of how the conversation goes, you end up finding a new car dealership.

This is what OceanWP and most other themes are (Divi is a major offender too.)

They’re built to do everything. But no website wants to, nor should, do everything. Your site has a purpose. To sell your product. To inform your customers. To get leads. If you’re selling t-shirts as your primary business, it’s unlikely that you also want a large portion of your site dedicated to allowing people to create a wiki about Spiderman’s girlfriends.

Just like that abomination of a car we discussed earlier, when something can do everything, it does nothing well. That “electric car” isn’t going to get great mileage with everything they’ve thrown on top. And your website isn’t going to perform well with the kitchen sink floating around in your database.

OceanWP adds some 16 custom fields alone. Add on the recommended Elementor plugin and you’ve got more bloat in your database. Tack on a plugin like the egregious Essential Grid Gallery WordPress Plugin and now you’ve got a database so convoluted it would leave the Joker asking Batman for a foot rub.

What does the Joker, Spiderman’s girlfriends and a bunk hybrid car sale have to do with WordPress? Nothing, as they should not — just as bloated themes, theme builders and other plugins should be approached with the caution you’d use when pushing a broken down car across a busy highway.

If you’re running a hobby site, feel free to get wacky with these types of approaches. If you want a business site that’ll perform, don’t even think to install them, or expect to pay a ton for some poor developer to carefully careen through your data and delete the fat.

Don’t believe me? Head over to Google Pagespeed and see what they think of your OceanWP + Elementor site.

Up Next: Does a Reliable WordPress Managed Host Exist?