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We have received a number of customers asking why they should use a WordPress coupon plugin instead of a WordPress Coupon theme. I want take this opportunity to explain why I think that it is a lot better to use a WordPress coupon plugin instead of a WordPress coupon theme.

In my personal opinion, themes are for design and layout and not for features and functions, which should all be managed by plugins. Why? I will tackle each area below so that you can see why I genuinely think that a plugin is the only way to go when adding a feature or function to your website.

Design / Layout

WordPress Coupon Theme
When using a theme, you are stuck with the design / layout that the theme provides. While most themes allow you to alter colours, you are stuck with the general layout of the theme unless you want to really strip the theme apart and code a lot of it yourself. But even then, you would have to redo this every time the developer released an update. So, in short, if you wanted to change your layout format, you would have to do some very extensive coding to change the format and this would need to be repeated every single time you updated the theme. We all know how vital it is to keep themes up to date after the recent TimThumb issue which resulted in millions and millions of wordpress sites compromised, many of whom may have been dropped by search engines due to infected files on the site.

WordPress Coupon Plugin
What can I say? With a plugin, it will work with any theme (our plugin Coupon Code Elite does). So, if you ever get sick of your design / layout or just want a change, you simply activate another theme. It is that simple. Shouldn’t it always be that simple? We think so. This means that you can swap from one complex design / layout to another in one click!

Below are a few examples of a few layouts you can easily create with our WordPress Coupon Plugin.

 Coupon Layout Category Thumb1 WordPress Coupon Theme or Plugin?Coupon Layout Post Thumb1 WordPress Coupon Theme or Plugin?Coupon Layout List thumb WordPress Coupon Theme or Plugin?Coupon Layout Table Thumb2 WordPress Coupon Theme or Plugin?

Scalable

WordPress Coupon Theme
Every theme that we have seen which is designed for a specific purpose, such as coupon codes, takes over your entire site, transforming almost all of your website into a coupon site. Do you really want to be stuck with only that option? Themes rarely, if ever, provide scalability when they provide features and functions.

WordPress Coupon Plugin
You can use Coupon Code Elite to add coupons in any post or page (including custom posts and pages). This allows you to provide coupons in any way that you want. You can provide a coupon every now and then in a relevant post, you can use one or more categories as dedicated coupon categories, you can add all your coupons to one page, to be quite frank, you can do it how you like. Why should you be locked to a specific method for your coupons? You shouldn’t. Coupon Code Elite and even Coupon Code Lite can be used to create a single coupon or an entire coupon site and everything in between.

In Closing

In short, themes should be for design and layout while plugins should be used to add features and functions. You should not lock yourself to a single design / layout just so that you can have a feature / function. What if you want to change the look of your site? You can’t as all your coupons are locked within the theme. If you used a plugin, you could change to another theme with a single click.

If the theme you buy only comes with a handful of styles, that is all you have available. If you use a plugin, you can use any theme you like and you do not have to stick to the few very similar styles that are normally provided within a theme.

I do not believe there to be any logical reason to use a theme to add a feature / function such as coupons. What if you already had a theme and just wanted to add coupons to your site? What if your sites sole purpose was not to provide coupons, but you wanted to talk about hosting and provide coupons to help increase your income? You would likely not want to change the entire design and layout of your website just so you could provide coupons and you shouldn’t have to. Coupon Code Elite will work with almost any theme (we have not yet found a single theme that Coupon Code Elite does not work with) and when you want to change theme, it is a single click, no editing code, straightforward and simple, the way it should be.

When you are setting up a business (online or offline), you need to make sure that you do not add something to your business that restricts your activity. Would you buy or rent a business unit that only allowed you to sell one product or service? Would you buy or rent a business unit that had solid walls in that could not be moved, forcing you to be stuck with limited layouts? No, of course you wouldn’t and it shouldn’t be any different when it comes to an online business. In today’s turbulent financial climate, you need to be able to move in any direction at any time and selecting a theme as mentioned above would only restrict your activity, meaning that if you needed to move to survive, you couldn’t and thus, you likely wouldn’t survive.

Grab our Coupon Code Elite Trial for free. We guarantee to match the price of any similar product (yes, that even includes themes) of the same quality or higher, even up to 30 days after your purchase!

I did not want this post to be a sales pitch, whether you choose our plugin or someone else’s plugin, I wanted you to have the information at hand to make the right decision for your business.

1 comment

David - October 1, 2012 Reply

http://lorelle.wordpress.com released a post covering the usage of plugins and focusing on “How Many is Too Many WordPress Plugins?“. Within the article they cover a number of items that we have already touched on, as well as the following item which is relevant to the above article:

“Adding Plugin functionality to your WordPress Theme traps you with that Theme. If you wish to change the Theme, you will lose that functionality and have to add it to the new Theme. That might be out of your skill set or require too much time, thus constraining your ability to stay flexible with your WordPress Theme.”

This is (in our opinion) exactly why you should use plugins and not themes to provide the functionality that you desire for your website.

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