When using TF Premium Themes for client projects, do you build your site around the demo or start with a blank canvas?

Dear Friends,

I use premium themes to build websites for small businesses. When I start off with a new project I do extensive theme research. After I find a matching theme I install the demo which fits my customers needs the best and start customizing the demo according to my needs. I use the demo as a guide or starting point for the elements that I like (slider, footer etc.) and scrap the rest of the elements that don’t fit. Also I check the demo sub pages (services, about us, contact etc.) for segments, elements and arrangements that I like after which I import these elements into my working site and customize them to my needs. I tweak the layout and add elements (tabs, toggles, images) by myself to tailor the site to my customers needs.

I like using the visual composer to copy already styled elements from the demo pages. Sometimes I even find elements that I can use from the various demos of the same theme. I’d love to hear about your work flow when you’re using premium themes from themeforest. What tricks to you use to optimize your work flow?
Do you find that you also settle on one demo as your basis for your work when it comes to the css, font, and some layout and elements used? Or do you mix and match from other demos as well? I recently had a debate with some developers who claim that working from the demo with a top down approach is uncreative and stupid. Instead they claim that you should download the theme and start with a blank canvas to create your own look and feel. To be honest I don’t and cannot agree in this rubbish as the whole point of buying a niche theme that fits what you’re trying to do is that you use the demos as guidelines to your work and that means reusing some sections and elements as showcased in the demo is absolutely necessary to achieve a clean and professional looking site. What good is a premium theme when you start with a blank canvas? Why else would the theme creators make the demos? So you can look at it and never touch it for your work? Isn’t using the demos part of customizing premium themes? Do I have to feel guilty for using sections from the demo for clientwork?

I find a lot of “Designers” who use big framework themes such as Divi, X Theme, Enfold and Avada to build their Sites. When I look at the result I am often surprised how unsophisticated, uncreative and sometimes even HORRIBLE the sites look. The sites I create using niche themes from Themeforest look amazing.
I’d love to hear your opinion on that topic.
Best, Martin

You are actually going on right track. That’s the purpose of buying a theme. It makes half the work easy for you. But, you can always be creative and put your innovation in building some unique pages using the pre-definded VC elements.