This is a question that a lot of people starting out with WordPress ask themselves – for some the answer would definitely be YES while for others the answer would be an even more definite NO.
There are several questions you can ask yourself that will help you to arrive at the correct decision for you, starting with the obvious one “What is your plan for the site”? If you haven’t really got one, if you’re just in it mainly for fun you don’t need to worry too much about the fact that your site may look similar to a number of others.
Yet, on the other hand, if you have serious plans for your blog – if you have a serious intention and goal behind those plans maybe you should consider the wisdom of hiring a professional designer to handle the back-end design and possibly even the maintenance of your blog.
The big plus with that would be that you could then concentrate your time creating the content and building your readership at the front end? Worth thinking about.
The main intention in anyone going the ‘custom’ route is because people want their blogs to look different and therefore have more impact.
You will probably want to ‘brand’ your blog if you have serious plans for it. By this I mean that you wish it to have a recognisable identity – which sets it apart from the many other blogs out there, some of them most probably dealing with the same subject matter that you are.
Like the outfits some people wear, if your blog ‘wears’ a custom look people will associate that custom look with you. Do note that you don’t necessarily need a whole lot of fancy work connected to an entire layout to accomplish that custom look – it could possibly be achieved by a single logo or the way a single colour is used in the colour scheme of your choosing.