Someone asked me last night why I build custom WordPress themes rather than using off-the-shelf themes and templates. It is an interesting question and there are lots of reasons why from the type of client I choose to work with to the flexibility of being able to adapt to any functionality required. Here are my main reasons:
I love to design and I am talking here about designs I create myself. A client who wants to stand out from the crowd and look different is my ideal, I really enjoy working with people who are looking for a bespoke design. Many of the standard themes and templates that are available look pretty similar, there can definitely be a uniform design to them. My clients are looking for something different with some personal touches. They want to be able to differentiate themselves through fonts and colours and be completely inline with their brand guidelines. They might want a blog layout that is completely different from the norm, a few bells and whistles or quite simply a beautiful, unique design.
A bespoke theme gives so much more flexibility and I have yet to come across any functionality that we can’t incorporate. Want to display your eCommerce shop products in different pages throughout the site? Or perhaps you are looking for a business directory website with strict criteria included in the listings. Perhaps you have a bespoke search functionality or you want to categorise your blog with colours. We have many possbilities with a bespoke theme.
There are always some ‘must haves’ that you cannot get with a template. By the time we have customised a commercial template you might as well have had your own built. It will certainly be a lot cleaner.
Easy To Use Admin
One thing that commercial themes do not pay enough attention to is the user experience behind the scenes. Adding a contact form or gallery can be so complex and users can find themselves in difficulty.
I saw a website recently that had a page builder bundled with the commercial theme. The page builder was so complicated to use that the site owner couldn’t update his home page. There was nothing intuitive about it and that is no good for users, they don’t want a steep learning curve they just want to get going straight away
I make sure that everything you could need to edit is easy to do and readily accessible. All of your content blocks will be easy to manage and you will know exactly where to go to do everything you need to. Your interface will be intuitive in its own right but even so I will provide you with bespoke user guides with text and screenshots to enable you to find your way successfully.
Keeping it Lean – Faster Page Load Speeds
Many commercial themes are very bloated. They are stuffed with unnecessary code that will probably never be used but is in there because the client ‘might’ need it. This can seriously slow up your website load times and does you no good in Google’s eyes.
Keeping it Standards Compliant
Every single theme that I code to built to WordPress standards by exactly following the WordPress theme guidelines to the letter. When I build you a theme you will never have to worry that it does not comply with the rules. It will always be beautifully and cleanly coded. I have been coding WordPress themes for 10 years, I know what I am doing 100%.
We can plan your Website down to the last detail
Before we get down to the design we will work out exactly what you want to do and make sure that every element you require is included. As I mentioned above, we have that flexibility with a bespoke WordPress design.
- Website objectives
- Site functions and ‘must-haves’
- Custom admin pages so managing content is intuitive and easy
- Internal publishing workflows and user roles
- Existing and desired rankings for Keywords
- User interface (UI), user experience (UX)
- Content flow, navigation and calls to action
A Bespoke Design Process
For this to work we have to work together. We will collaborate and discuss every element of your design and how you want it to look. As above, how you want your users to interact with the website and how you will get them to take the required action. We will talk about creating a design that resonates with your target audience, talking to them in the right tone and in language that they will understand and enjoy.
- The design starts with lots of research, looking at styles that you like, styles that are successful in your industry. We never copy but we need to have some initial pointers.
- The initial design concepts will be produced for your review and approval. There is no limit to the tweaking that you can do.
- Designs are refined to final approval.
- The website is built to your exact specifications.
- Admin interface design and custom content blocks are built to make the site super easy for you to manage.
- The site is tested on a whole load of devices and browsers
- You go live!
Lots of Reasons for a Custom Design!
So there it is, that’s why I have spent years training and adapting so that, in a nutshell …. I can deliver exactly what my clients want to their exact specifications.