Smartdog digital version 2.0 is now live and with a bit of a new re-fresh to our current service offering. I felt that my old website (as good as it was visually) didn’t reflect where the company had now moved to over the last 12 months.
Every single website no matter how good needs to continually be improved upon, tested and then refined. Even an online marketers website!
Why the New Theme Then?
It is cheaper and more cost effective for businesses to buy a premium designed WordPress theme and customise it, rather than to develop one bespoke from scratch.
If you haven’t yet heard of WordPress, it is web software that you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. WordPress is open source software that is completely free to use, there are literally thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your website into almost anything you desire.
With my old website the designer did a very good job on the homepage design, but I felt the developers who coded the finished design into the final WordPress theme made a complete mess of the content pages and the blog styling. I was never 100% happy with it, in the end it was also proving a pain to update!
If you don’t like the look of your content or the design of your blog and it’s a pain to update, you’ll end up never updating your website because of it.
Start the Quest…
I’m going to recall a short story to you of one man’s quest to find the perfect WordPress theme for his business….THERE IS NO PERFECT WORDPRESS THEME.
You heard me, there isn’t a perfect WordPress theme out there that is going to tick every box and do everything you want it do. Trust me! Unless you are happy to spend a couple of thousand pounds with a designer and developer to custom build you something, it is difficult to make a premium WordPress theme do everything you want it to.
Some themes include various typography options, custom post types for different page styles, shortcodes for buttons, forms, lists, testimonials etc.
Each theme designer has his own way of designing a theme, we’re all unique individuals. You will find that one theme has the perfect design of a services page, yet it’s overall design is not what your looking for. Maybe the theme you want has shortcodes for buttons, but not a testionmals shortcode.
There must be a compromise when choosing a theme.
Admittedly, those who know me personally would say I’m a bit of perfectionist when it comes to design. With this project I went through about 9 different premium WordPress themes (which I had to paid for!) before I ended up with this current theme.
It’s been a long hard road but I’m happy with the end theme as it’s got enough of the features and functionality I require.
Choosing a WordPress Theme
Believe me, these short bullet points will save you a lot of wasted time and money.
- Test drive the theme demo beforehand. Test the various customisation options, layout and functionality first.
- Look for a theme that includes as many layout options and extra elements such as buttons, testionmals etc. that you require.
- Pick a theme by a reputable theme designer
- Check the comments and feedback for a theme before purchasing
- Visualise your content in the theme, does it look right
- Choose a theme that looks easy to update and setup
- Run your choice by a few trusted contacts or friends before choosing
- Get a designers opinion on the theme
WordPress is the world’s greatest content management system and will be for a long time, sometimes it is easy to find the right theme for a project, other times you are going to be faced with some difficult choices, you need to find a compromise with the theme choice.
This will prevent you from choosing too many themes and be endlessly looking for a new perfect holy grail WordPress theme, as I said before it does not exist.
Failing that if you can’t find a WordPress theme to fit your business or project requirements, I know a great freelance Yorkshire Web Designer who can help you make the most of WordPress without crippling your bank account.
Flick Photo Credit: By Eddi van W.