Designing your website with WordPress is easy! Or so they want you to believe…
The truth is that web development is a lot more involved than simply selecting a template, some nice images, a few paragraphs of copy and bobs your uncle, you have a website! There is a lot more that needs to happen to have a truly unique website that has been customised to suit your business model and achieve your business goals and objectives.
What are the different types of WordPress Development?
One of the greatest things about WordPress is that it is what’s known as a Central Management System (CMS), which means that it uses backend systems in what’s known as the database to store your info. This means that, with WordPress’s mammoth selection of open source themes and plugins, there is something for EVERYONE.
But what is the best way to go about designing your website? There are many ways to get your site developed through WordPress, either by yourself or by hiring a professional.
Some of the most common WordPress Development methods include:
- Selecting a Default WordPress Theme Template and editing the content yourself (The Headache)
- Custom WordPress Theme Development utilising WordPress’s CMS (The Budget Breaker)
- Semi-Custom WordPress Development utilising a pre-existing theme and page builder (The Sweet Spot)
There are benefits and downsides to each method and what I like to call the Sweet Spot in between which allows for affordable web design and a tailored look. Allow me to elaborate!
Method 1: Default WordPress Theme template (The Headache)
If you are an absolute beginner at web design the most common thing WordPress noobies do is select a Theme from the WordPress theme library and use this to populate with their own content. Setting you back a measly $70-150 for a premium WordPress theme (and only 40-50 hours of figuring the rest out for yourself), this can seem like an ideal option for most first time users. How wrong they are…
More often than not it results in a significant level of frustration (like bang your head against the desk levels of frustration). This is because there is so much more to learn about the WordPress infrastructure than what might appear on the outside. For starters, you have to learn about Pages, Menu Items, Feature Images, Plugins, Themes, Posts, Security, UPDATES, and much more…. And we haven’t even got to the design side of things!
When you work off a template you limit your creative potential and your site can lose authenticity and personality
If you are limiting yourself to whatever your template of choice offers then you are basically accepting that your site will look like 90% of the rest on the internet. If you want something unique that speaks your language and stands out from your competitors then forget about using templates. Hire a web developer to take the reigns and give you something more bespoke.
Method 2: Custom WordPress Theme Development (The Budget Breaker)
On the opposite range of the web development budget spectrum is what is known as ‘Custom Theme Development’. There are several ways to go about this but a popular method is custom coding your entire website (yes I said the C word), dissecting it up into appropriate sections, and embedding it into the core WordPress infrastructure, which will give you a unique site of high-end quality, but with limited Client manipulation potential.
This option is popular among big businesses with a BIG BUDGET. Because sites like this can take many months and hours to develop they can easily set you back $15-20,000. Custom developed websites tend to have more fancy effects, slightly faster loading speeds, potential copywriting, and a more comprehensive strategy put in place for marketing and delivery. However, having a schmick looking website comes at a price and, other than money, that is that further customisation can be very difficult, particularly from a client’s point of view.
Custom Developed websites rarely implement any sort of page builder technology so to edit your design and layout you will likely have to re-hire your Web Developers, which can be expensive for the aforementioned reasons… Or sift through and edit code to make even minor changes – not for the faint of heart! So while you may have control over some aspects like writing posts or changing your logo, you will be pretty much stuck with what you are given with little room for further improvement.
Method 3: Semi-Custom Web Design (The Sweet Spot)
Now that you’ve read about Template Theme WordPress Design and Fully Custom Theme WordPress Design, you may be thinking to yourself – Do I want to give myself a cheap website (and migraine) by going with a Theme Template or spend my life savings on a Custom Developed Website? I’m here to give you the perfect mid-ground in what I call Semi-Custom Web Design!
This approach still utilises a Theme but relies on the Developer’s ability to manipulate the Theme to suit the Client’s needs.
The developer may have a specific Theme commonly used, with an inbuilt page builder or through a 3rd party plugin, that allows for layouts to be put up quickly and in a way designed to target your audience based on latest design trends, which means you will get a premium quality website for an affordable price. In general the fewer hours it takes to create your website the less you pay! With this approach you may be able to build your own simple WordPress website, or you could hire a developer who specialises in this area of WordPress Web Design.
Once a layout has been set up it can be fairly easy to manipulate content from the Client’s perspective (depending on the development process), so they can maintain the basic parts of their own website themselves. The truly awesome part about this is that, if further customisation is required, you or your Web Developer will easily be able to make quick edits and design changes. For more complex features a good Web Designer can manipulate code and Core WordPress functions to make anything possible.
If going down this route your Developer will likely be working through a Page Builder to create quick and visually attractive designs. There are a ton of Page Builders currently on the market for WordPress and each has their own impact on: Page load speed, level of customisation, manipulation of different post types etc. It is important to use the right one to suit your needs which is where an experienced Web Designer, with detailed knowledge of plugins and coding, will come in handy.
Creating a WordPress website can be done in a few ways depending on your budget and your level of commitment.
Template Theme WordPress Development
Lets you build out a ‘quick and easy’ website that limits you to a set layout and design paramaters that you are forced to work within. It is cheap but more often than not causes more headaches in the time spent learning WordPress than it’s worth.
Custom Theme WordPress Development
Having a professional developer create a website for you through code that looks super sleek, with awesome effects, loads fast, and (usually) has a good marketing strategy backing it. This can set you back around $20,000 so it is not for everyone and has limits on how much further customisation can be done on the Clients side.
Semi-Custom WordPress Development
This is the sweet spot and entails having a Web Designer use a WordPress Theme that they are familiar with, and manipulate it to suit the clients needs. This may include a page builder and/or code to display wicked designs that are tailored to your business needs, look professional, and have potential for easy client customisation in the future. All this without breaking the bank.
Looking to get a new WordPress Website Designed?
At David Barry Designs we have a decade of experience in the WordPress Design and Development industry. As a Melbourne based business we have worked with dozens of Aussie clients and some international, to create fully personalised and Branded affordable websites.
Ready to get started with David Barry Designs?
A bit About The Author
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