What Happens Once You Choose WordPress?
So, you’ve made the choice to move to WordPress. But, how does it all work and how do you get going with getting your site up? How do you find a WordPress theme? What exactly is a WordPress theme and what does it mean to customise a theme? If a theme is being installed what are you paying for? Is coding an option? All of these are very good questions that deserve straight forward answers. Here are a few insights and a little information to get you up to speed.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN KICKSTARTING THE PROCESS:
1. The Importance of Finding Design & Layout Inspiration
The idea behind looking at other websites, and it doesn’t have to be a competitor’s or industry leader’s website, is to get a little inspiration and establish what you like. It gives you a great foundation and place to start when selecting a few themes that would be suitable for your brand, business, and needs. It means you know more or less what you are looking for – what kind of website you want – how it looks and certain functionality you might want.
2. Choosing a Theme with The Right Look & Functionality
Your site would work according to the theme you select, you would customise a theme to your brand. The vast majority of WordPress websites are built this way. The theme is basically the shell or the base of the website, the general look and feel are already built into the theme when you install it. Short of adding code to a WordPress theme, what the website can do in terms of functionality and how the website looks is most often directly influenced by what your selected theme has to offer.
None of the thousands of WordPress themes is identical. All themes look different and each of them comes with the basic options of adding pages, posts, images, media, top navigation, plugins, widgets etc. Most themes offer some sort of additional functionality and some have paid upgrades. One theme might have a number of extras while another does not offer those same extras. It is basically open source community software sharing.
There are important things one would need to take into consideration when choosing the theme and design of your website: do you want a gallery, what is the prime colour, do you want a slider, do you want a sidebar, do you want side navigation options etc. You are then able to browse WordPress and select a few themes for you to compare, test, and choose from before settling on the one to work from based on your required elements and what you like.
3. Simple Previewing & Testing of WordPress Themes
The preview to a theme will show a diagrammatic layout and offer some sort of live preview. You are able to switch between and preview themes on the WordPress platform before settling for the right one. The look and feel of any theme is available to view along with the option to browse around and explore the functionality of the theme. Basically, it gives you a headstart with the wireframing and the very basics of the layout done. What a theme preview does is gives you a general idea of what the website would look like and how it works. For example, the way one theme’s slider is coded compared to another might mean that they are updated in a completely different way.
4. Turning a WordPress Theme into a Branded Website
Selecting a theme takes time, you want to be sure to make the right choice. The real work on the site begins once you have a theme installed. You’ll then work in all the elements to make the site your own and have it fulfill your needs. Once you have the framework provided by the WordPress theme that you’ve selected you’ll create your pages, install plugins, get security/SEO/functionality setup, update widgets, write and create content, proofread and edit, create galleries, resize images and logos, create a blog, move content across from another site if needed etc.
5. WordPress Themes vs Coding from The Ground Up
Selecting and then installing a theme opposed to coding a site gives you a base to start from while saving both time and money. Coding a website from the ground up will take far longer and cost you far more. Compared to the cost of a front end create the price of a coder is substantial. A WordPress theme provides a cost effective and time-saving solution that is completely customisable, and in all cases offers the option to add additional code if one wanted to change or add specifics of a theme. Keep in mind that any hard coding on your website has not been included in your quote, you were quoted on the customisation of a free WordPress theme.
6. When to Get a Seasoned Professional On Board
There are a few situations in which you could consider bringing a seasoned professional on board. The first is when you simply do not understand the online space, WordPress jargon, and your technical knowledge is limited. The second is when you simply do not have time to sit down and design or customise a WordPress website, or when you have enough tech know how and simply need someone simply to show you what to do. If any of these scenarios ring true then get in touch and let me help you through the process of getting your WordPress website upgraded, kickstarting the process of moving you to WordPress, or getting your first website off the ground.
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