WEBSITE STEP 2: WHY A GOOD TEMPLATE IS IMPORTANT
When we make a website for a client, we always do so in WordPress. There are so many possibilities with WordPress, it works well, and our clients can take over the upkeep after we finish; with a little bit of explaining from our side, of course. But exactly because there are so many options in WordPress, it can be quite daunting for a beginner.
Therefore, we help out our client by making the first step, after they’ve accepted the price quote – and after we have done a little dance, of course – compiling a shortlist of templates. Based on the briefing about the feel, the style, and the look the finished website should have, we walk into the WordPress theme forest.
At the moment, around 11.000 themes can be found here. These are templates that already have a certain look and feel, and certain functions. This saves so much time and work when building a website, because you get so much delivered. Usually, such a theme costs about 60 dollars to buy and you get so much back for it: pages that have already been built as examples, plugins that you would have to buy otherwise, support from the builders, all kinds of functionalities that are easy to use. And everything can be adapted within the theme; not just the colors, fonts, and the functionalities, but each page can be extended or shortened, exactly the way the client wants it.
A shortlist of templates
Because there is so much choice, and it can be quite daunting, we pick templates that we think fit the project as well as the client. Because in our eyes, your website should also be a reflection of you as a person and as an entrepreneur. That makes the website more personal and, therefore, will speak to people more. Clients receive a shortlist with about five themes from us that we find fitting. They can choose which one speaks to them most. We always say that if they don’t like any of them, we can keep looking, but I don’t think that has ever happened.
Often, we have a favorite and hope they will pick that one. But very often they pick a different one! That’s why it’s good that we offer them a wide range. Often, their choice also says a lot about the project and how they envision the end result.
Domain name and hosting (with SSL) via an external party
While we’re working on compiling a shortlist, the client can often start on the url and hosting. There are so many hosting parties! But Eric, the IT specialist we work with, prefers Siteground. Sometimes the client already has a url and hosting, sometimes they don’t. Nowadays, we always recommend getting an SSL certificate.
When the hosting has been taken care of, the theme can be placed directly at the host and we can start there.
In some cases, hosting may take a little longer to arrange. Or the client already has a website and wants to leave this up while we’re building the new one (we always recommend this). In that case, we can park the theme and the new to build website with our programmer. He moves the whole, after we’re done, over to the new hosting environment.
Once the new theme is up, we import the demo content, so that all of the examples we picked are available. We also install the necessary plugins as well as a whole stack of plugins that have proven useful.
The building can commence
And then, we can really start! The content (text and photos) can be imported, we make the pages look nice, add a lot of cool visuals and functionalities and ensure strong marketing. CTAs, contact forms, top bars, footers; we work on all aspects of the site. We always love starting work on a new website and seeing our ideas turn into something tangible.
Sometimes it can be frustrating to work with a new WordPress theme because each theme is different. Sometimes the makers have been extremely creative with certain functions and once in a while, you spend a lot of time figuring out where to find that one little thing you’re trying to change. But most of the time we’re just super enthusiastic about the possibilities. And with the help of Eric and support from the makers, we can figure out everything. Sometimes it takes a while, but it’s always worth it. And there’s a plugin for almost everything, which is great. But how a theme really works, only becomes clear after you’ve already bought it.
All in all, each time we get to make a website, we’re happy. The possibilities within WordPress increase at a high rate and you keep discovering the best stuff that you can use to make your clients happy. With the end goal of a cool website in sight, that your client can show off full of pride, we can’t think of anything better. Good thing we get to work on six at the same time right now.