The Hidden Costs of Buying a WordPress Theme
Thinking about buying a WordPress theme for your small business website? It looks great in the demo, and it seems so easy to setup. Have you stopped to consider what it really takes to create a polished WordPress website? Do you know how to edit CSS, convert images for Web use and upload files by FTP? What about plugins, permalinks, SEO, backups, Social Media, site security… How do you do all of this stuff?
I would argue that WordPress is one of the best tools for developing responsive (mobile-friendly) websites on a small business budget. Normally, developing a website based on a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is time consuming and costly. With WordPress, pre-made themes avoid the costly process of building all of the code required for design 'from scratch.' It can considerably reduce the overall time required for website development. That saves you money, and lowers the cost of sophisticated functionality required in many modern websites. But can you really manage it all yourself? What are some of the hidden costs of buying a WordPress theme?
The Technical Demands of a WordPress Theme
Selecting and editing images suitable for your WordPress website is not a skill that is instantly acquired. Do you know how to edit and resize images in Photoshop (or similar photo editing software)? Can you set the proper pixel dimensions and file sizes for optimum web page speed and image quality? This needs to be done manually. WordPress will not automatically optimize and resize your images. Many WordPress users make the mistake of uploading images directly from their smartphones or digital cameras. The default image file sizes are too large and cause WordPress web pages to load very slowly.
Do you want to change the fonts used in your WordPress website? Are there other elements you want to change in the web design? Truthfully, the seemingly simple admin interface of WordPress hides a lot of complexity, especially if you are using a Mobile friendly (smartphone compatible) theme. Do you have the CSS and HTML skills needed to make those changes?
A Good Web Designer To 'Tailor' Your WordPress Theme
The current market in pre-made WordPress themes hides an inescapable truth. You will still need a good web designer to get the best from a pre-made WordPress theme. Just as an expert tailor can make a good "off-the-rack" suit look custom fit, an expert web designer can make a WordPress theme a perfect fit for your business.
Editing the code of a WordPress theme requires the skills of a developer and the patience of a detective. A simple matter like moving the position of an element on a page requires an in-depth understanding of CSS (style sheet language for formatting the look of web pages), especially on responsive (mobile friendly) WordPress themes. Choosing the right plugins to add additional functions to your WordPress website requires testing and troubleshooting. An experienced WordPress designer will know what plugins are the best choices among 37,000 that are available.
Now, let's be real about this. A capable web designer is not selling his (or her) skills for bargain basement prices. He (or she) has solid graphic design skills, and knows coding and marketing. As a plus, they understand Search Engine Optimization and Social Media, and can help you to maximize your search engine ranking. You get what you pay for!
Quality Design Is A Better Value
If you make a reasonable investment in choosing a good WordPress web designer, you will have a website that promotes your brand well, looks custom made, and provides the level of functionality you need in a flexible and easy-to-use CMS. Go cheap, and a few months down the road you will be looking for someone to redesign the poorly executed website created by your bargain basement web designer.
We do expert WordPress web design & development. The websites shown on this page are WordPress designs created in our studio. We also provide training, and can help you to maintain a schedule of easy website updates that will benefit Search Engine Optimization. Give us a call. -Don Peterson