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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

WordPress and the illusion of shortcuts

Consumed => “25 Serious Alternatives to Custom WordPress Themes” by Sonny M. Day on Tripwire Magazine.

=> My value add (i.e., left a comment)…

“Needless to say, clients get all what they really want with custom WordPress themes. There is however a major drawback from using a custom WordPress theme. It is expensive. ”

True. But I believe there are two viable alternatives. Both of which I have used:

1) Find a theme with “good bones” (as they say in the real estate industry) and re-skin it. That is, leave the structure and functionality of the theme, supplement it with plugins and widgets, but alter and customize the design (beyond the setting built into the theme) to better match the brand. More expensive than taking it off the shelf? Yes. But less than a total ground up build. The result should be a fairly unique website which is good for the client as well as your portfolio.

2) Custom build your own theme or modify/enhance a basic theme (e.g. Twenty Twelve). The end of this exercise is a known framework that fits 80% of most needs and can be supplemented and modified on a project by project basis to cover the other 20%. The more you use your own “framework” theme (i.e., it’s known), the more productive you’ll get with it, as well as have a tool box of enhancements to pull from as various customizations are developed. Wheel reinventing is minimal.

That said, it should be mentioned that “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” Even a quick & dirty iproperty still requires the blog be updated, social media be utilized, etc. Getting to market cheap and quick doesn’t necessary guarantee ROI. For example, a $50 theme and $250 setup that doesn’t bring in a cent of biz is still $300 poorly spent.

Perhaps it’s just me but I have found that clients who are willing to make a larger investment are also willing to make a deeper commitment. They understand a launched site is not an ends but the beginning of an ongoing process. Every project is different. Every client is different. But there is a profile to those who seek something for nothing.

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