I have been implementing WordPress for 5 years now and I am so happy to see it evolve over the years into the leading content management system. I began using WordPress as a side to my clients’ websites for the blogging page. The main part of the site would be static HTML with WordPress being the sideshow. Now, 99% of my website work for clients is completed using 100% WordPress.
In this blog post I will give examples of why I love WordPress, why using a pre-designed template is a great option, and examples of how pre-designed templates look for my clients when they are completed.
I first noticed the importance of WordPress in SEO. The blogs of my clients’ websites began rating higher than the website itself. Being a very important SEO ranking factor is new and relevant content, it makes sense why a recent blog post would rank higher in many circumstances. There are now some great SEO plugins that when used properly, will make any WordPress site highly competitive in the SERPs (search engine results page). Another SEO factor is clean code. This is where a good template comes in and here are reasons why to use a predesigned template for your next website.
1. Buying a template is a timesaver.
I understand that when you buy a template you are losing the personal touch of having the site being your own work (We will touch back on this subject.) Creating a template from scratch takes a lot of time. Time is money and I would rather spend the $35- $40 for the framework with all the CSS resets and Internet Explorer fixes already implemented. When it comes to the WordPress theme files needed and the endless checklist of things to make a custom theme work, using a predesigned theme is well worth the money. You can also find many free themes but most of these themes lack the documentation and can also cost you time.
2. Clean Code
Having a website with a well organized coded backend will help you be successful in ranking higher with SEO. When you purchase a theme from a trusted author you know the code is up to standards with many of the themes now being coded in HTML5. I am yet to see a theme that doesn’t have a clear structure. The CSS files are in the proper place and most of authors use a 960 grid system which is also a time saver.
3. Buying a theme saves you money
Once again, time is money. In the hours a developer would spend on customizing a WordPress theme from scratch you could have the developer focus on other parts of the website. Especially if you are paying a developer by the hour. Buying and then customizing a template gets a major step out of the way and makes time for SEO, marketing, branding, and social media integration. Using a template will produce the same end result in half the time which usually comes down to half the cost.
When you buy a template from a Template website like Themeforest.net, each theme is well documented with details on special features, installation, customization, and author contact information. Most authors will answer back your questions with the theme with-in a couple of days. Many of the themes have websites with forums about the theme and many questions are answered within these sites. This also save time and gives the client 2 layers of support – through the developer implementing the theme, and the author who created the theme.
5. Themes are always improving
Because the authors get paid buy the number of sales of the themes, they are always keeping up with the latest and the best web technologies that can be implemented into the theme. New and more efficient coding styles, HTML5 to replace dying non-compatible Flash, creative new photo sliders and endless amount of plugins to make the theme more versatile.
6. Endless creativity
Just because you purchased a theme does not mean you have to stick with the provided skin or skins of that theme. If you know any CSS or have hired a web designer that knows CSS, you can change any part of your theme to best suite your liking. Backgrounds, fonts, buttons, picture styling, slideshows, etc. When you search for a theme try and focus on the location of the navigation bar, the general structure of the theme, and if it will work with your desired framework needs. Some themes have more features than others. sliders, font collections, admin options, shortcodes, etc. My first step in customization is to find a desired color scheme from a site like Adobe Kuler and implement it throughout the site.
7. They don’t look like templates anymore
Templates have come a long way from the basic boxy, typography deficient, boring look-a-likes. These designs now rock. They look amazing and can suit most any design need. The template authors are from around the world and are competing for your money. That makes the designs much more attractive. Some of the better authors I have come across are Kriesi, Denoizzed, Unisphere, and ThemeBlvd.
8. You learn from the best
Whether you are a developer, or just beginning with html and css, you will learn more from working with these templates. You will quickly begin to learn the styles of others and more efficient ways to code or organize your work. If it works for them, (Most of these authors are making a bundle from the template sales.) it will most likely work for you.
9. Buying a template makes you money
If you choose to leave the template link in the footer of your template and others follow that link to purchase the theme, you can make money. Unfortunately, this takes away from the personal touch of your site but if you have a great looking site and do not mind the name of the original template at the bottom, why not make some money?
10. It can be fun
As I said earlier, these templates rock. When you come across a template you really like, but it doesn’t quite work for the particular project, keep a note of it for a future projects or for a developer to use with your next project. The sky is the limit with these templates and with WordPress in general. Using these templates for yourself or for your clients is exciting. Plugins for WordPress now reach further than apps for the iPhone. If you can think of a use for WordPress, you most likely can find a plugin for it. Welcome to the future of the web!
Here are some of the better templates I have worked with. These templates not only look good but have great features and an easy to use admin. They are well documented and the authors have shown great communication when support was required.
Breeze Theme – The theme currently being used for this site.
Prestige – A well documented versatile theme
Alyeska – My favorite to use theme. Great Theme Admin area, very easy to understand. Great font selections and shortcodes.
If you are in need of a developer to implement a great WordPress theme for your business or personal needs, feel free to contact me to install and style the theme to your preference.
Jason Houston has lived in Aspen, Colorado for the last 5 years. He is passionate about the web, and is dedicated to all areas of it. He specializes in small business web-start up and enjoys making the process as exciting as possible.