WordPress Design

Many years ago I started making WordPress sites for clients, and during that time I've done pretty much everything you can with the platform.

During this time WordPress has evolved from a blogging platform, to the world's biggest content management system.

Wordpress can be good, and it's the worlds most used platform for a reason! So while I've become familiar with its limitations, I've grown to love the system.

If WordPress is the right choice for my clients, I will heartily recommend it.  But despite how far the platform has been extended it is not always the right answer - particularly if you want to manage thousands of users.

Different Approaches to WordPress Design

WordPress development can be roughly grouped into three categories:

  1. Off-the-shelf theme - installing and configuring a pre-produced theme like those you'll find at ThemeForest.  These are typically around $20 to $60, well tested and good looking.  They take little technical knowledge to setup, but plenty of patience to work around the options the developer has built into the theme.  There may be thousands of websites on the web using your theme and you'll inevitably run into things you can't change with the built in options.
  2. Child theme - a child theme is used to extend an off-the-shelf theme to override the bits you don't like.  You can make changes to the theme when you run up against a wall.  But the more you overwrite, the more unstable your theme can become with more complexity.  You need a fair bit of know-how to build a child theme.
  3. Custom theme - the final alternative is to build your own theme from scratch!  The tried and tested core WordPress framework is used to build the site exactly like you want it, but to even start one of these you need a fair amount of programming expertise.  Not to mention design sensibility to produce something that looks professional.  It takes a lot of work to achieve a result that looks as good as the best off-the-shelf themes, but the end result is far leaner and totally unique.

I've put together many WordPress sites in each of these three categories. Based on this experience, I've learnt that to deliver a result that meets my exacting professional standards a custom theme is the best option.  

So if you want a professional wordpress site for your business, then I'm your man.  

WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allows you to extend the basic functionality of WordPress to a whole range of different applications.  There are literally thousands available and on the surface, what you can achieve can be amazing.

But a word of warning:

  • Security - each extra plugin you add creates an extra security risk.  They are put together by the open-source WordPress community and are under constant attack.
  • Updates - plugins must be updated regularly by the author, so you're dependent on them continuing to support the plugin or the security risks are multiplied.  If the author discontinues the plugin altogether, then you'll have to replace it and this can be very time-consuming and expensive.
  • Conflicts - in many cases conflicts can arise between plugins because they often don't play nicely with each other. These mean you must be constantly testing the site to check for frustrating bugs.

For these reasons, I only use a handful of trusted plugins I've used for years, and know won't cause conflicts.  If you're trying to add functionality beyond that offered by these plugins, then I think you're trying to push a square peg in a round hole and WordPress is not the right answer.  I'd suggest you check out my Geeksy Core service.

Although I'm strict about what I will and won't do with WordPress, I'm always happy to provide advice free of charge if that's your chosen platform.  If you want to talk about a WordPress website, just drop your details in the form below and I'll be happy to get in touch and see what I can do to help.

Jake Dyson Want to talk about your website? The coffee is on me.
Just send me your details and I'll be in touch within the hour.

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