A WordPress website has 3 main components.
- The base WordPress software that powers the site Pages & Posts
- Themes that determine the design and display function your visitors experience
- Widgets & Plugins that add additional function – contact forms, calendars, galleries, social sharing..etc.
The best feature of WordPress is that it has a private Dashboard area where the site owner can login to add & edit Posts & Pages.
We use WordPress for most of the work we do for our small business clients.
We install & setup the WordPress software into your existing or our Managed Hosting service. The advantage of our Managed Hosting is that we take care of all the setup & interaction with the hosting provider, which, frankly, has never really become a consumer understandable product.
The site then has the default Theme and the initial 4 simple pages of Home, About, Services and Contact, or equivalent. “Simple” means each page will consist of a few paragraphs with a few images and text supplied by you.
Then it’s time to really ‘brand’ the site as your own.
The part of your site that the public sees is called the Theme. The generic Theme will have a plain website layout, your name in the header, a sidebar where your Posts links will be listed, and your page content to the right or left of the sidebar.
WordPress has virtually unlimited design options available via (to a limited extent) Free & Premium Themes. For instance, Premium Themes designed for brochure or presentation sites tend to be visually rich, with unique layout options and cool effects. These Themes have good ‘wow’ factor.
For Theme design, the process falls roughly into two price tiers. In the process we call Free Theme Selection & Setup, the client tells us generally about the look they like for the site via examples of other sites, and we would select an appropriate Free Theme for them. We’ll add an existing logo to the site header and make any other changes available through the Theme Options panel to personalize the site. This process typically costs a few hundred dollars.
We have an OPTIONAL process called Premium Theme Selection & Setup. If you’d like us to collaborate with you in determining what is the best presentation for your business, or you have very specific design requirements and would like to have a choice between several designs, it would be best to engage in a Premium Theme Selection process.
During the process, we present choices, explain the benefits of the various choices, set the (usually) extensive Theme Options that Premium Themes have, and perform any tweaks that can be done via the Themes custom style panel. We can also provide a completely custom design to your specifications. It sounds like a lot of work, but ends up costing far less than creating a Theme from scratch.
The initial setup of WordPress includes a Contact Form and an SEO Plugin that automatically creates meta tags Google needs for search results. Then, like Themes, WordPress has available a world of Free & Premium Plugins that add function to your site. Examples of this are social sharing Plugins, ecommerce Plugins, gallery Plugins etc. Some can be installed and setup within approx 2 hours, others, such as ecommerce Plugins have quite complex setup and take 4 or more hours.
We enjoy offering complimentary advice & tips to my clients throughout the process. Completely custom design & coding is a very expensive process to undertake, but WordPress has made affordable design and coding available through free & reasonably priced premium Plugins & Themes.