You’ve decided to build (or re-build) your company website using the free, open-source software known as WordPress, in order to take advantage of the content management and blogging features it provides. This is a great choice! (See WordPress For Your Business Web Site.)
WordPress, however, is not ready to go “out of the box.”
Despite its many virtues, it still needs to be set up and configured for your particular needs. One of the major things your WordPress website will need is a “theme.” A WordPress theme is a way to “skin” your website to make it look, and also work, a certain way. It is a collection of files that act together to control the way your website is displayed (without touching the underlying WordPress code).
If you search the web for “WordPress themes,” you will find that there are many to choose from, in different price ranges. There are even quite a few that are free to download. So, take a little while to look through the pretty designs, pick one you like, and you’ll be all set to go, right?
What you will fairly quickly find out is that pre-designed WordPress themes may look beautiful when you see their live demos, but when you actually un-zip the files and begin to work with the theme, things can get a lot more complicated than they seemed. There’s a good chance you’ll need help with the installation and set up. Unless you have sophisticated graphics software and a fair amount of know-how, you’ll also need help with customization of the text and images. So, you will need to spend a fair amount of time (and you need to possess certain skills), to turn a downloaded WordPress theme into a professional-looking website that reflects your company brand.
How we help our clients theme their WordPress websites
We recognize that our customers need a website with a unique look that is tailored to their business, but that they also have a very real need to keep their web design costs as low as possible. What we have begun to do is to offer the best of both worlds: we design our WordPress websites using a theme “framework,” and then apply a completely custom design on top of it.
A WordPress theme “framework” is a skeleton theme that provides a basic layout so that the designer doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. A framework is extremely plain; it’s really just a series of gray boxes and unstyled text. A skilled designer, though, can work magic with a framework, using his or her creative imagination to turn the framework into a polished web site that can help a business to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.