Probably easily one of the most fun processes in building a client’s brand is designing the website! This is the time where I get to show off my artistic chops…but this doesn’t always go so well.
Pick A Theme Any Theme
Now, this can be a smooth process or an extreme scope creep! Let me share a quick story with you. When I first started WordPress, I fell in love with the fact that I have so many tools at my disposal and when it comes to creativity…the possibilities are endless.
I figured well I can pick a theme and make a website look pretty professional in a seamless fashion, HECK I can pick any theme for that matter. I couldn’t be any further from the truth in this case. Picking ANY theme is NOT AN OPTION.
All Themes Are NOT Created Equal
All themes are CERTAINLY NOT created equal. I found this out with one of my clients that I work with. We had a solid game plan for the website, we had an awesome mock-up, and things seemed to come along well.
Now it was time to make this awesome layout come to life – from Adobe XD to WordPress. I had a lot of themes in my arsenal that met the demands of what functionalities would be presented on the website. So I selected a solid theme that met the demands and off to the races I went.
I forget to mention that I google searched some pretty cool themes that would fit this structure we have created and it landed me on Theme Forest.
For the ones that do not know Theme Forest, it is an amazing theme playground! You can find some pretty amazing themes that can fit just about any business structure. I usually find myself exploring themes on WordPress.org Theme Directory. Not to bash Theme Forest, but for this situation, I should have totally considered another theme.
Anyone who knows about having solid strict deadlines can relate to the frustration I was facing. I had started off with this theme and have put together a quarter of the website. I was placing some menu items into the header and footer of the website and I ran into some serious issues. I found myself spending hours exploring solutions, as well as implementing some troubleshooting strategies I know that were successful in the past. After tinkering a bit, I KNEW I had a major problem on my hands.
PRO TIP#1: When something starts to go bad in your workflow…STOP before it gets worse!
So after all the attempts of debugging and getting with support about the theme’s errors, it was to no avail. Now, what!? I had to immediately stop the process and find a more suitable theme. It required a bit more work with the newly selected theme, but overall it still provided all the same features that the client needed.
Tips To Leave With
When starting the official designing phase of a website, take your time to find appropriately viable options as it relates to a list of themes to consider.
Also, pay close attention to reviews with the least amount of stars (that’s how you find the REAL facts). This can help you forecast some issues that may occur if choosing that theme. Also, pay attention to the LAST TIME IT WAS UPDATED – this will let you know whether it’s strongly supported or not.
PRO TIP#2: If you are planning to have a select few themes (that are buggy) that are placed aside for later use consider fixing some so that it can help EVERYONE out! It would be greatly appreciated.
Make sure that you and the client are CRYSTAL CLEAR on the functionalities of the website and use only the MOST TRUSTED themes that can meet those demands.
Once a theme is selected, go “under the hood” to see if things appear in working order before implementation. Then if some things start to occur you can improve your troubleshooting process.