Almost every WordPress Web Design today is usually implemented with a so-called page builder and ready-made multipurpose themes. The advantage of these "ready-made solutions" is that anyone can create a WordPress website using a drag and drop editor. The individual boxes, headings and elements have predefined styles and look "good" right from the start. The multipurpose theme can also be adapted to your own CI/style guide or logo colors or your own fonts can be used.
The world's best-known multipurpose themes are: DIVI, Avada and Enfold.
The price of simplicity: this is what happens if you don't create your own WordPress theme
A pre-purchased theme like this is really practical, because it enables even non-experts to create a website without any knowledge of HTML and CSS. The simplicity has its price, however and affects the WordPress website costs from.
In contrast to self-created WordPress themes, multipurpose solutions are limited in their customization options. In addition, important attributes such as line spacing (the height of a line in the font) or the inner/outer spacing of individual containers cannot be regulated globally (or only with difficulty) for the entire website. This is particularly unattractive if a company website is to adhere to a corporate design or style guide, for example, but this can only be implemented to a limited extent with the page builder of a ready-made solution. The further inferiority of ready-made themes compared to specially created WordPress themes is shown below.
Which fiasco can prevent the creation of a WordPress theme
Another shortcoming of WordPress modular systems comes into play with extensive websites (without their own WordPress theme). For example, if you have 30 or more subpages that should all describe different services in the company portfolio, you have a problem.
Each page must have the same spacing for headings and boxes. The spacing between headings and body text, line spacing, internal spacing etc. must be adjusted manually on each subpage in the layout editor/page builder. The immense effort required to ensure the same look on every subpage is no longer calculable. And it becomes even more difficult when it comes to the display on mobile devices. However, if you use your own theme, e.g. from a WordPress agency in Zurich or Basel does not need to worry about this.
If you don't have your own WordPress theme, the effort involved in creating the mobile design explodes
Each underside must be aligned and adjusted if necessary. The distances between each box and the surrounding containers must be checked meticulously. Spacing, font sizes, color codes, etc. must be adjusted. For large company websites (without a specially created WordPress theme) with more than 100 subpages, this can quickly take several weeks.
When employees "collaborate" without a WordPress theme created specifically for the company
In large companies, several employees are often involved in the creation and maintenance of content. Not every employee has the same level of technical knowledge and not every employee maintains content with the same care. If your WordPress theme is built with a page builder, there must be a control instance for the visual appearance on desktops and mobile devices. This makes the maintenance and creation of new content incredibly time-consuming and customers often resort to my WordPress Support back. Every change must be agreed. Every change has to be tested on mobile devices. All because multipurpose themes and page builders cannot define a uniform standard that ensures that content is displayed exactly the same on all pages.
The update horror with the (externally created) Multipurpose theme
Most multipurpose themes are developed by large teams of developers from India or Romania. There are really capable programmers there who would put the fear of God into many a German WordPress developer. But every developer as an individual also represents a risk. WordPress itself receives new features almost every month. The multipurpose themes must therefore be regularly adapted to keep up with the new WordPress functions. If new functions are added to the theme's page builder, for example, there will inevitably be conflicts with existing content. If these conflicts are not resolved correctly by the manufacturer of the ready-made theme, this can lead to incorrect displays on the entire website. Some time ago, we had a special assignment. Two developers were allowed to spend a whole 6 weeks working full-time to eliminate such errors. The extensive website of a major German corporation had been equipped with the Avada theme and not with a custom-made WordPress theme. This ready-made theme had now destroyed the entire display on over 400 subpages during a major update.
The path - How the WordPress theme creation was actually intended
The situation is completely different if you have your own WordPress theme developed from scratch. The WordPress theme created for the company uses a global stylesheet and uniquely defined templates to regulate exactly which spacing is applied to which containers. It regulates the size of the headings, the line height of headings and body text, the display and spacing of images and even for display on mobile devices. Everything is precisely defined when creating the WordPress theme. once and then automatically applied to all content by the system. The employee simply inserts text and images and the system takes care of the presentation all by itself. Texts can be entered by non-experts without any knowledge of HTML and CSS. This is because the WordPress backend only has a text editor and predefined fields into which the employee inserts their content.
Having your own WordPress theme developed - what is the disadvantage?
Developing a WordPress theme for your own company has many advantages. Initially, however, more planning and coordination is required than with a "ready-made" theme - or so-called multipurpose theme. However, experience with the creation of dozens of WordPress themes has shown that this "extra effort" often pays off towards the end of the project, especially when it comes to maintaining and creating new content.
So first of all, together with your WordPress Freelancer The type of content to be included on the website must be determined. Then it must be determined how this content should be grouped on the website (thematically and visually).
Questions such as the following must be clarified in advance:
- Which topics are grouped together?
- How is the company's portfolio grouped?
- Which contact persons must be found on which subpages?
- How is the main menu structured?
- Are there several company locations that all have their own subpage?
- And much more
The SEO advantage of custom WordPress themes
Above all, however, the entire SEO strategy must be considered in advance. Since the entire structure of the site must be considered before programming a custom theme, SEO must also be defined completely in advance. This is done by means of keyword research, keyword grouping and defining the linking architecture. Sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But if you leave nothing to chance, you have a guarantee of top rankings. This is not the case with the widespread "back and forth" of multipurpose ready-made themes.
The path to becoming a WordPress web designer
A web designer or graphic designer must then create drafts for the appearance of the website. This important step involves determining in detail how the header and footer should look. The appearance of the various menus is defined. The look of the homepage is defined. The appearance of the service descriptions is defined, etc.
These designs are then coordinated with the customer/product owner. As a rule, the drafts go through the correction loop several times until everyone involved finally agrees on the designs. This does not mean that nothing can be changed. But it is the status that the WordPress Developer one WordPress Agency will be implemented first.
The design is ready - let's get started with creating the WordPress theme
Now the WordPress theme can finally be created by a developer or WordPress programmer. Depending on the scope, this can take several days and sometimes several weeks. However, once the header, footer and the first template have been completed, those responsible for the content can start updating it. This means that the WordPress theme does not have to be fully programmed before the first content can be added. This procedure saves a lot of time and enables even extensive websites to be implemented and launched in just a few weeks.
The theme programming phase for the WordPress website
Although everything has been defined down to the last detail, questions often arise during the development of your WordPress theme. These questions are, for example, "How should the content be entered by the employee afterwards?" or "What should happen when a video is played - should it open in a lightbox or should it be played directly in the content?"
It should be possible to clarify such questions as quickly as possible. It is therefore important that the person responsible for the project on the customer side or the product owner can be reached at short notice. In most cases, however, the questions can also be clarified in a very short weekly phone call.
Entering the content into the freshly created WordPress theme
At the beginning, the content is usually entered by our team. The texts are supplied as Word documents by the customer or a text agency and then taken over by us. However, customers can also enter their own texts, images etc. at the outset. Prior training of the employees is very helpful here.
Correctly enter metadata after creating the WordPress theme
The meta description and meta title should also be defined in advance for each subpage. These must be entered for all subpages at the latest when going live.
Create quality assurance after the WordPress theme
Before the new website can go online with the fully programmed WordPress theme, the site must be fully tested and optimized for display on mobile devices. This step should not be neglected under any circumstances, as every browser has its own peculiarities. The company website should be optimally displayed on all devices currently on the market. If you skip this step, you risk a high bounce rate of your visitors and thus your rankings, leads and sales.
Going live after creating the WordPress theme
Once more than four eyes have given their "ok" to the launch, it's time to "go live". If the site already has existing rankings in Google, an intermediate step is essential:
The redirects. To secure existing rankings, we create a redirect map. This is basically a simple Excel file. All old URLs are defined in column A. The respective new URLs are defined in column B. If individual pages are removed or consolidated, it must be agreed with the customer where the old URL should be redirected to. This is all recorded in the Excel file. As soon as this step has been completed, we generate a redirect file for the web server from the Excel file. The web server then derives the redirects from this and thus ensures that users do not "run into the void" in Google. This ensures that existing rankings are directly adopted or even improved. If the redirects are faulty or generate a 404 error, this inevitably generates a high bounce rate, which leads to ranking losses in Google within a very short time. Even after your website has gone live, it should be regularly checked for 404 errors. This can be done, for example, as part of a WordPress Maintenance Plans be done once a month.