So you want a custom WordPress site

OK. So you want a custom wordpress site. You want it to be the bomb and all that – right? Well, where do you start? What are your options? What is your budget? These 3 question are critical to ‘getting’ that custom WordPress solution you want.

First, let’s discuss where to start. If you are reading this article, I commend you as you are doing some research and got this far. Not bad. But the questions still remains. Where do you really start? Let’s assess a few things to determine where you would start:

  1. Do you have an outline of the desired end result ? Don’t feel bad – most people do not.
  2. Have you set a budget – at least in your mind as to how much you are willing to spend?
  3. By custom do you mean totally unique look and feel or customizing an existing theme?

Now let’s look at each of these 3 initial points in some detail. First the outline – what is it and why is it important? Think of the outline as your shopping list. If you do your holiday shopping without it, you may forget someone special. Worse yet, you may totally buy something you do not want or need. So, list out your desired functionality, list of initial site pages and their common or unique layouts, initial unique layouts and content placement, sites you like and hate and why, as well as some idea of who will be using your site and how; admin/ guess/ members/ etc… Believe it or not, this initial ‘scope’ of work will help you stay on track and always ask the question “is this desired item helping me achieve my end goal and how?’ This list is a simple road map to the end result and this is perhaps the easiest way to ensure that you are getting what you want and need in the end.

Next, you need to find the right partner for this job. I am often asked the question – “why should we hire Nicasio Design to design and develop our site?” My simple answer is that no one but you [the client] will ever know why you should hire the vendor you do. So, I never address that question and let the client come to terms with his own rational for hiring us or not. Share your list with your vendor candidate, listen for and try to understand the reasoning behind his questioning and clarification of your scope of work. Someone who is solving the problem for you before they understand your needs and what it is you are trying to achieve is often ‘selling’ you something. So buyer beware. A good vendor would ask you about you, your business, your timezone, background on the project – and I like to know why WordPress myself. Why do you want to use it and why now? The vendor should have no problem communicating a cost estimate then. Measure it against your budget.

Budget = value over cost. Meaning, your budget should consider more then the cost associated to your project. You need to consider what it is worth to you to have your website designed and built correctly, and minimize frustration resulting from wanting it all to come good, fast and cheap. You can have 2, but not all 3.

Finally, do you want a totally custom website, or a theme which you have purchased customized? This is obvious a business decision you need to make. But note that point #2 above applies here as well. You cannot expect a custom site for the price of a $35 theme. Also, be careful not to spend so much on customization of the theme. A good vendor should help you ID this early on.

Well, hope this has been helpful. Let us know if you need some help with your WordPress project. Contact us or call us at 912-441-7011 if you wish, and best of luck with your project.

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