WordPress Websites Are Just Template Websites, Right?

February 22, 2019    Reading Time: 3 Minutes

I’m often asked when someone is slightly familiar with WordPress if all we do is pick out a WordPress template, make a few changes and call it day.

The answer is no, but unfortunately, that’s the way a lot of “WordPress Web Designers” work.

They go to an online marketplace, purchase a theme, swap out the logo for yours, insert your content (text/images), change colors and they’re off to the next project. The reason they opt for this method, is because it’s cheap, quick and they generally don’t have the knowledge or experience in developing a website.

Even if you are in the cookie-cutting business, this method is not going to help your business.

What ends up happening is a website that’s hacked and sown together. It’ll be nearly unmanageable for staff to make future updates, and if they are able to, it’s a convoluted process.

Lesson to Learn

Last week, we talked with a business who had a developer create their website on a template a couple years ago. The problem is that their current template is no longer updated (themes/templates are created/managed/updated by third-party authors) so it’s not compatible with the newest version of WordPress (5.1). When updating WordPress, their site breaks and doesn’t work. They also have a couple of plugins that can no longer update because of the compatibility with their existing template. If you weren’t aware, it’s important to keep WordPress and plugins up-to-date for security, performance, and compatibility reasons. Now, they are faced with having to scrap their existing website.

Building Websites, The Right Way

What we do at Graticle is build custom websites from scratch.

But, doesn’t that take a lot of unnecessary extra time?

Extra time? Maybe.

Unnecessary? Not even close.

An Analogy

Let’s switch gears and talk about something very similar, construction.

Let’s say you had an existing building that you wanted to renovate and turn into a home or living space. Currently, it’s just the structure. It has walls, floor and a roof. You use it as a foundation and work from there.

During the project, you discover that the building is not square. You also find out that you need to add to the structure to make it sound.

You make things work, but things are taking a lot longer that they should. You run into issues on every single task.

By the time you’re finished, you tally everything up and realize you spent twice as much money on the project. It’s now the middle of winter and this was supposed to be finished by fall. Plus, the everything isn’t quite as polished as it should have been. What happened?

You have a crazy, but insightful thought. A thought based on experience.

What if you had originally torn down the existing structure and started from scratch?

It seems wild, but it would have cost less, and the project would have been finished months ago. Plus, you could have made it exactly as you planned. You could have even made it a bit larger.

If I didn’t walk you through that analogy, originally tearing down the existing structure wouldn’t have made a lot of sense. It would seem crazy.

This is a lot like a website.

Start from Scratch

When people look at an existing template, this is the exact same thing that happens. Why start from scratch, when this is right here? We can use this template, swap out our logo, colors, add some photos and text and we’re done.

Even if it was as easy as described in the previous paragraph, the website is still full of all kinds of surprises. I haven’t even mentioned the extreme code bloat on template websites which make these websites slow to a halt.

Custom Web Design

A website tailored exactly to your brand and according to your goals is the right course of action.

At Graticle, we start from scratch.

We seek to understand your business. What makes your business unique, the unmatched value you offer to your customers.

We’ll go through a wire-framing process showing how the website could look and function.

Next, is the design stage. We flesh out the wire-frames so you can see exactly how the website will look.

The last step is development (programming) of the website. After this is finished, we place your website on a preview server for you to review.

If you or your staff want to manage the content of the website, we customize WordPress to make it effortless to update the text and images. We provide you access, including personal training videos (a customer favorite) on how to do so.

We walk you through each of the steps above, brainstorming with you along the way. By the end of the project there are no surprises.

Find Out How Graticle Is Unique

Fill out this form and we’ll schedule a free twenty-minute call with you to go over your needs. We’ll recommend strategies for accomplishing those needs and tips for improving your businesses presence online.

Last updated on February 25, 2019. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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I have worked with Shawn at Graticle for three years, which should speak volumes in and of itself. I am a high school teacher and serve as the Coordinator for the AVID program. Each August-September we create new t-shirts for distribution to all 140 of our students, along with supportive members of the faculty, staff, and administration.

My team of AVID teachers brainstorms ideas for both the front and back of the shirt, and I present the best one or two concepts to Shawn for his expert feedback. We quickly settle on the best design idea and colors, and then Shawn and I bounce more detailed suggestions off each other for a few days. His suggestions always result in significant improvements to my rough concept. He presents me with graphic “rough drafts” at each stage of our discussion until we have a design I’m really happy with.

Shawn then works his magic, and the final design is the work of a consummate professional. We get tons of compliments on our shirts, starting with our t-shirt printer, and usually end up having to do a second print run for additional faculty and staff who want one of the shirts. This year, a middle school in Southern California saw the design and asked if they could use it.

Another positive aspect of working with Graticle is that Shawn is easy to reach by phone or email, and he is very responsive. I hear back from him either the same day or the next day.

Working with Shawn and Graticle has been a pleasure, He produces good work quickly and at a fair price. I recommend him to you without reservation.

Bill Wolfe

Teacher & AVID Coordinator

Taft Union High School

www.taft.k12.ca.us

Taft, California

Shawn was great to work with as we worked through coming up with a logo that we loved.

Ross Horn

Owner

Horn Brothers Farms

Fresno, California