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WordPress is huge – it now powers over 27% of ALL websites on the web.

That’s over a quarter of a billion WordPress websites so it’s safe to say business is booming and with all this growth comes diversity in the packages they are offering to such a huge customer base. Now in 2017, you have options for the amount of bespoke design or template structure you require your organisation’s website to adopt.

The division between custom theme design and off the shelf theme customisations can be boiled down to the time scale and budget of a website project.

What is a bespoke WordPress theme?

A bespoke website will need a team to review your needs, communicate these requirements to designers and it will be a continuous consultancy process throughout the duration of the project. It’s these expertise and consultation services of the partnered agency that secure the best theme for a specific client’s website according to their marketing objective(s) whether that is more sales, consumer awareness or supply of critical information to the target audience.

True graphic designers have been trained and qualified at a University or College, but more importantly, will start with a blank canvas and focus on your requirements. The agency team will have an eye for detail when it comes to your brand identity, being the colour scheme, imagery, typography and structure of your website. That’s a lot more than those who may claim the same expertise, but in reality, know little more than how to code within a WordPress theme.

The possibilities with websites really are endless nowadays, whether you require complex animations, moving objects or videos embedded. Whatever you need, a bespoke website can provide.

A custom WordPress theme design is a two-way communication process between the client and agency because a professional team creates a theme for the online presence that is unique to the company that purchases it.

What is an off the shelf themed WordPress site?

Despite what some might perceive as restricted templates in comparison to the endless unique customisations of a bespoke build, existing WordPress themes can be surprisingly effective once customisations have taken place. Rest assured there are themes that have been bought and edited by organisations hundreds of times over, but this doesn’t mean they end up looking the same.

The major difference of these to a bespoke build is mainly the budget, but also the source of direction for what the website should end up looking and feeling like. In the case of bespoke builds, it’s a discussion between clients on what will work best for a company’s marketing. In existing theme customisations, the client will inform the agency of what they require and instructions will simply be followed, regardless of the implications on altering the brand identity.

Existing theme customisations may sound like a compromise, but if a brand is tied to predetermined marketing guidelines, website content, and marketing collateral, this option is simply a more cost and time effective option. Directions for the build of an existing themed website may be as detailed as a list of tasks to be completed for a theme that has already been chosen by the client. In this case, the agency simply does the ‘building work’; resizing fonts, updating colours, resizing content sections and reordering internal hyperlinks does not require a bespoke build.

You can check out some of our themed websites here and if you see one you like, contact us for an initial consultation on how we can help your organisation with WordPress.

Where a bespoke WordPress site is a two-way communication process between the client and agency, an off the shelf theme customisation is more a simple set of instructions to the agency from the client. A company usually chooses or at least shortlists some themes they like and list their tasks that need to be completed for the chosen theme. These tweaks will be made to a template that dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of other companies are using for their website. The majority of the website construction is not unique to the customer, but the process is quicker than a bespoke WordPress build.

A good example of a bespoke project we have completed is the work here for Source BioScience, and a good example of a theme customisation project is the work here for Pristine London.

List of references

WordPress

Fortune 500 WordPress sites