What’s your viewpoint on utilizing a bought wp theme as a starting point for a client’s website. Is it a no no or does it make sense? There are two major factors involved here when answering this question – ethics and cost. As being a web and graphic designer, my client base ranges from the start-up business to the multinational, therefore the range of services and associated costs varies from client to client. The real world isn’t always in what we want as designers, but what eventually will work for the client.
To conclude, in my own humble opinion, I’d no said yes and, I would choose to create from nothing on every single project, but sometimes I have to put my emotions apart and choose the stream. To the people purists, It’s not a sell out or cop out, but a practical way to a business need.
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Does it make financial sense? Would it make sense from a development viewpoint? Does it make sense from a design viewpoint? I am a builder so the second question is easier for me personally to answer, but I think the majority of people that use wordpress themes do so due to time and money.
You can certainly undercut people who start from scratch as well as knock sites out rapidly. Have a theme, change color, add content and branding… done. Is that a sufficient reason to use designs? I don’t think so. You must never be working from a theme if your client believes that you are creating a professional bespoke website. So that is a quick review of the business side of things, now for development.
I am a strong believer of “everybody is doing it wrong”! We all work differently, even the esteemed of programmers seldom write similar style code. Beginning with somebody else’s code is always hard, you don’t know very well what is going on or how it is organized. Just on the CSS side Even, you aren’t in control of specificity and other important aspects of code architecture. It is hard and usually it is simpler to start from scratch.
Starting from somebody else’s code is always hard. Now all we’ve still left is design. I am not just a designer, but I’ve caused enough designers to learn that an excellent design is always hand crafted from scratch. A tweaked theme feels like a tweaked theme, it is bound to the same proportions and designs often.
All in every, using a theme as basics is good if you would like to help someone (like a family startup with no initial funding) to get on their feet. Otherwise, put the time and effort into making an excellent website. Code it to a typical that makes you proud. Design it so that it is right for your client.