Where to start designing with Wordpress? Themes or Custom.

Where to start? I have worked with WordPress themes a lot. I find them great in some ways and extremely limiting in others. I then moved over to Adobe Muse which gave me the flexibility of design but the limitation of responsive design, posts etc, etc. Even though Muse is coming out with Responsive Design there is still a lot of limitation with the code.

I then tried designing in psd and giving my work over to a developer to program in WordPress. To start, it seemed to be working until I realised that he was just recoding my layouts in WordPress and I didn't have any ability to edit the pages and new pages, menus etc. The developer then added a drag and drop plugin which helped the situation, however, I am still not able to achieve the editing ability one would get from a ThemeForest theme.

So I am back to tweaking ThemeForest themes again.

So my question is how do you take the next step in WordPress design/ dev? Your blog is filled with amazing content on how to speed up your site, how to tweak this and that etc, etc. My questions are:
1) How do you present a ThemeForest Template as your own?
2) What is the best process for designing a site? Where does one start? In what programme?
3) How do you get a site to look like a ThemeForest template?

I know I am asking a lot, but I need to take my business to the next level and I need to know how?

  • Jude

    Howdy @Russel

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the community !

    1) The best way is to create a child theme and keep the bits you like and remove the ones you don't. If you find that you are pretty much doing the whole thing from scratch then consider starter themes like the ones listed below

    themble.com/bones/
    underscores.me/

    2) I'd start by incorporating the core functionality into the site first like ecommerce, social logons, code sharing etc . Then pick a theme and check for conflicts, if any resolve them, and finally tweak / customize / restyle the theme to suit my needs

    3) This is something that is next to impossible for most of us on client projects. Each showcase there is hours and hours of work and perfectly picked stock images and multiple iterations of tweaks and AB tests. One of the first things to understand with theme forest themes is that you will realistically not get any site looking like those demos.

    Hope that clarifies

    Cheers
    Jude

  • George Halstead

    Friend i would start with the default theme released with the version of Wordpress you have installed. In my case it would be the Twenty sixteen theme. As it has been run through the ringer by the coders of wordpress and offers all needed coding for a base theme and has security in mind as well. And build on from there.

    It is a brave step you are making and one i am contemplating myself at this very moment. If you do have the option to work locally at first i would also do that. My main concern would be that each bit of code you add would and could be a possible security issue and that is why i am almost following in your footsteps and starting "bare bones".

    Also if at all possible make a list of what features you want to include verses what you need. I am guessing this will take a few months to finish and be considered complete and hope you share your experience and would love to be able to see the end result when you get done.

    Please keep me updated on your project and if you would like i will do the same.

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