Building on a Theme

Halo Headband UK WebsiteMany of our websites are built on WordPress themes. For someone without experience, using a theme, you can build and style a blog or website without touching any code. For us at West Sussex Websites, using a theme gives us a great head start and we can take the best features of that theme and add customisations so that it can meet all the requirements of our customers, giving them a bespoke website whilst keeping costs down.

There is a huge variety of themes available, from those provided with WordPress when it is downloaded (the twenty ten and twenty eleven themes), to free themes that you can find on the extend section to premium themes. We have used themes from all three sources, but generally the premium themes are our preference, especially those developed with a so-called framework. There are many themes available and perhaps the biggest problem due to being so spoilt for choice, is selecting the one you would like to use and that’s where the framework themes come into their own.¬†These framework based themes have a backend / approach / development strategy that is common across the whole range of themes provided by the supplier. The framework provides us with the hooks and ways to customise the themes, yet allowing use to keep the parent theme and the framework up to date. From a single framework we can make a whole variety of designs.

Speaking of parent themes, we always create ‘child’ themes for our clients. This means that we don’t actually change any of the code in the parent theme and make all customisation by adding or subtract functions in the child theme. Again this means that we can maintain and keep the parent theme up to date and easily include new functionalities.

As an example, we have recently completed a website for Halo Headband UK. This was based on the brand new Woocommerce plugin and Woostore theme. Being a new theme and plugin, there have been issues, but the developers (Woothemes) have been amazingly responsive whenever issues have been found and they have been made available as patches within a couple of days of reporting them. This way we haven’t had to fix the problems and have been able to concentrate on the design and additional functionality in the child theme.

The client is now very satisfied with their website and the service we have been able to offer in being able to fix issues and make improvements quickly and easily.


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