We would always advocate that a little investment in a professionally designed & built website will pay dividends as part of an ongoing joined-up marketing strategy. However, there are times when the addition of design costs on top of the actual website build can push the budget just a little too far. In these circumstances WordPress plus a professionally designed template can be an excellent solution. With this in mind, we thought it worth bringing the website Theme Forest to your attention. The site is dedicated to WordPress and has some excellent design themes available for under £5! With one of these themes and a little configuration it is possible to have a professional looking website quickly and very cost effectively. Theme (Template) based websites are however not perfect, and I would just like to finish with a few Pros & Cons of taking this approach:
- Very inexpensive way of getting a professionally designed website
- Little or no technical knowledge is required to configure the site
- An enormous range of designs is available, often with added functionality
- WordPress themes all benefit from the powerful WordPress admin back-end
- It is normally easy to add your logo etc but 100% control can involve more complex coding if you have a very strict brand identity you may lose the cost benefit of the template in extra development fees.
- Not all standard WordPress plugins will work with all templates.
- You do not have exclusivity on low-cost templates so there is the risk that someone else might use it too. In our experience, we have never seen this problem arise in the real world – there are just so many template options out there!
On a general note focussing too much on keeping the costs to an absolute minimum can mean you risk forgetting that to be effective, a website needs to be part of a joined-up marketing plan (This post expands on the issue!). There is no doubt that when used as part of a joined-up plan, theme based sites can be an effective route to a new website. But remember they are a tool, not a solution. Turning a basic theme into an effective website will take time and effort (especially on the content) to ensure that the finished site effectively communicates your marketing proposition.