WordPress Themes: Free, Custom & Premium

There are a huge amount of not only free WordPress themes available; there are also a wide variety of premium themes available as well. These free themes can be found on various sites, however the best source for free themes, has to be the WordPress.org site itself, as all the themes available there have been vetted and tested.

I would urge anyone looking at either the free or premium theme route, to only source their theme from known reputable sources, as there have been many themes released that have contained dangerous and malicious code.

Free WordPress Themes

WordPress themes selection toolFree themes tend to tailor for a wide variety of site styles, where as the premium themes tend to be slightly more targeted towards certain niche markets, such as news, magazines, online shops and professions.
Of course, because these themes are free, they will have already been installed in thousands, or even millions of other sites. So this will mean your site will lack the identity and professionalism your business deserves.

Premium WordPress Themes

The downside of these premium WordPress themes is that they are often packed with ‘features’ and plugins built-in. This makes setting your initial site up, fairly easy as you don’t have to go hunting for plugins to give you the functionality you may need.

Note I said ‘downside’ – no, that’s not a typo.

You see, these built in features are often not optional, so if you buy a premium theme and the functionality does not quite do what you want it to, then you will either have to hire a developer to customize the code, or if you are able to, you can get your own hands dirty and dig into the code yourself. However, do not edit the theme code itself, as any future theme updates will remove any of your custom over-rides.

The result of all the extra features in the theme, means your site could be slow to load, due to ‘code bloat’, meaning it will have un-required code loading with each and every page, resulting in a slower site which means frustration for the site end users.

Then in months or years to come, when you want to switch the theme to match the latest design craze, or a new company branding things will get very tricky. As once you change your theme, you instantly loose all those features that attracted you to the theme in the first place.

So, how-about custom designed themes?

Having a theme designed specially for your business, means we are able to tailor the exact design requirements that you need in your theme, without any of that ‘bloat’. Features are built into the site via plugins. This means that you can carry these on to a new design if required in years to come.
using SublimeText to code WordPress themes A theme that is custom designed, means we can make your theme lean and fast. With no wasted code, or bloated features that don’t quite fit your need.

A well-crafted custom designed theme should require very few updates in its lifetime. Also, since the features are integrated via plugins that are separate from your theme, it means we can alter the functionality of the site without upsetting its overall look and feel. Similarly, should your company brand change, it will be relatively straight-forward to alter the look of your site, without interfering with the functionality.

Although we mainly offer custom designed themes, we do occasionally work with free or premium WordPress themes, if our clients’ requirements or budget dictates it. For a free initial consultation, contact us for a chat. We can go over the site requirements and guide you on which approach would be best suited for your online presence.

Five Stupid Peter Principle Mistakes Your Competitors Make

You’ve heard of the Peter Principle, right? It holds that within a business or profession, an individual rises and is promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. The sound of this career path resembles a paraphrase of The Little Engine That Could:

I can do this!
I can do this!
I can do this!
I can do this!
… I suck

The key in business – heck, the key to life itself – is to keep doing the things you’re good at, and getting someone else to either teach you or do for you the things you’re not good at. So here are the five frequent mistakes your competitors make and you need to avoid.

  • Over-estimating their expertise – What kind of marks did you get in secondary school English? Or, what sort of comments did you receive on your post-secondary papers? If either were spotty or negative, why do you think that you can now write the Content for your website?
  • Preaching to the Choir – The key to a profitable business practice is growth. Once a business stops attracting new clients, it starts to die because existing clients retire, move on, or eventually literally die. So is the language of your marketing tools friendly to people who may not know much or anything about what you do, or is their language so jargon-heavy with insider references that – bluntly – no one knows what the hell you’re talking about?
  • Living in the Past – Let’s say that you built a marketing tool such as a website back in 2008. It served you perfectly well then, so why won’t it do n  ow? Well, you know what wasn’t around in 2008? There were no iPhones or iPads. That great website in 2008 may be invisible to both those popular devices today.
  • Trusting Only One Pair of Eyes – Let’s just call this one Arrogance. If you have ever read an indie novel or non-fiction book, you may well have run across inconsistencies, grammatical errors or typos that should have been avoided. They are there because the author did not consult a professional editor. Your business needs an editor who will offer an honest, clear assessment.
  • Looking In, Not Out – Do you look at what your competitors are doing? Do you look at what indirect competitors, such as suppliers or practitioners within your industry, are doing? If we asked you to name three marketing trends in your industry, could you name them off the top of your head and be accurate? Knowing What Was is good, knowing What Is proves vital, but knowing What Will Be creates the map of success.

Example Services

You are currently a small business selling a unique craft product locally, yet you wish to expand your market reach nationally or internationally. We will design a web presence for you, and support materials for hard copy brochures. Then, we will get your message ‘out there’ to a targeted market base that we will work with you to define geographically.

You represent a charitable concern that wishes to have its message heard by a broader section of the public. Here we can assist you in designing and marketing unique on-line events with compelling speakers and valuable support products.

You are an author or musician with a new book or recording. How will you get your product noticed? Besides everything mentioned above, we will assist you in getting your work read or seen by industry professionals. You will stand out in the crowd!

You want to create a global, on-line event over several days to maximize your reach. We can create a program and materials for you that will fill your event with speakers, attract sponsors and offer enticements such as prizes or exclusive VIP content. In addition, the audience will be energized by innovative emails during the build-up to the event, as well as post-event follow-ups. Call it a Summit, a Conference, or a Networking Experience, we can do it for you.