WordPress templates are an attractive proposition for businesses and individuals that are looking to bring their ideas to life but do not require a custom build. WordPress templates are well-known and well-used by professionals at all levels and will by no means produce a ‘less than’ product. If your project does require a custom build, then you are going to want to proceed with a unique website build and not implement a WordPress theme.
If this is a daunting idea, follow this guide to go off-template with a WordPress site in 2023 confidently.
Work with a web designer
The most seamless website deliveries will always have a team of web designers in Melbourne behind it, pulling the strings and conducting all the quality assurance required for a quality build. Professional web designers will rarely use a WordPress theme unless it is specifically requested, as they have the expertise to design their own websites and efficient designs.
It’s also not uncommon for a client to approach a web designer with a collection of website examples that they admire, some of which are WordPress themes. This allows the web designer to review the desired elements from a selection of websites and create something that is the best of many WordPress themes.
Learn the web design fundamentals
The popularity of WordPress templates is easy to understand. It brings a clean and simple solution to the masses, especially for those who are not comfortable with web design or unaware of the design fundamentals. If your plan is to go off-template in 2023, then it is important that you take the time to upskill yourself.
You may choose to take a formal or informal course in web design, or you can even enroll in an online course that is self-paced and allows you to work through a real-world example. Learning web design fundamentals will set you up to understand what elements are required on each page and why. From there, you will have better success in mapping out a custom website build.
Function first, display second
If you are wanting to go off-template in 2023 but find the seemingly endless collection of themes so tempting, you might not be looking at the bigger picture. Web designers and web design agencies do place a lot of stock in the look and feel of the website, but this is only one element. The more important component is the function of the website. Is it doing what it needs to do, and how can the web design further support that function? Themes, colors, and images really seem quite insignificant when you are considering the actual purpose of your website, which is why you want to be considering your UX (user experience).
UX designers and web developers have come to be working very closely with one another, as the UX guides the development and then both teams will work to further refine and test their theories. When you work with a highly reputable web design agency, there may be a UX designer team under the same roof, which can streamline a lot of the design phases and keep your website build on track.
Create a comprehensive website brief
Whether you are taking on the website building yourself or briefing it out to a professional, the brief is everything. This is how you can document all the core elements of the job and map out the navigation from the home page, to the service page and any other specialized pages.
The better the brief, the more at ease you will feel about going off-template, because you will not need to lean on the crutch of the template, but can simply refer to your detailed brief. Your brief can be both technical and design-inspired, with annotations and notes throughout so you are capturing all the important details. If there is more than one stakeholder working on your website, then ensure they have ample opportunity to weigh in on this brief as they may have areas of expertise that you have not considered which can add more substance and direction to your brief.
Explore migration options
If you currently have a WordPress theme but you are not happy with how it is going, it’s a frustrating bind to find yourself in. The good news is that you can migrate away from your previously chosen WordPress to a customizable CMS. How seamless this process is will depend on the content on your website and how much there is.
If you have a long timeframe to prepare for the migration and execute it, then you will be in a great position. Your aforementioned brief is going to be instrumental when doing a website migration and be sure to work with an expert team so no content is lost and you launch your new website strongly.
It’s always exciting doing something a little bit different, especially when you have the control to choose everything you want for your website. Going off-template will prove to you how much versatility you can achieve with a vision, so start strong with confidence!