Since my clients tend to be non-profits, start-ups, and smaller for-profit companies that have real budget constraints, I’m always thinking of ways to marry great design with robust functionality. I find that using website templates such as those developed by WordPress, are highly configurable and use great web design principles to provide companies with a professional look for a fraction of the cost of custom design. AND they work on multiple devices.
WordPress templates have the capability to publish both dynamic and static content. My site, for example, uses the “Associate Theme” from WordPress. The tools are already in place for doing SEO, applying graphics, creating eNewsletters and layering in all sorts of other functionality through the use of “widgets” (what WordPress calls additional functionality that can be layered into a website template). You can see how 3WD has modified the template to match our needs.
This article from KISSmetrics titled 7 Deadly Web Design Sins You Might Be Making highlights the things that web design needs to consider in order to be effective and I’ve found WordPress themes cover these concepts well. So instead of worrying about great design, companies can focus on their functional requirements. Considering things like these help companies narrow their choices for a web template:
- How do customers access your web content? (mobile, phablet, computer)
- How may people will be publishing content?
- How often will content be published?
- What type of content will be published? (images, video, text)
- What types of content does your company publish on an ongoing basis (press releases, thought leadership pieces, external press, training)
- What are the categories of content that are relevant to your business?
- Does content need to appear in multiple categories?
- Does content need to be pushed out to a constituency? How frequently? In what format?
- Will you be doing online campaigns?
Web tools have come a long way and design challenges have been solved through the use of web templates. Now companies need expertise in applying web software tools to solve communication problems with fixed resources. A website is only as great as the resources who support it.