• wordpress design development
  • wordpress design development

WordPress Design and Development – manage your own website content

WordPress is one of the leading content management systems (CMS) and blog tools used for creating websites.  Many individuals and organisations use WordPress websites to promote themselves and their services, or just to publish their thoughts and knowledge to the world.

Companies and individuals choose to use a content management system so that they can update the content on their website themselves and not have to pay an agency to do this for them.  Very little technical knowledge and ability is required to update and edit content.  With basic computer literacy (the ability to use word processing tools is usually sufficient!) most updates and editing can be managed perfectly easily using a CMS such as WordPress.

As with many content management systems WordPress is highly flexible and customisable: options range from free sites that have limited flexibility through to advanced scenarios with integration of all manner of additional functions and features from shops through to database driven catalogues, from event listings to fully blown online communities.  The world is certainly your oyster with WordPress.

Increasingly the team at Digital Consortium are finding that clients are coming to us with a desire for a content-managed website that is easy for them to update themselves, but they require some (or a lot) of assistance getting it look, work and behave in just the right way for them.

We are able to work with you and WordPress to deliver a site that is tailored to your brand, style, ability and budget.  Options include taking an existing WordPress theme  (a theme is an existing set of templates that generally suit the overall content and way you wish to publish your information) and re-style the colours, fonts and details to appear as a bespoke website specifically designed for your company or organisation.

We have plenty of experience developing custom themes for WordPress , this means we design and develop a set of templates for use within WordPress, designed from scratch but using the structure and coding rules in accordance with WordPress.  By designing and developing a custom WordPress theme you can ensure your site is entirely unique and on-brand, with layouts and content areas to fit your content and how you wish to publish information, graphics and other media.

WordPress comes with an array of inbuilt features that can be integrated into the site straight away, they work out of the box, but sometimes there may be some specific functionality that needs to be added by way of a pluginPlugins are features that have been developed by WordPress or third-party developers or agencies.  Some are free and some have a charge associated with them.  For example, a site may need to add a particular type of image gallery or a calendar of events.  What you want may be quite specific and therefore we would search the existing plugins available to find the particular WordPress plugin most suitable to your needs.

Sometimes it may be necessary to write our own plugin from scratch if what you ideally want and need is not available from the list of WordPress plugins already developed.  This might be required if existing plugins do not have great reviews or they would require so much customisation it negates the reason for selecting an existing plugin in the first place.

When it comes to hosting the WordPress website there are a number of options.  Your site can be hosted with WordPress, but that limits how much customisation you can do.  If you are planning on using features that aren’t standard in the core CMS, such as WordPress plugins or custom functionality, then you have to host your site elsewhere.  Another benefit of hosting it elsewhere is that it gives you greater control over the theme templates and the customisation of them.  It’s often annoying when a theme fits your needs apart from one element and you can’t change it because it’s hosted with WordPress.  It’s then a case of weighing up the pros and cons and how important that custom change is to you.

If you host your site with anyone other than WordPress the downside is that you are responsible for the maintenance and installation of security updates.  When we need to host a site with someone other than WordPress we usually recommend budgeting for some time monthly or quarterly to perform these updates to keep your site in tip-top condition.  So you need to keep this sort of thing in mind when comparing the benefits of increased customisation versus keeping it pared back to basics through the core CMS.

As always, we are happy to talk through all of these options with you.  Our typical process is as follows

  • Planning – what you want and need, what you need now and what you need in the future.  WordPress is scalable and you can always add things at a later date if you require.
  • Design – does an existing template theme suit your needs (with the change of colours/fonts/some layout changes) or do you require a bespoke template building from scratch?  We can’t say this until we’ve gone through the planning stage but usually we can find an existing theme that suits your needs with very few compromises.  This does tend to save on development costs (and the subsequent testing).
  • Development – if it’s an existing WordPress theme, then we’re simply setting it up and preparing it for content population.  If it’s something with more functionality then we integrate that and any other plugins you may require.  If your requirements are very specific we may need to carry out custom template work or write our own code for plugins – each client and site is different and developed and written for its own specific and exacting needs.
  • Testing – test, test and test again.  We carry out an array of in-house testing across different browsers, devices and platforms before it is passed to the client for testing.
  • Content population – depending on how much time and skill you have yourself, you may wish to add all of the content through the WordPress content management system content editor.  You might need our help with specific things that you can’t get to look just right.  Our developers and designers can change the layouts or content blocks to suit your content, but in an ideal world if we were doing this we would have ALL the content at the beginning, or at least a large part of it so that only standard text pages remain for population.
  • SEO – Search engine optimisation is built into WordPress sites and there are basic tools in WordPress hosted options that work out of the box; for those who want more control over SEO, there are plenty of plugins available.  Using such tools and plugins, the administration area will flag up when improvements can be made, but a certain amount of knowledge and confidence is required to get it to work hard for you.  We can spend a couple of hours with you to arm you with the knowledge and translate the jargon so that you make the most of  WordPress SEO tools.  Or we can do it for you, we work with you how you need us to.  Remember, search engine optimisation is not just about what’s in your site, it’s also about links and directories and things that exist across the rest of the web too!

As with anyone Digital Consortium work with, we will do as much or as little as you require, but ALWAYS tell you what we would do if we were in your shoes.  You might just need a bit of assistance with set up, or you may want us to do everything for you.  We don’t mind at all – we’ll give you a firm quotation before beginning and then be flexible as we progress to take into account any changes in the plan right up to go live.

For a no obligation chat (or meeting if you’re in Yorkshire or if it’s a substantial project we’ll come to you if you’re further afield) give us a call or drop us a line and we can take it from there.

Back to Top