Free WordPress Theme – it sounds so good. You can just download the one that is most suitable for you and start using it for free. However… you only want the best for your business.
Every Premium theme is uniquely designed and coded by professionals who can provide you proper support and regular updates. But it will cost you money.
When budget and performance are on the line, the choice is not easy. Let’s take a deeper look at both options.
According to WordPress.org a WordPress (WP) Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. It modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Simply put, it allows you to change the font type, colors and background, upload logo and create sliders and other aesthetic properties without necessarily affecting the core functionality of WordPress. Your choice of theme can determine many important aspects of your site. A good theme is one that not only looks nice, but is also easy to customize, flexible, actively developed and well supported into the future.
There are two types of WP themes:
The most significant differences between Premium and Free WordPress themes:
Generally speaking, all aspects of design, development and technical quality of Premium WordPress themes are much better than the Free WordPress themes. One thing to note, just because it is a Premium theme doesn’t mean it is easy to use for the layperson or the under-skilled newbie programmer. There are many areas throughout the process of installation, setup, modification and customization of the Premium theme in which a challenge may arise and stall your progress.
First and foremost, do your best to be sure you have made the right choice before the purchase. There are hundreds and hundreds of themes available for you to choose from and it is crucial to pick the theme that is absolutely right for your business. While the best themes are referred to as “plug and play,” an “out of the box” theme design is still time intensive and requires a bit of know how if it is to result in a beautiful, visitor and SEO-friendly website.
If you are unsure about the best theme for your business or needs, our team of experts can help you make the right choice. Here is a list of our favorites and the best device-responsive, multi-purpose Premium WordPress themes. We know these themes like the back of our hands and recommend them highly.
If you are a die-hard do it yourselfer and you are set on building your own website, here’s a summary of your next-steps:
While the steps above seem easy enough, designing and developing a website that will do an excellent job creating the brand awareness and engagement you need and designing it so that it is very SEO and device-friendly requires talent, experience and coding know-how. The “back end” programming is a specialty. There are many things that can sabotage your site’s ranking in the search engines and it can even get flagged or removed if violates Google’s WebMaster guidelines.
Even if you are building a small 7 – 10 page website, the total time invested in building your site – start to finish – will be approximately 100 hours. If you are not a designer or a programmer it will likely take you much longer. By the time you develop and refine your content, acquire the proper images, complete the list of activities outlined above and test, tweak and revise your website, you will be into the project well over 100 hours. This doesn’t include stopping along the way to look up things you don’t know, the time required to fix problems you don’t understand and troubleshoot features that aren’t working properly.
Try this little exercise to see if it makes sense to design and develop your own website:
What is the value of one hour when you have spent it doing the highest yielding task that is in alignment with your company goals? The answer isn’t the hourly rate of your highest service. The answer is much more likely to be you, showing up at an event where your best referral partners are… or a attending a high-value networking event. Why? Because if you spend 30 seconds sharing your company pitch and you get one referral out of that (or better yet, you gain a solid referral partner), your 30 seconds returned the value of the new customer that results from the referral. Moreover, the value of that 30 second opportunity is even greater than that. It’s value is more accurately quantified as the lifetime value of the client you received as a result of the referral, plus the value of the referral business referred by your new customer.
To keep it simple, if the value of one client new client is $10,000, your 30 seconds is worth $10,000.00. You might argue and say you spend another 3 hours “courting” the prospect before they become a client. Okay, then the value of that 30 seconds is more like $3,333.00. Imagine spending a week showing up at the best events for your business and the value of even 3 referrals that come from those opportunities.
You can begin to see that the value of your hour is so high, you shouldn’t be doing anything else.
There are 120 pitch opportunities in an hour. It’s highly unlikely you’ll have the opportunity to do 120 back-to-back 30 second pitches, but to make a point, if you set a goal to give 120 pitches a month the potential for business goes up exponentially and the value of one hour can be as great as 120 x the lifetime value of your average client. Even if you only closed 10% of them, we are talking about an hour that is worth way into the six figures.
If this is so, why would you spend 100 or more hours developing a website that isn’t likely to do as great a job projecting your brand, attracting your target audience and converting clients as it would if you hired a professional?
Even if your highest valued hour is worth $3,000, when you multiply it times the 100 hour website project you end up with a $300,000 website that is, at best, mediocre. The time you spent on the learning curve won’t pay off because you won’t develop enough websites for it to pay off. You won’t be able to keep up with the ever-changing guidelines. This website building experience will be a colossal waste of your time and waste of opportunity to build what counts most toward your business goals.
Once you have clarity on the true value of your time, you’ll discover that designing and developing your own website will cost you far more than it will to hire professionals.
A professional will likely charge you between $3,000 and $6,000 for the same theme-based website. If you hire the right team, you will receive far more value for your investment than you will receive when you do it yourself. Oftentimes, in the midst of development, you’ll discover you need certain customizations to your theme to produce the feature or look and feel you want. Choosing the proper theme and knowing how design and development work together is important to achieving the results you want.
Be sure to find a website solutions company that will also provide on-page search engine optimization. If it isn’t in your budget today, build a budget for ongoing SEO. If your website isn’t showing up on the first page of the search engines, your competition is getting your business. The cost of your competition getting your business is far greater than the investment you’ll make in an effective SEO plan.
Blue Iris Marketing is a full service web solutions company. Not only can we develop a small starter site at competitive pricing, we offer all of the services you’ll need to support your growth. When your company begins to grow, we’ll help you keep your website ahead of the curve so that your brand continues to project the proper image and engage all of your client segments.
Many of our clients require a fully customized website with eCommerce, SEO, online marketing strategies and many other features. Our service, results and pricing are second to none. Our customer service stands out from other agencies. We are different on purpose.
If you are considering a do-it-yourself website project, take a moment to give us a call. We’ll be happy to provide you with suggestions and guidance, even if you are going to build it yourself.
Call us Today.