Over the last 6 weeks I have been struggling to find the right designer for a blog I wanted to add to my core website. The purpose of the blog would be to house my monthly newsletters which are sent via Constant Contact as well as capture traditional posts that relate to my business.
The first place to turn was my existing web designer. We discussed the design elements that I required and the various themes that were possible.
At that point he began to customize a template. The problem was that this designer was flat out unreliable.
The main issue was his ability to deliver on the agreed upon time lines. After 2 warnings I fired him.
Next it was off to Elance. Having hired freelancers from Elance over the last month I was certain I would find someone to complete the work and do it in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable cost. I even went so far as to hand select those freelancers that I wanted to bid on the job after reviewing their portfolios and feedback scores. After 3 days I dialed in a college grad student, had a conversation regarding the specs and agreed on the price.
Finally I was on my way and awaiting the first round of design possibilities.
That is until 24 hours later when this designer had a change of heart and decided that the job was not for him.
Now I was back to square one.
While doing a Google search for keywords clean, fresh, WordPress design template I found a link to DIY Themes Thesis template. What attracted me to click through and to know more was the designer Chris Pearson. He is the original author of the wildly popular 'Cutline' WordPress theme. It seems that he had just recently launched a new template called Thesis.
I clicked through to his site and was stunned.
More than just a great looking theme, Chris has build a phenomenal interface and tutorial that makes the process of getting installed and live the easiest I have encountered. Was it seamless? You tell me what computer program is. Is there a support forum that is available on the site with members that actually respond? Yes. Is Chris answering client's inquiries himself? Yes, he is.
Best of all he has build a control panel that sits inside of the WordPress admin area that makes tasks like adding alt tags to pictures, adding tabs for pages, author and date control on posts and pages, simple stats and scripts management, etc., etc. unbelievably easy.
Having successfully installed the Thesis Theme in very short order I needed to get back to the requirement I had of customization. I needed to add my company colors, logos, pictures, etc. I once again set out to hire someone to do it and I posted a new job on Elance with the requirement that the designer know the Thesis Theme.
Then a funny thing happened.
While I was waiting for freelancers to bid on my job I started poking around the tutorials on the DIY Theme site. Low and behold after reading the tutorials and assorted posts in the forum I was doing the customization myself.
Let's be clear, I have limited WordPress coding skills, at best. Any yet today I am live with a good looking blog that has my logo, my company colors, photos and layout of my choice. All of this was done by myself and I only invested about 4 hours over 3 days to get it completed. Considering what it costs to hire a designer versus the price of the theme, and all of the help and innovation that comes with it, this is the best investment of time and money I have made in my internet presence, ever.
Source by R. Adam Shore