How to Turn a WordPress Theme into a Custom Branded Website: Step-by-Step Guide
WordPress has a lot to offer to everyone who doesn’t want to waste a lot of time creating a website from scratch. This platform has many plugins and templates that allow you to build a web page of virtually any kind. However, it’s not enough to choose a right template or theme if you really want your website to stand out.
Themes are a good start, but you should move from a standard theme-based look to something unique that will reflect the originality of your brand. Fortunately, WordPress has all that you need to build a customized, engaging, and eye-catching website that will look nothing like pre-designed themes. In this article, we are going to help you create a well-branded website based on the standard WordPress themes.
What You Should Know About Custom Branded Websites
Every company has its unique features and requirements regarding branding. If you really want to make your branding effective, pre-designed themes are certainly not the best choice. On the other hand, WordPress allows you to customize themes according to your own needs and requirements. There is a possibility to modify premium themes or to code a new theme specifically for your brand. Custom themes have a number of advantages:
- Custom designs include your brand colors and logos, serving your specific goals and targeting the right audience.
- Another advantage is versatility. You can create a flexible custom theme with new elements of design that expand functionality or make the user experience more diverse.
- You can adjust the functionality of your theme using a new, unique layout.
- Custom themes are a guarantee that your website won’t look like hundreds of other websites. If you want to differ from competitors, creating a custom design is a necessity.
On the other hand, custom branded websites also imply certain difficulties.
- First, if you’re a newbie, you will have to invest in creating a branded theme. A good design has its price, and you should think of whether you can afford it. At the same time, it’s important to understand that an eye-catching custom design can expand your audience so we suggest considering these costs an investment in your marketing.
- Just like any other work, building a custom branded theme takes some time. If you’re looking for a complicated website with many specific features, the development process may take up to 10 weeks.
- Let’s not forget about maintenance — you may need to keep working with your developers to fix bugs or to improve security. Of course, you can also hire new specialists, but in this case, the work may take more time and be more expensive.
Even though creating a unique branded website is not as simple and cheap as using one of the standard themes, the result is definitely worth your effort and money. WordPress allows you to create completely different web pages with different functionality and objectives. Here are some examples of WordPress-based custom websites from famous brands.
Forbes is a huge media corporation, and its website has 59 million unique visitors every month. The specifics of this industry requires media companies to react to any events as fast as possible. Readers always choose the most relevant content so publishers must move quickly. It becomes possible with WordPress VIP, which allows users to publish content in minutes. This platform is easy for contributors so writers from all over the world can publish their articles in a few clicks.
American Express Open Forum
American Express has chosen WordPress for its community portal because the platform is reliable and easy to manage.
General Electric is a big company that proves the fact that WordPress is indeed a great choice. It also uses jQuery, Google FeedProxy, Feedburner, Typekit, and SWFObject.
How to Turn a WordPress Theme into a Custom Branded Website
- Start with going to the WordPress Theme Directory to choose a theme that looks best for your purposes. There are thousands of options available so you may benefit from using search filters instead of scrolling all themes and looking at every one of them. For example, if you know that you need e-commerce functionality and a certain type of sidebar, just turn these filters on. You can also click the ‘Popular’ tab and search the most popular themes. We also suggest paying special attention to reviews.
- Make sure you use only necessary plugins. WordPress themes often have too many plugins, which is a good thing for customization. However, the chances are you won’t need so many functions. The more complicated the website, the more likely something will go wrong with it.
- Now it’s time to include your brand assets, such as your logo, custom URL, and trademark. Think of where your logo should be — there are no certain rules regarding a place for your logo. Just make sure it draws attention and looks good along with all other elements of design. You may want to make your logo bigger on the homepage, or you can even make it animated.
- Choose the right colors so that your page will reflect your brand palette. At the same time, don’t forget about color psychology: all colors are perceived differently. For instance, red immediately draws attention, while dark blue is associated with security and professionalism.
- Another way to make your website more meaningful is to choose the right fonts. Serif fonts are traditional and old-fashioned, sans-serif fonts are modern and simple, and script fonts can help you create a playful and fun atmosphere.
Custom branded websites are certainly more effective than templates. They reflect the nature of your brand and make your company stand out from hundreds of competitors with basic pages. WordPress allows you to customize the existing themes, tailoring them to your objectives and helps you create a coherent brand image which will attract more customers.
Ester Brierley is a QA Engineer in software outsourcing company and a competent virtual assistant for Collegewriters.com, but thinking about her own entrepreneurial journey. As a seasoned content creator, she adores researching cutting-edge digital trends and sharing them in her writing pieces. Follow her on Twitter.