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Creating Unique Websites from Cookie Cutter Templates

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Even though many would argue that a custom made website is far superior to templates, this isn’t always the case. You see, while being unique is not easy in a world with 644 million active websites, creating your own website is sometimes simply too expensive to be justifiable. A professional and unique website can cost anywhere up to about $25,000 and if your website budget is modest, you should definitely go with a template. Still, there is also a third option, one that could fit both your budget and your goals much better. We are talking about creating a unique website from a cookie cutter template.

1.      A Child Theme

Building your own theme is an arduous work and reworking an already existing one is a much easier job. The theme that comes into existence in this way is called a child theme, as opposed to the parent theme (the original theme that was reworked). The time-saving factor that occurs in this manner is due to the fact that you are merely adding several additional functions and slightly altering the style of the theme, without actually changing the theme files of the parent theme. The greatest advantage of this method can be seen once you decide to actually update the parent theme, seeing how the child theme remains mostly unaffected.

2.      Making a Child Theme

The process of the creation of the child theme is fairly simple. All you are expected to do is make a folder on your computer and add a style.css file to it. This can be done even with a common text editor. The code is fairly simple and it requires information such as the name of the theme, its URI, the description of the theme, the name of the author and the author’s own URI (which is commonly the same as the theme URI). The most important step, here, however, is to name the parent theme once you come to the ‘template’ line of the code. After this, with the line:

@import url(“../parenttheme/style.css”);

you can mark the parent theme’s style as your starting position. Once you are done doing this, you simply need to add the child theme to your WordPress installation and start customizing.

3.      Customizing the File

Once you have uploaded the theme it will be your job to make an adequate small business website design. By adding code to the above-mentioned style.css line, you can easily change the color scheme or the font of the website. Aside from this, you can change the locations of different elements of your website and in this way make it appear more or less symmetric. You can also change the way in which images are displayed and add or remove design information from a specific part of the site.

Overall, most of the changes you can make here are purely style oriented. The best example of this lies in the fact that you have several ways of altering the link style alone. For instance, you can choose what happens when a visitor hovers over it, whether or not unvisited and visited link change color (which happens on most websites). You can also choose how link behaves at the moment of its activation. While each of these may seem quite insignificant on their own, they all add up to the overall user experience on your website and are, therefore, not to be disregarded.

4.      Custom Code or Plugins?

Finally, one of the question that most of you probably ask by now is whether or not the custom code is more efficient than plugins and the answer is a resounding yes. Sure, plugins are simpler to install and use, but they have more than several downsides. In most cases, a plugin is there to solve a single problem of your website and in order to do so, it takes up a part of your website’s resources. On the other hand, this kind of problem can usually be resolved with a single line of code. Sure, sometimes using a plugin with be an optimal solution, but this won’t always be the case.

In Conclusion

While it is true that a lot of people turn to WordPress in the first place because it helps them avoid coding. Nonetheless, if you intend to get serious with your company’s digital marketing, learning at least basics of the code is inevitable. Not only will this help you find an easier and more cost-effective way out of most tricky situations, it will also give you a better look at the bigger picture.

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