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BelIblis says

Hi,

I have a customer who wants a new website designed. He definitely wants to have an eCommerce shop using WooCommerce (probably because of its expandability). Which in turn means: the website needs to be based Wordpress.

But: The customer does not want me to work from a theme because he wants a “unique” site. I told the customer that I like using a good theme as a starting point for a general layout & navigation. (i.e. one-page template, or multi-site // navigation on the top, or on the left // etc…)

I know how to code HTML and CSS. (But only very basic PHP). All my wordpress-theme-based sites have a fair amount of customization done to them, mostly CSS but also some basic PHP. But I wouldn’t know how to translate a design or html into a wordpress site… and I don’t really want to get into that anyway.

So: Has anyone here got some tips & ideas about how I can take the customer’s fears away, regarding working from a theme? (i.e. that a “theme” is not the same as “clipart” from MS Word etc…). I really don’t want to reinvent the wheel – I would rather fine-tune the “tire tread” so to say.

I already explained about customised CSS (logo position, fonts, colours, spacings, columns, etc)... I think he may have had some kind of “all-wordpress-template-websites-look-the-same” advice from his friends…

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charlie4282 says

You could try finding examples of themes from here being used elsewhere and hope you come across one heavily cusotmised.

Unless your design skills are very good and the product is quite unique there is a good chance that a custom built theme will end up looking similar to one form here anyhow…

I suppose you could use a framework and build it up yourself but if your PHP is limited it will long term cause issues and it will never function as well as a solid theme from here.

The old fashioned way – give them two quotes. First is to modify an existing them (assuring a different look etc) and the second is a fully custom site (if necessary blame it on needing to draft in expert help) and make sure it is a massive amount more.

I admire your honesty – there are a lot of people on here who no doubt would claim its not a theme template and use one anyway! We are currently correcting one of those exact situations when the “Developer” (I use that term loosely) can;t even update his “own custom design”!

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FinalDestiny says

Tell him a custom website would cost $20k while one based on a theme would cost $5k. (just some examples, but with obvious differences) and he’ll change his mind. If it doesn’t and he’s willing to pay for the work for the correct price, why wouldn’t you do it?

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BelIblis says

I already showed him different / customised websites that stem from the same design… he’s not convinced yet, though.

@FinalDestiny: I could offer a $20k price tag for “hand-crafted” design, sure. But I wouldn’t be able to do that kind of work, because he really wants that “woocommerce thing”. I never converted a css/html design into wordpress, but I would imagine that this process would need a bit more than just my basic php skills :(

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charlie4282 says

For 20K you could hire someone from here to do it and still make a mark up

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BelIblis says

True, but I wouldn’t know who to hire (and who to trust). Also: I’d be totally on my own if there was any problems with the converted html/css “theme” and other wordpress plugins, for example the woocommerce part…

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FinalDestiny says

For that kind of money, there’s a contact form on my profile :D

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BelIblis says

Hey – I need to make some money as well here ;)

Anyway – I’d really prefer to work from an existing theme anyway. (I do enjoy the Custom CSS part ;)

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Ivor Reviewer says

If he doesn’t want a premium theme and you don’t feel capable to code a WP theme from scratch then you need to be honest about it, or you can buy a framework (e.g. Canvas) and start from there.

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Gareth_Gillman says

Be brutally honest with him and say I can’t build a custom theme it’s beyond my capabilities but I am willing to find a good developer and work with them to build one for you.

They will like your honesty and that you will still be involved.

I have a few clients that do you like do, build sites using themes and can dabble in html/css but for custom themes they just tell the client that they will be bringing in another developer to help with the process.

The worst thing anyone can do is lie to their clients, be up front and they will trust you more, knowing your limits is a really good trait.

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