Building a WordPress website involves different phases, and building a unique design for your website could be included in the project scope. However, building a unique template for your website usually costs around $2,000 – $10,000 and, unless the brand uniqueness is not the main purpose of your project, you may want to consider the other options.
Creating a Custom WordPress Design From Scratch
The cleanest options is creating a custom design from scratch. That includes involving a designer to provide the mockup of your web presence and the static images, then a frontend developer converting them to a static template, and a backend developer to integrate them to a WordPress theme and adding the required website functionality. This process is usually time consuming and often the most expensive one.
If you have very specific design requirements or want to ensure that the frontend is under your complete control, this would be the best option for your company.
Creating a WordPress Design from Starter Theme
There are WordPress themes such as Underscores (_s) that provide part of the features that you would need for your design. The main website structure is included, with zero styling whatsoever. If you expect a fairly standard website structure and are looking for a compliant and well-maintained code, that’s the way to go. You will still need a designer, but part of the frontend development process will be saved by the started theme.
Creating a WordPress Theme from a Framework
WordPress theme frameworks such as Hybrid Core or Genesis include a large set of features and some theme backbone that you could use for your website. Some projects are compliant with the structure and features provided by said frameworks, and could leverage the existing codebase by saving hours for design and development. Additionally, the most popular frameworks come with starter themes or premium themes that you could build on, customize, or be able to easily switch designs without having to invest thousands of dollars for a new theme and migrating the content throughout designs (considering that some themes provide shortcodes, widgets or post types for your dynamic data that may not be available in others).
Customizing a Premium WordPress Theme
A popular solution is purchasing a premium WordPress theme by a popular theme market and customizing it slightly. The good news is that most themes cost $50 – $150 and provide administrative panels for theme customization.
However. the majority of the theme marketplaces pay no attention to the code quality. This means several things:
- your theme may break your website if it’s incompatible with some plugins or a coming update of WordPress
- the premium theme could be highly insecure if it incorporates the wrong libraries
- the theme could be heavy and overloaded with options, which would affect the user experience
The most important note is that customizing an existing theme has a lot of limitations – only minor changes are allowed, otherwise bending it outside of its capabilities would lead to numerous regressions, and it may as well cost more than building a completely custom solution from scratch.
At DevriX we prefer to build custom solutions for our clients or use Underscores for a starter theme. We are also experienced in building custom theme frameworks. However, if you are looking for a minimalist design solution or the majority of the work for your project is functionality-related, we could pick a simple theme for you and focus on your technical solution. Let us know.