challenges of customizing a wordpress website – part 1

I sent an email in response to an ad on craigslist. a few days later I got a response from a lady who had a website with an unfinished wordpress design. the site is a photoblog but she didn’t like the slider that was bundled with the theme. she also wanted to move the logo since it was overlapping the images. in addition to a form, she wanted to have a secure login to a password protected area for clients to view their pictures. I quoted her a price and she agreed.

wordpress projects usually involve theme customization. clients want some elements to be positioned in a certain way, backgrounds in a different color or things like that. the new trend with websites is a slider which displays rotating images with transition effects. sliders are a nice feature to have. the downside is that sometimes you cannot get rid of a feature that is integral to the theme design. the slider that was used had a genie effect with photo realistic shadow effects. client wanted something very minimalist so visitors can focus on the image and not be distracted.

trying to deactivate some features proved to be no small feat. to save time, we decided to contact the developer for help. I was already told that trying to talk to the developer was a waste of time. I still decided to give it a try – in vain. I have to mention that this was the second time that I had to deal with themeforest. in my experience, they sell you a theme, if you have issues, you’re left out cold. they refer you to the developer who doesn’t seem too concerned with providing service to the community.

it’s not an easy job being a theme developer. imagine being swarmed by a strident stream of vociferous rants from angry customers! I asked client if she were ready to just ditch that theme and use a new one from scratch. any theme can be customized to look like any other one. I set out to look for a theme that was minimalist in design. also, she requested to have a mobile friendly website, I had to look for a theme that was designed to display a consistent look across various media, including mobile devices.

next up: anatomy of a web design (part 2)