• # July 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm


    When offering WordPress as a service to clients, are you expected to develop them a theme from scratch or adapt an existing theme to a design (more like a child theme)?

    I’m more of a designer than a developer and the thought of developing a theme from scratch haunts me.


    # July 17, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    It depends on what you’re offering. Those are two separate projects that depend on a client’s needs.

    If developing a theme from scratch haunts you, my recommendation would be to partner with somebody that doesn’t think such scary thoughts!

    # July 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm

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    and please please please, if you are going to modify themes, do not charge the same price as developing from scratch…

    There are a few guys locally that buy templates and charge a minimum of $2000 just to add 5 pages of content and a logo and they have absolutely NO coding experience whatsoever…which is complete bullsh**.

    So, just make sure you are pricing your services properly…It pisses me off to see un-honest people taking away work from us guys who put in the time to learn everything and do it the right way.

    # July 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    @jshjohnson I’m a letterer (former web designer) and I was the same way. I use a pre-made blank template. It’s completely stripped of styling and just adds the very basic content. This allows you to build it up for what the project needs.

    Since Chris posted a screencast long ago on how to go from PSD to WordPress and used a specific theme called “Starkers” (which does the same thing), everyone will recommend it. However, it’s really “bulky” and I never liked it. Below is a template I have used for a while now and can’t say enough about it.


    @kgscott284 You’d really love my former employer then.

    # July 18, 2012 at 5:28 am

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    @ChristopherBurton – Thanks! I’ll look into that theme. I always felt like I could do less if I used someone else’s theme.

    # July 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I have had a similar experience. I am a graphic designer learning to code my own sites but I had a client who wanted to control her backend so WordPress became a better option. What i did was explain that I was going to use a template and purchase the bundle to customize the css so that she would be able to control her text but I would control the design, even if a small amount of it. I was honest and explained that she could do the process without me and save some money or I could do it, and then train her on it. She went with that and I charged $350 to set the whole thing up and then do WordPress training too. Really she paid me for the hand holding but sometimes that is all a client wants.

    # July 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm

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    I concur – when we’ve ever just configured templates, we call a spade a spade and there is a clear difference between “custom design” versus “template customization”. At the end it ends up being just a consulting fee for the hand holding piece of it.

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