WP theme design - are there 'parameters'?

10 replies
One of my client's decided they wanted a person who did some branding design work to also do their website design. (She is new to website design.) I told designer that I wanted a 2-column WP theme designed for client so client could easily edit content when desired. Designer supplied 2 design concepts, but they were not for WP. (She claims there was miscommunication about WP theme requirement.) Now she is telling me she cannot find 'parameters' (size requirements) for a 2-column WP theme. I am not a designer or a programmer. What 'parameters' does she need to follow for a 2-column WP theme that can be edited by client? (side note: I need to have a coder take her design and slice it prior to webmaster installation.)

Thx,
Radar
#design #parameters #theme #wp theme
  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Blind leading the blind...?
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  • Profile picture of the author Audi
    Originally Posted by radar9628 View Post

    (She is new to website design.)
    There's your problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author radar9628
    Thank you (??) for your input. :O|The reality is I need to make this work with this designer that the client prefers. If you are aware of a link the designer could visit that discusses WP theme parameters I would be very grateful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    I'll let you know the big secret: there are NO parameters. You can make a WP theme with whatever size you want/need.

    I really feel sorry for the client: two "professionals" (=you and the designer) screwing him up because none of you have the necessary knowledge to handle the tasks given to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Originally Posted by radar9628 View Post

    One of my client's decided they wanted a person who did some branding design work to also do their website design. (She is new to website design.) I told designer that I wanted a 2-column WP theme designed for client so client could easily edit content when desired. Designer supplied 2 design concepts, but they were not for WP. (She claims there was miscommunication about WP theme requirement.)
    You asked the designer to design a web site, not code a WP theme. Big difference, totally different disciplines.
    Originally Posted by radar9628 View Post

    Now she is telling me she cannot find 'parameters' (size requirements) for a 2-column WP theme.
    She can't find any because there isn't any.
    Originally Posted by radar9628 View Post

    I am not a designer or a programmer. What 'parameters' does she need to follow for a 2-column WP theme that can be edited by client? (side note: I need to have a coder take her design and slice it prior to webmaster installation.)
    You need the 'coder' to make the design into a WP theme.

    What you really need to do is to hire someone experienced in web development that can salvage this for you so you can come out with at least your reputation intact.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Vegas
      This is a firestorm waiting to happen.

      WP is a beast. It has a lot of pre-existing components that you need to account for in the style sheet. Not to mention the PHP work to integrate it across all the elements of a WP blog.

      I am highly skilled at this stuff, and even I don't make themes from scratch.

      You may want to just find a good base theme you can modify so that all the guts are there and just need adjusting.
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      • Profile picture of the author silverfern
        What theme are you currently using for your Wordpress site?

        It is possible to go into your current WP theme files and locate the imagery/images used (through FTP). You can then get the dimensions of each graphic and pass this on to your designer. Once they have created the graphics to these dimensions you can override the ones currently on your server.

        This is a suitable option if you are happy with the layout and functionality of your current wordpress theme but want to update the look of it.

        If you can provide the correct dimensions to your designer they will be able to modify their original design to fit these.

        If you are getting a brand new theme created especially for you Istvan Horvath is correct -there are really no set parameters if you ask someone to design you a wordpress theme -almost anything is possible with a custom wordpress theme.

        When asking for a custom wordpress theme from a design company it is always a good idea to reference some websites you like the look of -this gives them an idea of the type of layout you are after. You also need to let them know specific features you may want (for example a slider). A good design company will discuss this through with you.

        In other words you need to let them know what you want to do/what content you want to add to your site on a regular basis. Your design company/wordpress theme developer can then help determine the best tools in wordpress to help you achieve what you want.

        If you are new to Wordpress or are not quite sure what you want -the best approach is to to use an existing theme for a while, either free or paid -up to you - there are heaps out there, (maybe swap and play around with a couple until you know what you really want). Then you will have an idea of how different themes works and what features you want and don't want.

        It is important to note Wordpress is not straight HTML/CSS code. Wordpress is designed so that people who don't know code can add content to their site. Therefore if you are getting a wordpress theme created for you, the person who creates your Wordpress theme needs to know how to code for Wordpress.
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  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    What you really need to do is to hire someone experienced in web development that can salvage this for you so you can come out with at least your reputation intact.
    This.

    I understand that not everybody just rolls with it for the fun of it like I do when they are creating a website but if you are running into these types of problems your dealing with someone who don't know what she is doing.

    To get her off on a good start she should google 960 grid system. It's a visual template. I don't use it but a lot of people do. Aside from that, content 600px wide, sidebar 300px wide and a 40px gutter is a good place to start for a two column theme.
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    • Profile picture of the author Voland
      You can take a look at PlatformPro theme by PageLines. It is relatively easy to use and it is very powerful in terms of layout organization.

      We are using another theme from PageLines at our site and it is working out great for us

      I can't publish the links yet but you can find PageLines easily in Google. And our company site you can find by typing TrueKat in Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author radar9628
    At the risk of being told I'm an idiot (again) I will try to explain. (I figure there might be at least one other person on this forum that is working with freelancers and doesn't personally possess every skill. All the rest of you can close your eyes.) Thank you to those of you that provided solution-oriented feedback. I offered the client a free WP theme in my proposal. In the 11th hour they decided they wanted the former graphic design person to get involved in a custom WP theme design 'because she gets us'. (They were inches away from saying yes to 99Designs which would include coding.) If their choice to use her 'talents' bombs, I will help pick up the pieces and steer them back to my original recommendation. If she pulls off the design AND the coding is done successfully AND it is successfully installed AND the website actually works - I will sigh in relief and steer clear of this situation in the future. This client will be served well - whatever it takes.
    Radar
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