24 replies
Hi

Im going to be starting a 'news style' wp blog.

Not having much experience with WP im wanting to know if the better option would be to go for an off the shelf theme/template or to go for something like Thesis DIY which i can play with, use virtually any plugin and also constantly update?

Im leaning for DIY...

Thoughts? Anyone with direct experience?

Additional info: I want to use my own advertising plug ins instead of adsense or the like. I also want to monetize via advanced methods such as classifieds, business pages, jobs etc
#diy #press #template #theme #theme or template #word
  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Anybody got any ideas?
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  • Profile picture of the author squall2050
    Never DIY a theme as it's too time consuming, and there's tons of good wp themes at the market.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    I tried to do it myself, so I went ahead and bought Headway Theme 3.0 (which looks pretty damn cool from the video). Then I found that I'm having a very hard time customizing it for my needs, so I just realized I'll have to go with separate themes for each one of my sites.

    In the long run, it might be cheaper to go with a theme like Thesis or Headway, but it takes quite some time to master and it involves some skills to actually make it look as good as you want it to.

    So my suggestion is to just go with a normal theme, you can try ThemeForest.net

    PS: by the sound of your name, you're Romanian, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve King
    Having spent a few years using WordPress I much prefer to DIY.
    I made the switch to Thesis a couple of months ago...and I liked it so much I am moving all my sites across to it.

    Once you get your head around how it works it's a piece of cake...it allows you to be a developer without actually being one.

    The support docs are excellent and there's a decent customer forum too.

    good luck which ever way you decide to go
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  • Profile picture of the author cedricloi
    Personally I prefer to go for a pre-made theme, as they are cheap and there are plenty to choose from.
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    Thesis is pretty easy to customize.

    They have a very informative blog and forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author tracy821
    I am a die-hard D-I-Y kinda girl. I bought the program Artisteer to make my themes. It was super easy to use and I love that I get to control all the little details-so, ok, I might have an issue or two with control, but I do get the exact theme that I want. It was worth the investment to me. I do believe they offer a free trial so you can check and see if it's for you. Just google them. I don't want to post a link for fear of it being perceived as an affiliate link.

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    I personally prefer to custom made ones.

    They usually are made to fit a certain theme (business, corporate, megazine, portfolio,news feed) and the theme frame are optimized for functions related to the theme scope.

    On the other hand, general DIY ones needs to be customized, worked on, before it ends up good for what you need.
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  • Profile picture of the author minion
    Try themeforest - great selection of themes there. The amount of time you'll spend creating a theme is probably worth more than the $20-30 you pay for a premade one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Johns
    To be honest I'd use a theme like Thesis, Genesis or Atahualpa (free) which you can customize and tweak. Doing one from scratch will cost quite a lot of money and be a pain to update.

    If you buy a theme you don't need to keep it up to date every time Wordpress updates itself.

    Plus using one of these themes will give you a big head start - you can rapidly get going rather than spending weeks on development.

    All the best

    Jason
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  • I use a paid Wordpress theme/framework called Thesis. It's very flexible/customizable and has a very active and helpful user base.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrketing.me
    Unless you want it for you main/long term website and cannot find the right one, go with shelf templates, there are literally loads of them, and you can still customize them as much as you want!

    Thesis is a very powerful template that i used, but to me it was always time consuming, so i used to turn to a friend who was very good at customizing it, he was actually referred to by the people who created Thesis to show how good their template can be! So to me that always saved time and gave good results, but in all other cases or niche blogs it was 100% ready made templates with minor customization

    Best of luck
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    the answer is quite simple...

    Do you want to be a marketer and business owner... or a website developer?
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  • Profile picture of the author royljestr
    If you can afford it grab a copy of artisteer and then you can easily create as many custom themes as you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bredfan
    I use Genesis. They've got a couple magazine style themes that look great right outa the box, just change the logo out. There is one that is actually called "News." I have a blog I built on Genesis News - being a couple years old it's evolved into a pretty customized set up, but the theme is still the Genesis child I originally bought.

    The biggest consideration is that posed by @Sal64 - what do you want to spend your time doing? The corollary to that is do you have time and/or money to invest in the business decision (to build or buy?).
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Thanks everyone for all the replies. Its been very helpful. I really do appreciate it.

      What if I could have both?

      Is there something like that?

      Where I can buy a theme or template which I kind of like and can use, but then add to it and manipulate it easily?
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  • Profile picture of the author prettysavvy
    I use Genesis Studiopress Framework with different child themes for my sites nowadays.

    In my experience, regardless of whether you use paid themes like Thesis/Studiopress or free themes, you always end up doing some tweaking. The good thing about paid themes is like Thesis/Studiopress is that they have a good support forums, so you get some help.

    But I do agree with Sal that you can end up using a lot of your time tweaking your site, which is time off your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author edwinms
    i use themeforest for buying themes.. actually if you can make themes that is good too.. you can sell your themes and make a lot of buck you know..
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  • Profile picture of the author Jerome15
    i prefer to use WP if you are always updating your site. i use DIY site for my first website which i had to update everyday but it takes to much time for me to update. it's good that i switched to wp
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  • Profile picture of the author Targeted Traffic
    go for Theme..it has the widest choice
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  • Profile picture of the author retroid
    I made my own themes, but for something that standard or need quickly done I prefer pre-made themes, pick em from themeforest mostly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Both have benefits to be honest, and Thesis is 5*, but you can always have a custom work made for you - since you don't have experience coding WP.

    Better facer this as a computer issue: I know I can get my hands down and dirty to solve it (after 3 weeks of headaches and nervous breakdowns ) but I can just send it over to my local PC company and they send it back same day - good as new.

    Why waste my time - and money?
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  • Profile picture of the author grover69
    Pick a solid theme that can cover building many styles of Wordpress sites. I've tried a bunch and settled on Catalyst. But yeah, DYI on a theme? Not much fun and way too time consuming, IMHO.
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