No, we don’t do custom WordPress development. And here’s why.
We hear it a lot – agencies and developers talking about their “custom” WordPress design and development. And to be sure, there is a place for it. But for far too long the perception has been that unless it’s custom, your website somehow isn’t as good. And, for the sake of full disclosure, for years all we did was custom WordPress development, specifically on the Genesis framework. But for the last several years, we’ve built a solid reputation on doing beautiful, highly functional, customized sites utilizing premium themes. That’s our thing. We’ve very good at it.
There are 4 reasons why we don’t do custom WordPress sites
- Whatever you build, you must maintain. Many (not all) custom WordPress sites are stuck in time. The code, the plugin versions, etc. can have a pretty limited shelf life before they can no longer be safely updated. I’ve seen it many times; a client will call with a site that’s 2-3 years, and they cannot update WordPress or the plugins because something will break – or has broken – on their website. The more complex the functionality, the more likely this can happen. And heaven forbid someone else must come behind another developer to update, fix or work on the website. That can be a nightmare!
- Custom doesn’t always mean “custom.” We’ve talked it before here and here, that many agencies and developers who claim to do custom WordPress development really start with their own internal theme framework. It’s not truly custom from the ground up. Almost every site is “customized” from an existing framework. The difference is whether it was purchased or built in-house. And to be sure, an in-house, custom site can be a good thing. It’s possible that the code is more streamlined, increasing the overall speed and performance of a site. But performance and security are things that can be addressed with professional theme customization. But most often when folks talk about custom sites, they are referring to the design. They think somehow that starting with a blank white screen in Photoshop and designing everything “from scratch” to “meet their clients’ specific requirements” is somehow diminished when utilizing a theme framework. This is simply blowing smoke. How a site looks and functions is much more a reflection of the experience, knowledge and talent of the designer than whether they started with a theme or not.
- Most folks don’t need a custom WordPress site. Seriously, over the last several years we’ve built 100+ websites for a broad range of clients – from medical practices to technical / staffing companies to large eCommerce sites to non-profits – and everything in between. And we have not worked with a single client who needed a custom site. In fact, look at our WordPress portfolio and you’ll see that every site was built using theme customization. I will say, however, that we occasionally get calls from folks who really do need a custom site. These are typically large scale websites with lots of functionality under the hood. They have very specific requirements that cannot be adequately met with a premium theme. When this happens, we tend to refer them to one of our partners who does this kind of work. And they pay a lot more for it.
- You can create a genuinely unique site, even if it’s not custom. There are still some companies who start their web design looking a blank white box in Photoshop. They claim to provide a unique design, customized to your needs and audience, but the result is very often something that looks and functions exactly like what can be accomplished in any number of premium themes. In fact, the best premium themes stay up-to-date with all the current design trends – from strong typography, to parallax elements, to video and social integration to visually compelling graphical elements that can utilized with just a click. A theme is simply a tool: you can design an ugly, clunky website or you can design a beautiful, compelling and functional site. What makes it unique and custom is how all the visual and verbal elements are put together.
With this said, Bright Tribe isn’t always the best fit for every client. But if you’re looking for a great looking, affordable, beautiful site – with strong on-site SEO that renders beautifully on mobile devices, you’ve come to the right place.
If you have questions, why don’t you give us a buzz. Let’s chat for a few minutes and see if we can help.