Passionate Digital Agency | November 2021
Skild | October 2021
Type Department | August 2021
Rising Ballers | August 2021
Brandingo | January 2021
Ordo | August 2020
Site of the year nominee 3
Featured in Illustrator 1
Featured in Branding 1
Best UI Design
Best UX Design
What’s the process
Introduction call and scoping
Build, revisions and edits
Book a call
Whats the difference between custom design vs using an existing template?
In essence custom web design can be considered a luxury service. As you may know there are thousands of ready templates and designs that you can choose from which come at a fraction of the price. If looking for a quick and budget solution going with “guided design” with one of these ready templates might as well be the best route. However, none of these templates will be able to truly capture your brand. Furthermore, most certainly a few similarly designed websites will exist and it is truly difficult to find templates or themes that will mesmerise visitors and permanently engrave your brand in their memories. Last but definitely not least, very few ready designs will be optimized to your website goals.
On the contrary, with our custom web design service every single detail in the design is thought about. From layout and colours to iconography and typography, everything is tailored to truly convey your brand and achieve high conversion on the goals you have, whether it may be for the visitor to purchase, get in touch or simply share the website: everything is thought through! Thus to put in perspective, it takes us around 10-12 hours of work to put a concept together (excluding revisions)! So whether you need this service or not essentially boils down to a trade-off between quality and price, and that’s ultimately for you to decide!
What is not included?
Although most of these items can be included as an addon, by default the following items are not included within the standard package:
Contents for the website: unfortunately we do not have a content writer in house thus we request that all texts for the website be provided by the client and we will input all contents as provided to us.
Images: when building the draft version of the website we will source and use royalty free images, however if you’d like us to change those you will need to provide the images desired instead. This offer also doesn’t include the purchase of paid images.
Domain and Hosting: we will be happy to advise on both the domain and hosting, yet this offer doesn’t include the purchase of the domain and third party hosting on your behalf. We do include 6 months of free hosting on our shared hosting packages but regardless of who you choose to host with we will also be happy to do all the set-up for you (domain and hosting linking & configuration) once you’ve made the purchase.
Custom Mobile and Tablet versions: Although full mobile and tablet optimisation is included within the package, this optimisation takes the form of optimising the desktop version of the design to be fully responsive (and we also test it). It does not include a fully custom redesign separately for the mobile and tablet versions (i.e. the structure and order of sections, as well as the images and texts used will be the same for all devices)
Ongoing Support: Once the website is completed and migrated to your hosting, as such there is no further support included within the package. Still, at the end we are happy to provide a few detailed screen recordings showing how to make edits to the website, and should you have any difficulties we will be just an email away. However please note, for major edits after completion charges will apply. Finally, we will also be happy to offer an ongoing ongoing support/maintenance package tailored to your needs!
Why do you use WordPress/Webflow - can we build the site in Wix or SquareSpace instead?
WordPress, Wix and SquareSpace are all examples of CMS’s (Content Management Systems).
Wix and Squarespace have similarities in their easy-to-use interface, low-cost options and accessibility to new web designers, but also in their shortcomings with respect to scalability and customisation. Both are better suited for simple websites, such as blogs and portfolios, but SquareSpace offers more eye-catching designs and Wix has more variety of templates.
Both are inferior when it comes to SEO, lacking the advanced settings that are built into WordPress plugins. Only 1.4% of Wix sites get organic traffic!
For complete control over your website, for the potential for customisation and scalability, and for the availability of a wide range of plugins and features, WordPress is by far the best option. WordPress is less beginner-friendly: we’ve invested the time and energy in becoming complete experts in WordPress development to deliver you custom WordPress sites so you don’t have to learn an entirely new skill!
So in a nutshell: if you’re only interested in having a basic website, with limited functionality then you can build and manage it without the need of experienced developers in Wix or SquareSpace, all by yourself. If you’re looking for a website with more complex functionality, a unique design and lower monthly fees then we’re here to help! (-unless learning how to use WordPress is on your bucket list 😉)
What project management tools do you use?
We use ClickUp for our internal processes and for time tracking, so we can invite multiple members of your team to the ClickUp board and manage everything there. We can also join other project management tools that you are already using if you prefer.
Will the designs you provide be unique?
Absolutely! You can reverse image search any concept or variation we provide, and even individual components of the design, everything we design is made from scratch fully tailored to your brand!
Do I get ownership rights?
Certainly! From the moment you make the payment all rights to all concepts and variations developed during your project, including the final designs pass to you. We do however reserve the right (unless discussed otherwise in advance) to present the work done for you as part of our portfolio. Finally, upon completion you are also provided with the source file for the design, which can then be passed on to other designers or companies (such as a printing company) for their use.
Request a free proposal
What is WordPress Development?
WordPress is the most popular content management system powering over 43% of websites around the globe! And for a good reason! WordPress is also one of the most flexible content management systems with its user-friendly admin interface and thousands of plugins and themes: easily covering content-rich blogs, advanced e-commerce stores (with WooCommerce) and classic informational websites. But it doesn’t end there!
WordPress has been around for almost 20 years, and while being open source and free to use, it has come a long way from the blog publishing tool it started out as. With 20 years of bug fixes and new functional improvements, WordPress development is going to be a solid solution for almost all businesses and all website purposes for a while to come!
But WordPress development has a few components to it. WordPress itself is a content management system (CMS). You’ll need to have a theme installed (that can act as a blank canvas or provide a lot of functionality and design). For many of the additional functionalities (such as e-commerce), you will also need to install additional plugins, which may be free, freemium or paid.
Furthermore, if you want a drag-and-drop visual front end that you can update without a developer, you might use a page builder plugin (like Elementor). Suppose you can’t find a plugin that completely covers the functionality desired or would like to add some custom elements, you might consider adding custom code to alter a theme or a plugin somewhat.
Finally, you will need a domain and hosting to make the site live when done.
These five elements:
- The CMS itself
- Themes and plugins
- Page builder
- Custom code
Are present in CMS website development in general, using other content management systems such as Webflow, Shopify, Magento, Drupal, etc. However, each CMS excels in only some of these elements, thus making each more suitable for a specific purpose. So let’s first define what a CMS is, understand the advantages of using a CMS, and then dive into each of these elements to understand why WordPress development is such a popular choice!
What is a CMS?
Think of a content management system (CMS) as a bunch of premade code (open source and free like WordPress or not like Shopify, Webflow) that gives the website structure and helps organise its files quicker. Ultimately, any website or app is just a bunch of code and other files stored on a server, and a CMS simply makes it quicker to create those files and define their interdependencies!
But this was for just one static page. Now imagine you want to have a blog. Again, assuming you want to have static content, you need to create folders for each category, create each post as an HTML file, and then link all of them on the blog page. But suppose you want some kind of search and filtering functionality. In that case, you would then also need to write some further JS or scripts (in PHP or another backend language) that would allow assigning tags to posts and filtering according to them. If you then want to remove a post from the blog, you need to find the link to the post you want to remove inside the blog HTML file and remove or replace it.
With a CMS like WordPress, you would just go the “posts” section of your admin panel, create the new blogposts using either the default WordPress editor or a page builder like Elementor, and then that would update wherever you have a blog feed. You could then go to the tags section of your admin panel, add new tags and assign them to blog posts, and enable filtering by those tags on the blog page. If you want to delete blog posts, you would go to the posts page and make that post-draft or delete it, and it would just disappear from everywhere.
So if we assume the simplest designs, it will probably take a day to set up that blog with the custom approach and maybe an hour with WordPress. Add this up over all the different features and also add the time you will spend updating and maintaining the site: using a CMS will save you tons of time and money when creating and maintaining the website. As long as your product is not software that needs to be integrated within your website (e.g. Facebook) for 99% of websites and use cases, it just doesn’t make any financial sense nowadays to build a website from scratch without a CMS.
That said, not all CMSs are created equal either. You get two broad types of CMSs: those built for developers and those built for non-techie users.
The CMSs mainly geared towards developers include Magento, Drupal and Joomla, to name a few. As building a website with these requires some coding work to be done, websites with these CMSs typically take longer to produce, cost more and are generally more challenging for the end client to maintain without the help of a developer.
From a business perspective, it’s most optimal to go for the solutions that are:
- Fast to develop
- Affordable to develop and maintain
- Easy to expand and add new features
- Easy to market and promote (and this is a big one)
So ideally, you want to have as little custom code as possible as it is more expensive and time-consuming to develop a feature from scratch than it is to use an existing plugin or extension. Furthermore, most of the trusted plugins have a big team that tests the plugin’s compatibility with the rest of the CMS. In contrast, if you develop a feature from scratch, you need to check it regularly to ensure it doesn’t cause conflicts with updates. So going back to the five elements of CMS website development, for a CMS to be the most optimal solution from a business perspective, it needs to have:
- The CMS itself – a CMS that is very multifunctional and advanced
- Themes and plugins – a big directory of themes from a variety of providers
- Page builder – a variety of advanced page builders
- Custom code – an option to add custom code to the plugins or extensions in a documented fashion
- Hosting – an ability to easily scale to have more visitors
And WordPress excels at all of these, making it one of the most (if not the most) flexible, cost and time-efficient website development option.
Other CMSs for non-techie users, such as WIX, Squarespace, Webflow and Shopify, also allow to intuitively create pages and quickly get a website up and running. And although WordPress is undoubtedly the all-around winner, some of these other CMSs, such as Webflow and Shopify, still have competitive advantages in some areas. For example, if you would like to have a very animation heavy front end, Webflow may be more suitable. Similarly, if you want a standard e-commerce website with minimal ongoing support, then Shopify may be the choice for you.
We offer WordPress, Webflow and Shopify development services, and we typically recommend the CMS to use based on the project requirements on a case by case basis. If you are wondering which of the three will be most suitable for your project, you can also read:
- Webflow development
- Shopify development
- Webflow vs WordPress
- Shopify vs Woocommerce
Or feel free to book a call, and we can walk you through all of the options depending on your project specification!
Now, let’s finally dive a bit deeper into some of the reasons you may want to use WordPress and why it is the best all-around CMS!
1. The CMS itself
Out of the box, WordPress comes with a very intuitive admin panel, where you can see and manage all of the different pages, users, posts, themes and plugins.
Having started as a blogging tool built into the core CMS, you get a very advanced page and post editor that allows you to add HTML and visual components. You also can categorise, tag and filter posts and pages, and you get to control the permalink structure and post-publication states (draft, published, deleted).
Furthermore, you can create a variety of users and assign various roles to them, such as an editor who can publish content but can’t edit plugins or a shop manager who can add products but not edit users. This means you can also easily delegate some parts of running the website to team members without giving them complete control of the website.
“WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is modern software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope that by focusing on user experience and web standards we can create a tool different from anything else out there.”
– WordPress history
Other key advantages of the WordPress CMS are that is it free and open-source, meaning that there is no charge to use it. In fact, you can download your WordPress website and run it on your computer. Or you can keep the files and relaunch the site in a year. No one can limit your access to your WordPress website because you haven’t paid a license fee!
In short, if you’re looking for a simple informational website or a blog, certainly look no further; just the core CMS alone might have you covered even without any extensions or plugins!
2. Themes and Plugins
As WordPress is open-source, the source code is available for everyone to see. Add to this the fact that WordPress backend is built with PHP, the most popular web scripting language, and that there is an enormous market for WordPress plugins and themes, and you’ll get this:
- There are over 11,000 WordPress themes on ThemeForest alone!
- There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins available on the WordPress plugin directory.
And although not all of these plugins and themes are exceptional, thousands of them are very well maintained and from credible developers, meaning that you should have plenty of choices for most standard applications!
There are also plugins with much more sophisticated functionality that will allow:
- Converting the website into an e-commerce store with advanced e-commerce features such as product and order management (WooCommerce)
- Creating courses and selling memberships to access these courses, including course quizzes and certificates
- Creating a directory or marketplace sites with vendor profiles and products
- An advanced forum on your WordPress website
But what about marketing a WordPress website? As it doesn’t matter how many epic features your website has if no one sees it!
Again, due to its popularity, most other marketing or related tools have a direct integration with WordPress. Google, Facebook, Hubspot and dozens of other popular software have developed their own plugins for WordPress that integrate your WordPress site with their services in just a few clicks!
3. Page builder
A page builder is also a plugin that upgrades the standard WordPress editor to allow more flexibility with widgets, section positioning and styling. Our absolute favourite page builder is Elementor, which we have been using since its launch. Our sites were featured by them as “website of the month” many times, and we are also an active member of their community and experts platform!
Long story short, Elementor allows us to create very custom websites with all kinds of animations and design effects whilst still keeping it simple for you as a client to log in and make content updates if you need to!
Furthermore, over the last few years, we have seen Elementor integrate with more popular plugins, such as WooCommerce, BuddyPress, Learndash, etc. This means that more and more custom WordPress websites with advanced functionality can be built and maintained more easily, making WordPress development an even more attractive option!
4. Custom code
Although WordPress has a massive directory of plugins and themes, you could ignore all of them and fully custom code your WordPress website.
As it is open-source, you can edit WordPress source files on your server, including all of its PHP and CSS files! One problem with editing the source files directly is that WordPress regularly has updates, and these updates will download the new source files from WordPress.org, removing any customisation made to the old files.
However, you can create a custom theme, plugin, or use a child theme to store all of your customisations, allowing you to retain them whilst keeping WordPress up to date.
So in a way, you can just use core features that come with WordPress and build on top of that. As mentioned before, typically using an exiting theme or plugin will be a much faster and cheaper option, but the fully custom alternative is also there if needed (which isn’t the case with all CMSs)!
Similarly, in terms of building pages and templates on the front end, you can create a fully custom HTML page and just embed it inside of a WordPress page. You can also use a mix of Elementor widgets and custom HTML or add custom styling and CSS to the Elementor widgets.
So in terms of flexibility, again, WordPress is hard to beat!
There is sometimes confusion about the difference of WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The free WordPress CMS described above comes from WordPress.org, and you have almost complete flexibility for where you choose host it. As long as you have PHP 7 and MySQL 5.6 compatibility on your server you can host a WordPress website on it.
Almost every host out there offers WordPress hosting, and although not all of the hosts offer the same services and performance, and price varies dramatically as well, still there are a lot of options. WordPress.com is one of them. WordPress.com provides “fully managed” hosting, limiting you access to the WordPress CMS files and the server, which isn’t as ideal if you’re hiring a WordPress development company (e.g. us) to build your website as it largely ties the developers hands. Choosing the best hosting for your needs is a large topic on it’s own, but you can read more about managed wordpress hosting and other alternatives here.
Either way, there is a massive ecosystem of WordPress hosting, caching and content delivery services, meaning that regardless of how big your website grows in terms of traffic and requests there will still be many options that you can consider. This competition means that on average the cost of your hosting will be less than with other “fully managed” CMSs such as Webflow or Shopify! Finally, you should have no problem scaling your site, so WordPress can work for both very small sites and for Enterprise projects.
Disadvantages of WordPress
All we have covered so far are things that are awesome about WordPress, but are there any disadvantages of using WordPress? There are, kind of…
One such disadvantage is continuous updates. WordPress has updates all the time, and so do all of the good plugins and themes (and if they don’t, you should probably not use them). All good software have updates, so do Shopify and Webflow, except the latter are managed services their development teams implement behind the scenes.
So as a WordPress website webmaster, you need to make backups of the site and execute these updates regularly. When your website and plugins get outdated, you can start seeing conflicts or even security issues!
Another disadvantage sometimes mentioned is that WordPress is less secure than for example, Shopify or Webflow. But this is not the case. If you choose the cheapest host available with a bad track record, never update the plugins, and don’t install any security plugins, then the odds are that you will have a security problem one day. If your host gets hacked, then so will your website. If you install a plugin from a developer with no reviews and no history of making good WordPress plugins, they could one day use the plugin to hack your website. All of these cases can be prevented, and with the hundreds of WordPress websites we have built, we had never had a problem when the proper precautionary steps were taken.
Additionally, some say that WordPress can feel overwhelming at first with all the different features, dashboards and capabilities. Most of our clients do content and blog updates themselves without our intervention. In our experience, once the site is set up and running, with the screen recordings and advice we provide, you should be comfortable making edits yourself after a couple of attempts!
The final disadvantage to using WordPress is the lack of dedicated customer support. You can call your hosting company or live chat a plugin provider, but there is no single WordPress website support contact that will solve all of your problems. While this can be challenging for those looking to learn and build their website, there are alternative support resources. Given its popularity, the support articles, forums, videos, and other resources available for users are endless.
Of course, you can also work with a WordPress development company like ourselves, who can be the single contact who will handle everything behind the scenes. Similarly, all of the other disadvantages mentioned will be nonexistent if we provide WordPress maintenance and support services for your website. As part of these services:
- We will implement all of the updates and backups for you.
- We will provide security and hosting advice and implement necessary measures for maximum security.
- We will be able to assist with both minor and major edits (including design or functionality changes)
- We can advise you on any aspect of running a WordPress website drawing on our experience from launching and maintaining hundreds of websites, from speed optimisation and hosting to PHP and CSS errors!
But if WordPress is so easy to use, are there any other advantages of hiring a WordPress web design agency other than ongoing support and maintenance?
Why Hire Us to Build your WordPress Website
Advantages of working with Passionate Agency
One of the most significant advantages is saving time. Instead of spending days searching for the right plugin to use and how to deal with a conflict between a plugin and a theme, we will do it all for you, drawing on our vast experience. We typically get a 5 page WordPress website up and running with two rounds of revisions within around two weeks, and there is just a short list of details that we’ll need from you to make it happen!
Another advantage is the professional and high-end look and feel. Our designs are all created by award-winning senior designers and reviewed by an art director with over 15 years of web and UI/UX design experience. But it doesn’t end there. Not only will your website have a modern design tailored to your target audience, with sharp graphics and engaging effects, it will also be responsive and optimised for conversions. There is a variety of further optimisation that we can undertake, such as speed optimisation for Google Page Speed Insights, ongoing conversion optimisation based on analytics data, SEO optimisation, marketing automation set up.
Our WordPress website packages also come standard with Elementor Pro license, advanced security plugin, Yoast SEO plugin, advanced caching plugin, live chat integration and six months free on our shared hosting services (including domain and email set up). So as soon as the website is approved, you’re ready for launch!
Not sure if this is for you? Book a call with one of our account managers, and they will be able to advise you on the best CMS choice for your website and the variety of options available for your project!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does WordPress cost to use?
The WordPress software itself is entirely free to use. However, you must purchase your domain to get started and sort out web hosting. Other costs to consider include plugins and premium updates to expand the usability of your website and the potential costs of working with a WordPress web agency.
What do you need to get started with WordPress development?
- A domain
- Web hosting
- An idea of how you want your website to look and what kind of content blocks you need
- A reputable web design agency to support you
What if I need help when building my WordPress site?
With WordPress the most popular CMS platform out there, there are endless resources for supporting the build and maintenance of your WordPress site. Alternatively, seek help from a web design agency like our team.
What kind of site can I build with WordPress?
The options are endless, with various plugins enabling you to personalise your website according to its ideal purpose. For example, a WooCommerce plugin will allow you to turn your WordPress site into a fully functioning eCommerce platform with payment integrated into the system.
How many different ways of formatting my WordPress site are there?
Again, with thousands of free themes available and developers constantly uploading new themes and layouts to the WordPress site, the options are endless. The design tools and layouts contained within WordPress respond to mobile devices and offer a professional and easily-tailorable platform for any business or brand presence.