It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of WordPress websites over here at Matchbox. We feel that it’s extremely easy to use, offers tons of customization options, and has one of the best content management systems (CMS). Now you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between designing for a WordPress site vs. a Squarespace, Joomla!, Drupal, or any other CMS platform?
Well simply put, WordPress offers virtually endless options when you design and develop from the ground up. Our design team has the ability to customize everything from your navigation to each individual piece of content across your entire site which allows us to better cater to your unique needs. The sky truly is the limit with a WordPress site design!
Our WordPress Website Services
We pride ourselves in our ability to create responsive and adaptable websites that will serve you for many years to come. The only way we’re able to do this is by choosing a CMS platform that will allow us to mold each feature of your website to align with your goals, appeal to your users, and function like a well-oiled machine. WordPress offers all this and more, allowing us to get as granular as we want with each design feature.
It’s also important to create a responsive design that is both mobile and tablet friendly due to the shifting digital landscape. WordPress makes this process easy and even has a feature that creates a preview of your web page for desktop, tablet, and mobile before you publish it.
Things We Do
- Design custom WordPress websites
- Design mobile experiences for WordPress
- Design custom Gutenberg blocks
- Stylize default Gutenburg blocks
We had a unique opportunity to be trained by Automattic, the makers of WordPress. When working with their VIP platform, we had to go through a line-by-line code review of our theme with the VIP team to make sure our theme was in top working order. We have taken that experience and developed an internal framework that we use as the starter for all of our WordPress sites. This framework provides several helper classes and custom functions that provide coding efficiencies and give our clients a more enjoyable experience using WordPress.
Things We Do
- Develop custom WordPress websites
- Develop responsive WordPress themes
- Integrate and manage WordPress plugins
- Set up secure hosting via WP Engine
Our St. Louis WordPress Website Design Process
What We Don’t Do
There are countless ways to design a website using WordPress. One of the most common approaches is to choose a ready-made design that is a part of one of their free themes or purchase a theme from a company like ThemeForest. While these themes look great, they won’t fit every possible scenario related to your business. You would be forced to alter your content to fit the theme rather than the theme being altered to fit your content. You also run the risk of experiencing something we refer to as theme bloat. This is when a theme contains more elements than you have a use for. The presence of these elements can slow your site down and potentially create vulnerabilities within your site. That’s why our approach is to design and build a custom theme with hand-selected elements that will better cater to your specific needs.
What We Do
Our WordPress design process starts with discovery (sitemap, wireframes, style guide) and then moves into design comps and ends with the client’s approval of a final design. As stated previously, the only thing that is unique when designing for a WordPress site is our ability to deliver custom blocks with very specific functions. These types of modules can help you build out more page content, landing pages and continue adding unique and visually appealing content to your site.
WordPress Websites Security
As a St. Louis WordPress web design company, one of our primary focuses when building any website is security. As phishing scams, clickjacking, and code injection become more and more prevalent, it is imperative to make sure that you keep a heavy focus on security. We have four primary focus areas when working with WordPress.
- Ensure best coding practices are in place within the framework/theme to mitigate code injection.
- Minimize the use of plugins
- Keep WordPress and WordPress plugins updated
- Use a trustworthy host that cares about security the way we do. For us, that’s WP Engine.
Plugins are a vital component of the WordPress framework, but can quickly get out of hand. As we mentioned above, we try to minimize the use of plugins wherever possible. This is something we learned from the VIP team as their recommendation was “Wherever possible, build the feature into your theme”.
We live by this.
Since we’ve been working with WordPress, every major security vulnerability, performance issue, or “new bug” that we’ve experienced was introduced through the use of a plugin. With that said, we still use plugins, but we’re very picky about what we will install on a site. In addition to custom helper plugins that we have built internally, below is a list of our favorite plugins.
- Gravity Forms
- Advanced Custom Fields
- Migrate DB Pro
- Yoast SEO
We’re Here To Help With Your WordPress Websites!
Though we are typically building custom solutions from the ground up, we love porting sites from other frameworks like Drupal or Joomla and helping people that have had a bad WordPress experience. Far too often we see bloated WordPress sites that are difficult to manage and full of outdated plugins causing more problems than they solve.
If you have a site that is difficult to manage, our WordPress web design company is here to help!