Consider a semi custom WordPress website.
Most websites are the same. They may not look the same, but under the hood, the base functionality is similar. This is the 80:20 principle in action. Eighty percent of the underlying structure is the same. It’s the other twenty percent that makes a site unique. A semi custom WordPress website takes advantage of this. The majority of the foundation elements are prebuilt. We add functionality and adjust how the site looks, as required. A semi custom WordPress website is a straight forward project. It will be less expansive and take less time to build.
How does Red8 Approach Semi Custom WordPress Website Projects?
We built our own base theme using our experience building custom WordPress websites. You can see our base theme on our demo site.
The code base is not heavy and bloated. There is just enough technology to deliver the common functionalities. We didn’t try to anticipate every possible scenario. We designed the code base so we can change it without much effort. We wanted light page loads and easy adjustments.
We make the base theme’s PSD available to interested designers. Then they can develop their custom design using the base theme’s layouts and functionality. This doesn’t mean that flexibility is limited. It’s a semi custom WordPress website. We can add functionality and adjust the design as each project requires. But the underlying structure is prebuilt, so most of the cost is for what’s new.
For example, the new Wild & Scenic Film Festival website was built using our base theme. The Climate Classroom Kids website we built for the National Wildlife Federation was also developed using our base theme. They don’t look the same and they don’t look like the base theme.
What are the Benefits?
There are two main benefits:
- We can build a semi custom WordPress website for a smaller budget
- It is also an efficient build, much quicker than than a custom website
We can do this because the underpinnings are prebuilt. Our development team requires less time to get most of the site, at least the structure, up and running. Then their attention and the budget is focused on what makes the site unique.
If the website requires new functionality, adding it isn’t difficult. We built the base theme so that we know where stuff is.
The same is true for the styling, for how the site looks. We structured the style sheets so we can make changes efficiently. Design adjustments aren’t a hunt and guess exercise.
What is the downside?
The main risk is going overboard. The temptation is to add all sorts of functionality to the base theme. This isn’t cost effective. Rather than forcing the base theme to bend in unintended ways, build a custom website. If the website has many functional requirements, a custom build will be more efficient.
We sometimes see the opposite. The website is quite simple and the client isn’t design sensitive. In this case, a stock theme with some light adjustments would be more cost-effective.
How high is up?
How much does a Semi Custom WordPress Website cost to build?
As with most things, it depends. In general we can build a semi custom WordPress website for $8,500 +/- 20%. It could be more than this, it could be less, but in most cases the cost to build will fall in this range. A simple design with limited functionality will be on the minus side. A complex design with extra functionality, will push the budget up.