UPWORD Consulting - Week 3

Custom Vs Template


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Hey everyone welcome to week 3, module two, and in this module I’m going to be giving you an overview of the two different options I use with projects for my clients. A lot of this is really dependent on the budget of the project and the context of who you’re working with

So as I mentioned in the first module, when I first started my agency, I had little to no idea what I was doing. This all started for me with my last company when we were completely out of funding and needed a landing page for a project. We didn’t have anyone left on our team so it was up to me to figure out how to create this page for a hail Mary to try and save something of the company. I knew it wasn’t going to work out but I knew this was an opportunity for me to learn something incredibly powerful and it turned out that it was because it ended up launching my entire agency and it’s why I’m here today. So when we needed the landing page and we didn’t have anyone to build it, I had no other option but to try and develop it myself. So without really any experience I started looking for prebuilt templates that I could edit easily which for me with no experience, it wasn’t that easy. And just really google my way through it to make it work. So I fund multiple sites with fully built out templates that I could purchase for less than twenty bucks and I felt like I had hit the jackpot. I felt like I was onto something. I had no idea what I was actually getting myself into but I knew I could figure it out if I wasn’t afraid to google it. And that’s still true for me today. I can figure it out and with google and the internet as you guys know, all of the information I needed was there. So I found a template on a site called theme forest that looked really good and I purchased it. I downloaded all of the files and I got to work. So after banging my head against a wall for about a week or two I finally got it working and launched. And I mean it was cobbled together but it worked and it got the job done.
It was definitely a mess of front end edits, inline edits, css changes that you’d probably throw up in your mouth if you saw. But it worked, this was a game changer for me and it’s how I started my agency.

When I got my first referral, this is exactly how I would take on wordpress design and development project. I knew that if I could just find a good template that looked close enough to what the client was wanting, I just had to get it customized and handed over to a wordpress developer to actually make it function. I did this as basically a one-man shop for about four years. This is the strategy that I still use to this day for clients that have smaller budgets or for agencies that white label us for wordpress design and development projects. And we’re going to get into that in a future module but just know that this strategy for templates is for sites or people that I just see additional opportunities that are going to have a smaller budget, this is where I start with. So I’ll actually be showing you in the module real-world examples of how I go about doing this.

And then the second option and what I use for projects that have a proper budget is fully custom designed from the ground up. This is my preferred way of doing this for projects and they end up being so much higher quality. In the custom design module I’m going to be showing you how to find a designer, the pros and cons of onshore vs offshore designers, and how I come up with a detailed plan for my designer to create the pages. The majority of the work honestly is just taking the time reviewing competitor sites and honestly the majority of the work is just taking the time researching and reviewing competitor sites, sites that the client likes, inspiration from sites like dribble and really just referring back to the customer avatar sheet to guide me. I’m not a designer in any way, shape, or form, If you handed me photoshop and said “design something” it would be horrendous and I couldn’t do it. But over the years, I’ve created a good eye for design just by always looking through different templates, inspiration, this is a skill that will benefit you. And having the customer avatar gives me an edge of what exactly should be on the page. I just follow that. What is important? What are the important pieces that we’ve learned from the ideal customer that should go on those pages? And then also what you’ll find is that for homepages, product pages, and landing pages, these are obviously super important pages and they typically have a lot of the same elements that must be on there. It doesn’t matter the industry or the client. You’ll find the patterns of faqs, social proof, testimonials, stuff that will be on the majority of your sites. So if it seems overwhelming just know that there is a simple method for this and it’s just creating trust.

So we’ll be going through all that in the next module and with that out of the way, let’s get started on the custom design module.