Mary Bouldin’s WordPress Website – plugins and template Information
This is a WordPress website utilizing the theme called Kallyas, which is available through ThemeForest.
I was recently assisting a client with doing major edits to this theme, and I liked it so much, I decided to
use it for my own site.
Plugins: Free VS Fee – what should you use?
The web has a plethora of available free WordPress Website plugins that will allow you to do pretty much anything you want to do with your WordPress website. With a little bit of experience with HTML, CSS, and PHP, you can often edit a plugin that comes close to what you’re trying to do at no additional cost.
Some plugins are specialized and are quite complex. Plugins for shopping carts and membership areas, for example, can be far more difficult to work with.
My personal rule of thumb: If I have been attempting to edit a plugin for more than two hours and am nowhere close to reaching my needed results or I have been searching for a plugin that comes close to what I need and haven’t found anything for at least two hours, it’s time to look at the fee based examples of what I am trying to do.
It’s generally more cost effective to do this. Anything that ends up taking four or five hours of work to make functional can’t be considered free unless you don’t value your time, so be smart! Start with the free plugins by all means, but recognize when it’s time to pay a little money and save a lot of your time.
* Be aware that there is nothing on this page that couldn’t be set up with use of HTML and CSS for any theme. This theme simply comes with extra bells and whistles that allow you to add content in fun and creative ways with very little time or effort.
Info on WordPress Themes:
Many people request custom themes for their website. I have helped edit dozens of custom themes created by other designers (as well as creating a few of my own) – and these themes tend to fall into two different categories. Both have their share of problems.1) Unique themes created from the ground up.Your own unique theme seems like a great idea! When I first started working with WordPress, I thought using themes was ‘cheating’ and all of my themes were entirely of my own creation. When I first started working with WordPress, I didn’t understand the power and versatility of this software, and I missed out on many opportunities because I insisted on ‘going it alone’.Every purely unique theme I have run across was created with the same ham-fisted lack of eloquence I used when I was first working with this medium. If this was the worst thing that could be said about unique hand-crafted themes, well, there really wouldn’t be all that much work for me, would there?Many custom themes that I have worked on showed a clear misunderstanding of the use of footers, of sidebars, of headers – and some sites bypassed the idea of providing content that their client would be able to edit at all. I have worked to fix these errors time and time again. Don’t ask for a unique theme – ask for a unique look.FYI: All of the custom website themes I created ‘back in the day’ have since been reproduced by editing standard themes. This gives my clients the custom appearance they sought in the first place while also giving them the full use of all WordPress can provide.2) Edited versions of common WordPress Themes.
Many clients believe that they have custom themes, when, in fact, they have edited versions of standard themes in place. These folks have all the power of WordPress available to them – but there can still be issues.When setting up an edited version of any theme, the correct method is to create what is called a ‘child theme’. A child theme allows the ‘parent’ to be updated without interfering with the way content is displayed on the edited version of the website. As most updates are for security reasons, this is rather important. Not everyone follows this standard; actually, I have yet to see a correctly implemented child theme – but hope springs eternal.Some themes are simply edited and renamed so the client will see this as being a unique product. Renaming the theme eliminates the ability to update it. Other people simply edit the theme directly. I recently wiped out a custom theme (and then got it back, of course) by simply updating an out of date theme. The previous designer had edited the main theme and a basic product update wiped out all of the visual design.
If you currently have a custom theme in place, start any edits you may want to do with great care! Every designer has a different style, so you’ll need to become familiar with how your site was made before you make any changes!