We are a web agency that build WordPress sites for our clients.
We don’t use templates as we are known for bespoke custom designs. We mock up a number of pages in Photoshop first.
Typical sites are brochure style, 10 - 15 pages using 3 - 4 page styles. We lay out all the content for our clients & ensure the sites work well across mobiles.
The issue we face is these sites are taking a long time to develop typically 60 - 100 hours. Does anyone have any suggestions for how we can bring this dev time down?
It seems high for what is a CMS driven brochure site. Secondly does anyone have any benchmarks for how WP sites using custom design should take? Difficult I know…
We’re open to using other CMS’.
Well a simple solution would be to create your own template base. As you are designing from scratch, you would possibly be having high quality PSD + custom coded templates which are an asset in itself. You could create say different versions using other color / backgrounds with minor layout variations. Then you could show your client that range + give them the option of custom development.
To reduce overall development time,
- Keep a set of functions same across all templates
- Create a base file for each template set like single, index etc. Based on the new layout, you would then need to simply change the location of function call.
- Use frameworks. They have most css inbuilt so try to play around the layouts using that. Though coding will be custom coding, basic structures are already in place so that would speed up development time.
Custom designs can definitely take a lot more time than regular development as development and design are from scratch.
I echo jaagare really, creating a basic set of assets that are common to every site cuts down on initial deployment/development/setup time.
I usually use ExpressionEngine as a content system and I have a set of assets that I use as a base for (nearly) every install
- Common templates, including:
Snippets (chunks of reusable code)
Genric email forms, search forms
Basic templates for page styles such as category views, single entry views, search, plus an empty template for custom pages
Basic CSS with reset, typography, and common responsive layout
Basic JS including HTMLshiv, Jquery and regularly used scripts such as validate
- Regularly used addons (even though not always used), including:
Low variables for adding custom variables, content etc
A choice of WYSIWYG’s that can have tailored toolbars per field, or to suit content creation
Playa for complex parent/child/siblings related content
CEimage for custom image manipulation (over and above EE’s native image manipulations)
Snaptcha for stopping spam