August 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm #56148
Hello everybody! I am a graphic designer new to wordpress and have landed on Genesis as a framework and hope to build and customise themes for clients once I have the skills.
I have a mock-up approved by a client for a website. I have some experience with html and css and as a designer I want to be able to make the site look exactly how I want, and change the columns, divs, typography, etc. But I am a little overwhelmed by the information I find online. I have looked at so many sites online but I find none of them explains exactly what to do! Does anyone know any tutorials on how to go about creating a theme, step-by-step from scratch? I don’t seem to find any that explains both how to make it look the way you want and how to get all the functions that you want on the site…
Or if anyone have any tips at all about how to get started it would be appreciated!
Thanks for your help.August 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm #56164
No there really isn’t one place to start a theme from scratch. However, you can use the Sample Child Theme as a start. I can point you in a better direction if I can see the mock up. I’ll sign a confidentiality statement if that’s a concern. Drop me a note on my website.August 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm #56168
Oh, thank you! Will email you.August 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm #56170
@supersiv8 – Graphic designers and developers don’t usually mingle in the same places
From an economic perspective, you might be smarter to focus on what skills are in your current skill set (designing) and gradually try to grow that skill set to include some development. If you try to do both jobs, you may find that you don’t have the time to service design clients. There are plenty of designers who do strictly design and work with developers to turn a design into a finished theme. They tend to attract better clients with bigger budgets, because often clients that are trying to get a developer and designer in the same individual are doing so in an effort to save money. You don’t have to be all things to all people to be successful.
August 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm #56172
Thanks Bill. Well… I’m not really sure. I just know that to be competitive I need to have a better grip on web than I do this moment. At least most of the job ads I see posted for graphic designer ask for a certain grasp of web design, some ask for html/css and some ask for wordpress in particular. So I figured this might be a good way to start!August 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm #56199
Where would one look for a sample child theme?August 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm #56201
Log in to you my.studiopress.com account. Then downloads. It’s in there.August 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm #56230
@supersiv8 – Learning more is usually a good way to start. I’m not suggesting you don’t learn about CSS or HTML or WP, because if you have an interest, you should do all of that and more.
However, to be an effective designer, you don’t have to be a master of CSS. Instead, it’s helpful to know what is do-able in CSS, because you don’t want to create a design that can’t be created on the web or can’t be done at a reasonable cost. The same is true of understanding WP. To be an effective designer, it’s also helpful to have a basic working knowledge of WP and its terminology.
I say “helpful”, because those things are often not required. We’re building a custom site for a client that was designed by design professionals who probably have very little knowledge of WP. But it will be a great site because they created a good design. The designer was paid more for just design work than most here would charge to design and build a site.
You mentioned “job ads.” Employers often want employees to have every skill possible and just rattle off a list of buzz-words that vaguely describe the work. If you met every requirement, that same employer would never pay what a person with those skills can earn. You’re better off focusing on delivering good outcomes (for clients or employers), and let someone else worry about the terms to describe what you do.
August 14, 2013 at 3:12 am #56248
Thanks Bill, those are some good and interesting points you made, that actually made me think! But yes, as I do have an interest in it and I have noticed it is helpful already to at least have basic knowledge of CSS, I will keep learning.
The thing is, I have lost count over the past few years of how many people respond, ‘Oh, can you do me a website?’ when I say I’m a graphic designer. And I want to be able to say yes finally. I am talking small clients, for one-person businesses and other friends and acquaintances. So I hopefully should be able to keep it simple enough to manage myself.
Might be good to ‘befriend’ some developers if my projects get bigger.August 14, 2013 at 8:40 am #56304August 14, 2013 at 9:05 am #56311
@supersiv8 – You said:
…I have lost count over the past few years of how many people respond, ‘Oh, can you do me a website?’ when I say I’m a graphic designer. And I want to be able to say yes finally.
You can say “yes” starting today up to the limit of your design skills. You can subcontract the development work and present to your client a simple solution provided by you. “Provided” does not mean you complete every single part of a project. Most projects of any scale involve a number of subcontractors, so if you accept full responsibility and management, most businesspeople are not put off by using subcontractors. It’s not something you need to hide. Those businesspeople who do object to your use of subcontractors are quickly silenced by the question: “In other words, you’d rather that I not use specialists on your project, but instead have a knowledgeable general practitioner do these specific tasks?”
You outline requirements and develop a total budget with your client. If their budget seems reasonable, you wireframe a layout and get “ballpark” estimates from developers to see if you need to reset your client’s initial budget. If not, you get a developer to give you a reasonably fixed-price estimate & timeframe, and you incorporate those into your estimate to the client. You collect a retainer from your client, and that gives you the funds to provide a proportionate retainer to your developer.
We’ve worked with designers in this manner, but now we only do this if we are hosting the site (which offloads another problem you may face). I’m sure there is a long list of developers you could work with in a similar manner. In effect, you capture the client and subcontract the work that you don’t have the time or interest to do to present a complete solution to your client. As I said before, what matters is the quality of solution, not who delivers which piece.
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