If you haven’t noticed yet, this site is driven by WordPress. It’s also based on the Webly theme available at Elegant Themes (ET), one of the more dominant WordPress theme mills on the web. I’ve been spending a lot of time there as of late, not only hoping to drum up business, but also to help those who have little to no clue (and little to no budget) as to how make their WordPress sites more appealing. For, right out of the box—regardless who designs them—most themes will need some sort of adjustments to styling, headings, menus, etc., to tailor them to individual wants and needs. Such is definitely the case with those developed by Elegant Themes; though, that certainly doesn’t mean their themes are poorly designed. Quite the contrary, in fact.
As I said, most themes will need adjustments after they’re installed. It doesn’t matter whether they’re WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or some other sort of blog or content management system (CMS) templates. Yes, they may look great in the previews provided by their developers, but one needs to keep in mind that those previews are populated with custom content and images that aren’t necessarily part of the purchased package, especially if some of that content is copyrighted. It’s up to the theme purchasers themselves to populate their newly established site(s) with their own unique content and images, as well as make any changes to layout that might be required.
And here we are today.
I don’t consider myself an expert at everything (well, that’s not really true 😉 ), but rather a fairly knowledgeable generalist that can put most if not all of the pieces of the puzzle together. There are some things I’m very good at (like xhtml, css, & graphic work), and some I’d prefer to farm out to a specialist when things get overly complicated. That’s just the nature of this business. Though you might visit your family doctor if you started developing chest pains, you probably wouldn’t let him perform open heart surgery on you if testing dictated you needed such. Instead, you’d call in a specialist, someone who’d done such work a 1000 times. And there are a a number of good ones out there in the ethereal, and even a few at ET.
Anyway, I hang out there, helping where I can, offering help to those who want it. In some cases I do so because, based on my experiences there, some things tend to get lost in the translation. Rightly so, given the site’s moderators are from an array of backgrounds, some apparently more skilled than others, and a whole slew of subscribers from all over the world (69,887 of them as a matter of fact, since the site’s inception). I enjoy the interaction, and it helps keep this old coot sharp.
So, if you happen to be one of them, those subscribers, and you’d like some help, don’t be afraid to make a request for it there. One of the moderators will eventually come along, or perhaps someone like me, and try to lend you a hand. And if the request you make is fairly extensive or beyond reasonable scope of what the site has to offer, please try not to bite that hand off. Try to remember that some of us do make a living doing the more advanced work you might be looking for.
Oh, yeah, one last thing: watch out for those who go by the name of somewhatorthingwebdesign or another, as well as those claiming to do being do work for clients, who are posting to places like ET looking for help with their theme installations. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how or why someone can be doing what amounts to fairly simple web work (from a technical standpoint), and need help, all while apparently getting paid to do it. They ought to be handing a different shingle in front of their places of business. That is, of course, unless their clients don’t care or know any better, kinda like those in pain who went to the barber back in the 1800s to get a tooth pulled, or their local butcher shop to get a bad limb hacked off.
They didn’t have much choice back then, but you do, today.
Specialists? What specialist 😉
If I’ve helped you via the forums at Elegant themes, perhaps made you happy, I’d love a donation if you can spare one (I need to eat too and will work for food):