Flexible, Customisable WordPress Themes

There are a couple of different approaches to choosing a WordPress theme:
1. Try to find a theme that looks just how you want it straight out of the box (or with a few small tweaks). Then just add your own text and images
2. Choose a plain looking, but flexible, theme as a starting point and customise it to look just as you want it to.

I favour the 2nd approach, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

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Self-hosted WordPress Versus the Rest

WordPress have an old article (The $64,000 Question: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?) with an analogy that I’m going to borrow. The original article was written in 2013, although I see that it has been updated to mention the WordPress.com Business Plan (more on that below). I’ll extend the analogy a bit and throw in some things that weren’t mentioned.

The idea is that self-hosted WordPress versus WordPress.com is a bit like buying a house versus renting one.  I like this comparision and would extend it to include other platforms such as Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.

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Instructions for Adding a Row of Image Links

[PLEASE NOTE THAT I INTEND TO UPDATE THIS POST TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NEW GUTENBERG EDITOR – if you are already using Gutenberg, then you may find that you can add images in columns, or using a third party block or widget, without having to use the methods described below.]

It’s quite common to want a page layout like the example below, with a row of three images, each of which links to a different page of the website (nails, make up and hair, in my example).

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A Note About WordPress Backups

If self-hosted WordPress was both inexpensive and maintenance free, then I doubt I would even consider the alternatives.

What’s most likely to scare people away from using WordPress is the fear that they will lose their website if it is hacked, they make a mistake or something breaks. This is why it’s important to have a contingency plan.

You can minimise the danger of your site being hacked by keeping your plugins up to date. The WordFence plugin has a number of security features which include emails to tell you when an update is required. When you log into your WordPress dashboard you’ll be prompted to carry out the update, which is easy to do.

dashboard with update showing

wordpress dashboard listing updates required

However,  it’s impossible to 100% guarantee that your website will be safe.

Many hosts keep backups so, if something did go wrong, then your host may be able to simply replace your site with a copy taken before the problem occurred.

However, you should also be keeping your own backups in case this isn’t possible.

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WordPress.com Pick & Mix Websites

WordPress.com could be thought of as a watered down version of WordPress but in a secure, fully managed environment. Sometimes you may not need all the power and flexibility of self-hosted WordPress and would prefer not to have to maintain your website yourself.

If you think it’s the right choice for you, then I could build you a WordPress.com website using the Sequential or Sketch theme.

 

View live demo built with the Sequential theme

View live demo built with the Sketch theme

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