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Thread: deciding which theme to use

  1. #1
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    deciding which theme to use

    I'm working with someone who has https://bit.ly/2GcIepF, built in squarespace.com. She wants some changes, and I'm thinking of moving her site over to WP.

    What would a good theme for that site on WP?

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  3. #2
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    Assuming you want to keep a similar look I would suggest the Vantage theme by Site Origin which is available for free or for a small charge you can get some upgrades. It is a nice clean theme and one of the easier ones to use. I have it on a number of my sites and it is one of my favorites.
    bleau canon likes this.

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    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't like the full set of images covering the home page, Content is king in SEO and with those images you have covering the page, the search engines will pass you by. When a site is crawled by the search engines they see content. They won't see much of anything on that page since they don't understand images.

    We built and manage a website for two outstanding ladies that are Witnessing to God through their website. It took 8 months to pull it together with them. They have one image on each page with each article they write. In a matter of a couple of months their site has slammed the 1st page and rank 1 on the search engines, and that includes other than Google, Yahoo and Bing. The content is what's doing it for them, and they also add a word or two in each article for their search strings. (Content) We also built their site with the Vantage theme.

    I'm with turboguy on the Vantage theme from Siteorigin. With their Page builder and widgets, you can pretty much do anything with a website. Get the premium theme and their premium plugins and you're good to go. We've got several 100 sites using that theme and none of them look alike, Watch their videos. The guys at Siteorigin are as good as it gets and will help you with any problems you may have. Being a premium member gets you much faster support than their support forum.

    Another thing you may want to consider is not using Gutenburg, It's the core editor in Wordpress now and is nothing but a mess. You'll spend more time with frustrations and will never make a decent looking business site with it.

    Install the Disable Gutenbeg and Classic Editor Plugins and everything will be back to normal in Wordpress then.

    I will also advise you to get hosting and install Wordpress on the hosting account and not use the Wordpress site. You'll have much better control over the website by doing so.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by bleau canon; Apr 13th, 2019 at 04:05 PM.
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    Bleau
    "Give the gift of life, Adopt a child, And an Animal"

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    Thank you both. I have made several WP sites over the years and use bluehost for hosting. While I am no expert, I know my way around, and bring in help as needed to for design/style and difficult non-CMS stuff, like html/css/js stuff.

    To back up a bit, and to clarify, she really stressed that she wanted the first 2 pages, Story and Us to have drop down menus added.

    I thought it would be an easy fix, but, I had a web chat with a squarespace support agent, and she said it couldn't be done, as they are "Gallery" items and she'd need to use a Folder item or something. Looks like someone used a SS template, https://lange-demo.squarespace.com/, and mostly changed the photos.

    So, I learned that those pages would have to be redone and then I'd have to figure out how to get them all on one page, which I did not ask the SS agent.

    Also, my client wants 2 other things - to bring in many new photos from 3 other projects, and add social media icons, logo/favicons, which I can do.

    I've used some of the SiteOrigin themes and plugins before. They were really good with their support. I've used others, and other page builder. Recently I've found the Elementor plugin, a page builder, and then a theme called Phlox that is supposed to go well with it. Not super attached to them, as I found them from searches, and wanted to try something new.

    Good point, bleau canon, about content, I hadn't thought of that. If you click on each image, although it's not intuitive, it brings up a page with content. Probably need a "Learn More", "Read More", or something. Open to suggestions for her how to redo that, especially so it will also rank high.

    In the meantime, to fulfill her request about having the first 2 pages to have drop down menus, and then have space to redo the site, do you think siteorigin's Vantage theme, page builder and widgets are still the best way to go?
    Last edited by pranaman; Apr 13th, 2019 at 05:36 PM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    Probably what the girl at SS is telling you is you're using one of their pre defined themes and it can't be changed.

    I looked at the site again and myself, or anyone in our office, could probably build that exact website on the Vantage theme using Siteorigin Pagebuilder and their plugins, and a few more. If you wish, I'll list the plugins we use 95% of the time on any and all themes to get the job done.

    I don't understand what you're saying about a drop down menu on a couple of the pages, or are you saying you want those two pages on the website drop down menu at the top of the site? You should be able to control the menu as to what and where you want to put anything on it.

    Galleries: We make our own galleries and put them on any page we want one to be on, and make it react anyway we want it to. We also could build 25, or more pages, and give each page it's on identity as to what goes on it.

    The Vantage theme is user friendly, except with Gutenberg as the editor. The theme also gives you several options as how you want the page to look. Youtube has some good tutorials on the theme and will walk you through a lot of ideas with the theme. Just skip all of their affiliate bs to who to get hosting with. I also suggest for you not to use any hosting company listed under EIG.

    My suggestion to you is to get an inexpensive hosting account and test the Vantage theme on it and plugins, or any other theme you like. We can pretty much strip down the theme and make it look and function like a client wants and or needs. We have small business all the way up to corporate sites built on the theme, including intranets.

    Let us know how it works out for you and offer you anymore help.
    Last edited by bleau canon; Apr 13th, 2019 at 08:12 PM.
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    Bleau
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    I took a look at the Phlox theme. It looks nice and has a lot packaged with it. I have used 3 page builders but never the Elementor but I am sure it is fine. I see it also comes packaged with Slider Revolution which you probably won't need for your site but that is so much fun to play with and is really cool what you can do with it. If the Phlox theme is what you want to go with I think it should work fine for you. Just be sure you use the classic editor and not the block editor (Gutenburg).

    One of the things I have found is the more expensive themes that are packed with tons of stuff take longer to work with. I used an expensive theme on my first project and it took me forever. I used Vantage on the second project and had the site pretty much done in a day. (In all fairness that was a 6 page site where the first was a 20 page site). I am a big fan of Vantage.

    I am fairly certain that BlueHost is an EIG owned site which a lot of pro's don't like any site owned by them. However if that is what you are comfortable it probably won't be the end of the world if you use them. My favorite hosting company for Wordpress right now is SiteGround. They are terrific but not cheap.

    One thing about WordPress is that it basically needs to be built with the site live. That means your current site is offline while you build the new one. There are several ways around this. One is you can download some things and build it on your computer but that is a little tricky. A better way is that some hosting companies will let you set up a temporary URL to build your site. Once you have it done you repoint your domain and they change a few things and the new site is up and running and you can fully test it before you go live. I don't know if all hosting companies will do that but SiteGround has done it for me on a number of occasions. I do have one of their better hosting plans however and not the cheapest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleau canon View Post
    I don't understand what you're saying about a drop down menu on a couple of the pages, or are you saying you want those two pages on the website drop down menu at the top of the site? You should be able to control the menu as to what and where you want to put anything on it.
    Yes, she pointed out that Portfolio has a drop down, and wanted the first 2 pages to have them too.

    I naively said yes, thinking it would respond like WP. However, in SS, each page has a certain type, either a LAYOUT, COLLECTION, or OTHER, like https://www.screencast.com/t/nn9gLwy5nz and https://www.screencast.com/t/y34oHb16eCKI. They each behave and have their own restrictions in their own way, as far as I can tell.

    Story and Us use "Gallery", while Portfolio has the "Folder" set up. So, to recreate them, they'd have to be SS Folders that look like Galleries as far as I can tell.

    I'll look into other hosting companies, I've heard of sitegroound. Thanks for the insight.

    Rather than try to figure out how to make SS Folders that look like Galleries, I've created a subdomain to work from and begun to recreate the site in WP.

  9. #8
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    Your screenshots show it to be a typical drag and drop block editor used in the everyday site builders for people that know nothing about web design. SS, Weebly, those that some hosting companies add to their hosting plans, etc. Not much you can do with the majority of them especially if they're on an already predefined website template

    Years ago, I heard a web designer say....the predefined templates on the site builders own and control you, you don't have much say in changing things on the templates.


    As far as menus, I'm building a large restaurant site now that has a menu on the top of the pages, left and right sides of the pages and on the footer. Each menu is independent of each other and serves different identities within the restaurant. I just finished a site that has a large drop down mega menu. None of the menus came with the theme. I added them with a menu plugin.


    I'll try to find some time to put up a few screenshots of what a serious website page builder looks like controlled by the person or designer, not the theme or template.

    Good luck
    Last edited by bleau canon; Apr 15th, 2019 at 01:17 AM.
    Bleau
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  10. #9
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    Your restaurant site sounds interesting. Sounds like it'll be a really good looking site. I've heard of and seen some menu plugins.

    Yeah, SS is a good looking drag and drop block editor, but they confirmed that it's not possible there.

    Well, I started a new WP site, and added the SO theme and plugin. I had a little trouble with it, so I brought in some help. He used a theme called OceanWP and the Elementor plugin, brought it over to https://tinyurl.com/yyvemwcy, and though there's no menu on the home page, all of the pages are there, yet will need customizing to make them look the same as on the other site.

    The guy's kinda MIA right now, so now I am working on customizing it, but at least we got it started.

  11. #10
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you're pulling everything together like you want for your website.

    One day next week I'll try putting up a link to a new website that our kids here in our valley are building. Their website now is 10 years old built in html and css and started braking last year. It's also gotten so large upgrading it could be almost a full time job. It needs to be on a CMS now for certain. It has it's own vps and we may have to put it on a dedicated serve if it's keeps growing.

    Their new site is being built in Wordpress by our 14 year old grand daughter. She's using the Vantage theme, Siteorigin Pagebuilder, pro plugins and widgets. She chose the Slider Revolution for their Home Page slider and the slide shows on the site.

    She "gave me permission:" to put up a link and leave it for maybe a week before she'll close it again and does more work on it.

    It may surprise you when you see it.
    Last edited by bleau canon; Apr 20th, 2019 at 09:24 PM.
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    Bleau
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