It is hard for the majority of WordPress site owners to envision how fas, easy and inexpensive it can be to move from a crappy “custom theme” to a great professional theme (site). Theme development has been the end all and be all of WordPress website development for a very long time. It’s funny when you’ve been working with software for several decades to refer to anything WordPress as “a long time” 🤣 !
A large number of my customers have worked with WordPress Designer/Developers who create a “custom theme” for them. The majority of those developers use the current WordPress.org theme or one of the the theme starters like WP-Flex., Sage., Underscores., Bones, JointsWP, etc as their foundation for writing the theme.
There is a problem with this. The themes are not written as child theme. As a result, there is not professional theme author standing behind the theme and updating it when issues arise. And they always do.
So let’s discuss the launch of a rewrite of A Maven’s World. I became the web master over a year ago when much of the site stopped working. When I investigated, I found that someone had simply dropped a semi-colon from a statement in the functions.php file. This is a common way for an angry developer to sabotage a clients site when they are dropped but they still have access to the site either through ftp, cPanel or admin login. But it also happens when site owners get curious and start looking through files with the Theme Editor. I fixed the site and then secured it.
Then over the course of 2016 I maintained the site, updated the Shop section, a second WordPress database, to a new theme and managed the content. There were lots of issues because the starter theme was written before “mobile first” so it didn’t look great on mobile devices.
Finally in late 2016, I was asked to update the site. Clients often insist on a particular theme from a particular professional theme author. I can use just about any theme and often do. However, I genuinely don’t like the Divi, Avia, Visual Composer and all shortcode based page builder based themes. My preference, are professional themes from Shaped Pixels in combination with the Elementor Page Builder. Fortunately the client let me make the choice.
The result is a WordPress website that uses the Shaped Pixels Emotions Child Theme and Elementor. and is 100% Google Mobile Friendly as well as being very easy to maintain and update.