When designing the look for a website using WordPress, the first thing I do is see if I can find an existing theme that has most of what I want for a look. This is the starting point. Once I have a starting theme there is always some customization that is needed to get it just right. The closer I can get to the desired look and functionality using an existing theme, the quicker the project goes.
A theme that came close in a recent project is Origami by SiteOrigin.
Origami is a simple and stylish WordPress theme from some developers in Cape Town, South Africa. One of the things you quickly learn in the WordPress world is how international it all is.
The developers describe the theme this way “Elegantly simple, with design and functionality that reflect its values of continuous improvement, attention to detail and refinement, Origami echoes the intricate art of its namesake in all facets.” Not too far off the mark!
Origami is an elegant looking theme with very few settings and limited features. Easy to setup and looks great straight out of the box. I needed to customize the theme to get the look I needed. I got in touch with SiteOrigin to see if they had any wornings or tips. The return email, a day later, included an attachment, the code for a child version of the theme with the customization I was going to make already made. You can’t get better service than that! The free version of Origami is great, but for between $10 and $35 you (your choice) can support SiteOrigin work and get the Pro version with a few useful added features. My own feeling is that we should all support open source projects like the work at SiteOrigin when ever we can.
While the Oragmi theme has only a few settings and features. SiteOrigin also offers a WordPress Plug-in called Page Builder.
Page Builder is definitely an advanced WordPress tool. They describe it this way, “Page Builder by SiteOrigin makes it easy to build responsive grid-based page content that adapts to mobile devices with pixel perfect accuracy. It’s a whole new dimension to content creation”. Page Builder is a tool to structure page layout and help build sites with a great look and feel. Page Builder widgets facilitate Images and Buttons and many other things on the layout.
Your basic Blogger does not need the abilities or want the new complexity. As a site developer, it is tools like this that make WordPress a competent professional CMS (Content Managment System). I am a total convert to Page Builder. I use it on my own site and on client sites. And if that wasn’t enough it is free! I could spend a lot of time talking about it but the folks at SiteOrigin have made a video, so I will let them tell you about it.