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How to Build a Custom WordPress Theme for a Services Business

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Theme BuildingBusiness websites are a marketing tool. Not only is a site a meant to allow a visitor to locate and contact the services company, but a site is a means to make an initial impact on a potential customer, and thus should showcase your capabilities and experience.

Every site built on WordPress should have a great theme, it’s a must. Many developers would stress, that a theme is just for the design, and every feature you need, could be added as a plugin. By that logic, any theme would do. But this is not true. A theme is the foundation of your site. It provides you the ability to seamlessly add features, and it helps, when generic features are already a part of the theme. Needless to say, any theme you choose has to be responsive.

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The Theme – The Site’s Foundation

The theme provides you templates for pages on your site. Whilst WordPress themes available, offer you a great number of options, the flexibility that your own custom built theme provides, is much more. If you have a simple idea of how your site should be, you can avail services to build a custom theme, or tailor one to suit your preferences. A custom theme gives you more control over the features you want to include or provide.

Instead of building a theme right on top of WordPress, theme frameworks, like Genesis, provide you a better platform. Our site is built on Genesis. The Genesis framework is easy to customize and provides search engine optimization options.

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The HomePage – Where First Impressions are Made

Since the homepage is the first page any visitor will see, it has to be direct and easy to navigate.

The header should contain your site’s logo and a navigation menu. The navigation menu, is the most important menu on your site. It is a guide for visitors, to other pages on your site.

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Navigation Menus

As far as navigation menus are concerned, there are several options you can consider, instead of the usual block navigation.

  • Pill Navigation: You can use a Pill Navigation menu, with no sub-menus, and consider placing the sub-menus in the footer. If a pill navigation may appear too simple, you could try having sub-menus, or a mega menu.
  • Mega Menus: Nowadays, many sites have a mega menu. A mega menu not only provides sub-menu options, but is also used to highlight a site’s products, services or offers. (As an example, you can check out the one we even have on our site, our Services Menu.)

Of course these are not the only options, and WordPress or Genesis makes it easy to incorporate a different design.

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Advertising Banners

Many e-Commerce sites have a banner on their homepage, to advertise certain products or offers. It could either be a static banner or a slider. The reason being, that a banner creates an impact on visitors, and is a great way to inform and direct them, towards new products or special deals on your site.

  • Think Different: But let’s face it, advertising banners are being done by everyone, and most of the times, they slow down the site. Instead you could provide visitors with a sort of guide, for example, links to product categories or services (if that is what you sell), and grab attention using animated icons like LivIcons.

Reviews or Testimonials

Client Reviews or Testimonials, provide a great impression on potential clients. Client testimonials can all be presented on a different page, or as a slider on the homepage. Some prefer displaying random testimonials, everytime the homepage is loaded.

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Footer

The footer should be another point of navigation for users. It should provide additional links to pages on your site, and could also provide contact information, and social media sharing links.

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About Us – Reflects the Company’s Motto

The ‘About Us’ page, gives a brief overview of the company, it’s motivation and vision. prospects. Usually many people navigate to this page, to get a summary about the services provided by the company, and thus, this makes it a very important page.

To make it simple for visitors, a list of service categories can be provided. There can be a short description along with each category, and an image gallery containing portfolio items.

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The Services and Portfolio Pages – List out Your Capabilities and Experience

The Services Page

Each service provided, could have a dedicated page, with a services template. For example, the services page, should describe the details of the service, and provide links to portfolio items, linked to the service. Such pages need not have a sidebar. Or you can consider adding a contact form in a sidebar, to make it easy for visitors to contact you.

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The Portfolio Page

The Portfolio is a catalog of previously completed projects. There should be options to filter portfolio content based on specified keywords. The Portfolio Page is usually a gallery of projects completed. When a user clicks on an image, it usually takes him to a specific page. Instead you could consider some innovative options.

  • Show a Lightbox: Instead of navigating to a different page, you could show a portfolio slider. When a user clicks on a portfolio item, a lightbox would pop-up with details of the project. He can also navigate to the previous or next portfolio item, or exit the lightbox and click on a specific item.
  • Transform the Layout using AJAX: When a user clicks an item in the portfolio gallery, the page layout would be divided. The portfolio items would be placed in a sidebar, and the details of the portfolio item would be displayed. This is similar to how a the layout is for a presentation template, where slides are shown on one side, and the selected slide occupies the main content.

Obviously the option you choose would depend on the services you offer. Each portfolio page can have a client testimonial section, if applicable. Or, you could also display the testimonials slider, on every portfolio page.

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Shop Page – Market Your Products

If you sell physical, shippable goods, a good plugin to consider is WooCommerce, for digital or virtual products, you can consider Easy Digital Downloads (we use EDD to sell premium products on our site).

  • Most of the e-Commerce plugins use their own templates for the pages they add. When you build your own theme, you have to ensure that the theme is compatible with the e-Commerce plugin you choose.
  • You would also require some customization to ensure that the designs of the templates created by the plugin, complement the rest of the theme.
  • If the shop page has a wide range of items, you would need to add categories and a search box for easy filtering.
  • Social sharing options should be placed on each product page as well.

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Contact Page – The Target Page

Many believe that the Contact Page is the most important page on your site. While this may be true, the actual fact is, that it is not just the page that is important, but rather the content on the page, which is of most value. This content should be made as accessible as possible to a potential customer, without seeming overwhelming.

  • For example, as suggested, contact forms or enquiry forms can be placed on Services Pages.
  • The address, contact email and number should be placed in the footer
  • If not anything else, the Contact Page link should be placed in the navigation menu, because this is generally the first place visitors look at to contact the concerned people.

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While, this may involve a whole lot of effort to accomplish, it is definitely worth it. A website is a reflection of your company, and should be well thought of, with equal importance given to each page on the site. We believe in creating Clean, Simple and Direct websites. If you were looking to develop a website for your business, WisdmLabs WordPress Custom Theme Development Experts can help you in building a stunning custom theme. Contact Us | View Our Portfolio.

Ankita Raikundalia

Ankita Raikundalia

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