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How we Built a Product Showcase Website 53.8% Quicker with Atelier

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Atelier-WordPress-Theme-SwiftIdeas

I’m part of the Content Marketing team at WisdmLabs. Most of my time is spent creating content for the WisdmLabs website and its products.

But it’s not a run-of-the-mill content writing job.

There’s more.

I have to participate in decision making activities for the website as well. Like, I have a vote on the colors being used on the site, or the structure of pages, or the information architecture.

There’s a bit of research involved, and it helps to have WordPress basics in place. I’m not expected to code, but I’m expected to have a UX designer eye.

(Sounds interesting? We’re Hiring!)

power-responsibility-meme

So, when time came to create a website for WisdmLabs’ new products, I had an important task. I was put in charge of one of the products, and I had to spearhead the website setup process – without the need of any coding of course.

(The sheer simplicity of using WordPress to build a website, is one of the primary reasons why we, at WisdmLabs, advocate WordPress, and recommend it to clients.)

My task was simple- for the WordPress plugin we had to launch, I had to create a product showcase website to sell the plugin. My aim was to pick a solid theme. I wanted the theme to handle most part of the website’s setup.

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How did we go about picking a theme?

So, I followed my 7 point guide to picking a premium theme. I wanted a responsive theme, which was compatible with plugins I was planning to use, and which provided me sufficient options, so that I wouldn’t have to bother my web developer workmates for trivial changes.

Phew! It was quite a bit of work, but I was up for it.

Well, as far as plugin compatibility went, there were a few plugins, I needed the theme to be compatible with.

The product – a document creation plugin for WordPress, was built to work with a credits system. And we wanted to use WooCommerce to sell credits. So, the theme had to be WooCommerce compatible.

We were also considering using bbPress forums for support and pre-sale enquiries. So I was looking for a bbPress compatible theme as well.

I (and my teammate) personally needed the theme to be compatible with the Visual Composer- page builder plugin. We’re totally gaga over the plugin 😀 . It just makes the task so much simpler.

As far as theme options and information architecture were concerned, I primarily needed a color customizer, and mega-menu options.

You see, once you have narrowed down factors you want the theme to meet, there is no particular method to finding the theme. You have to just look for it, in theme marketplaces.

And that’s what I did.

The obvious place I looked was Themeforest. I scanned through WooThemes and StudioPressthe usual suspects, and checked out a few other themes as well.

I narrowed down my choice to three themes- none of which were Atelier.

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Why did we Pick Atelier?

I (and my teammate Tahseen – who was in charge of building a website for another WisdmLabs product) seeked advice of the lead frontend developer at WisdmLabs – Ankita.

We wanted to get her opinion on the themes we’d shortlisted, before proceeding with the website setup. We explained to her our requirements, and asked her to evaluate. Now, Ankita is greatly experienced with website development and theme selection.

The thorough person that she is, she decided to shortlist a few other themes as well. And one of the themes she shortlisted was- Atelier, by SwiftIdeas.

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Now, Ankita had worked on another theme by SwiftIdeas – Neighborhood, and she knew the code was good. The theme was lightweight (the performance has been confirmed by testing the live site as well), and offered the features we were looking for:

Plugin Compatibility

The theme was compatible with WooCommerce and bbPress. Perfect! You know, WordPress website developers are telling you WooCommerce will work with any theme- they are wrong! It’s quite a bit of work editing theme templates to make them compatible with WooCommerce. And I certainly did not want that overhead. WooCommerce compatibility was of prime importance.

Page Builder

Atelier theme provided its own page builder. However, I was relieved by the fact that it was compatible with Visual Composer, in case we wanted to use some VC components.

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But! The primary reasons why we picked Atelier were:

Theme Options

Atelier provides a truckload of theme options. And I like them all!! ALL! Okay. So I’m exaggerating a bit. Usually so many options can be overwhelming. But considering that I had to update the website without any coding, all the options were of help.

To begin with, the color customizer the theme provides is quite detailed. You can control colors for the menu, footer, page header, and HTML elements as well.

The menu options, provided settings to create a mega menu, add font icons. And footer options to control the appearance of the footer.

The sidebar options allow the page layout to be changed as well. And there are options on each page to change the appearance of individual pages.

Awesome!!

Gravity Forms Support

Since our plugin integrates with Gravity Forms, the Gravity Forms support was a bonus. It would help us setup the demo.

Reviews

The reviews were a vote-swinger. We were quite convinced that a theme which had sold 800+ copies (it has gone past 1,000 now) in nearly two months, with a 4.8 rating was quite good!

Weighing these points against the other themes we’d shortlisted- Atelier was the clear winner!

(If you’d like Ankita & team to pick a theme for your requirementsContact us).

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How Long did it Take to Build the Website?

Well, if I do not consider the time taken to select the theme, decide the name, design the logo- the the entire website development- installation of WordPress, installation of the theme, needed plugins, creation of the content, design of the page layouts (I had to flex my designer muscles for this one) – it took me 7 days (considered at a stretch).

7 days to build an entire product showcase website from scratch, with the content, and without major development!!

Now, if the theme had to be built from scratch, the entire process would take around a month- or maybe even more. If the theme needed to be customized, it would take around 2-3 weeks. But Atelier reduced the turnaround time by nearly half- 53.8% is our guesstimation. 😀

I have to admit made some minor CSS changes. But that was it. I didn’t meddle with additional code.

There were some hiccups of course. For example, Visual Composer did not work as smoothly as expected. There were some glitches when I tried to delete certain structure elements. But nothing major.

[su_note note_color=”#faf6d4″ text_color=”#000000″] A quick tip for those of you using browser extensions:-

Atelier provides shortcodes which you can add. But if you face a problem while adding shortcodes, try turning off your browser extensions. Your problem might just be solved! [/su_note]

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The results were quick but were they good..?

Well, no.

They were great!!

Folks here at WisdmLabs and I were quite pleased with the result. 🙂

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Final Word

See, when building a website, my point of focus is the information architecture. Once that’s laid out well, I always focus on picking a theme which makes it easy for me to implement the design.

And that is what makes Atelier a great theme.

It provides adequate elements to build you a great website. So, if you’ve used Atelier, and would like to share your thoughts on the theme, feel free to do so. If you have complaints I’d like to hear them too. And for those of you who would want some extra bit of help setting up their website with Atelier, you can drop us a mail or comment below anytime!

Namrata

Namrata

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