Kodako Vs Theme Template Sites
WordPress has been evolving ever since it was first launched just over a decade ago. There was a time where Kodako developers didn’t want to use WordPress because of hacks and lack of server security and we used Adobe Business Catalyst has our preferred platform. Thankfully, this has changed. WordPress sites now have a lot of security surrounding them especially server side. At Kodako we realised that WordPress has come of age about three years ago and began developing sites using the platform. We started with simple sites for business and progressed rapidly into commerced sites and haven’t looked back.
What was different for us using WordPress is having to work with a theme. We were used to coding using HTML5, CSS and a number of JS libraries to create original builds for our clients. We still wanted to create original designs without the restrictions of templates. So we chose to build with a theme builder using a light weight theme as a framework. We use this for standard business sites and we developed our own theme with our partners to work with WooCommerce for commerced sites called Kodako Liquid. It’s only available for clients to use and is not in the public domain but Kodako Liquid offers us all the design freedom to create unique website designs using a theme builder while offering our clients fast page load times and an excellent user experience when shopping online.
Why A Theme Builder
WordPress sites and blogs, as mentioned, must use a theme that is WordPress compatible. As with most restrictions there are pros and cons to using predesigned, modular themes such as Store Front, Office Press and Ocean etc. On the one hand, they keep a site well structured, simple and familiar. However, this is where the con is where your site will look like hundreds of others and making format changes are almost impossible due to the modular nature of a theme like these. If you want to be able to standout from the mass of online competition and make your website memorable you need to freedom to design layout and content.
Unlike modular themes, Kodako uses a lightweight theme that carries no definitions that can skew and cram content into spaces or that redefines fonts and colours. The two themes we use act as a blank canvas allowing us to design any type of block design we want to use and put it anywhere we want to put it. For all our website designs elements including headers, footers, popups, forms, buttons and media content such as galleries and videos we use a theme builder to customise them to how we want them to appear without the constraints of a modular themes content and layout.
Creating Blog Variations
The other great advantage of using a theme builder is that we can create several variations of elements and assign them to specific attribute such as categories. As an example, suppose you have a holidays travel site, such as a recent website we built, https://globalstarholidays.com.au. To help draw visitors, we published a blog where the posts are categorised by relevance to either sport or group sport travel holidays. With two types of clients searching for two different types of holidays we wanted the blog to have two different types of designs. The first is used for all the blog articles and is considered the default the second is for group sport tours to international destinations. We wanted the default to be a standard easy to read design while the other to be more exciting and about groups usage with a table of contents and more full screen images, fancy borders and styled buttons with links to international destinations etc.
We wanted to maintain some aesthetic consistency throughout the site so we only make minor changes to make it more international and fun for groups booking tours. So for our client using and writing the blog, all they have to do is assign a category to each post, written in WordPress using the default editor, for either blog page design to be used.
Buttons and Dynamic Content
Other areas of design difficulty using modular templates is buttons and other dynamic elements. Customising these elements can often result in get bogged down in code using a modular theme where using a theme builder isn’t the case. We could design and implement a header with menu, logo and social media buttons in literally half the time it would take us using a predesigned modular theme.
Theme Builder Design Speed
Using a theme builder, which allows us to design any layout with any content, keeps us focused on the design and functional outcomes of a website rather than endlessly fiddling with template code. This is how Kodako delivers exactly what our clients wants without any surprises later on. Keep in mind that theme builders are a very new technology but compared with modular theme designs used by Shopify, Squarespace, Wix and many others there is no comparison. Theme builders are faster, cheaper and easier because our clients can edit their own content without using a line of code and that’s the bottom line.