Often a client presents a very specific brief involving a pre-existing design from another theme or site that they would like their own design based on: ‘I want my site just like xyz theme, but with a double right sidebar, an area up the top for my banner ads, and make the homepage display fixed content AND 5 recent posts from our most popular category’.
And although this may sound like hard work, it’s far better to have a client that can tell you exactly what they want than one that has no idea.
But how are you going to build that website?
The traditional option is editing or rebuilding a pre-existing theme in a code editor to suit a client’s exact requirements. But rarely an enjoyable process, and can take a lot of PHP and CSS knowledge and front and back-end testing if you’re to end up with something robust, updatable, scalable, plug-in friendly and secure.
Having a good understanding of Catalyst and the Dynamik child theme gives us the option of re-building the design the client likes with the extra functionality, layouts or edits that they require to suit their project in FAR less time. And it rarely takes any programming at all.
Sometimes a few lines of CSS may be required, but the front-end CSS builder can help you through assembling the styling and showing your results in real time BEFORE you commit to saving your changes.
Here, in three short videos we run through basic site setup, building the main structure with EZ-Home options and custom widget areas, pulling content into the static homepage with the Catalyst Excerpt Widget, and basic and advanced styling with Dynamik and the front end CSS builder.
You’ll see in 40 minutes how we can re-create a theme design ready for delivery or, as a great starting point to further modify the design to suit your or your clients specific needs.
Even if this minimal chic design does not suit your needs, the videos provide a blueprint for a workflow to build a huge variety of custom themes as well as some great techniques and tips to get you using Catalyst and Dynamik more like a pro.
The small amount of custom CSS used in the project is available in the Catalyst Community here.