We completed a make-over of one of Learfield’s websites yesterday. Like most companies, we’re watching our expenses, so I was pleased to bring it in for the $59 I paid for the theme (not counting my time and some IT help with site prep).
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve converted a dozen websites to WordPress and the process has gone very smoothly. With 50 users working in half a dozen offices, we needed a very friendly content management system and WordPress has delivered. Both for the people working in our newsrooms and for me.
There are literally thousands of plug-ins for every conceivable task. And they’re all free (or donor supported).
I’m not a designer but the variety of affordable WordPress themes is staggering. After a good bit of looking, I found myself coming back again and again to two providers:
StudioPress has great-looking themes that cost about $60 each. Use as-is or have one customized for a couple of hundred bucks.
Thesis is the theme I chose for our news networks. Out of the box, it’s a clean, minimalist design. We can add a coat of Candy Apple Glitter Flake paint later, but for now, I wanted something that was easy to manage under the hood.
Both of these developers have great support forums and documentation.
I’ve spent less than $2,000 on the refresh of ALL of our websites. Aside from some great help by our IT folks, and the day-to-day content posting by our news and sports staff, I support all of these by myself.
If quick turn-around is a requirement, StudioPress/Thesis + WordPress is a winning combination. If the content has been assembled, I can get a site up and running in a matter of a few hours.
Fast, inexpensive and fun. For the win.