» A “Child” Theme: By now, you may be thinking that hiring a web developer may be a better option for you (and if so, you can always contact us for reasonably priced custom deployments). But if you’re still looking to DIY, then good for you! The next piece of a pro-developed web site is a Child theme. Child themes are the “skin” of your web site. To continue the car analogy from before, the child theme is the “body” of the car, how it looks to the public from the outside.
Child themes also determine where specific things will be located, such as navigation (across the top or on the side?) the layout of content, sidebars, defaults for color themes, font and text types, and all other visual aspects of the sites design. Most importantly, a proper child theme will integrate best practices for the industry that you’re building the site for. For example, restaurant web sites have different best practices than real estate web sites, which have different best practices than retail storefronts. Each places critical online information in a position that makes the most sense based on the task that a visitor is looking to accomplish when they go to a site for a business in that specific industry.
You can find lots of free child themes, with varying degrees of efficiency in accomplishing the task at hand. But if you’re looking for a well designed child theme that confirms to current best practices, it’s hard not to recommend Studio Press’s Genesis child themes. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because we recommended Genesis as the development theme for WordPress. It’s no accident or coincidence that Genesis also offers professional-grade child themes that adhere to best practices for the targeted industries.
Here is a link to StudioPress’ child themes – it’s worth noting that these themes require Genesis if you are going to use them, but they are well worth the expense in their scripting, coding, and usability.