This is a tough question for me as I feel like I should design all my sites myself. But when I’m honest I recognize that there are tons of people out there who are much more talented than I am at design. And they put out their designs as WordPress themes and templates that make it easy to pay them some money and use their design. But I have trouble just using someone else’s work, even when I’ve paid for it. So I tend to modify most designs that I get at least a little bit.
The other part of this question is what constitutes “design?” In other words, if I use the a WordPress template, but I change the background color to my own custom one, I change the header image to another custom image (or images), and I add my own iconography and fonts, haven’t I done some design on that theme? For example, Meridian Stories (a site I did not design, but I do work on and I think looks great) uses a theme called Ethic that has been modified with a child theme to reflect specific design decisions of the Meridian site. Is that design? While my site Enjoy SciFi uses the Twenty Eleven theme with just a few modifications (colors and photos). I would never claim that I designed the Twenty Eleven theme, but I did decide on the colors and images to be used to represent that site. Did I design it?
Do You Design Your Sites?
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with whatever you choose to do. Some of the sites I maintain I designed 100% myself, from the CMS to the CSS and everything between. Others I grabbed a template to be done quickly. I’ve hired designers to do some designs for me as well. And in each case I’ve been happy with the results.
What do you think? Is it important for you to design every aspect of your site? Or do you prefer to work on other things like the content or the programming? Let’s chat in the comments.