Re: [newtech-1] Inexpensive web design.. 99designs?

From: Anthony Z.
Sent on: Sunday, March 17, 2013 12:27 AM

As a Wordpress veteran with over 9-years of experience working with the CMS, I can tell you that you can get away very cheaply and do it yourself by:

- Purchasing the Pagelines Theme Framework (, which gives you an incredibly robust framework that has all functionality your non-profit will need, including the ability to target widgets on certain pages and posts, as well a use the frameworks admin tools to drop in a background, set a site wide font (whether web safe or using Google Fonts for embedded font) and much, much more. Pagelines framework is responsive out of the box.

- Purchasing Cart66 for Wordpress, which will allow you to take digital orders with PayPal and provide a download link. You can also use WP-E-commerce, but that's if you want your shopping area to look more like and e-commerce site.

- Hosting on WP Engine or MediaTemple and getting yourself a back-up account for $15 a month with Vaultpress. Also, you should be using Wordpress Jetpack plugin, which will give you all sorts of tools that you will need for social media, analytics, etc...

There are things that you really need to know about Wordpress in terms of security - you should be using Wordfence, Bad Behavior and you should be registering your site with Akismet, then setting the Akismet key in your Wordpress admin. You should also have wp-security scan to check your config.

There's much more to using Wordpress then simply hiring someone off of Elance. They may be able to "design" a layout, but they may not know how to marry it up to a Wordpress instance if they've never used Wordpress and know how to create a theme from scratch or create a child theme.

Yes, purchasing a theme from Theme Forest is a solution that you could go with, because most of those theme devs give you the photoshop files along with the theme, so you can have a designer modify them to the way you want it to look. But, the problem with Theme Forest is the same as with the Google Apps Marketplace. There is no quality control. You may busy a theme from a developer who does not update their themes with new updates from WP or other issues, like security holes in the theme that might get you hacked.

I do Wordpress all day, every day and run Wordpress Meetups. I started my first one in Westchester, then moved to Chapel Hill and I do Wordpress Chapel Hill and now Wordpress Winston Salem.

Tony ZeoliFounder
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On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM, Peter Frasca <[address removed]> wrote:
So, I've been asked by a very small non-profit (essentially as a favor to the executive director) to take on the task of updating their fairly antiquated website. It's not terrible but certainly quite dated.

It's a hosted Wordpress site that's going to need to be able to integrate an e-commerce feature. The non-profit provides some very basic reporting and they currently require people to send in checks or pay in cash at the home office in Maryland.

My first thought, as budget is a huge concern (this has to come in under $1,000), is to use 99designs. I've never used them before so I'm wondering if anyone else has and what their impression was. Also, if there is an alternative, I'm all ears.



Peter Frasca
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