I spent the last couple of days working on Done Nesting. I purchase reliable and flexible themes that I can customize without doing any alterations of code. I buy themes to be certain they work and will continue to do so. It isn’t that there aren’t good free themes out there. There are. Free themes are a great way to assess different designers work. I find the securrity considerations to be more thoroughly addressed in the commercial themes. I use themes on my own blogs that I may also use on client site. Should I have a problem, I like to be able to access support that will respond quickly so that I may respond quickly. My clients deserve that.
I decided to install BuddyPress on my Done Nesting site so that I can have blogging challenges, groups, events, and I will be adding group tweeting capabilities soon.
I did a bit of graphic design for a possible logo, banner, and icon to use for an icon set for the site. This may change. Hubby says the flower looks too mean and pointy. I will probably soften the colors a bit too. Let me know what you think of my design work. I love the process of honing something into a viable, aesthetically pleasing construct.
Most of the day was spent on setting up the theme I finally purchased, after wrapping up the research I had done on themes that integrate with the BuddyPress plugin on the WordPress platform.
I decided to go with the Custom Community theme by ThemeKraft. ThemeKraft provides support at the Pro level, over the free, and there is more flexibility in style and color options. This is the first time I have bought a license to for just one theme. I usually go with packages such as the one offered by Elegant Themes in which I have access to all of the themes offered by them, and there are tons! But not all WordPress themes work with BuddyPress.
Intensive research over the last few days added to the preliminary information gathered on community blogging over the last few months. There was one theme I really liked from Theme Loom, but the company was just too small for me to be comfortable relying on it for software for a group site. Maybe if the company owner had been a woman, then I might have been more disposed to accepting the risk/investment ratio.
Theme Forest had some beautiful themes, but they sell derivative work from individuals and small companies under a standardized umbrella of terms, services, and licenses. One use on one site per purchase. I do a handful of sites for friends and small businesses and sometimes I will want to use the same theme for more than one site. Multiple use licenses at Theme Forest start at well over a $1000.00. It is not clear that I could purchase multiples at the single price for every new site without violating the terms. I steer clear of any gray areas when it comes to business law.
There were also some great individual designers and coders who were very clear and almost threatening in their one use theme terms and who sounded like negotiation would be needed and with an individual who cannot be contacted easilly, that can be risky too.
Themekraft had good reviews, a tiered customer support system, a freebie basic version that can be used as a limited, but non-demo version, and a clearly written, logically structured, helpful, detailed website. I took advantage of playing around with that free version, before I made my final decision to purchase the Pro version this afternoon.
I still have to set up the membership side of the site. I hope to have the unofficial or semi-official site launch on the Solstice later this month.
If you are interested in being a beta tester for Done Nesting let me know and I will contact you and get you set up with a login and the level of access you will need… just as soon as I figure all that out!