Do you know what is the proper way to proceed with a premium theme for your preferred CMS?
Customizing a 3rd party premium theme is a very common requirement of clients. As a veteran developer & designer you must have experienced this many times. Right?
It shouldn’t have to be from client’s side always, it can be your personal requirement too. Let’s say you want to revamp your business website or blog, for that you have decided to go for a beautiful premium theme.
Because, by using a premium theme, you don’t have to design & develop it from scratch. You will get a well designed ready-made theme, you will just need to configure it & customize it according to your requirement.
So, you already know, right? As you have configured it many times & worked with many premium themes or theme frameworks for different CMSs.
But what about those who have just started it, who are new in this. Lets say, you have worked on CMS development, but working with premium theme is totally a new thing to you, you have never worked on it. Then?
How will you start? What will be the road map to proceed further? That’s what this article is for.
If you have already worked with premium themes then you definitely know one thing that, working with a premium theme or a theme framework is not so straight.
Each premium theme comes with its own structure, constructs, rules, mechanism etc., which you need to study carefully before starting any work. Otherwise it will become a mess.
So, never ever jump on the customisation straight, after buying a premium theme, out of excitement.
Take a well planned, step by step approach to proceed with your newly bought premium theme for your upcoming site.
It can be any CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc.) but the core principle will be same. So today through this post I will give you the route map of how will you proceed.
Here for describing all these things, I am taking WordPress as my CMS of choice. Hope it will help you to understand, how will you proceed/ start working with a premium theme.
So here it is…..
Study the entire structure (Master theme folder, theme & other) first
It’s one important step to start with premium theme customization. Because if you purchase any such theme for WordPress, then as a bunch you will get a master folder in zipped form.
After un zipping it, you will find different files & folders inside that, it generally consists of main theme folder, folder of required plugins, patch files, demo data to be exported to make the theme functional, technical documentation with other documents (like, read me file, purchase code etc.) and many other stuffs.
So before jumping into the development, at first take some time & check all these elements carefully. Think and study, the entire structure with all of its elements & components.
Because it’s highly important, if you don’t know or have any idea regarding when any particular file will be used or for what, then it will become very tough to manage.
So at first do your study, if you don’t understand everything then ask any of your friends, or associates who have already worked on that or read the instructions from the theme’s official site, there you will get all necessary details.
When you have done all these things, checked every nook & corner of the theme directory and after that if you feel confident enough, then only you proceed.
It’s the first step. Now what?
Read all the technical documentation (s) carefully
If you have already worked with different premium themes, then you must have found that, for each & every theme, the structure, constructs & the way of incorporating something is a bit different.
So when you are working with any premium theme, the first & foremost thing is, at first check & study the technical details of the theme from its (the theme’s) way.
Because it’s vital to understand how a particular theme works, before starting any work on it.
Technical documentation is the first thing through which you can get these knowledge. So read the technical documentation (s) carefully and then move forward.
Look at all On-line documentation available, check Forums & Video Tutorials
Beside studying technical docs, you can also check the theme’s official website, if you find some more on-line documentation to start with.
Apart from that, register in their official forum, check all the popular threads for starting, expert opinions, how the newbies should start and try to understand everything from their specific questions.
And gain knowledge from the expert answers for those questions, because these are the real lesson that you will not get from any technical documentation.
Because technical documentation is one-sided, for gaining knowledge it’s good.
But when you face any real challenge, at that point of time how will you solve that, it matters most and those kind of knowledge can only be gained from forums.
Beside checking their official forum & other documentation, find out if there are any video tutorials available or not. Definitely there will be, so search their official website & YouTube channel.
Check each & every video carefully because video tutorials will take your knowledge one step ahead.
So after checking all these what will be the next step? Will you start working on your live site? Never!
Configure the theme in your local server first
It’s always better to implement the purchased theme in your local environment first, as you want or your requirement is.
Because, technically many things can happen, site can break, all the features may not work, so it will definitely take some time to fix.
If you start developing everything in the live server and something wrong happens, then it will create a really bad impact on the audiences.
So do all the experiments in the local machine, implement all the features, try & test it thoroughly, then only make it live.
These are the steps involved, when you will start working with any premium theme for any CMS.
If you have any question, please let me now via comment. I am always here to help you.