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So, I've put a lot of work into a simple, clean one page design. It's nothing fancy, text, images, some google fonts, colors, nothing complicated going from mobile to desktop (just sizing changes), most text is centered. I'm really happy with the design but I'm pulling my hair out trying to customize Wordpress.

I definitely don't want to pay for a monthly subscription (e.g. seedprod) since this is a simple static site that won't change much in the next year and then will probably just sit there for years unchanged.

I want to keep it free for the friend/client I am building it for.

Questions:

Should I be using something other than the Twenty-twenty-two default theme?

Is there a process I should be using to edit the CSS. I find everything to be scattered and hard to preview . Would it be possible to do the design in Webflow and then use the css from there in a Wordpress instance?

Should I just give up on Wordpress and tell my friend that I'm doing it in HTML and CSS and if they want Wordpress to hire a developer to customize Twenty-twenty-two or another theme?

Here's the design: Mobile Desktop

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  • This is truly a subjective question. There's going to be quite a few "right" answers. For my two-cents, use a basic theme that is highly documented. It may be a HUGE help if you pay for a theme to get support from the devs. I'm not a rep for generatepress, but use them often. It will get you close to where you want to be with minimal tweaking. Many others use astra/divi combinations, but there are SO many options.
    – rudtek
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 4:18
  • the problem I'm encountering is that all the themes that have a pro version charge monthly or are hundreds of dollars and I'm not even sure if I can get the theme to work. Is Generatepress a one time fee or monthly for the life of the site?
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 4:25
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    most "pro" versions of themes (and plugins for that matter) are for support only. If you're planning on designing and then forgetting you don't need the support any more. So it would be a 1 time fee for many of these themes. unless in a few years you decide to update or there is a security issue then you may want to pay that fee. Generatepress has a free version that is very workable.
    – rudtek
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 5:03

3 Answers 3

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I don't have enough rep yet to comment so I can only post as an answer. Based on your particular situation, I think any well supported free theme from the repository that is close to what you have and that takes minor tweaking OR a one-time $39-$59 theme would save you a ton of time and frustration trying to manipulate a default WP theme (block editor is not for everyone either if that is where you are having issues.)

Yes, a developer could build it but, since you are doing this for a friend and trying to keep the cost down, I would save some frustration and look at another option or go HTML/CSS as you suggested.

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  • Sorry StackOverflow won't let you comment. I voted this up so maybe that will give you points. I am trying to customize the Astra Theme now... it's not going very well though. It won't even let me set the background color
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 1:28
  • Yeah Astra free has basic options. Here is where you do background options but they are global: wpastra.com/docs/… Otherwise you would have to do some css tweak on the page itself :/ Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 2:15
  • I decided not to use Astra and I couldn't find any other template that was helpful AND that I could use for free or a reasonable price ..So, I'm back to Twenty-twenty-two
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 4:24
  • I do not know if links are allowed to external site (envato) but if $59 is doable I know of a theme that you can do just about anything with. No extra fees (just ongoing support as @rudtek mentioned above.) However this particular author is very active on the support boards so you should have no issues. Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 13:00
  • What theme on envato are you thinking of?
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 18:56
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Look into learning how to modify themes. Wordpress is open source so you can do whatever you want with it. Use simple custom CSS and a starter theme and go to town on it. Once you have a basic starter theme setup you can reuse it. If you're not familiar with the process look on Udemy - they have excellent course for super cheap, totally worth the investment. Good luck.

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I was able to translate what I had designed in Figma over to Wordpress almost to the pixel using Elementor.

I wouldn't recommend Elementor for a large site, but since this was a one-page website where it wasn't too painful that styles and headings weren't always applied as expected -- it was not just good, it was good enough

For a larger site I think using a paid theme that comes with support is the way to go.

Thanks for the comments!

I looked at courses on Udemy and they were all pretty dated (not using Gutenberg blocks) so I didn't go that route. Instead, I hired a tutor through Fiver. They had me use Elementor and got me over the finish line.

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