What is a Prebuilt Website?
First let’s define what a “prebuilt website” is. Regardless of the platform used (in our case we use WordPress for prebuilt sites) the idea is that the entire site is “ready to launch” at the beginning of the project. Of course it requires content replacement and update of mandatory settings. Further customization is usually desirable, but is not absolutely critical as the site is fully functional.
Why Use a Prebuild Website Instead of Just a Theme?
One of the questions I get when I describe the scenario of the prebuilt site to some people is “what’s the difference between a prebuilt site and just buying a WordPress theme?”. Good question, though the answer should be fairly obvious. With most WP themes, when you install them you do not have anything close to a fully completed website. In fact you’ll often have to put in work just to get back to the demo look and feel that attracted you to the theme in the first place. Let look at what is missing compared to a prebuild website.
What’s Included in Making a Prebuilt Website
In a prebuild WordPress website such as the sites in our Ultimate Website series you get the following in addition to the WordPress theme:
- Menus configured and added to their locations.
- Site pages created and added to the menus.
- Site page are filled with what we call smart placeholder content. It’s unfair to call it “dummy content”, we actually use realistic fake content that includes formatting and which suits the purpose of the site.
- Sample posts are created with post categories and post tags configured so that the blog looks like an authentic blog that has been running for months.
- Social plugins and/or social theme settings configured
- Google analytics integration setup (just swap ID/code)
- Theme configurations and settings made to fit the purpose and nature of the site.
- Form builder plugin such as Visual Form Builder installed and used to create sample forms
Now in addition to all the work that’s been done to go from “just a theme” to a “launch ready website” most of our prebuild websites include at least a few “special features”. These are features that might be technically challenging or at least cumbersome and time consuming to setup.
Starting from the Finish Line with Prebuilt Websites
How using a prebuild website changes the development process has to be experienced. If you think of “building up” a site like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, you’re basically having to sort through pieces or carve out your own. You search for suitable plugins, you find one, you install it, you learn it, you configure it, you might even fight with it. In some cases you toss it away and try another one. Sometimes a plugin seems like the perfect fit and turns out to be your worst nightmare. When a site is fully built, everything is already working. Whatever technical challenges were involved, those have been solved already. Now your project may require significant customization, or adding features not included, but the point is what is already there is rock solid, tested, prebuilt and ready to rock out.
How Site Owners will Save Money with Prebuilt Websites
For new businesses prebuilt websites have the potential to save time and money. A reasonably tech-savvy entrepreneur can rapidly developer their own website on a DIY basis without the normal pitfalls of DIY site building. We know from experience and surveying the market that non-technical business people find building their own websites highly challenging, frustrating and often ineffective. As good as systems like WordPress are at making the admin experience simple and intuitive, the fact remains when it comes to site building it’s a developers world. Simply knowing how to add plugins and configure them, or using site building aspects of the WP admin can be tripping points to the non-developer trying to setup their own site. With a prebuilt site most (though not all) of these potential challenges can be overcome. We’re not suggesting it makes a completely painfree experience, but realistically we can solve up to 80% of the problems that DIY site builders might face. We let site owners focus on getting in their content and utilizing existing functionality that is tested and proven.