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How to Build a Site within 24h with TemplateMonster’s Themes [Freelancer Case Study]

We are back with the new episode in the series of TemplateMonster customer success stories. This time we are happy to share our interview with a successful freelancer from the US who once started as an employee of a web design company, and now works as a serial entrepreneur building sites offering services to the public.

Every new case study that we post on our blog is an avid example that impossible is nothing for a person who follows a dream. Here, at templatemonster.com, we only kickstart your new big achievements. A ready-made theme is a sure-fire way to get started with a web project within a day. How? Read a brand-new TemplateMonster Case Study.


wesName
: Wes Cutshall
Occupation: Serial entrepreneur.
Location: United States.
Audience: Websites offering services to the public.
Site: 32nddegree.com

TemplateMonster: Tell us a couple of words about yourself. How many sites have you already launched?
Wes Cutshall: As my business I've probably launched over 20 website products. I've easily built over a hundred websites in the last 19 years of my web development career.

I have built my first website in the summer of 1997. In 2008, I quit my full-time job as a web developer/programmer to work full-time on my website products. I'm a serial entrepreneur who builds websites that offer services to the public. I don't build websites for other people. Currently, I list 12 websites on my business website at 32nddegree.com.


TemplateMonster: Tell us about your projects? What products/services do you provide? What is your audience?
Wes Cutshall: Historically my main websites have been FidoFinder.com (lost and found dogs), TabbyTracker.com (lost and found cats), NamingForce.com (business naming contests), and LogoForce.com (logo design contests). Fido Finder and Tabby Tracker have reunited over 5,000 lost pets with their owners. Naming Force has named over 3,000 new businesses. I recently launched Raiser Clothing which is an apparel line for poker enthusiasts. On all of these websites, I do the design, development, and programming.

Raiser Clothing

raiser_clothing


TemplateMonster: What templates did you purchase? What were the key factors that influenced your decision-making?
Wes Cutshall: My recent purchase was for a WordPress/Woocommerce template to launch Raiser Clothing. I was specifically looking for a premium WooCommerce template and this template had the style I was looking for to build my brand off of. The brand is modeled after current surf and skateboard brands and needed a modern, edgy design. I wanted a design that would last for years and be simple and not overly busy.

Trendy T-Shirts WooCommerce Theme

tshirt-store


TemplateMonster: What features of the chosen templates do you value the most? What should be changed/enhanced?
Wes Cutshall: The overall design of the template didn't need to be tweaked very much, and this was very valuable to me. I did tweak some of the CSS to hide certain aspects of the template that I didn't care about. The product listings had an overlay with price, "choose options" button, and the short description, and I just wanted the image; so I modified that, for example. I was also able to use the stock imagery in the template and simply replace the logos on the t-shirts with my designs using Photoshop, and this saved me from having to take original photography; at least for now.

There are a few things I wish were customizable that are not. I cannot easily hide the side widget that shows the product categories. I would prefer to have my product listings to go across the screen instead of 3/4 of the way on the website. But, I've used this area to provide a filter for searching for products in the various available colors. So I made it work.


TemplateMonster: What tools do you use to power up your site's back-end?
Wes Cutshall: The website is built with WordPress and Woocommerce. I have added multiple plug-ins to help customize the user experience. One of the great advantages to using WordPress and Woocommerce is the flexibility to install plug-ins that people have written to do the things that were not included in the base Woocommerce or WordPress software.

TemplateMonster: How much time did it take you to create and make your site live? What aspect of the site's creation was the most time-consuming for you (customization of the theme, content editing/creation, etc.)?
Wes Cutshall: The site was up and running very quickly. Within 24 hours I could have launched the website. At the time the products still needed to be loaded into the store and synced with my 3rd party printing/fulfillment company. But the site was originally built in 24 hours. When building a Woocommerce e-commerce store you must load every single variation of the product. If you sell a t-shirt in 10 colors and 5 sizes you must "enter" 50 variations. This work is simplified by Woocommerce, but only if you don't want to show a custom picture of every color. If you want to show an image of every color, when the user selects that color, you must upload/choose the correct image for EVERY different size and color. So loading the store with 36 different products all in varying sizes with varying images took multiple days. All in all, I went deciding to start a clothing line to launch the website in under a month. With most of that time being deciding on a logo and t-shirt designs and choosing a printing company.

TemplateMonster: What are your recommendations for other users who are just planning to launch their site?
Wes Cutshall: I have all the tools, ability, and experience to write an e-commerce site from scratch. I decided to use WordPress and Woocommerce to save time and get my brand up and running as soon as possible. I easily saved a month or more of coding by purchasing a template and using WordPress/Woocommerce.

I recommend for users to select a template that is as close to what they want their website to look like as possible. Although you can often alter parts of a template, you never know which part of a template is easy to edit and which parts are impossible to change. Don't just find a template of which you like the overall layout, find one where you like almost everything and think you will tweak very little. For example, my template is designed to have a black background in various parts. The text is intended to be white over this black background. Had I wished to have a white background and black text instead I'm not sure that I'd be able to do this.


Do you have your story that should be told to MonsterPost readers? Then feel free to contact [email protected]. We will get back to you shortly for an interview.

The web community should know its heroes in person!


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Katherine Crayon

copywriter reporting on tech news and all aspects of the web design industry. Anyone looking for more inspirational posts, tips and advice or simply the latest industry news, meet her in person on Quora and Twitter.

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