Every time now and then I get a fast customer who wants the job done in so little time. In most cases I try and save time while I design using only free resources and plugins to get the job done. Here is a list of things you can do and save time while you design.
Using WordPress to save time
In about 90% of cases, I tend to design WordPress powered websites for my clients. As I do it it gets more and more faster, with no or almost none quality loss. Although the best way to design is to do it responsively and take your time with it, when you deal with a fast design I always find that installing a WordPress website and applying the best theme which you can later modify can save me days of work.
Here is a list of places you can download free quality WordPress themes for your site
- 100 Excellent Free WordPress Themes
- 85 Beautiful WordPress Themes
- 26 Free WordPress Photo Gallery Theme
- WordPress theme directory
- 55 Free and beautiful WordPress themes
Using Joomla to save time
For the more complex websites, I always tend to use joomla. With a more complex website structure and some great features like: User Management, Media Manager, Language Manager, Banner Management, Content Management, Syndication and Newsfeed Management and others you can create complex websites in a flash. There are also great resources to help you along the way, the most useful in my opinion is the Joomla Extension Directory serving 3169 extensions.
Also if you are in need of a free Joomla theme I would recommend these places:
Speed SEO your WordPress or Joomla Website
There are specific plugins for both WordPress and Joomla websites to optimize them for search engines. For WordPress, I know that everybody uses All in one SEO pack with the following features: Canonical URLs, Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality, Provides SEO Integration for WP e-Commerce sites, Generates META tags automatically and for beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box.
For Joomla, making a SEO ready website requires some additional plugins and features installed. One of the most important aspects is to have ht_access enabled on your server, if you don’t know about it ask your hosting provider. For the first plugin I use sh404sef, a plugin that turns ordinary Joomla generated links into SEF links (Search Engine Friendly).
Another great plugin for Joomla SEO is Joomla 1.5 SEO Patch. Basically this is not a plugin but a SEO Patch that you apply in your Joomla website. The patch alters the Joomla core files and allow you to make dramatic changes to your Title, Description and Keywords tags on every article.
These plugins save me about a day of work on my sites, so I would recommend using them. If you are interested in more Joomla and WordPress SEO resources please read these articles:
If you want to learn how to save time in other design aspects there is a great article here: 10 Ways to Save Time While Building a Website: Improved. These tips include Firebug, Templating engines, MeasureIt, Colorzilla and others. I recommend reading these great tips before starting any project.